Calluses and corns


Calluses and corns are thick, hard skin layers that form as the skin tries to defend itself from pressure, friction, rubbing, irritation, or abrasion. They frequently develop on the fingers, toes, or soles of the feet. The most frequent reason is improperly fitting shoes.

Corns are typically tiny and rounded, and they are smaller and deeper than calluses. The tops or sides of the toes are where corns are most likely to be found. There are number of types of corn:

  • Hard corns: They are tiny, densely hardened skin patches that are typically contained within larger patches of thicker skin. Areas where the pressure of the bone on the skin, such as the top of the toes, are where hard corns typically develop.
  • Soft corns: These corns are whitish or gray in color and have a softer, rubbery texture. Between the toes, soft corns can be seen.
  • Seed corns: These little corns typically develop on the soles of the feet.

Calluses typically form on pressure points like the heels, balls of the feet, palms, and knees and are rarely painful. They are frequently bigger than corns and can be different sizes and shapes.

Hands frequently exhibit calluses as well. For instance, calluses develop where there is constant rubbing or friction, such as on the tips of guitar players’ fingers or on the hands of gymnasts, weightlifters, or artisans.

If the patient is in good health, they do not need treatment unless the corns or calluses cause pain or the patient doesn’t like the way they look. For the majority of people, corns and calluses can be eliminated by simply removing the source of the friction or pressure.


Corns and calluses might show the following symptoms:

  • Thick and rough skin in the affected area
  • A raised bump that feels hard to the touch
  • Pain or tenderness underneath the affected skin
  • Dry, flaky, or waxy-looking skin in the affected area

If you experience significant discomfort or inflammation due to a corn or callus, it’s advisable to seek medical assistance from a healthcare professional. If you have diabetes or poor blood flow, it’s especially crucial to seek medical care instead of attempting to self-treat the corn or callus. This is because even a minor foot injury can lead to the development of an infected ulcer.


Calluses and corns are a result of recurrent friction and pressure. The following are some sources of this pressure and friction:

  • Footwear does not fit properly: Tight shoes can squeeze some parts of the feet. The foot may repeatedly slide and grind against the shoe if the shoes are loose. Because of the downward pressure on this area when walking, women who wear high heels often frequently develop calluses on the balls of their feet. Moreover, the shoe’s stitching or seams may irritate the foot. Uncomfortable socks can also cause issues.
  • Not wearing socks: Without socks, wearing shoes and sandals can cause friction on the feet.
  • Hand tools or playing instruments: Physical hobbies, athletic endeavors, or labor-intensive tasks that repeatedly rub skin on the hands or fingers. The repeated pressure of tasks like playing an instrument, using a hand tool, or even a pen, can lead to calluses on the hands.
  • Genetics: Genetics may play a role in the sort of corn that develops on non-weight-bearing areas like the soles and palms (keratosis punctata).
  • Others: Structural foot abnormalities or altered biomechanics (birth defects like hammertoes or tailor’s bunions). Walking incorrectly means placing too much weight on either the inner or outer border of the foot.