corn on a foot

Podiatrists are highly skilled in treating and helping to prevent all kinds of skin problems, like corns and callus. In our clinic, I dread to think of how many scalpel blades we’ve got through over the years!

So, here are some of the common questions we get asked about corns and callus.

What is a corn?

Corns are areas of thickened, painful skin, with a hard central area. They vary in size from tiny to pretty large, but they can all be really painful! They can look similar to other skin conditions like verrucas and calluses, so it’s important to get the diagnosis right. They form anywhere on the foot, but most commonly they are on the tops of the toes, between the toes and on the balls of the feet.

What causes a corn?

Nearly all corns are caused by pressure and friction, but some aren’t. Corns on the tops of the toes are caused by pressure from footwear. We see them a lot on the little toe, when shoes are too narrow, or on the tops of hammer toes, where the front of the shoe is too shallow.

How do you get rid of a corn?

Well, in most cases, get rid of the cause of the pressure and remove the corn = problem solved. Podiatrists can advise you on diagnosis, they can remove the corn (painlessly in nearly all cases), advise on prevention and footwear, and provide you with devices to help reduce the pressure on the affected areas. Whatever you do, please don’t be tempted to use corn plasters!! Many contain an acid, which can cause a chemical burn on the surrounding skin. The best thing to do is to seek professional help and advice from a Podiatrist. It’s what we do!

So what is a callus then?

Calluses are wider areas of thickened skin, without the central hard area that a corn has. Calluses are caused by pressure and friction too. They can be uncomfortable, but they aren’t as painful as corns. Mainly we see calluses on the balls of the feet and around the edges of heels. If calluses aren’t managed well, then the skin can split and become sore. This happens around heels when the skin gets very dry.

What about callus treatment?

Callus removal by a Podiatrist is really easy. We use scalpel blades to carefully and effectively remove any hard skin. We’ll also advise on the causes, treatment and prevention of the callus too.

We see a whole range of other skin conditions too, you can visit our blog on Althete’s Foot to find out about just one of them! We’re always happy to advise and provide expert treatment for your foot issues.