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Eliminating the cause of the corn or callus is the most effective treatment, and the number one cause of calluses is poorly-fitting footwear.

A callus (also known as a corn) is an area of tough, hardened skin on the foot formed as a response to pressure or friction.

Calluses can be broadly categorized as "soft" and "hard." Soft calluses form in the moist areas between toes, while hard calluses form on the ball of the foot, alongside the big toe, and wherever a foot might be pinched by or rubbed by tight shoes. Left untreated, both types of calluses can become quite painful and lead to more serious foot conditions, especially for people with diabetes whose calluses and corns are at risk of ulceration.

Treatment Options

Many people have been taught that corns and calluses can be treated at home. In reality, most over-the-counter creams and pads only provide short-term relief at best, and some folk remedies, otherwise known as "bathroom surgery," can cause bleeding and infection. In truth, a foot and ankle specialist can look at your specific concerns and help determine a solution that is safe and lasting. Treatment options may include:

  • Safe reduction of the corn or callus, performed in the physician's office.
  • Padding to relieve pressure and reduce contact between surfaces that rub and pinch the foot.
  • Orthotics for long-term relief of pressure or rubbing.

Your foot and ankle physician will help identify your options for shoes and socks that will offer adequate support without causing the pinching, rubbing or irritation that can cause calluses and corns. If you have additional questions, please refer to our
callus FAQ.

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