Overview of Corn & Calluses

Corns and calluses are foot conditions defined by hardened layers of skin (hyperkeratosis) that form due to rubbing or abnormal pressure on the foot. The skin gets firmer to protect from further irritation. While they are evidently visually unappealing, corns and calluses can also become quite painful if they begin to swell or entangle with nerves below the skin. Generally, neither corns nor calluses are not very serious and can be treated with basic at-home products. However, those with diabetic neuropathy or reduced blood flow are more likely to suffer a severe foot issue from a corn or callus. These foot conditions can also be formed as a byproduct of hammertoes or bunions.

There are two major differences between corns and calluses:

  • Location. Calluses are located on the bottom of the foot, while corns are located on the top or between toes.
  • Firmness. Calluses are hard all the way through to the skin; corns are generally only hard in the middle and usually have inflamed, softer skin surrounding them.

The following symptoms are most commonly seen when a corn or callus is present:

  • Thick, hardened skin anywhere on foot.
  • Flaky, dry or waxy skin.
  • Appearance of a raised, hard-edged bump.
  • Pain and/or tenderness under the skin.

Relief Products for Corns

When treated properly, most corns and calluses will go away on their own. Orthotic Shop has several products that minimize discomfort and prevent more serious issues from arising:

  • Silipos Digital Pad – A pad that can be worn 24/7 on a toe with a corn. It reduces pain by significantly lessening chafing on the infected area. Available in a pack of twelve.
  • Silopad Mesh Tubes – A pack of three, customizable 6” tubes that can be sheared to better fit the affected corn area. They promote quick healing by reducing friction and absorbing shock.
  • Silipos Universal Strap – A pad worn around the foot and beneath the toes to eliminate rubbing on the corn or callus. Cushioned for additional comfort.

Other Recommendations for Corn or Callus Relief

  • Wear shoes with more “breathing room” for your feet. Rubbing, irritation and friction from shoes that are too tight will form a corn or callus. Pointy toed footwear is especially troublesome, so find alternatives with wide, rounded front. 
  • Always wear socks with shoes to avoid direct friction on the skin.
  • Do not walk around barefoot – not only does the risk of corns and calluses increase, but so does the risk of infection.
  • Apply lotion to soften the skin.
  • Soak feet in warm water and then use a pumice stone to carefully shave away excess hardened skin. Following this, use moleskin to help diminish irritation and keep the area clean.

Although at times they can be extremely painful, corns and calluses are a minor foot condition that will usually go away on their own with proper care. Don’t wait until it’s too late to apply the simple treatment options we have available; and to prevent them in the future, consider buying a pair of wider shoes to prevent them all together.