Corns & Calluses

"Corn" and "Callus" are two terms used to describe the same condition, a thickening in the outermost layer of skin (epithelium). The difference in terminology usually comes from the location of the lesion. People generally use the word "Corn" when thickened skin is on top of, or between, the toes. "Callus" is used more to describe thickening on the bottom of the foot.

Thickening of the epithelium occurs in response to increased pressure on a focal area of skin. Increased pressure is most often caused by a deformity of the underlying bone, but may also be cause by ill-fitting shoes, warts, or repetitive friction caused while walking. When there is increased pressure on the skin, the skin responds by producing more layers of skin, as a form of padding the area. The problem is, thicker and more dense layers of skin only cause even more pressure to the area. And so the cycle begins... and usually worsens.


Although calluses seem to be a simple condition, the success of treatment is determined by proper identification of the cause. A callus caused by pressure should be treated very differently than a callus caused by a wart.



Options for treating the callus depends on the cause. Most calluses have several treatment options, and surgery is rarely indicated.

For your safety, it is important for to refrain from using any kind of sharp debridement tool, or razor. There is a fine line between removing just enough, or too much, of the skin.

Sharp debridement, or trimming, of the callus is usually performed at the time of your appointment, if the office. There is little, or no pain, associated with debridement, as there are no nerve endings in the outer-most layer of skin. Patients will often get significant relief with debridement; however, the effects can be temporary, and debridement is rarely a cure for the callus.

Common Causes of Corns/Calluses:

  • Bony Deformity
  • Foreign Objects in the Skin
  • Friction
  • Plantar Warts
  • Tight Shoes


Treatment Options for Corns/Calluses:

  • Accommodative Padding
  • Custom Orthotics
  • In-Office Debridement (Shaving down)
  • Moisturizer Creams
  • Pumice Stone or Emery Board
  • Surgery to Correct Bony Deformity

For Tips on Self-Treating Corns & Calluses, CLICK HERE To See Our General Footcare Guidelines!

If you would like to have a professional evaluation for your Corns or Calluses, Call us at 512-593-2949 or CLICK HERE to Schedule an Appointment.