Corns, Calluses and Proper Footwear

Blooming flowers, chirping birds and a smile on every face announces the arrival of summer! As the sun warms up the Northern Hemisphere and the beach beckons, it’s time to bring out the swimsuits and sandals, but wait! What about those unsightly corns? And where there are corns, calluses can’t be far behind. A podiatric joke that does the rounds goes like this:

When is a corn hurtful? When it’s a little callus!

Though often mentioned in the same breath because both corns and calluses are defined as broad areas of thickened skin also called Hyperkeratosis and develop to protect the feet from damage, they are quite dissimilar.

  • Calluses mostly form on the hands and the soles of the feet after prolonged pressure. They are slightly larger and only painful when the nerves are inflamed and a fluid-filled sac forms underneath. Marathon runners and people handling tools or sports equipment over a long period of time develop calluses on their hands and feet
  • Corns are hard layers of skin which tend to occur on the toes, which don’t bear weight but are irritated by the friction caused by tight shoes. Some corns have a hard center of dead skin and are found on the top or sides of the toes while soft corns have a thinner surface and occur between the 4th and 5th Corns can be painful when pressed.

Corns and Calluses are not contagious and thus not serious problems until they form on bunions, hammertoes, and claw or mallet toes, on bumps caused by rheumatoid arthritis or people with diabetes.


  • A layer of rough skin
  • A raised, sometimes inflamed bump
  • Dull aching soreness
  • Tenderness under the skin


  • Improper footwear. The higher the heel the stronger the pressure on the soles of the feet
  • Abnormal anatomy of the feet or hammertoes lead to corns and calluses
  • Occupations that require repetitive pressure on specific areas of the hands and feet, like farming, gardening, sports equipment, musical instruments and rowing

Home Treatment:

  • Over-the-counter callus removers
  • Regular soaking of feet
  • Removal of irritant causing the corn or callus
  • The use of a pumice stone

If you are a diabetic and your foot throbs, the corns get harder, the calluses get rougher and home remedies are useless, it’s time for a visit with either Dr. Michael Rosenberg or Dr. Heidi M. Christie, podiatrists at Montgomery Foot Care Specialists located in Montgomery, Alabama. With their vast experience and a professional staff aided by advanced technology, your corns and calluses are ‘has beens.’ View our comprehensive website or call us at (334) 396-3668 to make an appointment.