Corns and calluses are thick, hardened layers of skin that develop when your skin is exposed to friction and pressure. Most often they develop on the feet and toes. You may have a corn or callus if you notice:


Smaller than calluses, they are raised and have a hard centre surrounded by inflamed skin. Corns tend to develop on parts of your feet that don’t bear weight. Hard corns can appear on the top off the toe, or on the side of the small toe. Soft corns can appear as open sores in between the toes. Corns are unsightly, and can be painful when pressed.


Rarely painful and larger than corns, calluses usually develop on the soles of your feet, especially under the heels or balls. They vary in size and shape, and appear as waxy, raised, thick and rough areas of skin.

Both corns and calluses can become inflamed, and at times painful. Treatment for corns and calluses is required only if you feel discomfort, and for most people, simply eliminating the source of the friction or pressure (most commonly improperly fitting shoes) makes corns and calluses disappear. Other toe deformities such as hammer toes can also lead to the development of corns. For others, such as those with diabetes or poor blood circulation to the feet, they are at greater risk of complications from corns and calluses. In such cases, proper removal of corns and calluses from the certified chiropodist/foot care specialist at Active Foot Care Clinic and Orthotic Centre is beneficial, so as not to risk even a minor injury (which can lead to an ulcer), to the affected area via self-treatment.

The following can also help to alleviate or eradicate the symptoms of corns or calluses on the feet:

  1. Callus Removal:

    If a callus becomes very inflamed or painful, or if you're a diabetic living with a callus, then consult with your chiropodists/foot care specialists at Active Foot Care Clinic and Orthotic Centre to see about having it removed. Using a scalpel to gently shave, pare away the thickened skin, we will then provide soft and comfortable padding to reduce pressure and protect the affected area and the healthy skin surrounding it.

  2. Off-loading

    Callus formation naturally occurs in areas of the foot as a defense against blistering and ulceration, especially during over-pronation; the foot rolls across the metatarsal heads one at a time, instead of distributing the weight equally, and causes increased range of movement of soft tissues, inflammation, skin thickening (the callus) and pain. To alleviate the pain experienced from calluses, off-loading the affected area to properly redistribute plantar pressures with the help of custom made orthotics will help a great deal.

  3. Custom made orthotics

    As an effective treatment of corns and calluses, custom made orthotics act as a preventative treatment to minimize skin irritations from corns and calluses, and prevent them from returning. Orthotics improve the alignment and function of the foot with each and every step, and are available in a variety of materials, designs, styles, shapes and corrections, to treat your corns or calluses. The use of off-loading orthotics can slow the progression, and even stop the formation of painful corns and calluses. For more information, please visit our custom foot orthotics web pages.

  4. Footcare

    Foot soft tissue care and maintenance is highly recommended in the treatment and prevention of painful callus formation:

    • using callus cushions and pads to reduce rubbing and pressure points
    • applying softening creams
    • using files or pumice stones to soften and smooth down calluses
    • wearing comfortable socks to reduce friction
    • wearing comfortable and well-fitting indoor and outdoor footwear

    The chiropodist/foot care specialist at Active Foot Care Clinic and Orthotic Centre can help you select the most appropriate footcare regimen.

    Our friendly and courteous staff can assist you in determing what the right type of treatment plan is for best for you and your corns or calluses. Please contact us today to learn more!