Corns & Callus

When we walk, our body weight is carried first on the heel and then on the ball of the foot where the skin is thicker and accommodates the pressure.

When this pressure becomes excessive, some areas of skin thicken and form corns and callus, as a protective response to the friction of skin rubbing against a bone, shoe or the ground. In some cases, it also develops over scar tissue.

Callus (or seg) is an area of thickened, hard skin on the sole of the foot, end of the toes or top of the toes. They normally occur due to an underlying problem such as a bony deformity, a particular style of walking or inappropriate footwear. Elderly people have reduced fatty padding on the ball of the foot and their skin tends to be dry, this can lead to callus forming.

Corns are caused by a high amount of pressure or friction over small bony areas, such as a joint, and they have a central core like a cone shape which may cause pain if it presses on a nerve.

There are five different types of corns, the most common of which are ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ corns:

these are the most common and appear as a small area of concentrated hard skin up to the size of a small pea usually within a wider area of thickened skin or callus.

These develop in a similar way to hard corns but they tend to be white and rubbery in texture and appear between the toes where the skin is moist from sweat, from inadequate drying or tinea infection.

These are tiny corns that tend to occur either singly or in clusters on the bottom of the foot and are usually painless.

These corns are not so common; they have both nerve fibres and blood vessels in them. They can be very painful and can bleed profusely if cut, they generally need more frequent treatments and cannot always be cured, we usually manage them monthly to help with discomfort.

These arise when corns have been present for a long time and are more firmly attached to the deeper tissues than any other type of corn. They may also be painful.

What Podiatrists can do?

It is not advisable to cut corns yourself or use corn plasters, especially if you are elderly or have diabetes. A podiatrist will be able to reduce the bulk of the corn and offer pressure relief and advice to manage them safely and effectively.

Always consult a podiatrist for advice before using commercially available products. Be particularly careful when considering using corn plasters, as they contain acids that can burn the healthy skin around the corn and in some cases can destroy the skin down to bone, leading to serious problems such as infection.

People with diabetes, poor circulation or a reduced immune system should not self-treat, but instead seek advice from a podiatrist.

Podiatrists will in most cases be able to remove corns painlessly, apply padding or insoles to relieve pressure or fit corrective appliances for long-term relief. For callus, your podiatrist will also be able to remove hard skin, relieve pain and redistribute pressure with soft padding, strapping or corrective appliances that fit easily into your shoes. The skin should then return to its normal state.

Our Team that treat Corns & Callus

Danielle Ryder

HCPC Registration CH26865

Tom Sandy

HCPC Registration CH35392

Chloe Roche

HCPC Registration CH035949

Joanna Stallard

HCPC Registration CH34982

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I got an appointment quickly and attended the Rainford Clinic.
Danielle was great. She explained the issue with my feet and talked me through everything she was doing as well as aftercare. I had a number of corns that had become painful and made it very uncomfortable to walk. The pain relief was instant.
It was my first time visiting a podiatrist as I was always reluctant but it was well worth it and I will make it a regular thing to see Danielle at Alpine.
Highly recommended.

- Stuart Rance