Corns and calluses are areas of tough, thickened skin caused by pressure or friction. Calluses usually appear on the palms, fingertips, or soles of the feet. Corns are smaller than calluses and form on the toes.
Corns and calluses on the feet can be caused by:
Calluses are often associated with certain types of work or sports. Tennis and baseball players develop calluses on their hands, manual laborers on their hands, joggers on the soles of their feet, and violinists and guitarists on their fingertips. For some activities it may be good to have calluses because they help keep you from getting blisters.
Symptoms of corns and calluses include:
Your healthcare provider will examine you. You may have an X-ray to see if you have any physical deformity that could cause a corn or callus.
You may need to see a foot doctor or orthopedic surgeon if:
The doctor or surgeon may:
Corns and calluses usually go away in 1 to 4 weeks after:
Wear comfortable shoes until the corn or callus disappears.
If your general state of health is good, you may want to try one of the following measures (diabetics and older adults should consult their healthcare provider first):
If you have diabetes, it is very important to take excellent care of your feet. Injury to your feet is a possible source of infection, chronic sores, and skin ulcers. If you have corns and calluses, check with your healthcare provider to get them treated safely. Then ask your provider to teach you how to prevent corns and calluses in the future and how to care for your feet every day at home. You may need to see a foot specialist (called a podiatrist).
It may be difficult to prevent calluses from developing on your hands and fingers, depending on how you use them. In some cases it is good to have calluses because they may keep you from getting blisters caused by certain activities.
Corns and calluses on your feet are generally the most bothersome. You can avoid getting them or help prevent them from returning if you: