Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Corns and Calluses

Corns and calluses are some of the most common foot ailments that people have. Most people with corns or calluses don’t experience pain or discomfort, but sometimes, they can begin to cause problems when walking or running. Some people suffer from severe corns and this can lead to walking impairments and other foot conditions developing, like hammer toes or bunions.

Corns and calluses can develop due to a variety of conditions. If you have corns and calluses that cause discomfort, or you just feel they are unsightly, there are foot treatment options for you!

What’s the Difference Between Corns and Calluses?

Calluses and corns are often grouped together as similar foot conditions. So is there a difference between them?

Corns and calluses both refer to hard, painful areas of skin that develop on areas of pressure or in response to friction. The differences between them lie in what kind of skin they are made of.


Calluses are sections of skin that has become toughened or thicker because of pressure or friction. We get them on our feet most often, but they can also appear on our hands, elbows, and knees. Calluses are typically yellowish in colour and less sensitive to touch compared to the skin around it.

Calluses are usually bigger than corns with less defined edges. They most often appear on the bony areas on the bottom of the foot, where there is the most pressure from walking.


A corn is similar to a callus, but composed of dead skin. They usually form on smooth, hairless skin surfaces, particularly on the top or the side of toes. They are small and circular with a clearly defined centre.

There are both hard corns and soft corns. Hard corns are small and occur in areas of firm, hard skin. Soft corns are whitish in colour with a rubbery texture and usually occur between the toes.

Why Do I Get Corns and Calluses?

Most people get calluses on their feet. However, some factors put you at a higher risk for severe calluses or corns. These include:

  • wearing shoes that are too tight
  • wearing high heels
  • wearing shoes that are too loose
  • a badly placed seam in a shoe rubbing against the foot
  • wearing socks that don’t fit well
  • not wearing socks
  • walking barefoot regularly
  • aging

Corns and Callus Treatment

There are a variety of treatments that you can use to prevent and treat corns and calluses. The best and most common treatment method is soaking your feet for five to ten minute sin warm water and then filing the area with a pumice stone in circular motions. Doing this three or four times per week helps to remove rough skin and calluses from the feet.

You should also use moisturizer everyday on your feet. Ensure the moisturizer contains salicylic acid, urea, or ammonium lactate to help soften the skin.

Lastly, ensure your shoes and socks fit you properly and avoid high heels whenever possible. Too tight or too loose shoes and socks create friction and can cause corns and calluses.

If a corn or callus becomes painful or inhibits your ability to walk or perform at your regular level of functioning, then it’s time to see a chiropodist or your family doctor.

Book an Appointment with Your Chiropodist

If you suffer from corns and calluses that are painful or uncomfortable, make an appointment with a chiropodist today! We can help you find the reason you are developing corns and calluses and recommend treatment options to remove them and help prevent them from returning.

McQuistan Chiropody Hamilton has two locations to serve our customers better. Contact us today to book an appointment and discuss treatments for your corns and calluses. Remember, foot pain isn’t normal and can be treated!

Contact us today.