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Corns and Callouses


The appearance of a corn or callus on your foot or toe is your body’s way of protecting itself from excessive rubbing, friction or pressure. A thick, hard layer of skin develops in the area of pressure to prevent blistering, tearing and infection.

You may notice a hardened or rough area of skin, dry or waxy skin, a bump or raised area, and sometimes some pain or tenderness at the site. Symptoms vary depending on whether you have a corn or a callus.


What is the difference? A corn will tend to be painful, as it has a small, hard center and usually appears on the top or side of toes where shoes or boots press. Calluses usually appear on the soles of the feet, especially the heel or ball of the foot, where friction is more prevalent. They are larger than corns, but rarely cause pain.

People who have bunions, hammertoes or other types of foot deformities are more susceptible to developing corns or calluses, as these conditions can frequently cause pressure points in shoes and boots.

Most of the time, corns and calluses resolve themselves simply by removing the cause of the pressure or friction. Complications, such as infection, are most common in people who have diabetes or conditions that contribute to poor circulation. Those who suffer from these conditions, or who are experiencing painful corns or calluses, should see a doctor.

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