A callus (hyperkeratosis) presents on the surface of the skin due to thickening of the skin layers. When the skin layers harden they form a core in the middle and it becomes known as a corn. This occurs as a protective mechanism in response to repetitive friction, rubbing, pressure, irritation or as part of the healing process after a blister. Constant pressure in any area such as wearing tight fighting shoes can result in a corn or callus between the toes which can become quite painful, inflammed or swollen. People afflicted with foot calluses or corns need to exercise caution as if left untreated they may result in infection, tinea (sweat) or ulceration.



  • Aging
  • Bunions
  • Arthritis
  • Standing for long periods of time
  • Flat feet
  • Foot deformities (joint deformities, misalignments)
  • Diabetes. These people are also at risk of diabetic foot ulcers
  • Circulatory insufficiency, limited blood supply through the capillaries of the toes and results in a lowered amount of nutrient supply, circulation and healing to these irritated areas


  • Calluses and corns may disappear over time, especially if the reason for the callus/ corn is removed
  • Wearing properly fitting shoes is recommended to ensure that repeated pressure is not applied to the irritated area
  • Minimise the amount of rubbing and friction applied to the area and foot wear should be properly fitted
  • Skin brushing or using a pumice stone to sand down the area may help to remove the excess thickened skin
  • Rub moisturising oils into the area to help soften the hardened surface or soak the affected area in warm water
  • Follow a foot care regime to prevent the formation of calluses and corns
  • Investigate and treat the cause of the problem (underlying feet disorder, blood conditions)
  • They may also be dissolved with keratolytic agents containing salicylic acid, please speak to a Podiatrist concerning this treatment
  • Wear gloves, plasters, orthotic shoes, paded socks, breathable materials (cotton, not nylon) or protective pads over the affected area to help cushion and reduce further hardening of the skin
  • Address poor circulation or diabetes if this is a problem for you