Diagnosis and Treatment of Corns and Callouses

What is a callous?

Thickened skin on the bottom of your foot is called a corn or a callus. They are the body’s reaction to pressure or friction from walking. They form under pressure points in the bottom of the foot.

Older people, for instance have less fat under their feet as cushion and the skin and bone remaining get a lot of pressure under them which may lead to very painful callosities.

Poorly cushioned or ill- fitting shoes also may make corns worse. 

Technically corns are overlying joints , like toes. often they have a deep core , which presses on the nerve underneath

  • Heloma Dura- or hard corn is often found on top of toes

  • Heloma Mole- or soft corn can be found between toes, where the tissue is moist. They often appear thick, white , moist and rubbery, and very painful

  • IPK- or seed corn has a nucleated center of impacted dead skin cells. Often they occur in multiples, which can be painless, however, deep ones can press on nerves in the skin and become VERY painful.

Podiatric Treatment of Corns:

DO NOT

  • Do not attempt to cut you own corns!

  • Do not use those medicated black dot “corn pads” from the store- they don’t know the difference between good skin and bad skin, and can cause a wound.

  • Do not ignore if a corn gets red or pink around it- that could signify an infection starting.

A trained podiatrist can quickly and painlessly remove a callus in the office. She can also teach you how to prevent them with either special creams or offloading padding. oftentimes a simple office procedure can keep the corns from returning. Most importantly, what you think may be “just a corn” can often be something much worse. The skin under the corn can break down, creating an ulcer, which can lead to a diabetic foot infection. This is the beginning of an amputation if not treated quickly enough.