What’s the Difference Between a Corn & a Callus?


With springtime, outdoor physical activity becomes more amenable and the possibility of foot problems tends to increase.  One of the inevitable consequences of getting active again after a long winter of sedentary tendencies is that you will develop problems with your feet and ankles, including painful corns and calluses.

Corns and calluses form as the body’s response to friction and pressure from such things as wearing shoes that are too tight and feeling the new pressure from footfalls. Athletes, like tennis and basketball players, tend to develop corns and calluses due to all the pressure on their feet and ankles. Problems such as poor gait mechanics can be a factor as well by causing excessive rubbing, but this can be abated by using properly fitted shoes and custom orthotic inserts.

What is the difference between corns & calluses?

·         Corns—These develop where your toes rub together, or wherever else you have excess pressure on your toes or other parts of your feet, often caused by improperly fitting footwear.

·         Calluses—Often much thicker and larger than corns, calluses will appear on the heel or ball of the foot where the increase in pressure causes this reaction.

Treatments you can try at home for corns and calluses

·         Moleskin or foam pads—These can be placed over a corn to help isolate it and prevent the rubbing that causes calluses and corns.

·         Foot soaks—In a tub of warm soapy water, soak your feet to allow the dead skin of calluses to become softer and easier to remove. Using an emery board or pumice stone will help to gently rub away the dry and damaged skin.

If you are having issues with corns or calluses, see your podiatrist right away. At Fit Feet for Life, our team of board-certified podiatrists has access to advanced technologies and years of experience to help diagnose and treat a variety of foot and ankle problems, including heel pain, sports injuries, toe deformities, nail fungus, and plantar warts.  Bonnie Sanchez, DPM, and Gregory Cook, DPM, provide high-quality foot and ankle care to patients in the Tampa/St. Petersburg area at our five offices conveniently located in Sun City Center, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, and our two Tampa locations. Please contact us for more information or to schedule an appointment.