Corns and Calluses

Corns and calluses are thick, hardened layers of skin that develop to protect against friction and pressure. They mostly develop on your feet and hands. They can be unsightly, but only require treatment if they cause you discomfort.

If you have diabetes or another condition that causes poor blood flow to your feet, you’re at greater risk of developing corns or calluses. Seek advice on proper care if you have such a condition.


Pressure and friction from repetitive actions cause corns and calluses to develop and grow.

Some sources of this pressure and friction include:

  • Wearing ill-fitting shoes. Tight shoes and high heels can compress areas of your feet. When your footwear is too loose, your foot may repeatedly slide and rub against the shoe.
  • Skipping socks. Wearing shoes and sandals without socks can cause friction on your feet.
  • Playing instruments or using hand tools.


Contact your doctor if you notice:

  • A thick, rough area of skin
  • A hardened, raised bump
  • Tenderness or pain under your skin
  • Flaky, dry or waxy skin

Potential Treatments

If a corn or callus becomes very painful or inflamed, contact your doctor immediately. If you have diabetes or poor blood flow, call your doctor before self-treating a corn or callus, because even a minor injury to your foot can lead to an infected open sore (ulcer).

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