Corns and Calluses

A callus is defined as thickened, hard layers of skin that develop as the body’s natural response to friction and pressure. Corns are a type of callus that consists of dead skin, and has a centralized core of hard material. The name “corn” is due to the resemblance of a kernel of corn.
Due to the similarity in the two conditions, the treatment pathways for corns and calluses are relatively similar.

Calluses are generally bigger and wider than corns, but with smoother, less-raised edges. These typically form over bony areas, where the weight is beared when standing, like the balls of the foot.

Corns can be classified as a “soft corn” or a “hard corn.” Soft corns tend to be white with a rubbery texture. Soft corns flourish in small crevices of the body, where heat and moisture are abundant, like in between the toes. Hard corns tend to be smaller, with a hard and rough texture. This type of corn appears on bony areas of the foot, where the moisture level is less than the hosting site of a soft corn.


  • A raised bump
  • Thick and rough skin
  • Flaky, dry or waxy skin
  • Pain or tenderness

Despite the fact that corns and calluses can be painless, the area can progress to an ulceration or infection if left untreated. People who have been diagnosed with diabetes, or other conditions that restrict circulation to the feet, are susceptible to additional complications from an untreated corn or callus and should not attempt self-removal.

Risk Factors

If any of the following statements apply to you, you could be at a higher risk of developing corns or calluses.

  • Additional diagnoses that affect the structure of the feet and toes, such as a bunion or hammertoe, are more prone to a corn or callus. This is due to the foot deformity rubbing against a shoe, producing the characteristic symptoms.
  • Shoes that are too tight or too loose will constrict the foot, causing more friction between the fabric and foot.
  • Walking barefoot– this causes the skin to naturally thicken, as a means of protecting itself.
  • Older age– as time goes on, there is less fatty tissue in the skin, which equates to less padding and a higher risk of calluses.

Mitigations and Remedies

Mitigations and Remedies
If you catch a corn or callus early in its development, it is important to do everything you can to mitigate the issue. This could save you from the complications of an untreated corn or callus.

  • Moisturizing the skin regularly helps to prevent the callous buildup
  • Soaking the skin in warm water will provide temporary relief of discomfort
  • Shoe inserts or padding can help to prevent the pressure that causes corns and calluses

Nonsurgical Treatment

Debridement, or shaving down the corn. This approach may take multiple attempts to completely remove the problem.

Prescription strength emollient cream will help to penetrate the rough skin, and dismiss the rough texture on the surface.

Foot pads to ensure a soft platform to land on when walking, eliminating some of the pressure on the balls or heel of the foot.

A Fat Pad Restoration Procedure consists of an injection of a dermal filler used to provide extra cushioning on the bottom of the foot. It is a relatively quick and simple procedure that can be done in the office. The injection we use is a loosely connected tissue made from human fat. Because the injectable material already exists in the body, it supports the body’s natural tissue regeneration process. Although this procedure can be used for a variety of diagnoses, we mostly use the Leneva injection as a way to replace worn-down tissue on the bottom of the foot, or between bones with worn-down cartilage.