Both corns and callus are toughened areas of skin, caused by repetitive trauma. This trauma is usually friction or an abnormal amount of pressure and force placed on a specific area. Because of this trauma, our bodies naturally respond by creating this tougher skin for protection – unfortunately, harder skin can also cause a lot of discomfort. The difference between a corn and callus is that callus is a more diffuse area of toughened skin, whereas a corn is a funnel-shaped, very localised area of hard skin
So, what causes this trauma?
One of the most common causes is incorrect footwear. Wearing shoes that are too short, too tight or put extra strain on areas of our feet (that’s right ladies I’m talking about those glamorous high heels) will give us abnormal areas of pressure and result callus or corns.
It is also common to get callus and corns on areas of our feet where there are bone changes such as hammer toes or bunions. Because of the bone changes, we see a change in areas of pressure in our feet, which in turn leads to a corn or callus.
What can I do about it?
Firstly, see your podiatrist! We can help you understand why this trauma is occurring in each individual, and remove the corn or callus for you. It’s very important you don’t try and remove heavy callus or corns by yourself, or with ‘corn pads’ from the chemist as this can result in unwanted injury.
Getting into good shoes is your next step. Making sure you have the correct size and fit so as to not cause pressure and friction, and also making sure the shoes have adequate cushioning and support.
Trying to offload the area or pressure will also help. This may come from supportive footwear or even gel padding.
Your podiatrist will always be able to help recommend the best way to offload the areas of pressure in your feet and suggest the right shoes for you.