A callus, or tyloma, on the foot is caused due to repeated pressure and friction, leading to the build-up of thickened skin. The callus, which be may hard, dry or cracked, acts to protect the area underneath it. Corn is similar to a callus but is more localised to one area and due to the cone shape of it, it can be very painful with weight-bearing. Corns are much smaller and appears more on toes than on the sole of the foot.
A callus or corn is typically diagnosed upon examination.
Treatment of corns and callus involves removing the pressure – This is best done with prescription custom foot orthotics. The overlying callus and corn should always be removed. This can be done by regular debridement and filing. It is also suggested to apply emollient (skin moisturizer) to help your body slop off the dead skin cells. Your Podiatrist will also recommend over-the-counter treatments such as pads or gels to decrease the calluses or corn. Surgery or wound care may be indicated if the callus becomes severe.
While treatment for calluses and corns is not always necessary, it may provide you with more discomfort. Larger calluses can cause significant pain. In some patients, especially when they become cracked, calluses can lead to wounds that can lead to serious problems, especially in people with diabetes.