About Corns & Calluses

Corns and calluses are thickened areas of skin that form in response to pressure or friction in a localized area. They are part of the body’s natural defense mechanism in an attempt to protect the area from injury.

Corns & Calluses


A corn is a hard flesh colored round bump that is often located on the ball of the foot or on the outside surfaces of the toes, especially on the forth or the fifth toe. Corns form in response to pressure over a joint or another bony prominence such as a hammer toe. Most often corns form in response to tight or poor fitting shoes. Gait abnormalities may also be the cause pressure on a localized area of the foot and result in the formation of a corn.

Corns that form between the forth and fifth toe may become white and soft due to moisture in this area. These are then referred to as soft corns. Corns often cause pain when walking.

Corns & Calluses

Calluses may form from yard work.

Unlike a corn, a callus is a hard flat thickened area of skin that is usually spread out over a broader area. Calluses appear as flesh colored areas of thickened skin on the feet or on the hands in response to repeated pressure. Like corns, calluses on the feet form in response to poor fitting shoes or pressure over bony prominences. Calluses on the hand form in response to pressure, and this can occur while using a tool or machinery, playing a sport, or playing a musical instrument. Like corns, calluses may become painful.

Corns & Calluses

Corns or calluses can form from any exercise.

The treatment strategy of a corn or callus should include eliminating the source of the pressure. Wearing properly fitting shoes is a must to prevent corns and calluses on the feet or toes. Pads consisting of moleskin or other soft material can also be helpful in reducing pressure on an area.

Once a corn or callus has formed, CornStick® with the active ingredient salicylic acid, is a safe and effective treatment. Used as directed, CornStick® will dissolve the upper layers of the thickened dead skin and remove a corn or callus. CornStick®  has been used safely for decades by millions of people to remove corn and calluses. However, people with diabetes, fragile skin, poor circulation from any cause, or any signs of infection such as redness or swelling should not use CornStick® or any other home treatment. Instead, in these circumstances, it is best to promptly seek the care of a podiatrist or physician as soon as a corn, callus, or any abnormality on the foot develops.