How do I Treat Corns and Calluses?

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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Images By: Monika Wisniewska, Michelangelus, Antonioguillem, Tandem, Quinn Dombrowski, Naka, Dimasobko
  • Last Modified Date: 27 January 2019
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Corns and calluses are thickened patches that develop on a person's skin. They typically develop where the skin has been subject to significant and repeated pressure and friction. People may take steps to treat corns and calluses at home with soaks, moisturizers, and protective pads. Sometimes chemical preparations may be used to eat away at the toughened skin as well. To have corns or calluses safely removed or trimmed, however, a person must seek the help of a doctor.

While both corns and calluses are thick, rough spots on skin, they differ from each other in important ways. Calluses form when the body thickens areas of skin that are frequently under pressure and subject to friction. They may occur not only on the hands, but also on the feet. In contrast, corns form on the feet, not on the hands, and typically present as cone- or bulb-shaped masses of thickened skin on the toes or between the toes. Left untreated, both of these conditions may become painful.

Preventing corns and calluses is far preferable to treating them. An individual may prevent corns and calluses on the feet by avoiding overly tight shoes. He may also prevent them by wearing socks with shoes, as bare feet that are allowed to rub against shoes may be more vulnerable to corns and calluses. Additionally, a person may prevent these conditions by having foot deformities corrected. Wearing gloves and using moisturizers regularly may help to prevent hand calluses as well.


An individual may treat corns and calluses at home by soaking the affected areas regularly and using a good moisturizer. Exfoliating may help as well. Wearing protective padding inside of one’s shoes may be good for cutting down on friction that contributes to the development of thickened areas. Some people also use over-the-counter remedies that contain chemicals that work to eat away at the roughened patches. It is usually best to seek a doctor’s advice before using these products, however, as they may prove damaging to the skin.

For the most effective treatment of corns and calluses, a person may do well to visit a doctor or podiatrist for assistance. A medical professional may recommend a topical medication for treating these thickened areas of skin. In sever or chronic cases, a doctor or podiatrist may perform surgery to remove stubborn calluses. Likewise, a doctor or podiatrist may provide treatment for corns, trimming them down to a more comfortable level. Individuals are usually advised against attempting to remove calluses or trim corns on their own, as doing so may lead to infection.


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