Callus and corns are one of the most common problems seen by podiatrists. Other names for corns and callus are hyperkeratosis, clavus, heloma and tyloma. More often than not hard, rough and dry skin is unsightly rather than painful. However, irritation can lead to calluses which can be both painful and stubborn to remove. The skin has thickened to withstand the pressure. A callus generally refers to a more diffuse thickening of the skin. They are more common on the toes, but can occur under the ball of the foot whereas a corn is a thicker more focal area. They are more common on the toes. A corn can occur under and be surrounded by callus.
Too much pressure can be from causes such as:
Inappropriate footwear, i.e. tight footwear.
Biomechanical or gait abnormalities that cause pressure under different areas of the soles of the feet (this is a common cause of callus).
As there are a whole range of problems that can result in a corn or callus, it is often good to consider that they are not really a condition at all, but are a symptom of an underlying condition.
Signs and symptoms
Calluses are usually of a yellow colour, round or oval in shape but larger than corns. They often have ridged lines on their surface and become glassy skin over time.
Many people have dry, hard, rough skin on their feet that doesn’t cause any discomfort. However, such areas may be unsightly and can lead to calluses and or corns – which are very painful and hard to remove.