Calluses develop as a normal response to chronic excessive friction and pressure. They are protective pads made up of a thickened upper layer of skin. Corns are small calluses that develop on the top of the toes due to pressure or rubbing against shoes or other toes. Both can be the result of poorly fitting shoes, abnormal foot function, or high activity levels.
Calluses are usually painless, but corns can be quite painful. Sometimes, corns are confused with warts. Calluses can be avoided by removing the source of the rubbing and thinning the callus with a pumice stone. Treatment for corns should provide symptom relief as well as lessen the underlying cause. Treatment options may include:
Applying pads around the corn area
Wearing larger, more comfortable shoes
Surgery is only considered if other measures fail
Calluses and corns are rarely a serious condition. However, people with diabetes are prone to infections and ulcers and should examine their feet on a regular basis. If any sores are noticed, they should seek medical attention right away.