Our top tips for preventing and treating corns and calluses

Corns and calluses are (sometimes painful) areas of hard skin, which develop when the skin is exposed to excessive pressure or friction.

How to Prevent them

  1. Avoid wearing ill-fitting shoes, particularly shoes which are too tight but also shoes which are too loose or a slip on can cause the same problem as your foot can slide and rub. Your toes will also have to claw to grip the shoe to hold it in place. This can lead to hammer toes which is a fixed deformity and can develop corns on them as they are more likely to rub on shoes
  2. Protect any bony areas such as bunions or hammer toes – These deformities are more likely to make footwear harder to fit meaning you are more likely to get excessive pressure or friction. You can get really thin pads for almost all areas of the foot, speak to us about which ones are best for your feet.
  3. Cushion the sole of your feet – whilst good thick soles of shoes are important, as we get older we lose the fatty cushioning pad on the sole of your foot. This exposes the joints, which can cause additional pressure on these areas. An insole will offer additional cushioning to these areas.
  4. Keep the skin hydrated with a urea based emollient such as Allpresan. Dry skin can be more likely to develop into corns and callus because it lacks the elasticity needed to resist these mechanical stresses. Emollients work best applied twice daily.

If you start to get rough, dry or hard skin you can use a foot file, pumice stone or pedegg or similar to gently remove some. It should be noted though that the shorter faster rubbing that occurs with pumice stones actually creates high levels of friction, which can encourage the skin to build up the thickness again more rapidly. A long foot file is a better tool. Caution should be exercised with some of the electric devices available for hard skin removal. It is hard to know how much hard skin you are removing and thus more damage can actually occur. It is best to stick to filing particularly if you are diabetic, although all diabetics should have an assessment of their hard skin and foot health before undertaking any home treatments. It is best to file the skin before a bath or shower when the skin is dryer and do this on a regular weekly basis rather than waiting for it to build up!

Corns are a symptom of an underlying problem. Whilst there are products available over the counter such as corn plasters it is best NOT to use these. They often cause far more damage and problems than you think! The best thing is to have them removed by a HCPC registered Podiatrist and address the cause of the problem as best you can.

If you are concerned about any hard skin or corns and would like advice or treatment then please contact us at Eclipse Foot Clinic.