Tips from a New York Podiatrist: Don’t Be the Cause of Your Corns and Calluses

Posted by Dr. Jeffrey L. Adler

Jun 26, 2013 7:56:00 PM

corn on the cob resized 600Imagine this: it’s a lovely summer evening and you’re sitting in the backyard enjoying a typical all-American barbecue, complete with a juicy burger, watermelon and your favorite, corn on the cob. But you find yourself having a difficult time savoring each bite because a corn of a different kind is on your mind more specifically it’s on your foot. As you find yourself feeling very callus toward your feet, you wonder if what you have is in fact a callus, not a corn. Or do you have both? And why are you plagued with thoughts of your feet while you’re supposed to be enjoying your barbecue? Here are tips from a New York Podiatrist at Adler Footcare to help you with problematic corns and calluses.


Common Causes


The New York Podiatrists at Adler Footcare see our fair share of corns and calluses. In fact, they are not uncommon at all and most people will develop them at some time or another. Corns and calluses form a patch of hard, thickened skin on the foot, heel, or toes in response to repeated pressure or friction due to poor weight bearing while walking. The subtle difference is that calluses generally form on the soles of the feet, while corns are smaller and form on the toes. They are often caused by:


  • Friction caused by improperly fitted shoes or hammertoes
  • Toes rubbing against one another
  • Constantly walking barefoot
  • Footwear that doesn’t provide adequate support
  • High-Heeled shoes
  • Bony feet that lack typical cushioning
  • Wearing shoes and sandals without socks
  • An uneven distribution of weight on the feet


All the forces above eventually cause excess bone to grow at the area of irritation on the toe. This gets covered by a bursal sac (an enclosed bag of fluid that acts as the body’s shock absorber) and pain increases on a permanent basis.


Proper Prevention


The best thing you can do to prevent corns and calluses from forming in the first place is to make sure your shoes fit properly. This is more than your shoes just feeling good when you first slip them on, or pretending that the pain you’re feeling really isn’t there because your shoes are so fashionable, how could they hurt your feet? The New York Podiatrists at Adler Footcare can help recommend the right shoes for your feet, and even have the ability to fit you with custom orthotics when necessary. In the meantime:


  • Wear shoes that give you enough room to wiggle your toes.
  • Use protective coverings over the corns and calluses, such as felt pads, non-medicated corn pads, or bandages.
  • Giving your feet a little TLC now and then with a proper pedicure.


Talking Treatment


Initial treatment for corns and calluses are things you can try at home like using a pumice stone on the rough areas, trying over-the-counter protective pads or creams, and paying close attention to the types of foot wear you choose. If your corns or calluses cause you any kind of pain you should seek help from a podiatrist right away. The New York Podiatrists at Adler Footcare often treat corns and calluses by:


  • Trimming off the majority of the corn or callus with a small knife
  • Giving you a specialized pedicure that will help soften the corn or callus and shave off dead skin
  • Recommending proper foot wear for your feet
  • Fitting you with custom orthotics to help with the weight distribution on your feet
  • Surgery is rarely necessary for corns and calluses, but is possible if they are being caused by a hammertoe or bunion


You want to enjoy your summer without your thoughts wondering from your tasty corn on the cob to the distasteful corns and calluses on your feet. If you are experiencing any discomfort, or want to learn more about how to avoid causing corns and calluses, contact the New York Podiatrists at Adler Footcare.


Topics: foot problems, Foot Care, Tips from a New York Podiatrist