Corns & Callus

Callus and corns develop as a result of abnormal mechanical stresses. These mechanical stresses can result from both extrinsic (footwear, high activity load, sock seams, walking barefoot) and intrinsic (high arches, arthritis, bony prominence, loss of fat pad, flat feet, obesity) factors.

As these stresses on the skin persist, the body attempts to protect irritated areas of the foot by forming a thicker protective layer of skin (ie: a callus or corn), however this thicker layer itself will lead to a further increase in pressure – a vicious cycle.

What’s the difference?


Callus is not necessarily a painful or problematic occurrence but left unchecked it can lead to uncomfortable complications. Callus generally presents as an indistinct, uniform thickening of the skin. Callus tends to be of dense rubbery texture and yellow in colour. When the skin on your feet is very dry and dehydrated callus can harden and crack – ouch!

The amount of thickening (hyperkeratosis) varies from person to person and can range from a couple of millimeters to centimeters thick!

Common callus patterns

Heloma Durum (hard corn)

The most common type of corn.

Develops as a hard stone-like lump in response to increased load and pressure. These types of corns are often Found on bony prominences or areas where the fat pads have thinned.

Heloma molle (soft corn)

Soft corns tend to develop in between the toes. These occur as a result of pressure in combination with large amounts of moisture.

To help prevent soft corns from developing make sure you dry between your toes thoroughly after bathing.

Heloma Millae (seed corns)

Seed corns are similar to the hard corn but often develop in clusters and can be speckled throughout callus.


Corns tend to be smaller focal points of callus with a central conical core of keratin (skin cells). The central core is what differentiates a corn from a callus. Corns can appear in any part of the foot that is experiencing increased pressure or load. Corns can be very painful. Patients often compare the feeling of a corn to the feeling of walking on a stone or even a piece of glass.

What can Riverside Podiatry do?

Sharp debridement and enucleation (de-coring) of the corn.
This process is usually painless and leaves the patient feeling immediate relief.

Removal of extrinsic force that is causing excessive pressure such as changing footwear, lacing techniques to widen areas of the shoe, toe separators to cushion arthritic nodules.

Foot orthoses can be used to help redistribute uneven underfoot pressures and correct abnormal walking (gait) patterns thus eliminating the aggravating factor.

In shoe padding can be added to help offload the areas of concern. Offloading is a cheap and effective conservative treatment option and is also great way of indicating if foot orthoses would be appropriate.

So if you have uncomfortable corns or callouses, don’t hesitate! Give us a call on (02) 4323 9100 or click here to book online TODAY!