Foot Corns and calluses are areas of hard, thickened skin that develop when the skin is exposed to excessive pressure or friction. Corns are small circles of thick skin that usually develop on the tops and sides of toes or on the sole of the foot. Calluses develop when the skin rubs against something, such as a bone, a shoe or the ground. Excessive pressure on bony areas of the foot, badly fitting shoes and lots of walking or running are all possible causes of calluses. Treating painful corns and calluses involves removing the cause of the pressure or friction and getting rid of the thickened skin.

Pharmacies sell a range of products that allow thick, hard skin to heal and excessive pressure to be redistributed. They can also develop as a symptom of another foot problem, such as a bunion (a bony swelling at the base of the big toe) or hammer toe (where the toe is bent at the middle joint). They can develop on your foot, most often around the heel area or over the ball of the foot. They often form over the ball of your foot because this area takes most of your weight when you walk. If calluses develop on the hands, wearing protective gloves when doing repetitive tasks will give the affected area time to heal.

This type of callus is usually due to a problem with a metatarsal (the long bone at the base of a toe, near the ball of the foot). In either case, the outer layer of skin thickens to protect the foot from unusual pressure. However, more severe corns and calluses may become infected, destroy healthy tissue, or affect foot movement.

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