Corns & Calluses


While both corns and calluses have different features, they are caused by exactly the same thing: pressure. When our soft skin is exposed to high pressure or friction, it is vulnerable to injury and skin breaks (and hence, infection). In order to protect itself from injury, the skin develops a hard top layer, which may present as callus, a corn, or both.

Unfortunately, as the hard skin continues to build up, it can become uncomfortable and painful. This is why over half of our patients come in for routine skin and nail care every 8-12 weeks.


Callus often forms in larger areas, from the size of a small coin to covering the entire heels. It is nothing more than thick, dead skin, which means it decreases the feeling in the area. This is particularly important for patients with diabetes, who already have diminished sensation and so should keep their callus under control to help minimise their risk of foot complications.

Callus is yellow in colour, and may feel moist or dry to touch. When thick callus dries out, often at the heels, the callus can crack. This is known as cracked heels, and can be extremely painful when the healthy skin beneath the callus also breaks.


The key difference between a callus and a corn is that corns are usually very small, smaller than a coin, and have a darker appearance because of their increased depth into the skin. As corns extend deeper into the skin, you will likely experience pain much faster, especially if it’s on an area that you walk directly over on the bottom of the foot. Corns may be:

  • Hard – usually beneath the ball of the foot, the heel, or at the tips of the toes
  • Soft – located between the toes and appear white because of high moisture intake; or
  • Seed – multiple very small corns scattered across an area, similar to the size of a see

How do you treat corns and callus?

We can safely remove corns and callus in one appointment to give you instant relief. This is simple and painless, as the skin is already dead, so it’s like cutting hair! We’ll leave a thinner layer of callus in high-pressure areas to continue protecting the healthy skin beneath, but will remove (‘debride’) any callus that is causing you discomfort. We enucleate (scoop out) the corns, and can create a special pad where your corn has irritated the surrounding skin and it needs a few days to heal.

Ready to shed those corns or calluses?

Book your appointment online or contact us today.