A hard corn is a mass of hardened tissue that presents with a hard central core. Hard corns can be caused by pressure on the foot from abnormal foot position, tight fitting footwear, or changes in activity. There are corns found in the forefoot, commonly between the toes, that can be caused by the toes rubbing together. Due to perspiration in the areas, these corn tend to have a soft center, and so are called soft corns. If a hard or soft corn is left untreated, infection could be possible.

A callus is an area of skin, usually found on the sole of the foot, where the skin thickens in response to excessive pressure or shearing on that area. As the skin is thicker and more dense than normal layers of skin there may be less sensation in that area. Usually the border of the callus is less defined than corns and there is no visible or hard centre.



Due to the fact that hard corns have such a hard centre, client’s can experience a lot of pressure on the corn. Some will comment that it feels like there is a pebble under the area. In the case of hammer, mallet, or claw toes, there may be contact or rubbing between the toes and the shoes which can also lead to hard corns on the top of the toes. Calluses also occur around the heel area which can open causing deep cracking which may be quite painful and a major concern for the Diabetic foot.


Pedorthic Management

  • Custom made orthotics – Orthotics can be used to adjust or redistribute forces on the foot, and should serve to spread out pressure evenly along the bottom of the foot.
  • Orthopedic footwear – If corns and calluses are found in the forefoot area, footwear must provide adequate depth, width, and be constructed without seams to avoid aggravating the condition
  • Footwear modifications – A rocker sole can be used to decrease forefoot pressure while walking. To reduce pressure on corns the following modifications are useful: stretching directly above with a ball and ring stretcher to make room for hammer/mallet/claw toes, bubble/balloon patches, excavations, metatarsal pads, and toe crests.  For calluses: tongue pads, lacing techniques, metatarsal pads, internal and external wedges to correct foot mechanics.

Other Treatments/ Modalities

  • Corn/Callus removal by podiatrist or physician
  • Creams and lotions prescribed by physician or podiatrist