Corns and calluses

Corns and calluses are hard or thick areas of skin that can be painful. They're not often serious.

Corns and calluses

Corns and calluses Corns and calluses are hard or thick areas of skin that can be painful. They're not often serious. There are things you can try to ease them yourself.

Corns are small lumps of hard skin..

Calluses are larger patches of rough, thick skin.

Important If you have diabetes, heart disease or problems with your circulation, do not try to treat corns and calluses yourself. These conditions can make foot problems more serious. See a GP or contact us for more advice.

Corns and calluses are not often serious and there are things you can try to:

get rid of them yourself

stop them coming back

Things to do

  • wear thick, cushioned socks
  • wear wide, comfortable shoes with a low heel and soft sole that do not rub
  • use soft insoles or heel pads in your shoes
  • soak corns and calluses in warm water to soften them
  • regularly use a pumice stone or foot file to remove hard skin
  • moisturise to help keep skin soft

    Things to Avoid

  • do not try to cut off corns or calluses yourself
  • do not walk long distances or stand for long periods
  • do not wear high heels or tight pointy shoes
  • do not go barefoot


  • Common causes of corns or calluses

    Corns and calluses are caused by pressure or rubbing of the skin on the hands or feet. For example, from:
  • wearing high heels, uncomfortable shoes or shoes that are the wrong size
  • not wearing socks with shoes
  • lifting heavy weights
  • playing a musical instrument

    NHS Article

    Information from the NHS website is licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0

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