The Difference Between Corns and Calluses

Oct 24, 2023

Welcome to The Foot Practice, your trusted source for all things related to foot care. In this comprehensive article, we will be discussing the difference between corns and calluses, two common foot conditions that can cause discomfort and pain.

Understanding Corns and Calluses

First, let's establish what corns and calluses are:

  • Corns: Corns are small, localized areas of thickened skin that often develop on the toes or the sides of the feet. They typically have a hard center with a surrounding area of inflamed skin. Corns can be painful, especially when pressure is applied.
  • Calluses: Calluses are larger areas of thickened skin that usually appear on the soles of the feet. Unlike corns, they are not usually painful but can cause discomfort due to their rough texture.

The development of corns and calluses is a natural protective response of the skin to irritation or pressure. They often occur as a result of friction, usually from ill-fitting shoes, excessive walking or running, or abnormal foot structure.

Key Differences

Although corns and calluses share some similarities, there are a few key differences between them:

  1. Appearance: Corns are usually smaller and have a more defined, hard center. Calluses, on the other hand, are larger and tend to have a smoother, more diffuse appearance.
  2. Location: Corns commonly form on the toes or the sides of the feet, while calluses are typically found on the soles.
  3. Pain: Corns often cause discomfort and can be painful when pressed or squeezed. Calluses, however, are generally not painful, although they can cause a mild sensation of discomfort due to their thickness.

Treatment and Prevention

Now that you understand the difference between corns and calluses, let's explore how they can be effectively treated and prevented:


If you are experiencing discomfort or pain due to corns or calluses, it is crucial to seek professional podiatry assistance. At The Foot Practice, our experienced podiatrists specialize in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of foot conditions.

During your consultation, the podiatrist will assess your condition and develop a personalized treatment plan. The treatment options may include:

  • Trimming or debriding: The podiatrist will carefully trim away the thickened skin to relieve pain and discomfort.
  • Cushions or padding: The use of cushions or padding can help alleviate pressure on the affected area, reducing pain and promoting healing.
  • Orthotic devices: Custom orthotic devices can be prescribed to correct foot abnormalities, redistribute pressure, and prevent the formation of corns or calluses.
  • Footwear recommendations: Your podiatrist may advise you on proper footwear choices to prevent friction and pressure on your feet.
  • Topical creams or ointments: In some cases, the use of medicated creams or ointments may be recommended to soften the corns or calluses.


Preventing corns and calluses is crucial for maintaining healthy feet. Here are some preventative measures you can take:

  • Wear comfortable shoes: Choose shoes that properly fit your feet and provide adequate support. Avoid wearing shoes that are too tight or have high heels that may increase pressure on your feet.
  • Use protective padding: Utilize cushions or padding to shield vulnerable areas of your feet from friction and pressure.
  • Maintain good foot hygiene: Regularly wash and moisturize your feet to keep the skin soft and supple, reducing the risk of corns and calluses.
  • Trim your toenails properly: Trim your toenails straight across and avoid rounding the edges to prevent ingrown toenails that can lead to corns.
  • Visit a podiatrist: Regular visits to a podiatrist can help identify potential foot issues early on and provide appropriate preventive measures.


In conclusion, corns and calluses are common foot conditions that can cause discomfort and pain. Understanding the difference between the two is essential for effective treatment and prevention. Seek professional podiatry assistance from The Foot Practice to alleviate any symptoms and ensure the health and well-being of your feet. By following the preventive measures outlined, you can reduce the risk of developing corns and calluses, leading to healthy and happy feet.

corns and calluses difference
Christine Bader
Thanks for the clear explanation! Now I know how to deal with these pesky foot issues. 💪🦶
Nov 9, 2023
Eric Hills
Great article! 👍 Clear explanation of the difference between corns and calluses. Very helpful!
Nov 8, 2023