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Treating Corns and Calluses

If your corns or calluses are mild, reducing friction may help. Different shoes, moleskin patches, or soft pads may be all the treatment you need. In more severe cases, treating tissue buildup may require your doctor’s care. Sometimes custom-made shoe inserts (orthotics) or special pads are prescribed to reduce friction and pressure.

Podiatrist examining senior man's foot.

Change shoes

If you have corns, your doctor may suggest wearing shoes that have more toe room. This way, buckled joints are less likely to be pinched against the top of the shoe. If you have calluses, wearing a cushioned insole, arch support, or heel counter can help reduce friction.

Visit your doctor

In some cases, your doctor may trim away the outer layers of skin that make up the corn or callus. For a painful corn, medicine may be injected beneath the built-up tissue.

Wear orthotics

Orthotics are specially made to meet the needs of your feet. They cushion calluses or divert pressure away from these problem areas. Worn as directed, orthotics help limit existing problems and prevent new ones from forming.

If you need surgery

If a bone or joint is out of place, certain parts of your foot may be under too much pressure. This can cause severe corns and calluses. In such cases, surgery may be the best way to correct the problem.

Outpatient procedures

In most cases, surgery to improve bone position is an outpatient procedure. Your doctor may cut away excess bone, reposition prominent bones, or even fuse joints. Sometimes tendons or ligaments are cut to reduce tension on a bone or joint. Your doctor will talk with you about the procedure that is best suited to your needs.

© 2000-2017 The StayWell Company, LLC. 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.