Corns and Calluses
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
- Corns and calluses facts
- What are corns and calluses?
- Why do corns and calluses develop?
- What are risk factors for corns and calluses?
- What are symptoms and signs of corns and calluses?
- How are corns and calluses diagnosed?
- How can corns and calluses be treated?
- When should you seek professional treatment for corns and calluses?
- What is the prognosis for corns and calluses?
- How can corns and calluses be prevented?
- Patient Comments: Corns and Calluses - Seeing a Doctor
- Patient Comments: Corns - Symptoms
- Patient Comments: Corns - Treatments
- Find a local Podiatrist in your town
Corns and calluses facts
- Corns and calluses are annoying and sometimes painful thickenings that form in the skin in areas of pressure.
- Corns and calluses can be prevented by reducing or eliminating the circumstances that lead to increased pressure at specific points on the hands and feet.
- Corns and calluses can be treated with many types of medicated products to chemically pare down the thickened, dead skin.
- People with fragile skin or poor circulation in the feet (including many people with diabetes or peripheral arterial disease) should consult their health-care professional as soon as corns or calluses develop.
What are corns and calluses?
Corns and calluses are annoying and sometimes painful thickenings that form in the skin in areas of excessive pressure. The medical term for the thickened skin that forms corns and calluses is hyperkeratosis (plural=hyperkeratoses). A callus refers to a more diffuse, flattened area of thick skin, while a corn is a thick, localized area that usually has a conical or circular shape. Corns, also known as helomas, sometimes have a dry, waxy, or translucent appearance.
Corns and calluses occur on parts of the feet and sometimes the fingers. Corns can be painful to walk on, even when they are small. Common locations for corns are
- on the sole, over the metatarsal arch (the "ball" of the foot);
- on the outside of the fifth (small or "pinky") toe, where it rubs against the shoe;
- between the fourth and fifth toes. Unlike other corns that are firm and flesh-colored, corns between the toes are often whitish and messy; they are sometimes called "soft corns" (heloma molles), in contrast to the more common "hard corns" (heloma durums) found in other locations.
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