Corns and calluses are thick, toughened layers of skin that build up when your skin tries to protect itself against friction and pressure. Corns and calluses are often confused, but they're not the same thing:
- Corns are hard cone-shaped bumps of skin surrounded by inflamed skin, and are smaller than calluses. Corns tend to develop on the top and the side of your toes but can also develop between your toes. It can be painful when pressed.
- Calluses are somewhat rounded flat thickenings of the skin that usually develop on the soles of the feet, especially under the heels or balls of your feet. Though often larger than corns, calluses are rarely painful and vary in size and shape.
To prevent corns from developing you can use a protective coverings, nonmedicated corn pads or bandages over areas that rub against footwear. If a corn persists or becomes painful, salicylic acid containing products can provide relief. Used as indicated, salicylic acid containing products are gentle and safe for most people. The use of protective padding such as moleskin or orthotic shoe inserts to cushion the corn or to hold the foot and toes in a more comfortable position to prevent rubbing is also part of the treatment.
Dr. Scholl’s® offers products that address some of these needs.