5 Considerations for the Athlete to Avoid Corns and Calluses

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Written by Kaye Soares, RPN, Foot Care Nurses


What is the difference between corns and calluses?

Corns and calluses are thick, hardened layers of skin (hyperkeratosis) which occur in response to trauma somewhere on the foot. Corns are caused by pressure and sometimes are quite painful. Calluses are caused by friction and are usually not painful. Clients can have a combination of both which causes significant discomfort.  Some common areas for corns or calluses are the tops of toes, the bottom of the big toe, the ball of the foot and the heels. Soft corns can occur between the toes.

What causes corns or calluses?

  • Improper footwear
  • Changes in anatomy of the toes/foot
  • Changes in gait (how you walk) or mobility issues
  • Vigorous activities such as running, hiking, soccer, etc.


Foot corn
Calluses on foot

What can be done to eliminate or reduce corns and calluses?

  1. Make sure to purchase proper footwear to accommodate things like hammer toes, mallet toes, bunions, edema, etc
  2. Check for large seams or bumps on your socks or inside your shoes since these cause irritation
  3. Use a foam cushion or pad for extra protection
  4. Use orthotics if necessary
  5. Have the corn or callus reduced by a professional to make sure that the underlying healthy tissue is not damaged. Over the counter remedies are not safe if you have diabetes and should never be used.

Untreated corns and calluses can lead to the development of an ulcer in people with diabetes or with poor circulation.  It is very important to have your corns or calluses properly assessed and treated. Contact Kaye at Feet on the Go to take care of all your foot care needs.

Clinics are held at the GRSM Kitchener – Downtown location.  To book an appointment please contact us at 519-654-6363.  For more information, visit our website at www.feetonthego.com or email us at kaye@feetonthego.com.


Clinics are held at the GRSM Kitchener – Downtown location.  To book an appointment please contact us at 519-654-6363

For more information, visit www.feetonthego.com or email at kaye@feetonthego.com.

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