City Footcare NYC

Podiatric Medicine & Surgery

We treat all problems of the foot and ankle.

Corns & Calluses


Corns and calluses are both abnormal thickening of the outermost layer of the skin. Corns generally occur on the top of the toes, and calluses on the sole or sides of the feet.

Corns definition:

Corns develop from an accumulation of dead skin cells on the foot, forming thick, hardened areas.

They often contain a cone-shaped core with a point that can press on a nerve below, causing pain.

Corns are a very common ailment that usually form on the tops, sides and tips of the toes.

Corns can become painful and inflamed due to constant friction and pressure from footwear.

Corns that form between the toes are sometimes referred to as soft corns.

Corns causes:

Some of the common causes of corn development are tight fitting footwear, high heeled footwear, tight fitting stockings and socks, deformed toes, or the foot sliding forward in a shoe that fits too loosely.

Soft corns result from bony prominences and are located between the toes. They become soft due to perspiration in the forefoot area.

Complications that can arise from corns include severe pain, bursitis and the development of an ulceration.

Calluses definition:

The formation of calluses is caused by an accumulation of dead skin cells that harden and thicken over a prominent area of the foot.

This callus formation is the body’s defense mechanism to protect the foot against excessive pressure and friction. Calluses are normally found on the ball of the foot, the heel, and on the big toe joint.

Some calluses have a deep seated core known as a nucleation. This particular type of callus can be especially painful to pressure. This condition is often referred to as 'intractable plantar keratosis' (or IPK).

Callus causes:

Calluses develop becuase of excessive pressure at a specific area of the foot.

Some common causes of callus formation are high-heeled shoes, shoes that are too small, obesity, abnormalities in the gait (walking motion), flat feet, high arched feet, bony prominences, and the loss of the fat pad on the bottom of the foot.