Corns and calluses

Corns and calluses are areas of thickened skin that develop to protect that area

from irritation. They occur when something rubs against the foot repeatedly or

causes excess pressure against part of the foot.

Corns and calluses are not contagious but may become painful if they get too

thick. In people with diabetes or decreased circulation, they can lead to more

serious foot problems.


Corns often occur where a toe rubs against the interior of a shoe. Excessive

pressure at the balls of the feet—common in women who regularly wear high

heels—may cause calluses to develop on the balls of the feet.

People with certain deformities of the foot, such as hammer toes, are prone to

corns and calluses.


Corns and calluses typically have a rough, dull appearance. They may be raised or

rounded, and they can be hard to differentiate from warts. Corns or calluses

sometimes cause pain.