What are Corns?
A corn or callus (or callosity) is a toughened area of skin which has become relatively thick and hard in response to repeated friction, pressure, or other irritation. Rubbing that is too frequent or forceful will cause blisters rather than allow calluses to form. Since repeated contact is required, calluses are most often found on feet because of frequent walking. Calluses are generally not harmful, but may sometimes lead to other problems, such as skin ulceration or infection.
Calluses and corns are caused over a period of time by repeated pressure or friction on an area of skin. The pressure causes the skin to die and form a hard, protective surface. A soft corn is formed in the same way, except that when perspiration is trapped where the corn develops, the hard core softens. This generally occurs between toes. Calluses and corns are not caused by a virus and are not contagious.
Repeated handling of an object that puts pressure on the hand, such as tools (gardening hoe or hammer) or sports equipment (tennis racquet), typically causes calluses on the hands.Calluses and corns on the feet are often caused by pressure from footwear.
- Tight shoes squeeze the foot.
- High-heeled shoes squeeze the front part of the foot.
- Loose shoes may cause your foot to slide and rub against the shoe.
- Shoes with a thin sole can create more pressure on the ball of the foot when walking than do thicker-soled shoes.
- Wearing sandals and shoes without socks can lead to increased friction.
- The foot may rub against a seam or stitch inside the shoe.
- Socks that don’t fit may result in pressure where a sock bunches up.
Walking barefoot also causes calluses.
- A callus is hard, dry, and thick, and it may appear grayish or yellowish. It may be less sensitive to the touch than surrounding skin, and it may feel bumpy. A hard corn is also firm and thick. It may have a soft yellow ring with a gray center. A soft corn looks like an open sore.
- Calluses and corns often are not painful, but they can cause pain when you are walking or wearing shoes. And they may make it hard for your feet to fit in your shoes. Any type of pressure applied to the callus or corn, such as squeezing it, can also cause pain.