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For further information, see CMDT Part e5-11: Callosities & Corns of Feet or Toes

Key Features

  • Callosities and corns are caused by pressure and friction resulting from faulty weight bearing, orthopedic deformities, improperly fitting shoes, neuropathies

Clinical Findings

  • Tenderness on pressure and "after-pain" are the only symptoms

  • The hyperkeratotic well-localized overgrowths always occur at pressure points

  • Dermatoglyphics (fingerprint lines) are preserved over the surface (not so in warts)

  • On paring, a glassy core is found (differentiating them from plantar warts, which have multiple capillary bleeding points or black dots when pared)

  • A soft corn often occurs laterally on the proximal portion of the fourth toe as a result of pressure against the bony structure of the interphalangeal joint of the fifth toe


  • Clinical


  • Treatment consists of correcting mechanical abnormalities that cause friction and pressure

  • Callosities may be removed by careful paring of the callus after a warm-water soak or with keratolytic agents as found in various brands of corn pads

  • Plantar hyperkeratosis of the heels can be treated successfully using 20% urea (Ureacin 20) or 12% lactic acid (Amlactin) nightly and a pumice stone after soaking in water

  • Callosities on diabetic feet, especially in the setting of hyposensate neuropathy, can be a major problem; early podiatric management helps prevent complications

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