Dr. Vincent Giacalone
Podiatric Medicine & Surgery
466 Hook Rd., Suite 24D, Emerson, NJ 07630
Corns and Calluses
What is a Corn? What is a Callus?
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. If the thickening of skin occurs on the bottom of the foot, it’s called a callus. If it occurs on the top of the foot (or toe), it’s called a corn.
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.
Mild corns and calluses may not require treatment. If the corn or callus isn’t bothering you, it can probably be left alone. It’s a good idea, though, to investigate possible causes of the corn or callus. If your footwear is contributing to the development of a corn or callus, it’s time to look for other shoes.
When to Visit Dr. Giacalone
If corns or calluses are causing pain and discomfort or inhibiting your daily life in any way, see Dr. Giacalone. Also, people with diabetes, poor circulation, or other serious illnesses should have their feet checked.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Dr. Giacalone will conduct a complete examination of your feet. X-rays may be taken and he may also want to inspect your shoes and watch you walk. Corns and calluses are diagnosed based on appearance and history.
If you have mild corns or calluses, Dr. Giacalone may suggest changing your shoes and/or adding padding to your shoes. Larger corns and calluses are most effectively reduced (made smaller) with a surgical blade. Dr. Giacalone can use the blade to carefully shave away the thickened, dead skin, right in the office. The procedure is painless because the skin is already dead. Additional treatments may be needed if the corn or callus recurs.
Cortisone injections into the foot or toe may be given if the corn or callus is causing significant pain. Surgery may be necessary in cases that do not respond to conservative treatment.
Wear properly fitted shoes. If you have any deformities of the toe or foot, talk to your Dr. Giacalone to find out what shoes are best for you. Gel pad inserts may decrease friction points and pressure. Dr. Giacalone can help you determine where pads might be useful.
Dr. Giacalone has been trained specifically and extensively in the diagnosis and medical and surgical treatment of foot disorders. Dr. Giacalone has been board certified by The American Board of Podiatric Orthopedics and The American Board of Podiatric Surgery since 1993 and 1995 respectively and is a Fellow of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. Dr. Giacalone performs surgery at Hackensack University Medical Center in Hackensack, Hackensack University Medical Center @ Pascack Valley in Westwood and Surgicare Surgical Center in Oradell.