How To Prevent Calluses & Corns - Tread Labs (2022)

by Mark Paigen 5 minute read

Whether you've just noticed the corns and calluses on your feet after a long winter or you spend the entire year in sandals and have been seeing yours for a while, you're probably wondering what corns and calluses are exactly and how you can get rid of them for good.

The Basics ---

  • Corns and calluses are areas of thickened areas that develop on your foot. They are your skin's way of protecting itself from friction and pressure.
  • Caused byrubbing between your foot and your shoes, corns and calluses area result of wearingill-fitting shoes, foot deformities like hammertoes, and overpronation.
  • If you develop corns or calluses, find a pair of shoes that fit properly and make sure you're not overpronating. Adding a pair of arch support insoles can correct your biomechanics and limit pronation.
  • For insoles to help keep corns and calluses away, we recommend Tread LabsRamble insoles. They'll help to correct the biomechanical irregularities that cause corns and calluses.

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What You Need To Know ---

WhatAreCorns and Calluses?

More of a nuisancethan a serious medical condition, corns and calluses are areas of thickened skin on your feet that develop as a result of friction between your feet and your shoes.While they may be unsightly, their tough exterior actually protects your foot from excessive pressure or friction.

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Both corns and calluses usually have a rough appearance. They can be raised or rounded. Calluses are typically yellowish, howeverafter prolonged irritation, you may notice a brown, red or black discoloration develop. In some cases larger calluses can dry out and crack, which can be painful and increase the possibility of infection.

What's The Difference Between Corns And Calluses?

The difference between a corn and a callus is the location on your foot.When the hard, thickened skin is on the bottom of your foot, it's a callus. Calluses typically develop near the base of the toes.When it's on the top or sides of your foot or your toes, it's a corn.

It can be hard to tell if you have a corn or callus, or something else. Often, planters warts are confused for calluses. If you want a diagnosis, you should visit a medical professionalwho will inspect your feet and give you the best course of treatment.

What Causes Corns And Calluses?

There are three main causes of corns and calluses. They can be the result of wearing ill-fitting shoes that cause friction, foot abnormalities and deformities, and overpronation.

  • Ill-fitting shoes– Shoes that are too tightcause repeated friction against the skin on your feet which canresult in corns and calluses.High heelsare theprimary reason many women get corns and calluses. Increased pressure on the ball of the foot and toes can lead to more friction and the development of corns and calluses on the front of the foot.
  • Foot abnormalities and deformities – Toe deformities can cause corns and calluses.Hammer toes,the abnormal bending of the toe joint (it looks like an upside-down V), are often a causedue to the increased friction between your toes and shoes. Conditions like rheumatoid arthritis can cause shape changes in the foot that can also lead to corns and calluses. Other issues concerning structural problems of the bones, poor bone alignment, and problems related to an abnormal gait.
  • Overpronation – Overpronation causes arches to flatten and elongate. As this happens the ball of the foot moves forward and rubs on the inside of the shoe or sandal. This rubbing often causes calluses.

How DoI Get Rid Of Corns And Calluses?

While the best treatment for a corn or callus is wearing shoes that fit properly and give your feet enough room so that they don't rub against your shoe, you can also try other treatments like a pumice stone, foam wedges, or having a podiatrist remove the corn or callus.

(Video) How To Remove a Foot Corn or Callus [Foot Doctor Home Treatment 2021]

Try theseother treatments to get corn and callus-free feet:

  • Soak the area of your foot with the corn or callus to soften it. After drying the area, use a pumice stone on it, then moisturize. The gentle abrasive action of the stone will remove dead skin and keep your feet smoother and softer. You can repeat this every day or every few days.
  • Apply astringents or powders to reduce sweat between toes.
  • Addarch support insertsto your shoes. Insoles are particularly important if your corns or callus are caused by structural problems with your feet. Insoles for calluses and corns will redistribute the pressure on your feet and reduce friction. Make sure you are using the best insole for your shoes. If you have low-volume shoes, look for a thin or short insole so you are not making your shoes too tight.
  • Use foam wedges to relieve pressure between the toes.
  • If the corn or callus is large, a podiatrist can carefully shave away the dead, thickened skin with an abrasive wheel or a small surgical blade.

Though it may be tempting, it's best not to have your corns or calluses removed at a nail salon during a pedicure or to remove them yourself at home. Infection can occur, making your problem much more serious. Instead, make sure a licensed professional is correctly removing the dead tissue.

How Can I Prevent Corns and Calluses?

For many people, corns and calluses won’tcause any adverse effects in daily life. However, for some people they can become painful, especially if they are not addressed and become infected.

If you develop corns or calluses, start by looking at your lifestyle to see if any of your habits are the cause.The Cleveland Clinic points to these issues that, when changed, can reduce or prevent corns and calluses:

  • shoes that don't fit properly
  • standing, walking or running for long periods of time
  • physical hobbies, sports activities or work that puts pressure on your feet or cause repeated friction
  • going barefoot
  • not wearing socks with footwear
  • having socks that slip and bunch up under your feet while in shoes
  • walking with improper posture

Once you have made sure you have shoes that fit properly, you'll want to address any pronation issues you have. Adding arch support insoles for calluses and corns can limit overpronation or supination which will prevent calluses and corns.

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If you have to wear high heels, try to reduce the amount of time you spend in them, as they put added pressure on your toes and the balls of your feet. Wearing heels that are two inches or lower will also help you avoid corns and calluses.

Which Insoles Are Good For Calluses And Corns?

Arch support insertscan help prevent corns and calluses by correcting biomechanics and limiting your pronation. They'll ensure your foot is not slipping inside your shoe, causing unnecessary friction that causes corns and calluses. Insoles also help prevent hammer toes, a secondary cause of corns and calluses.

To find the best insoles for calluses and corns, look for some important features:

  • A deep heel cup - This will help stabilize your heel while adding cushioning and shock absorption
  • Firm support - In order to limit pronation, your insoles must be firm enough to stand up to all the pressure your feet put on them. If the arch of your insole buckles under stress, it won't be effective in addressing your pronation issues.
  • Arches that match the contours of your feet- The best insoles for calluses and corns must fit your feet properly. That means the arch should align with your arch to give it full support throughout. Flat and one-size-fits-all insoles that offer a generic fit won't solve the problem.

Whether you're looking for shoe inserts for callus pain or ones that will help reduce or prevent your calluses and corns, make sure you get ones that fit yourfootwear properly. Your insoles shouldn't make your shoes too tight for your feet.

If your shoes have full-length, removable inserts, look for regular callus and corn insoles. If your shoes have a thin, removable insert, find thin insoles. And if your shoes don't have a removable insole at all, buy short insoles.

(Video) Plantar Warts vs Corns vs Calluses [TOP 20 BEST Home Remedies]

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Questions? Drop us a line at We're here to help.

How To Prevent Calluses & Corns - Tread Labs (1)

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Mark Paigen

Mark has always believed exceptional footwear can change lives. He's been in the footwear industry for over 30 years, working with podiatrists, pedorthists, foot care experts, and footwear makers. Mark started Chaco sandals in 1989 and developed a game-changing sport sandal that delivered comfort and durability. After Chaco sold in 2009, Mark ultimately started Tread Labs to continue transforming people's footwear so they can walk better, feel better, live better.


How do you prevent and treat calluses? ›

Lifestyle and home remedies
  1. Soak your hands or feet. Soaking corns and calluses in warm, soapy water softens them. ...
  2. Thin thickened skin. ...
  3. Use corn pads. ...
  4. Moisturize your skin. ...
  5. Wear comfortable shoes and socks.
May 10, 2022

Is there a way to prevent callus? ›

Foot calluses can be prevented by wearing proper socks and shoes, including proper fitting footwear both width and lengthwise. Ensuring that worn shoes are repaired and replaced regularly can give your skin some protection from the shock of walking on hard surfaces.

What causes callus? ›

Corns and calluses are thick layers of skin. They are caused by repeated pressure or friction at the spot where the corn or callus develops. Corns and calluses form on the skin because of repeated pressure or friction. A corn is a small, tender area of thickened skin that occurs on the top or side of a toe.

How do I remove calluses? ›

Soak the area with the corn or callus (let's use your foot as an example) in warm water until the skin softens – usually 5 to 10 minutes. Wet a pumice stone or emery board. While the skin on your foot is still soft, gently move the pumice stone or emery board across the corn or callus to remove dead tissue.

How do you treat calluses on your feet? ›

To treat corns and calluses, dermatologists recommend the following tips:
  1. Soak the corn or callus in warm water. ...
  2. File the corn or callus with a pumice stone. ...
  3. Be careful not to take off too much skin. ...
  4. Apply moisturizing lotion or cream to the area daily. ...
  5. Use padding. ...
  6. Wear shoes that properly fit.

How do you prevent calluses when lifting? ›

Wear weight-lifting gloves.

One of the easiest ways to prevent calluses caused by the friction of exercise equipment on your hands is to provide a barrier between your sensitive skin and the equipment. Lifting gloves cover the areas on your hands that are prone to calluses.

How do I prevent calluses on my feet when running? ›

“Runner's World” recommends buying thicker socks that have extra cushion in the areas where calluses commonly form. Some companies also sell foot ointment that can help reduce friction during activity, thus preventing calluses. Other options include placing cushions or moleskin over calluses to help reduce friction.

How do I prevent corns on my hands? ›

As a matter of prevention, you can help keep corns from returning by doing the following:
  1. Moisturize your fingers and hands daily.
  2. Wear gloves during manual work.
  3. Cover the corns in bandages or pads.

What causes calluses on feet? ›

Corns and calluses are caused by pressure or rubbing of the skin on the hands or feet. For example, from: wearing high heels, uncomfortable shoes or shoes that are the wrong size. not wearing socks with shoes.

How can I make my feet soft and callous free? ›

But there are some things you can do to help them go away more quickly:
  1. Wear thick socks to protect your skin.
  2. Rub your callus with a pumice stone while you're in the bath or shower.
  3. Use corn pads to relieve pressure.
  4. Apply salicylic acid to help dissolve corns and calluses. ...
  5. Wear prescription foot orthotics.
May 12, 2021

What does callus look like? ›

Calluses are yellowish or pale in color. They feel lumpy to the touch, but because the affected skin is thick, it may be less sensitive to touch than the skin around it. Calluses are often bigger and wider than corns, with less-defined edges.

What do calluses mean? ›

Definition of callus

(Entry 1 of 2) 1 : a thickening of or a hard thickened area on skin or bark. 2 : a mass of exudate and connective tissue that forms around a break in a bone and is converted into bone in healing. 3 : soft tissue that forms over a wounded or cut plant surface.

Why are the bottom of my feet yellow? ›

Possible causes include jaundice, anemia, and calluses. People with yellow feet may also have areas of thick, waxy, or dry skin. In some cases, only the toes or the sole is yellow, while in others, the entire foot is this color. There may be other symptoms, depending on the underlying cause.

What causes calluses on hands? ›

Calluses are caused by repeated pressure on a spot of your skin. Extra layers of skin grow over the affected area until a harder, raised bump appears. Your body does this to protect your skin from being exposed to irritants or broken.

How do you treat calluses on your hands? ›

Start by soaking rough areas in warm water for 15 to 30 minutes — add epsom salts for better results. Once soft, shave off dead skin using a pumice stone or microplane (a gentle grater designed for skin), working gently to avoid going too deep or cutting yourself.

What essential oil is good for calluses? ›

Tea tree oil is an antibacterial, antifungal, and natural antiseptic. Place a few drops of tea tree oil in a basin full of warm water, and soak your callus until you feel the skin begin to soften and lift.

What is the best corn removal product? ›

Top 10 Best Professional Corn Removal To Buy Online
1Dr. Scholl's Corn Remover with…9.20
2Corn Remover, 24 Corn Remover…7.90
3Dr. Scholl's Corn/Callus Remover Liquid,…9.55
4Curad Mediplast Corn, Callus, &…8.75
6 more rows

How do I permanently get rid of calluses on my feet? ›

Try salicylic acid: Choose an over-the-counter 17% salicylic acid product. Apply to the callus for three to seven days in a row. You should not use this product if you have underlying medical issues. Apply moisturizing cream or lotion: Find a product with or without salicylic acid, ammonium lactate, or urea.

What causes corns on feet? ›

Corns and calluses are caused by pressure or rubbing of the skin on the hands or feet. For example, from: wearing high heels, uncomfortable shoes or shoes that are the wrong size. not wearing socks with shoes.

What is the best corn removal product? ›

Top 10 Best Professional Corn Removal To Buy Online
1Dr. Scholl's Corn Remover with…9.20
2Corn Remover, 24 Corn Remover…7.90
3Dr. Scholl's Corn/Callus Remover Liquid,…9.55
4Curad Mediplast Corn, Callus, &…8.75
6 more rows

Why are my shoes giving me calluses? ›

Loose shoes can likewise lead to friction that makes calluses form. Shoes with unusual seems can also rub against the skin to cause a callus. When you consistently wear shoes without socks, you're also more prone to the development of calluses. Ill-fitting socks can also cause rubbing and the resulting calluses.


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