Corns Callus Hard Skin and Cracked heels

Corns and callus come under the category of a hard skin build up on the feet.  They are most usually cause by pressure and friction from every day walking or from the constant rubbing from footwear.  Its the bodies protective mechanism in a response to these ‘forces of walking’. To much hard skin build up in some cases can present an issue to the foot.

Most commonly hard skin build up on the feet appears on the ball of the foot (the plantar metatarsal heads), at the base and edges of the heel and sometimes on the top of joints(toes).   Most of the time the build up of skin is just an inconvenience, however it can become uncomfortable and in some cases, a significant and prolonged build up of hard skin can cause trauma to the tissue underneath.

The definition of what is a corn and what is callus can be a little confusing but the easiest way to define the different types of hard skin build up is that a corn, is like a dense ball or even conical shaped build up of hard skin, that callus is a much flatter appearing plate of hard skin and that the cracks that appear in hard skin, us Podiatrists refer to as fissures.

The hard skin can be well managed by regular applications of cream or emollient to keep the skin flexible and hydrated.  Regular paring of the skin know as debridement can be performed by your Podiatrist, usually every 6-8 weeks, depending on how quickly it builds up. Debridement significantly helps comfort, appearance and with our experience helps reduce the risk of the skin splitting again in the form of fissures.  Footwear advice, for a roomier, smoother internal shoes and the use of custom made foot orthotics can be extremely effective at reducing hard skin build up or even eliminating it in some cases.

Diabetic people, or those with compromised immune systems or very poor circulation should defiantly seek the advice of an experienced Podiatrist or Chiropodist in managing the hard skin build up on their feet.  If you are spotting little red specs of dried blood within the callus, then its usually nothing to be alarmed at but defiantly time to have a little informal consultation with your Podiatrist with regards managing the loading forces on the vulnerable areas of your foot with the intention to reduce the build up of hard skin in the short and long term.


For further information please feel free to contact Bournemouth Podiatry on

01202 443892 the website for the Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrist also provides the public with some useful links on corns, callus and hard skin build up.

This article was written by Ruggero