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Corns and calluses

What is it?

Corns and calluses are patches of thick, hard skin. They usually form on feet and toes but can also form on hands and fingers. They are caused by pressure or friction on the skin and rarely cause problems. A corn is a small, painful, inflamed area of thick skin. A callus is bigger and not usually painful.

If you have diabetes or poor blood flow

Take special care so treatment doesn’t lead to a foot infection.

Have frequent check-ups if you have foot problems.

Your GP will refer you to a podiatrist if you have numbness, pins and needles or weakness in your feet.

See the diabetes foot screening factsheet for more information.

What will my GP do now?

Your GP will ask you questions to find out what is causing your corn or callus. They may treat the affected area by soaking in warm water, filing down the skin and applying a cream.

Your GP will also show you how to look after your skin and treat your corn or callus at home. In rare cases, your GP will refer you to a specialist called an orthopaedic surgeon to remove your corn or callus.


What will my GP do in the future?

Your GP may want to see you for a follow up appointment to check on your corn or callus. If it hasn’t improved, your GP may refer you to a surgeon. Your GP may also refer you to a podiatrist to help you manage your foot health.

What questions could I ask my doctor?

  • How can I look after my skin?
  • What creams will help?
  • Am I at risk of other problems?

What can I do?

To help your corn or callus heal, you can wear protective gloves, especially for manual, outdoor or repetitive tasks. Wear well-fitting, comfortable, flat footwear. Use a protective adhesive over the corn or callus. Your GP may tell you to gently file the affected skin and use a soothing cream. See your GP if your corn or callus does not go away with treatment.


What supports are available?

  • SWSLHD High risk foot services

    If you need it, your GP can refer you to a local high risk foot service in the South Western Sydney Local Health District.

    View PDF
    • Bankstown High Risk Foot Service - Bankstown-Lidcombe Hospital
    • Liverpool High Risk Foot Service - Liverpool Hospital
    • Macarthur High Risk Foot Service - Campbelltown Hospital
  • Private Podiatrist

    Your GP may refer you to a private podiatrist to help you manage your foot health.

Where can I learn more?

Important: This information is to be viewed by someone who has received a diagnosis from their doctor. It is not designed to be used to diagnose a condition or as a substitute for ongoing medical care.

Health Resource Directory factsheets are endorsed by South Western Sydney PHN’s Community Advisory Committee and local GPs

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