Feet Getting Corny? Use These Tips to Fight Calluses and Corns

Calluses form wherever your skin repeatedly presses up against something, so it’s no surprise that the most prominent calluses on your body grow on your feet. Your body is smart; it makes additional layers of skin to protect areas that need it. And although calluses aren’t pretty, they are usually harmless—until you develop corns.


Corns are ingrown calluses that form wherever your skin presses up against something in a circular motion. When you have corns on your feet, it’s usually on the top of your toes because your toes press against your shoes incorrectly. Corns can even turn hard and painful, pressing into the deeper layers of skin and causing extensive tissue damage. Who knew that corniness could cause so much trouble?


How Do You Prevent Corns and Calluses?

You already know that calluses form because you repeatedly press or rub your skin against something, so prevention involves insulating your feet from that pressing and rubbing. Here’s what you can do:


1. Have your feet professionally measured so you can buy shoes that fit.

Sometimes we get calluses and corns because our shoes are too small or too big. Have a professional measure your feet for you so you can buy shoes that are wide and long enough to adequately fit your feet. They shouldn’t just be comfortable—you might have become accustomed to shoes that are too tight.


Here are a few rules to follow when buying shoes:

  • Make sure there’s at least a centimetre between your toe and the front of the shoe. That way your toe will not rub against anything.
  • Give your toes wiggle room. If you can’t wiggle your toes on the inside of the shoe, then they are too tight.
  • Avoid high heels and pointed or narrow toe boxes. Nothing’s harder on your feet than these types of shoes. If you have to wear them, don’t put them on until you arrive at your destination. Wear supportive athletic shoes in the meantime.
  • Shoe shop at the end of the day. You’ve been on your feet, so they’re more swollen. This means you’ll buy shoes that actually fit properly, and your shoes won’t suffocate your feet at the end of the day when they swell.


If you have worn or dirty shoes, they aren’t helping your feet either. Thin soles don’t protect your feet against the shock of hitting the ground, so they develop calluses faster. The worn lining also give bacteria a convenient place to grow and infect your feet. Get new shoes to prevent corns and infections.


2. Wear protective padding over the areas where your feet rub against your shoes.

There are pads and bandages that you can wear inside your shoe to protect your feet. They can’t prevent you from ever developing calluses, but they can prevent you from developing corns. They can go over or under your feet, or they can go between your toes.


3. Soak and moisturize your feet every day.

If you want your feet to stay soft and callus-free, you’ll need to soak them in warm water daily. The water softens your calluses to make them easier to remove, and moisturizer keeps your skin supple to stop new calluses from forming.


For more tips on protecting your feet from daily wear, contact Dalhousie Station Foot Clinic. We’ll help you keep your feet attractive and pain free for many years to come.