What is a foot callus: definition & meaning

What is a foot callus?

What is the meaning of a callus on the foot? And corn? How to treat a plantar callus and a corn on toes? EPITACT®, your podiatry care specialist, answers all your questions.

Our body is extraordinary and gives us abilities we’re not aware of until it stops functioning normally. Our feet support our whole body and contribute to our balance but however, we don’t take care of them enough. Even worse, we mistreat them.

Their only way to defend themselves is to develop callosities like calluses or corns on the areas of pressure. Let’s find out what is a foot callus, what is the difference with a corn and how to treat them.

Definition and meaning of callus and corn

You dare not wear open shoes anymore because dry skin covers your heels and toes? Do you have pain when you walk due to a foot callus or a corn on your toe? Don’t worry, this is not irreversible. To fight against these unsightly problems , let’s try to identify them better.

To give a definition of a callus and a corn, let’s say they are hardened areas of skin that form where there is excessive pressure and/or rubbing agains the shoe. The hands and especially the feet are the most affected. Progressively, the process of hyperkeratosis takes place: as a result of repeated and excessive pressure on a small area, the skin defends the body by thickening and becoming hard.

What is a corn on foot?

A corn is an excessive thickness of skin (keratin) on a small area affected by high pressures. It appears as a hard area of skin and has an inverted cone-shaped core that reaches the deep layers of the skin.

Contrary to a foot callus that usually appears on the ball of the foot (plantar callus), corns most of the time form on the toes. They can be very uncomfortable and painful while walking. You may also have heard about soft corns. Those are corns that sit between two toes, which are soft due to the humidity in this area.

Find out more information about the different types of foot corns.

What is a callus on foot?

foot callus means a skin injury over a large area. Sometimes it is called callous or callosity. Subject to high and repeated frictions and pressures, the skin thickens to protect itself. It becomes hard, leading to the formation of a kind of rough hemispheric excrescence relatively friable that can progressively turn yellow.

In some people, this area becomes more sensitive, even painful. The feet are particularly affected because of the wearing of shoes that are inappropriate to the morphology or that do not provide sufficient cushioning.

The foot callus develops on the heels, under the forefoot (plantar callus) or even under or on the top of the toes, causing acute pain.

No matter if it’s a corn or callous, each condition has a solution developed by EPITACT®!


Corn, what to do? What treatment for a callous?

Consulting a podiatrist is the first step to treat a corn or a foot callus. He will remove the callus or the core of the corn. In other words, it consists in removing the dead skin that forms the callosity.

Once it is healed, the area should be protected to avoid that the lesion reappears. To do so, a silicone gel protection will distribute pressures and limit rubbing to stop the process of hyperkeratosis.

If the area to protect is the top of a toe or between the toes, opt for the DIGITUBES® protections*. If you need a protection for the tip of your toe, choose the Digitops*.

Lastly, if you’re suffering from ball of the foot pain or a plantar callus, the metatarsal pads* are particularly recommended.


Now you know the meaning of callus and what is a corn. The definition of a callous and a corn on foot is similar. Another way of making the difference between them is to learn more about their symptoms and causes.


*This solution is a class I medical device that bears the CE marking under this regulation. Carefully read the instructions before use. Manufacturer: Millet Innovation. 09/2021