• Julia

RUB or leave: What to do with calluses, corns and warts.

And what products can help

IF YOU HAVE A NEW PAIR OF SHOES, YOU HAVE NEW PROBLEMS: in the morning we run out of the house, taking a pack of plasters (as it probably will rub), and in the evening we are soaking in the bathroom, trying to resuscitate our feet. This kind of calluses is not the only skin excrescence that can cause inconvenience: a lot of people periodically suffer from corns and warts. What to do with them — scratch, pierce, or wait for it all to pass by itself? We are discussing it with a dermatologist.

Calluses and corns

In the international diseases classification ICD-11, corns belong to section EH92 - "Corns". This is the name for hard areas of roughened skin that appear resulting in friction or pressure. It is strange,  but these excrescence perform their protective function. They can appear on any body part that is constantly rubbed, for example, guitarists may have calluses on the finger pads, and many of us still have the "school" callus from the pen. Those who train with a barbell or tug-of-war, calluses appear on the hand palms.

Wet calluses (blisters containing tissue fluid in the upper layers of the skin) are more often formed on the toes and heels. Dry surface calluses (hard, keratinized skin areas containing dead epithelial cells) - on the fingers and joints, appear due to constant friction: blood circulation is disrupted and keratinization increases. Pivotal corns are usually formed on the feet: as the name implies, they have a core of thickened skin tissue. The most unpleasant thing about this formation is the core itself. It goes deep and sometimes cause painful feelings: such a core can press on the bone or nerve endings.

Excrescence perform their protective function. They can appear on any part of the body that is constantly rubbed, for example, guitarists may have calluses on the finger pads.

Corns do not have a core — they look like even areas of thickened tissue and most often do not cause pain. It is easy to guess that we literally trample corns — they appear on the inside of the foot, next to the fingers. If calluses and corns appear on the feet just ones, as a rule, the reason is simple: the person has put on the unsuitable shoes. Not in size, tight and not stretchable, with hard, tight fasteners. This problem is easily solved, the damaged skin area is treated with an antiseptic and allowed to heal, and the shoes are sent for stretching. But when we talk about systematic hardening, this may indicate foot, gait and posture problems, and with the distribution of weight on the feet.


Plantar warts are a completely different story. These are benign neoplasms on the skin; most often they appear on the feet. Inside the warts, you can sometimes see dark dots — these are small clogged blood vessels. As a rule, when pressing on the wart, there is a sharp pain. Unlike corns, warts are viral in nature — they are caused by certain strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV). They enter the body when they come into contact with the carrier or with objects common use. The slightest cut or skin damages help the virus get inside. Each person's immune system reacts differently to HPV. Not everyone who comes into contact with it has warts. Even people from the same family react differently to the virus.

Warts are not dangerous and usually disappear within a few months (sometimes several years). But sometimes it can cause complications — for example, due to discomfort, you will reflexively shift the center of gravity, which will affect your posture and spine health. If calluses occur only on the foot areas that are under pressure during the walk, then the wart can appear anywhere. Pivotal Corns are often taken for warts. More precisely, they think that it is a corn, but in fact it is a wart. There is such a thing as a skin pattern: if it is a callus, the pattern is persisted, if a wart it is violated.

What to do with all this

Wet calluses (which we most often have in the summer) recover on their own, within three to five days. The main rule: do not pierce or cut the blister with liquid — this will slow healing and increase the risk of infection. Instead, it is better to apply a dry bandage until the liquid is completely absorbed and wear soft, loose shoes for several days. If the skin is still torn, it is worth treating the wound with an antiseptic. You do not need to go to the doctor with such calluses, the exception is increased pain, redness, suppuration, repeated appearance of a blister in the same place.

If a corn without a rod does not cause inconvenience, then you can just leave it alone, it will recover on its own, and hydrogel patches or insoles can help alleviate the situation. In a situation when you still want to remove dry hard corns, most often salicylic acid is used, it exfoliates dead skin. However, not the "children's" one or two percent that we use in face serums will be effective here, but all thirty percent. Salicylic acid solution is applied to a cotton swab and smeared on the damaged skin, or salicylic patches are applied. They should be changed every 48-72 hours until the corns are removed. Sometimes doctors use products with a high concentration of urea (45 %) — in this form, it works as a keratolytic, softening and removing calluses and corns. It is better not to ignore the pivotal callus and show it to a specialist if possible. It can be removed by both a dermatologist and a podologist — a doctor who works with foot diseases. Usually, this formation is dissolved with keratolytics, cut or drilled, and then an antiseptic is put into the recess. In complex cases, a laser (laser therapy) or liquid nitrogen (cryotherapy) is used to treat pivotal callus or large-sized formations.

The worst thing you can do with a corn or wart is to try to get rid of them by yourself

Mechanical exfoliation, pumice stone, electric nail files can cause skin injures. With corns, it is especially easy to overdo it and RUB it to the blood, and this is dangerous, since it can provoke an infection; even a salon pedicure can cause more harm than good in this case. It is important to understand the reason why the skin becomes rough in these places. "In most cases (if we are talking about systematic manifestations), this is a sign that there is something wrong in the musculoskeletal system. Either in the spine or on the feet.

Many pedicure masters call themselves podologists — and this is incorrect as a podologist is a person with a high medical education, a residency in dermatology and a narrow specialization in podology. I often hear complaints that pedicures don't last long. This happens either because they remove a lot, damaging the protective barrier, or because there is a fungal infection on the skin. Shallow, small cracks on the heels and thumbs are often a sign of fungus, not just roughness. And only a real podologist can understand this.

You shouldn't treat calluses and corns by yourself, especially when they are very rough, as they are easily confused with plantar warts, which require other therapy. It is also better to remove warts with a doctor: for this purpose a highly concentrated salicylic acid, photodynamic therapy, laser and surgical removal is used. At home, you can temporarily seal the wart with a hydrogel patch — isolation will help avoid the virus spread.


To prevent calluses and corns, first of all, it is necessary to eliminate the source of rubbing If possible, do not wear too tight shoes, always wear socks under sneakers, and put special silicone insoles or patches in shoes that are rubbed. You can act preventively and use a Compede-like-stick,the tool really reduces friction, and reduces the risk of corns. Regular skin hydration will also help to avoid the appearance of roughened growths.


Revitalizing mask for feet Aveeno Cica Repairing Foot Mask

Plasters for removing calluses Dr. Scholl’s Corn Removers

Callus softener Deborah Lippmann Get Off Callus Softener

A pencil that protects against the calluses appearance, Compeed

Join our distribution list

© 2023 blog about a healthy body and strong spirit.