Harvard Health Letter

What can you do about corns and calluses?

Eliminating the sources of these skin conditions is a good first step.

Corns and calluses, those unsightly, uncomfortable hardened patches of skin on the hands and feet, are the body's response to protect against repeated pressure or friction. Causes include poorly fitting shoes and pressure on the skin from an underlying problem such as a bunion or malformed bone.

No treatment is necessary unless corns and calluses are painful. "Removing the offending cause is most effective," says Dr. Brooke Sikora, a dermatologist at Harvard-affiliated New England Baptist Hospital. Treatment of any underlying condition will also help keep the callus or corn from returning.

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