Corns and Calluses: Care Instructions

Skip Navigation

Your Care Instructions

Corns and calluses are areas of thick, hard, dead skin. They form to protect your skin from injury. Corns usually form where toes rub together. Calluses often form on the hands or feet. They may form wherever the skin rubs against something, such as shoes.

In most cases, you can take steps at home to care for a corn or callus.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

How can you care for yourself at home?

  • Wear shoes and other footwear that fit correctly and are roomy. This will reduce rubbing and give corns or calluses time to heal.
  • Use protective pads, such as moleskin, to cushion the callus or corn.
  • Soften the corn or callus and remove the dead skin by using over-the-counter products such as salicylic acid. If you have a condition that causes problems with blood flow (such as peripheral vascular disease) or loss of feeling in your feet (such as diabetes), talk to your doctor before you try any home treatment.
  • Soak your corn or callus in warm water, and then use a pumice stone to rub dead skin away.
  • Wash your feet regularly, and rub lotion into your feet while they are still moist. Dry skin can cause a callus to crack and bleed.
  • Never cut the corn or callus yourself, especially if you have problems with blood flow to your legs or feet.

When should you call for help?

Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • You have signs of infection, such as:
    • Increased pain, swelling, warmth, or redness around the corn or callus.
    • Red streaks leading from the corn or callus.
    • Pus draining from the corn or callus.
    • A fever.

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor if:

  • You do not get better as expected.

Where can you learn more?

Go to

Enter R244 in the search box to learn more about "Corns and Calluses: Care Instructions".

The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.