Corns and calluses, like warts, are excessive growths of skin that predominantly occur on the feet.
They differ from warts though because they are caused by pressure or friction rather than by a contagious virus. They can be caused by everyday activities, such as running or gardening.
However, the most common cause of corns and calluses is shoes that don’t fit. Children are the most vulnerable to this because of the rapid growth of their feet.
You can help prevent corns and calluses by looking after your feet. Ensure you dry them thoroughly after washing and if necessary apply a moisturising foot cream. You can also use a pumice stone or foot file regularly to remove any hard skin.
Choosing the right shoes to wear is important too. You should be able to move your toes inside the shoe, and avoid wearing heels if possible as they increase pressure on the front of your feet.
Like warts and verrucas, when corns and calluses appear on weight-bearing areas such as the sole of the foot, the pressure on the underlying skin layers caused by the thickened area of skin can make them particularly uncomfortable and quite painful to put pressure on.
Corns and calluses may eventually go away by themselves if the pressure or friction on the foot is removed, but this can take quite a while. A corn or callus will almost certainly return if the pressure or friction comes back.