A corn is on top or between the toes while a callus grows under the ball of the foot or heel. Callus tissue is the skin's reaction to abnormal, long-term pressure. As the callus builds up, it causes more pressure and therefore, more pain. This becomes a cycle. As long as the abnormal pressure remains, so will the callus or the corn. That is why, if the callus or corn is scraped off, it can return. Usually the cause of abnormal pressure can be located in underlying bone. You may have flat feet or high arched feet, you may have bent toes (hammer toes) or your shoes may be too small for the toes.
Daily use of pumice stone, U-shaped pads near the callus, and skin lubrication are all safe ways to treat a callus yourself. It is strongly recommended that patients stay away from over-the-counter corn removers (the chemical can be dangerous). See your podiatrist for calluses or corns. The podiatrist will talk with you about the cause of the callus, your choices for treatment and what might occur if the condition is not cared for.