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April 1, 2024

What are Corns and Calluses?

corn and callus removal

Calluses develop as a response to your skin trying to protect an underlying injury caused by friction, unnecessary pressure, and rubbing. Corns are a type of callus with a hard core in the center that can occur on the top of, between, or on the tip of the toes and feet — usually on non-weight-bearing parts of the skin.

Patients with a hammertoe condition, where the middle toes are bent upward, can form uncomfortable corns or calluses.

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How We Treat Corns and Calluses

corn and callus removal surgery

Every patient is unique, so the decision between conservative treatment versus surgical correction is a personal one. Before coming to a decision, the patient and doctor must take into consideration current lifestyle, medical conditions, age, and the severity of the corn and callus issue.

What shoes are good for corns?

If conservative treatment fails, the option to not have surgery is as important as the decision to opt for surgical intervention.

With surgical removal, not only can the thick and discolored portion of the corn be removed, but if the patient chooses surgery, the surgeon can also remove the offending portion of the bone (or bone spur) to prevent the corn from returning.

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Conservative Corn and Callus Treatment Options

Conservative treatment options that can reduce or eliminate pain caused by corns and calluses include the following:

Wear Different Shoes

If the corn or callus is rubbing uncomfortably against the sides or tops of your shoes, choose wider or larger shoes with softer material to eliminate that pain. Make sure the new shoes have enough room in the toe box — the area in the front of the wear shoes — for your toes to move freely without friction.

Treat Corns and Calluses at Home

Instead of surgery, individuals with corns or calluses can remove them via professional sharp debridement (shaving) or consistent filing. Over-the-counter medicinal pads are available to remove corns, but should be used with caution since they contain a type of acid that can cause an ulceration if used in excess.

Surgical Treatment for Corns and Calluses

Depending on the location and severity, a patient may opt for surgery to remove calluses corns to prevent them from repeated development.

Surgical corn removal involves an elliptical incision and excision of this tissue. The underlying prominence will be excised as well as the surrounding inflamed soft tissue.

The foot should be elevated for up to 48 hours after surgery, and the patient should be completely off their feet for at least three days.

Sutures are placed under the skin with steri-strips (surgical tape) and then removed after 2 weeks. Avoid full weight bearing and normal shoes for about three weeks after surgery.

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Insurance Coverage for Corn and Callus Removal Surgery

Navigating insurance coverage for medical procedures like corn and callus removal or surgery can be intricate. At Modern Foot and Ankle, we prioritize helping our patients understand their insurance benefits and the coverage scope for these treatments.

Our dedicated team works closely with you to decipher your insurance plan, detailing covered services, co-pay amounts, and any non-covered services. By providing clear and comprehensive assistance, we ensure our patients are well-informed about their insurance coverage, enabling them to make educated decisions regarding their foot health care.

This approach simplifies the financial aspects of treatment, allowing patients to focus on their recovery and health. For specific insurance questions related to corn and callus removal/surgery, visit Modern Foot and Ankle's Insurance Information Page.

Why Choose Us

foot having an corn calluses due to poor circulation

When it comes to treating corns and calluses, finding a healthcare provider who understands the complexity of foot health is paramount.

At Modern Foot and Ankle, we stand out for our comprehensive approach to treating these common but bothersome conditions. Here's how we address each aspect of care, integrating key terms related to corn and callus removal.

Expert Team

Our team is not just a group of professionals; they are specialists in foot and ankle care with extensive experience in diagnosing and treating conditions like corns and calluses.

This specialization means that whether you're dealing with thickened skin from repetitive pressure or soft corns caused by toe friction, you're receiving care from experts who understand the nuances of foot health.

Personalized Care

Each patient's feet are unique, with differences in structure, usage, and how they respond to stress. This individuality calls for personalized treatment plans that might range from simple lifestyle changes, like wearing shoes that fit better, to medical interventions.

For instance, if dead skin buildup is causing discomfort, we might recommend specific treatments for corns, including careful use of a pumice stone or applying salicylic acid products to soften and reduce hardened skin.

Advanced Techniques

We leverage the latest medical technologies and surgical techniques to treat corns and calluses efficiently, aiming for outcomes that not only address the present discomfort but also minimize the chances of recurrence.

This could include minimally invasive surgery for corn and callus removal or employing laser treatments to carefully remove dead skin layers without damaging healthy tissue.

Comprehensive Support

Our care doesn't stop at treatment. We offer continuous support through your recovery process, ensuring skin soft and healing is progressing well. Education on preventing future corns and calluses is part of this support, focusing on the importance of wearing shoes that fit well and using protective padding when necessary.

Patient Education

Knowledge is power, especially when it comes to preventing corns and calluses. We prioritize educating our patients on how to maintain soft skin, the benefits of using a pumice stone for gentle exfoliation, and the importance of salicylic acid in treating thickened skin.

Understanding why soft corns develop and how wearing shoes with a proper fit can prevent them is crucial in keeping your feet healthy.

In Summary

  1. Corns and calluses are protective responses of the surrounding skin to friction and pressure, often leading to discomfort and pain. While there are various conservative treatment options, including wearing different shoes and at-home care, some cases may require surgical intervention for permanent relief.
  2. Understanding the differences between corns and calluses, recognizing the importance of proper footwear, and knowing when to seek professional help are key to effective treatment.
  3. At Modern Foot and Ankle, we offer personalized care tailored to each patient's needs, from conservative management to advanced surgical options.
  4. With our expertise and support, patients can navigate their treatment options confidently, including understanding their insurance coverage. Choosing us means opting for a partner committed to your foot health, offering the latest treatments, comprehensive care, and dedicated insurance assistance.

The information on our website is intended for general informational and educational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. For any health-related concerns, we strongly recommend consulting with a healthcare professional. Please note that any reliance on the information found on our site is solely at your own risk. For more details, please see our Medical Disclaimer.


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How long does it take to recover from corn removal surgery?

Recovering from corn removal surgery depends on the type of corn and procedure, but usually takes 2 to 4 weeks. A true, permanent corn removal surgery involves removing the bone prominence or spur beneath the thick skin, and takes 2 weeks for the incision to heal and another 2 weeks to fit comfortably into shoes. Some consider pairing or trimming too much skin a corn removal surgery, and after that “procedure” recovery is immediate.

Is hammer toe surgery painful?

Hammer toe surgery is not commonly painful, and usually requires only an anti-inflammatory after surgery, or low-level pain reliever like codeine at most.

What's inside a corn?

Inside the corn itself is alpha-keratin protein, the same protein found in calluses, hair, and nails.

How do you get rid of corns permanently?

Getting rid of hard corns permanently requires a small surgical procedure. The pressure (usually bone spur or prominent joint) underneath the corn produces alpha-keratin protein production.

What happens if a corn is left untreated?

An untreated corn is not dangerous unless the pressure that forms the corn is excessive. Trimming the corn or surgically removing the corn are options to prevent blistering, infections, or more serious problems. Looser shoes are good for corns, especially ones with a wider forefoot or toe box area, with mesh-like material.

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Local Podiatrists specializing in Corn and Callus Removal

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Palm Beach
Portrait of Dr. Adam Siegel, a male Board Certified Podiatrist in Tampa, specializing in sports medicine and diabetic limb salvage

Dr. Adam Siegel

His advanced training and diverse technology background equip him to provide top-tier care across a broad range of foot and ankle conditions.

Portrait of Dr. Michael Zuri, a male Board Certified Podiatrist in Tampa, specializing in sports injuries and endoscopic plantar fasciotomies for heel pain

Dr. Michael Zuri

Renowned for treating sports injuries and heel pain, with a focus on diabetic foot care. His patient-centered approach ensures a positive care experience.

Portrait of Dr. Roma Patel, a female Board Certified Podiatrist in Orlando, specializing in sports podiatry and diabetic foot care

Dr. Roma Patel

Her approach is rooted in compassion and personalized attention for each patient, embracing an individualized treatment plan for a broad range of foot and ankle conditions.

Headshot of Dr. Steven Baker, a male Board Certified Podiatrist in Tampa, known for his expertise in orthotic management and sports injuries of the lower extremity

Dr. Steven Baker

Esteemed podiatrist with decades of experience, transitioning from surgery to non-surgical therapies. Known for his caring and friendly approach.

Close-up image of Dr. Jacob Huffman, a male Board Certified Podiatrist in Orlando, known for his expertise in sports medicine and minimally-invasive surgeries

Dr. Jacob Huffman

Expert in sports medicine and minimally-invasive surgeries, with a distinct honor in clinical excellence. His knowledge-driven ideology ensures optimal patient outcomes.

Close-up image of Dr. Kyle Haverstrom, a male Board Certified Podiatrist in Tampa, renowned for his expertise in minimally invasive procedures and sports medicine

Dr. Kyle Haverstrom

Highly skilled in minimally-invasive procedures, trauma, and sports medicine. Known for his strong surgical skills and talent for diabetic limb salvage.

Close-up image of Dr. Sagar Shah, a male Board Certified Podiatrist in Tampa, known for his expertise in sports injuries and wound therapy

Dr. Sagar Shah

Expert in sports injuries, pediatric care, and wound therapy. Committed to advancing clinical expertise through understanding patient lifestyles and health.

Close-up image of Dr. Ryan Haaksma, a male Board Certified Podiatrist in Tampa, recognized for his work in minimally-invasive procedures and diabetic limb salvage

Dr. Ryan Haaksma

Advanced training in minimally-invasive procedures and sports medicine. His dedication ensures new techniques in surgical intervention.

Close-up image of Dr. Tamara Nemeroff, a female Board Certified Podiatrist in Jupiter, recognized for her work in sports medicine and diabetic limb salvage
Palm Beach

Dr. Tamara Nemeroff

Skilled in sports medicine, diabetic limb salvage, and reconstructive surgery. Now accepting Patients at our Jupiter Location.

Headshot of Dr. Patrick Derby, a male Board Certified Podiatrist in Tampa, specializing in reconstructive surgery and wound care

Dr. Patrick Derby

Skilled in reconstructive surgery and wound care, with a focus on diabetic limb salvage. His principle: making a uniquely positive impact on each patient.

Headshot of Dr. Todd Talbert, a male Board Certified Podiatrist in Orlando, known for his expertise in sports medicine and reconstructive foot and ankle surgery

Dr. Todd Talbert

Specializes in sports medicine, trauma, and reconstructive surgery. Known for compassionate care and training surgical residents in reconstructive surgery.

Portrait of Dr. Dean Sorrento, a male podiatrist in Orlando, recognized for his contributions to sports medicine and diabetic care.

Dr. Dean Sorrento

Excels in advanced nerve decompression and sports medicine. His teaching background enhances patient understanding and care.

Portrait of Dr. Vanisaben Patel, a female podiatrist in Orlando, known for her focus on pediatric podiatry and limb salvage.

Dr. Vanisaben Patel

Expertise in reconstructive surgery, sports medicine, and diabetic wound care. Her patient-centric, collaborative approach ensures optimal outcomes.

Portrait of Dr. Jalpen Patel, a male podiatrist in Orlando, specializing in minimally-invasive procedures and diabetic limb salvage.

Dr. Jalpen Patel

Dr. Patel's specialized training and patient-centered approach uniquely position him to offer exceptional care across a wide spectrum of foot and ankle conditions.

Portrait of Dr. Kristina Sikar, a female podiatrist in Orlando, renowned for her work in cosmetic foot surgery and sports medicine.

Dr. Kristina Sikar

Skilled in cosmetic foot and ankle surgery, wound care, and sports medicine, Dr. Sikar's patient-focused, holistic treatment plans are designed for optimal health outcomes.

Image of Dr. Trevor Baddaloo, a Orlando, FL-based board-certified Podiatrist, recognized for his personalized care in sports medicine and minimally-invasive surgical techniques.

Dr. Trevor Baddaloo

Dr. Baddaloo is renowned for his holistic and patient-focused care, skilled in sports medicine, podiatric surgery, and ensuring optimal health outcomes.

Portrait of Dr. Donald Adamov, a board-certified Podiatric Surgeon in Spring Hill, celebrated for his innovative approach to minimally-invasive foot surgeries and expertise in diabetic foot care.

Dr. Donald Adamov

Skilled in minimally-invasive bunion correction and advanced wound care, he provides individualized treatment for all conditions to achieve the best outcome.

Portrait of Dr. Melissa Prutch, a female Board Certified Podiatrist in Tampa, specializing in surgery & limb salvage.

Dr. Melissa Prutch

Comprehensive expertise in podiatric surgery and wound care. Dedicated to a patient-first, holistic approach for superior health results.

Dr. Moore, a Spring, Texas-based board-certified Podiatrist, known for comprehensive care in all foot and ankle conditions with a focus on advanced surgical methods.

Dr. Robert J. Moore III

Wide-ranging expertise in foot and ankle care, with a focus on surgery and wound management. Committed to patient-centered, holistic care.

We are in-network with all major insurance plans.

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What to Expect

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Additional Podiatry Services

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Ingrown Toenail

Our podiatrists can safely and effectively remove ingrown toenails to help alleviate pain and prevent infection.

Achilles Tendon Injury

We provide a variety of treatments for Achilles tendon injuries, including conservative methods, minimally-invasive therapies, and surgical intervention.

Wound Care

Our team can provide comprehensive wound care services, including debridement, dressing changes, and offloading techniques to help promote healing.

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Why Patients Choose Modern

  • For comprehensive consultations
  • To receive prompt, effective treatment
  • To ensure seamless recovery between care stages
  • To find comfort in their everyday
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