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Corns and calluses – Information for GPs

Commissioning position

NHS Scarborough & Ryedale CCG does not routinely commission referral for corns and calluses. This commissioning position statement does not refer to diabetic patients.

Patients may be considered via the NHS Scarborough and Ryedale CCG Individual Funding Request Panel (IFR) in the following circumstance:

  • In some cases of foot or toe abnormality, where conservative methods fail or are inappropriate, it may be necessary to refer to an orthopaedic or podiatric surgeon to correct any deformity

NB All patients to be referred to local podiatry services prior to referral to secondary care.

Summary of evidence / rationale

The management of corns and calluses is available on the Map of Medicine (MoM).


  • Corn - small, defined area of hardening, protruding skin characterised by having a central core of keratin, which is found on bony areas of toes and feet
  • Hard corns - usually dry, solid masses found on joints of toes
  • Soft corns - soft, moist lumps found between toes
  • Callus - broader, indistinct region of thickened skin, predominantly found on the feet (or sometimes hands), a typical site being upon the sole of the foot under the heads of metatarsals

Both corns and calluses may cause pain and discomfort.

History and diagnosis

Clinical examination. Consider the following:

  • A discrete-nucleated callus (plantar corn) may be confused with a viral wart or other disorders of keratin production, e.g. porokeratosis plantaris discrete


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