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Calluses and Corns: Protective Padding

Topic Overview

A variety of pads may be used to treat or prevent calluses and corns. Protective padding cushions the callus or corn or holds the foot and toes in a more comfortable position so that calluses or corns do not develop.

You can purchase protective padding in different sizes and shapes, or purchase sheets of material that you cut to fit your needs.

Moleskin is a soft fabric with a thin layer of felt attached to a sticky backing. It is used most often on the feet to protect the skin from rubbing against footwear or against itself. It can also help cushion the feet.

Here are two ways to use moleskin:

  • For smaller calluses and corns, cut a circle out of the moleskin and then cut the center out of the circle so you have a doughnut-shaped pad. Place the sticky backing on your skin so that the callus or corn is in the doughnut "hole" and the pad surrounds it.
  • For larger calluses on the ball of the foot, use protective padding. Position the pad so that it extends to the edge of the callus but does not cover the callus. This can be done for one or more calluses with one pad. This pad transfers weight away from the callus. This pad is often known as a metatarsal pad.

Other pads that may be used for calluses and corns include:

  • Toe separators, which keep toes from rubbing together. They are used to prevent soft corns.
  • Toe crest pads, which relieve pressure and friction and help prevent toes from rubbing together.
  • Toe caps and toe sleeves, which fit over your toe and protect the sides and tips of the toe.

If you have diabetes, peripheral arterial disease, peripheral neuropathy, or other conditions that cause circulatory problems or numbness, consult your doctor before trying any treatment for calluses or corns.

Related Information

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Barry L. Scurran, DPM - Podiatry and Podiatric Surgery
Current as of March 12, 2014

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