All You Need To Know About Corns, Calluses, And Blisters

There are many different kinds of skin conditions that people suffer from. Some of this skin conditions are rare while others are common such as corns, calluses, and blisters. Friction is the main cause of these three conditions, and they can be uncomfortable if not treated at an early stage. Moreover, you also need to understand that these skin conditions have different symptoms and they are not diagnosed the same way. This article will help you understand what causes each of this skin conditions, their symptoms and the best way to treat them.

What Is A Blister?

A blister is a small shell that forms on the skin surface. It contains watery liquid inside, and it can either form on the hands or the feet. The main cause of this condition is rubbing of the skin and also pressure. That is why most of the time they form on the feet because of wearing shoes without socks and also putting on footwear that does not fit properly.

What Are Calluses?

According to health specialists, calluses are considered to be a build-up of skin. This condition forms when the skin is rubbed for an extended period of time, and also by an uneven distribution of body weight. Calluses usually form on the underside of the foot, and they are known to thicken more and more, when there is more pressure added on the affected area. However, you also need to understand that this skin condition can also form on hands due to different activities, such as playing guitar and swinging around a bar (at the gym, mind you).

What Is A Corn?

Similar to calluses, this is a build-up of hard skin that forms between toes and also near bony areas. What causes corn on the skin is pressure and friction. That is why this condition affects the feet because of putting on shoes without socks and also because of putting on shoes that are too tight. Better to go with loose fitting shoes, instead. Also, you also need to understand that corns can be painful especially when they form on top of your toes or between the toes.

What Are The Symptoms Of Corns, Calluses, And Blisters?

Symptoms Of Blisters

blistersBlisters are either oval or round, and they can be painful or itchy if not treated at an early stage. Furthermore, you also need to acknowledge the fact that the symptoms of blisters vary depending on the cause of the problem. Here are some of the symptoms that you should check if you suspect that you are getting a blister.

  1. Irritation
  2. Redness of the skin
  3. Severe itching
  4. Forming of small bumps around the affected area
  5. Swelling of the skin

Symptoms Of Calluses

callusesCalluses are known to form slowly either on the feet or the hands. Moreover, you also need to understand that this skin condition can form without you realizing it, because they comeon slowly and are generally not painful. The following are the symptoms of calluses.

  1. Thickening of the skin
  2. Rough skin
  3. Hardened skin with raised bump
  4. Pain and tenderness under the affected area
  5. Dry and flaky skin

Symptoms Of Corns

cornsCorn may form in a similar way as calluses, but they both have different symptoms. That is because different factors are known to cause these two conditions. Furthermore, corns can either be soft or had depending on where it occurs on the feet. The symptoms of corn are

  1. Pain and tenderness on the affected area
  2. Forming of a thick hard patch on the skin
  3. Bumpiness of the skin
  4. Dry skin

What Causes Corns, Calluses, And Blisters?

Causes Of Blisters

Blisters are caused by various factors such as friction, exposure to chemicals and even temperature.

How Friction Causes Blisters

Friction is known to be the major cause of blisters. That is why they easily form on the arms and also on the feet. That is because these areas usually encounter repetitive abrasion this happens when playing instruments such as drums and guitar. Blisters also form on the feet because of putting on tight shoes and also because of putting on shoes without socks. This causes the shoe to rub the skin continuously, which causes the formation of blisters.

How Chemicals Exposure Cause Blisters

Besides friction, blisters can also form on one’s skin when exposed to certain chemicals. This chemical reaction is known as contact dermatitis and usually, occurs on those who are exposed to chemical more often. Moreover, there are also other various products that are known to cause blisters when using them such as cosmetics, solvents, nickel sulfate and also chemical warfare agents.

Causes Of Calluses

The primary cause of calluses is repeated friction or pressure. When friction or pressure is applied on one area, the skin starts to build-up and eventually causes the skin to die. This forms a hard surface around the affected area, and the condition only continues to get worse when more pressure or friction is added. Some of the activities that are known to cause this condition are walking for long hours and also putting on tight shoes.

Causes Of Corns

Corns are also caused by excessive pressure and rubbing. However, the only difference between corns and calluses is that corns can become painful if the condition is not treated at an early stage. However, the common cause of corn forming on the skin is putting on poorly fitting shoes.

How Are Corns, Calluses And Blisters Diagnosed


Diagnosing Blisters

Blisters are considered to be a group of disorders that are known to affect either the mucous membrane or the skin. However, you also need to understand that sometimes this group of disorders do affect both the mucous membrane and the skin, depending on the cause of the condition. Health specialists make an accurate diagnosis based on the combination of laboratory observations and clinical profile. This makes it easy to identify the right treatment for this condition.

Diagnosing Calluses

Calluses are not only uncomfortable but painful as well, especially when pressure is added to the affected areas. That is why those who are affected with this condition find it difficult to walk and even stand. Moreover, if you have calluses that are cracked, then you might want to visit a podiatrist for a checkup. The affected area is examined, and if necessary, you could be referred for an X-ray to make sure that there is nothing wrong with your underlying bone structure.

Diagnosing Corns

Corns are diagnosed in a similar way as calluses. However, if the condition is severe, a doctor may be required to conduct a physical exam and an X-ray. The doctor will examine the affected area and check whether the patient is suffering from physical abnormality, which could be the main cause of corns formation.

How To Remove Blisters, Calluses, And Corns

Removing Blisters

Blisters are easy to remove, and you do not necessary have to book an appointment with a doctor to do it for you. However, it is advisable that you do it carefully not to remove the loose skin. You will also need a needle and also iodine for cleaning the needle. The first thing you should do is prick the blister on the side to drain out the fluid. After that, wait for the blister to dry before cleaning it with clean water

Removing Calluses

When you want to get rid of calluses, the first thing you should do is soak the affected area in warm water. Wait for at least ten minutes and then file the calluses using a pumice stone. The pumice stone will make it easy for you to remove the dead skin without affecting other areas. Once you are done, apply moisturizer cream or lotion on the affected area every day to help soften the hard calluses. Furthermore, make sure that you use padding to prevent the calluses from experiencing further irritation.

Removing Corns

Corns and calluses are removed in a similar way. However, if the corns are small in size, you can use baking soda instead of warm water to soak in the affected area. After soaking the corn for ten or fifteen minutes, use a pumice stone to get rid of the build-up skin. Once you are done, use a moisturizer cream or lotion to soften the affected area.

How To Prevent Blisters, Calluses, And Corns

How Do You Prevent Blisters?

Blisters can be prevented by making sure that you put on shoes that fit properly. This will reduce continuous rubbing of the skin. Another way you can prevent blisters is by putting on the right socks. Be sure to choose socks that have the ability to absorb moisture. This can help reduce friction and foot odor as well. The best type of socks to wear is hiking socks, which are found in footwear and athletics stores. Moreover, you can also choose to put on two layers or socks as a way to combat with friction and moisture.

How Do You Prevent Calluses?

Calluses can be prevented by making sure that you put on proper shoes that fit properly. Furthermore, be sure to keep the feet dry at all times. You should also avoid wearing shoes that have pointed toes. You should also consider buying corn pads, shoe insoles or toe separators which help reduce the pressure caused by the impact of your feet.

How Do You Prevent Corns?

You can prevent forming of corns by wearing shoes that fit properly and also by using a pad to ease the pressure when standing or walking. After a long day of walking and standing, make sure that you soak your feet in warm water every day to soften the skin.

How Can Blisters, Calluses And Corns Be Treated?

How Are Blisters Treated?

Blisters are easy to treat, and you can do it from the comfort of your home. The first thing you need to do is dress the blister to reduce friction and pressure. However, if the blister is broken, use a bandage to protect the affected area and wait for it to dry. If the blister is painful, you might want to drain out the fluid that forms inside so that it can dry. Use a needle to puncture the side of the blister and then gently press it to remove all the fluid that is inside. However, if is advisable that you consult a doctor if you are suffering from other medical conditions such as heart diseases, cancer, HIV, and diabetes.

How Are Calluses Treated?

When dealing with painful calluses, it is advisable that you first get rid of the cause of friction and pressure to prevent thickened skin from forming. However, you can also choose to use foot care products, which cause the skin to heal on its own. An example of foot care products that you can use to treat calluses are hydration creams, protective corn plaster and special silicon wedges which you can use to redistribute pressure and change the position of the toes.

Besides using foot care products to treat calluses, you can also opt to use over the counter products which are used to treat this particular skin condition. A good example of such as product is salicylic acid. You can use this product to soften the affected area and also to get rid of dead skin. However, even though this product is effective at treating calluses, it is not recommended for everyone. Those who suffer from diabetes and other conditions related to circulation are advised not to use this product because it might increase the risk of damaging the skin.

How Are Corns Treated?

Corns can be treated using various products that can be bought over the counter. Some of these products are special rehydration creams, which are used on thickened skin, protective corn plasters and also customized soft padding. Furthermore, you can also use small foam wedges to help relieve soft corns. However, if the corns are painful, it is advisable that you visit a podiatrist for further examination.


Blisters, calluses, and blisters are common skin conditions that are known to affect different age groups. However, by understanding the cause of these conditions, you can be able to prevent them and take care of your skin.

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About the Author

Hi, I’m Brian Bradshaw. I’m a super duper mega hiking enthusiast, with a love for everything that has to do with outdoors, hiking, gear, footwear and more.

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