By Gary M. White, MD

Callus with Fissure A callus with a fissure.

The callus is a thickened area of skin. A corn, in contrast, has a nucleated core.


The skin is thickened over an area of pressure or constant rubbing. The soles are the most common sites. It sometimes forms at the distal tips of the toes. The callus decreases the flexibility of the skin and a painful crack or fissure may result. Calluses tend to have accentuated skin marking whereas warts do not show dermatoglyphics (fingerprints).


No treatment is needed. To some extent, the thickening is natural and helpful, protecting the underlying skin. Topical 40% urea cream QD-BID can be quite beneficial. Reduction of friction, the application of 40% salicylic acid plaster, and routine paring may also be done.


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