Health Information and Tools > Patient Care Handouts >  Corns and Calluses in Children: Care Instructions

Main Content

Corns and Calluses in Children: Care Instructions


Corns and calluses are areas of thick, hard, dead skin. They form to protect the skin from injury. Corns usually form where toes rub together. Calluses often form on the hands or feet. They may form wherever the skin rubs against something, such as shoes.

In most cases, you can take steps at home to care for your child's corn or callus.

Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.

How can you care for your child at home?

  • Have your child wear shoes and other footwear that fit correctly. This will reduce rubbing and give corns or calluses time to heal.
  • Use protective pads, such as moleskin, to cushion the callus or corn.
  • Soak the corn or callus in warm water, and then use a pumice stone to rub dead skin away.
  • Use an over-the-counter callus-removing product, such as one that contains salicylic acid or urea. These products come in creams, ointments, gels, and patches. But if your child has a condition that causes problems with blood flow, such as diabetes, talk to your doctor before you try any home treatment.
  • Wash your child's feet regularly, and rub lotion into your child's feet while they are still moist. Dry skin can cause a callus to crack and bleed.
  • Never cut the corn or callus yourself, especially if your child has problems with blood flow to the legs or feet or problems with numbness or feeling in the feet.

When should you call for help?

Call your doctor or nurse advice line now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • Your child has signs of infection, such as:
    • Increased pain, swelling, warmth, or redness around the corn or callus.
    • Red streaks leading from the corn or callus.
    • Pus draining from the corn or callus.
    • A fever.

Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if:

  • Your child does not get better as expected.

Where can you learn more?

Go to

Enter G690 in the search box to learn more about "Corns and Calluses in Children: Care Instructions".

Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.