What is a Corn?

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A corn is dead skin buildup with a hard center core that usually props up on or between the toes. It is considered as the protective response of the body to continuous pressure or friction, normally caused by the rubbing of two toes or a toe rubbing on the shoe. A corn most typically develops on the side and top of the toes; the ‘inside’ of a corn may either be hard or soft. Hard corns are very common. They are small and appear in firm, hard skin areas of thickened skin or rather calluses. In fact, the bony areas of the foot are the most favorite sites for hard corns. On the other hand, soft corns are likely to have a rubbery texture and are whitish in color. They occur generally between the toes that are moist and sweaty.

Other Foot Conditions


What are the causes of corns?

Anything that results in higher levels of friction or pressure on the skin causes corns to develop. Some reasons include:

  • Ill-fitting footwear
  • High heeled footwear
  • Poorly fitting socks or not wearing socks
  • Use of hand tools on a regular basis causes callus in the hands
  • Walking barefoot regularly causes the skin to thicken
  • Repeated action on one foot; for instance, walking or jogging in an odd manner

Treatment options for corns

Wearing well fitting shoes and socks can help. In the initial stages, you can consider using a pumice stone to get rid of the thickened skin a little. If the corn persists, a few therapies may provide solution. Special creams are suggested to rehydrate thickened skin areas. However, if you are unsure as to what to do or you think you need special care and attention, it is crucial that you consult a registered chiropodist or podiatrist who are experts in removing the corns painlessly, apply insoles or padding to eliminate pressure or prescribe creams or provide medications for long-term relief. A podiatrist or a chiropodist will remove some hard skin surrounding the corn eventually removing the center of the corn. The physician may recommend an antibiotic to minimize the risk of infection. In rare cases, the bone is surgically aligned. At Estuary Clinic, there is a specialized team of podiatrists that are experienced and proficient in removing corns painlessly. In addition, patients benefit from long term relief from any kind of foot problems.

A word of caution

Never cut corns by yourself, particularly if you are diabetic or elderly; plus, don’t use corn paints or plasters that can perhaps burn the healthy tissue surrounding the corns. Some home remedies are potentially dangerous. Moreover, commercially available creams and emollients must be used only after consulting with a professional.