What are corns?

A corn is a small circular area of skin that has thickened due to shoe pressure or an underlying structural problem (such as a bunion or hammertoes). Hard corns most often develop on top of the toes, on the side of the small toes or on the “balls” of the feet (metatarsal area). Patients often compare the pain from a hard corn to “walking on pebbles or stones”. Soft corns generally appear in between the toes due to the toes rubbing together. It is important to not leave hard or soft corns untreated as they may become infected underneath and can become very painful.

How are corns treated?

Short term treatment consists of gently scraping down the corns, or removing them completely using a scalpel. This is quick, painless and no downtime is involved. However, unless the underlying problem is remedied, the corns will return. Better fitting footwear may be all that is needed and the patient will be advised. Custom made orthotics can also help by reducing the pressure in the affected areas. If toe alignment is the problem, a small, soft toe prop can be custom made to prevent the toes from rubbing together.