Corns

Updated: June 2021

Overview:

Corns are caused by pressure over a bony bump such as a claw toe in a tight fitting shoe. They are usually smaller and harder than a callus. Corns commonly occur on toes and under the ball of the foot. Once removed a corn may reoccur if the pressure causing the corn is not removed.

Signs or symptoms you may experience:

  • 2nd, 3rd or 4th toe painful, yellow, thickened skin on the top of the joint or tip of the toe especially while wearing tight fitting shoes.

  • 5th toe painful, yellow, thickened skin on the outside of the toe especially while wearing tight fitting shoes.

  • Under the ball of the foot painful, yellow, thickened skin especially when walking barefoot or on a hard surface.

  • Between any toes painful, white, thickened skin especially while wearing tight fitting shoes.

If it's not a corn, what else might it be?

  • Callus

  • Wart

  • Foreign body (more common plantar forefoot or heel) 

What causes a corn?

  • Claw or hammer toes (see example below)

  • Bunions 

  • High arched feet (see example below)

  • Flat feet

  • Tight fitting footwear (see example below)

toe pressure.jpg
cavus foot pressure.jpg
footwear fit.jpg

Treatment options:

The aim of treatment is to remove your corn, reduce pressure and address any related issues.  Usually a combination of treatments will be required. While the aim of treatment is to resolve symptoms, some individuals may have no benefit or increased symptoms from some treatments. Cease these treatments and contact Inform Podiatry.

  • Corn debrided (removed) by Inform Podiatry, we do not recommend the use of corn or carnation pads due to the risk of increased pain and further injury. We also do not recommend the use of beauty salons or home corn removers (blades, graters or electric foot files).

  • Footwear advice to reduce pressure causing the corn.

  • Padding in shoes or on feet to reduce pressure causing the corn (made and fitted by Inform Podiatry during your consult).

  • Moisturising cream to soften the corn (does not help corns between toes). Inform Podiatry recommends and sells Walker's urea 15 foot lotion.

  • Hand file to help reduce corn thickness (this will remove superficial callus but not the deeper corn centre). Inform Podiatry recommends and sells 20cm stainless steel nail and skin files.

  • Prefab or custom orthoses to improve foot function to reduce pressure causing the corn.

  • When non-surgical options have been trialled without satisfactory benefit, Inform Podiatry may recommend a referral for a surgical opinion.

Disclaimer:

Inform Podiatry provides these webpages for general advice.  Please book an appointment at Inform Podiatry for individual assessment and treatment of your foot or lower leg condition.

Key words:

Corn | Corns