A corn is actually a form of a callus -- a protective layer of dead skin cells composed of a tough protein called keratin. This is the normal reaction of the skin to irritation. The corn itself is cone-shaped and usually develops if there is prolonged irritation to the skins surface. As the skin thickens, the corn forms its cone shape that points inward.
Hard corns develop on toe joints of contracted toes (Hammertoes).
Soft corns form between the toes and are usually caused as one toe rubs against another.

Pain from corns is usually due to the pressure applied to the surface of the skin. The thicker the corn the more pain. Relief is can be obtained by removal of the corn but this is normally only temporary relief. Warm water soaks soften corns so that gentle rubbing with a pumice stone afterward can remove dead tissue. The area can also be protected with any variety of pads available over the counter. Soft corns can be treated by placing lamb's wool between the toes to reduce irritation. Over-the-counter pads or plasters containing salicylic acid are effective in removing hard corns, but these medications carry a risk for irritation, chemical burns, or infection, particularly for older people. Patients with diabetes or patients with poor circulation should never use these medications.

Permanent correction of corns most often requires surgery because the underlying cause is usually some form of toe deformity. (See:Hammertoes)

Contact Us

Angelo Podiatry Associates, P.A.

(325) 658-4020
3162 Appaloosa Cir San Angelo, TX 76901