Corns on the toes and on the feet make putting on footwear difficult and walking painful. There are three types of corns - soft corns, hard corns and seed corns that appear on the toes or between the toes. Soft corns are sited between the toes - moist areas lead to hydration of the skin and the skin overlying the corn can have a rubbery texture. Hard corns develop over the toes or under the feet in an area of high pressure which can be extremely painful.
A corn that appears on the foot or the ball of the foot is called a seed corn. Seed corns usually occur within a large area of callus under the foot. They are tiny hence the word 'seed' – however, they can be very painful.
Corns are normally small in size. A callus is a much larger piece of skin than a corn, see picture. It is usual that a callus grows around a corn. If corns are not treated and there is an underlying complication such as diabetes, long-term complications such as infection can occur.
What causes a foot corn?
- Pressure and chafing of the toes and feet in footwear
- Badly fitting footwear
- High heeled footwear
- Toe deformities such as hammer toes
- A bone that is not in its correct place in the foot or the toe
- Imbalanced walking
Why are foot corns so painful and what happens if they are not treated?
- Corns are not considered a serious condition, however the continuous pressure on the feet and toes make them very painful as the corns become harder and harder with time.
- Corns may be linked to toe deformities such as hammer toes, or an irregular position of the toe on the foot. In some cases the issue may require orthotics, surgical correction of the toes and tendons or in severe cases, forefoot reconstruction.
- If corns are not treated, then it is possible that long term complications such as infections and ulcers will ensue
- For diabetics and those with poor circulation and damaged nerves in the feet, such an infection can become serious. The feet may take a long time to heal
How can corns be treated?
- Depending on diagnosis, corns can be removed by shaving the top of the corn and removing the entire corn, but this is only a temporary solution
- The corn will be removed painlessly
What happens after the foot corn removal?
- The toes may be sensitive for 1-2 days
Will the corn ever grow back?
- Yes, if it has been shaved this is only a temporary solution.
- Precautions to stop a corn growing back may include changing footwear