C is for Corns

November 13, 2012

Corns are probably the most common cause of pain in the foot and the most common problem seen by Podiatrists.

Corns on the foot are small, hardened areas of skin that develop as a response to excessive pressure or friction. They are typically round or cone-shaped and may appear yellow or gray. Corns most commonly form on the tops and sides of the toes or on the soles of the feet.

Common causes of corns:

  1. Ill-fitting footwear: Wearing shoes that are too tight, narrow, or have high heels can put excessive pressure on certain areas of the feet, leading to the formation of corns. Tight shoes can squeeze the toes together, causing friction and pressure points.
  2. Toe deformities: Structural abnormalities of the toes, such as hammertoes (a bent toe), claw toes (toes that are curled downward), or overlapping toes, can cause friction and rubbing against the inside of shoes, resulting in corns.
  3. High-impact activities: Engaging in activities that involve repetitive movements or high impact on the feet, such as running or dancing, can increase the risk of developing corns due to the constant friction and pressure on certain areas of the feet.
  4. Abnormal gait or foot mechanics: Certain foot conditions or abnormalities in walking or foot mechanics, such as flat feet (pes planus) or high arches (pes cavus), can cause uneven weight distribution and excessive pressure on specific areas of the feet, leading to corn formation.
  5. Poor foot hygiene: Neglecting proper foot hygiene, such as not regularly washing and moisturizing the feet, can contribute to the development of corns. Dry, rough skin is more prone to friction and can lead to corn formation.

To prevent corns, it is important to:

  • Wear properly fitted shoes that provide enough room for the toes and have adequate cushioning and support.
  • Avoid shoes with narrow or pointed toe boxes and high heels.
  • Maintain good foot hygiene, including regular washing and moisturizing.
  • Use protective pads or cushions to reduce friction and pressure on vulnerable areas.
  • Address any underlying foot deformities or gait abnormalities with the help of a healthcare professional.

If corns become painful, persistent, or are causing discomfort, it is recommended to seek professional advice from a podiatrist or healthcare provider. They can provide appropriate treatment options, including corn removal techniques and guidance on proper foot care.


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