Corn: Symptoms, Complications, and Treatment


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What is Corn?

Corns tend to develop at the pressure points of the body like the bottom part of your feet and along the border of your toes. Though they are very painful, they actually help in protecting sensitive skin.

There are primarily three types of corn:

  • A hard corn is a small and thick patch of dead skin and has a core at the center.
  • A soft corn tends to develop in between the fourth and fifth toes and has a comparatively thinner texture.
  • Seed corns are very tiny and develop under the feet portion due to blockage in the sweat ducts.

How Does Corn Occur?

The primary reason behind corn is an improper motion of walking due to continuous usage of ill-fitting shoes since:

Many times wearing sandals or shoes without socks create friction between the foot skin and the material of the footwear which actually triggers the formation of corns.

If the feet are kept in closed and moist condition for a longer time, already formed corns get infected and start releasing pus or fluid which worsens the state of the feet.

Who is Prone to Corn?

You are prone to developing corns if:

  • You have to stand or walk on your feet for a longer period of time s due to continuous friction between the foot skin and the footwear.
  • You are woman whowears only high-heeled shoes that create uneven pressure on their toes while walking.

What are the Symptoms of Corn? How is Corn Diagnosed?


To determine whether you are having a corn, you must check your feet for the following symptoms:

  • A thick and rough patch of skin
  • A hard and raised swollen portion
  • A feeling of tenderness as well as pain right under the skin
  • Skin turning out to be dry and flaky


To start with the diagnosis the doctor will first investigate your feet to rule out the chances of any other reasons that might have caused the thickening of skin like cysts and warts. Henceforth he/she may suggest you go for an X-ray if the reason behind the development of the corn is due to some sort of physical abnormality. The doctors first emphasize more on self-care methods before taking resort to any medical treatments. Self-care methods include using comfortable and well-fitting shoes and using protective pads to do away with the corns and reduce the pain during walking or standing.

What are the Complications of Corns?

Though corns appear to be a minor health problem, they can take a severe shape if not treated in due time. Experienced podiatrists have found neglected corns, later on, give rise to worsening conditions like:

  • Pain
  • Bursitis
  • Osteomyelitis
  • Septic arthritis

What is the Treatment for Corns?

According to the doctors, medical treatments assure much relief from the hazards of corns when various forms of self-care measures are found to be a failure. Trimming the damaged skin, prescribed medications, use of customised shoe pads are some of the suggestions that the doctors usually advice. Surgery is the last and very rare option at the hands of the doctor if the cause of corn development is due to any kind of friction by the wrong alignment of bones or abnormal bone structures.

Would you like to consult a doctor for Corn ?

Questions answered by trusted doctors

Verified User
I have had a corn in my left foot. I had consulted with a doctor and undergone a surgery to remove the same. After that the skin was healing slowly. Then one more corn came and I had used corn cap for 3 weeks. It had gone after that. Skin has formed in the place where I had surgery. But it's little hard. It was not painful before. But now, It started giving some pain. What should I do? Should I use corn cap ?
Dr. Govind S Mittal
Dermatologist, Bangalore
Hi. Greetings, Don't use a a corn cap, the skin will become very soggy and heal slowly. Better you use a salicylic acid paste 12 % daily night and Vaseline jelly daily morning. This would help in keeping skin soft. Wear soft padded foot wear . this is most important to prevent recurrence. Hope this helps. For further queries, send message on private follow up chat or see a dermatologist near you. Dr Govind Suresh Mittal, Excel care hospital, Bangalore.
Verified User
I had a problem of foot corn on my left leg
and  it was operated and removed last year but its not cleared again its converted to wart and its to pain while working please suggest any good medicine. Now I am applying dersol 40% (salicylic acid ointment)

Dr.Yogesh here

in ayurveda we do agnikarma for warts.
repeated settings are needed to clear it and to be done under medical supervision.
visit nearby ayurved dr who dose agnikarma.

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Home Remedies

Well-fitting Shoes and Comfortable Socks

Always go for well-fitting shoes and comfortable socks to avoid friction and irritation.

Use Good Moisturiser

Never keep your feet wet for a long period and pat them dry, followed by application of proper foot moisturizers.

Keep Feet Dry

Use clean socks and apply talcum powder once in a day to avoid infections from sweat accumulation.

Pumice Stone

Use pumice stone in a circular motion to remove dead foot skin.