A corn (or clavus, plural clavi or clavuses) is a distinctively shaped callus of dead skin that usually occurs on thin (hairless and smooth) skin surfaces, especially on the dorsal surface of toes or fingers. They can sometimes occur on the thicker skin of the palms or bottom of the feet. Corns form when the pressure point against the skin traces an elliptical or semi-elliptical path during the rubbing motion, the centre of which is at the point of pressure, gradually widening.
Signs and symptoms
The hard part at the centre of the corn resembles a barley seed, that is like a funnel with a broad raised top and a pointed bottom. Because of their shape, corns intensify the pressure at the tip and can cause deep tissue damage and ulceration. Hard corns are especially problematic for people with insensitive skin due to damaged nerves (e.g., in people with diabetes mellitus). The location of soft corns tends to differ from that of hard corns. Hard corns occur on dry, flat surfaces of skin. Soft corns (frequently found between adjacent toes) stay moist, keeping the surrounding skin soft.
To exclude other differential diagnoses, a skin biopsy may be taken.
A popular method is to use a corn plaster, a felt ring with a core of salicylic acid that relieves pressure and erodes the hard skin. However, if an abnormal pressure source remains, the corn generally returns. If the source of any abnormal pressure is detected, this may be avoided, usually through a change to more comfortable footwear or with various types of shoe inserts or footwear with extra toe space. In extreme cases correcting gait abnormalities may be required.
Surgical excision is a minor procedure and patients walk away home. Limb elevation and rest is advised following surgery for few days