Corns Disease – Types, Causes, Symptom, And Treatment

Do you know, why you eventually get corns on your toes? The main reason is, your shoes don’t fit properly. You can avoid it with a little bit of care and attention. And we could help you with that.

So, we’re going to discuss corns in details, it’s types, signs, and symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and how you prevent it from happening.

So, let’s start with the introduction part.

What are Corns Disease?

What are Corns Disease?

A corn is a type of callus (thickened skin) that is filled with dead skin. The other name of corns is clavus, plural clavi, and clavuses. While its scientific name is heloma.

In general, you can see corn on the body area which is smooth and hairless. And you can often see them on the top or sides of the toes or fingers. It’s usually small and round in shape with a clearly marked center which could be hard or fluffy.

Corns develop when there is a case of friction, rubbing, or irritation against the skin surface. Meanwhile, squeezing them is generally painful. This, unfortunately, can cause irritating because of the transfer in pressure to the skin of the corn.

In addition, if the corns tissues are abrupts regularly, it may cause more corns even after they are removed surgically.

Note: Some calluses are rarely sore because they are less sensitive to touch and doesn’t cause that much pain than corns. And usually, the size of calluses are often larger than corns.

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Types of Corns

Types of Corns

Following are the three major types of corns:

1. Hard Corns: Another name is Heloma Durum. These are small, hard dense areas of skin that usually appear in the thickened skin. Actually, hard corns develop on the top of the toes – places where bone pressure is exerted against the skin.

2. Soft Corns: Another name is Heloma Molle. These corns are whitish or gray and its texture is softer and rubbery. They usually appear between the middle of toes fingers.

3. Seed Corns: These corns are small and usually found on the bottom of the feet. They are formed when sweat ducts get blocked.

What are the Causes of Corns?

What are the Causes of Corns?

As stated earlier, corns occur due to the friction between the foot skin and the material you wore. It mainly happens because of the following reasons:

  • Improper walking due to the friction of unsuitable shoes.
  • Wearing sandals or shoes without socks.
  • Poorly fitting shoes.
  • Abnormal walking habits
  • Abnormal foot structure
  • Due to constant stress or rubbing on certain parts of the foot.
  • Repetitive activities such as running, climbing stairs, or even skiing can trigger the development of corns on your toe and foot.
  • Some specially designed shoes that exert a lot of pressure on one part of the foot, for example, shoes with high heels
  • Walking barefoot regularly— the feet begin to increase skin thickness to protect themselves.
  • People’s occupations such as farms or gardens, etc can trigger corns growth.

Additionally, for certain situations, if you have corn and still your feet are in a moist environment like prolong wearing wet shoes. This type of condition becomes worsen with time because they eventually start releasing pus.

Even old age too often gets corn because at this age the fatty tissue in the skin decreases, which reduces padding in the skin. And finally increases the risk of developing foot corn.

Other Causes of Corns

These are factors that may increase the risk of corns

1. Bunions: It is a condition where an abnormal, bony bump that forms on the joint at the base of your big toe.

2. Hammertoe:  A hammertoe is a disfigurement in which toe has an abnormal bend in the middle joint or curls like a claw.  

3. Other Foot Deformities:  There are several other foot deformities that can cause corns such as bone spur which causes a constant rubbing of foot region inside your shoes.

4. Without Protection: When you are using hand tools without wearing gloves, there is a higher chance of getting corn.

Sign and Symptoms of Corns

Sign and Symptoms of Corns

The following are the symptoms that allow you to decide whether you have corn or not. Check your feet for the following symptoms:

  • A thick, rough area of skin
  • A hardened, raised bump (swollen portion)
  • Tenderness or pain under your skin
  • Flaky, dry or waxy layer on the skin
  • Dense bumps/patches on the skin
  • Tenderness/burning around raised portions of skin
  • Hurtful upon touch and pressure
  • The affected skin is rough and thick,
  • Pain inside the skin or feeling to touch,
  • Feeling pain while walking or doing other activities, etc.

When Should you Consult a Doctor?

These are the following sign that you should be beware, and consult a doctor right away when you have them.

1. If you feel too much pain along with swelling then you should consult a doctor.

2. Patients with weak circulation, delicate skin, or neurological problems, and feeling of numbness in the corns region.

3. In case, corn gets abrupt or intentionally cut down that profound bleed. In that case, to avoid any infection, you should see a doctor.

4. The other reason for bleeding is the abruption of pus, in this case also, medical care should be taken.

5. If you are suffering from a disease like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or circulatory disease then corn might get infectious with time. So, its better to take doctor’s advice about this.

Diagnosis And Test for Corns

Diagnosis And Test for Corns

In general, there are two ways by which corns disease can be diagnosed:

1. Physical Examination: The doctor will examine your feet and find out the causes of thickened skin which be due to wart, cyst, etc.

2. X-ray: If there is a case of any physical disability, the doctor may suggest an X-Ray.

Note: If you have some kind of painful corn or callus in your foot, it is better to consult a specialist for a foot-related disorder, such as a podiatrist. In addition, if your skin is too sensitive, it also better to consult your podiatrist or physician.

Treatment for Corns

Treatment for Corn

The following are the treatments to cure corns diseases. These are:

1. Chemical Treatments

There are many types of chemical products that are capable of minimizing the dead and thick skin. In general, this medication makes the corn easier to remove. While, if you are a diabetic patient or any circulatory disorder then you definitely should avoid these treatments.

2. Footpad and Custom Shoe

Certain inner sole pads or padded shoes can also show better results. However, if you have a foot deformity, then you should consult a podiatrist for custom padded shoe inserts (orthotics) to avoid the recurrence of corns.

3. Callus-Removing Medication

This medication is sometimes helpful in reducing the sizes of corn. In this, a patch of 40 percent salicylic acid is used. This acidic solution helps to slowly pull the corn out. However, most foot doctors have restricted the use of salicylic acid treatments for corns.

4. Surgical Removal of Corns

If all types of treatments are unsuccessful, then you have only one option is to surgical removing it. The extra thickness of the skin is removed by a professional doctor with a scalpel blade or surgical blade. Once the skin is trimmed, if you wear the right size shoes, it will not grow again.

5. Surgery of Causing Bones

In case, if there is any abnormality or deformity in one or several toes of the foot, surgery may be required to correct them. For example, the finger bone is enlarged to one side, causing the problem.

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Self Care- For Foot Corn Treatment

Corns disease can be managed by self-care interventions. The following are some quick steps you can do to overcome this painful condition.

Self-care measures such as wearing properly fitting shoes and using protective pads. 

1. Soaking your hands or feet: Soaking hands or feet in warm water makes the corn softer and easily removable.

2. Moisturizing the skin: Use a moisturizer to makes the corn area smoother.

3. Wear comfortable Shoes and Socks: Always wear well-fitting and cushioned shoes along with soft socks until they disappear.

4. Castor oil: Castor oil helps to make the surface smoother and also has anti-bacterial properties. To apply castor oil, you should first dry the skin and then applying castor oil. After moisturizing the corn area with castor oil, wear special padded shoes with soft socks.

5. Try to remove thin-thickened skin: Try rubbing the corn or callus with a pumice stone, nail pad, emery board, or washcloth during or after bathing. At this time, the body absorbs fluid and is skin swell ups which can invade the removal of corns. However, don’t even try to use any sharp tool to cut the corn off. Additionally, if you have diabetes, do not use a pumice stone.

How to Prevent Corns?

How to Prevent Corn?

Following are the measures that you can take to prevent corns: 

1. To prevent foot corn, wearing appropriate size shoes.

2. Make sure the width and length of both shoes are perfect, it is necessary to measure both feet, as there may be a slight difference in the size of both feet. There should be half an inch of empty space between the longest finger of your foot.

4. Avoid wearing shoes with high ankles and pointed tips.

5. Damaged soles of shoes can provide less protection when walking in harsh places and could be the cause of corns.

6. Keep fingernails small because larger fingernails can add pressure to the toes and over time it may facilitate corn development.

7. Buy shoes in the evening because at that time the feet take full shape.

8. Try to wash your feet every evening with soap and water with a scrubbing brush. And after washing and drying the feet, apply moisturizing cream on them.

9. If you have a constant problem of corns get a full body checkup.

10. Regularly use a pumice stone or foot file to remove any hardened skin.

11. If you sweat too much, then wear clean socks with talcum powder. This will definitely minimize the sweating in the foot area.


Corn— a skin thickening condition caused by irregular pressure or frictional forces and sometimes by blockage of sweat ducts. They are usually small and round in shape with hard or soft centers. Thus, it becomes quite painful, particularly in the top or middle/bottom forefoot area. And this thickening might cause the formation of ulcers.

Some common symptoms are worsening pain, pus, swelling, and redness. And if the pain gets worse or you have a medical history of diabetes, dry brittle skin, or cardiovascular conditions then you should consult a doctor.

While talking about its treatment, it can be treated through medicated patches that can help to remove corns, callus-removing medication, or can be surgically removed by the doctor. You can easily prevent corns from forming by wearing shoes with socks that fit properly. And also keep your feet clean and moisturized.

General FAQ

Who is more likely to get corn?

Ans. A person who wears uncomfortable shoes, wetted shoes, or has any medical problems that affect the normal bone structure in your feet are more likely to get corn. Other diseases such as arthritis, bunions, bone spurs, or hammer spurs are the other most likely cause of corns.

What are the causes of corns disease?

Ans. There are many causes of corns disease such as walking without socks, wearing too narrow shoes, and repetitive activities such as running, mountain and rock climbing, etc.

Is Corns painful?

Ans. May be or maybe not. In some cases, it firstly develops and after some time it becomes painful as their size increases.

What are the complications of having corns?

Ans. Untreated corns might grow larger in size and it becomes extremely painful. In addition, it can also cause bursitis, osteomyelitis, and septic arthritis.

Is surgery needed in corns treatment?

Ans. In the majority of cases, there is no need for surgical treatment. However, if corns become infectious then there is a need for surgical removal. This also happens when the size of the corns become larger.

Are Corns a skin disease?

Ans. Corns aren’t a skin disease. It is a condition that actually occurs when your body’s response to pressure or friction on the skin.

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