Corns are common foot conditions that occur from repeated focal pressure on the foot, such as rubbing of the skin against a shoe, wearing no socks with shoes, or foot deformities. Women are more likely to develop corns due to wearing high heels and less supportive footwear then men. Corns come in three different forms: hard corns, soft corns, and seed corns. Located on the top or outside of the little toe, hard corns look like a compressed patch of hard skin with a dense core. Soft corns are found between the toes while seed corns develop on the heel or ball of the foot. All corns can be painful. Other symptoms include:
- Hard patch of skin (hard corns)
- Thin skin with smooth center (soft corns)
- Circle of dead skin (seed corns)
Corns can be cured by removing the force which is causing it. Improved footwear choices are the first step in alleviating them. Deflective padding and digital corn devices are also indicated for treatment. Over the counter (OTC) corn pads with medication are available but be wary; the salicylic acid on the corn pad may cause a chemical skin burn and an infection. These are definitely to be avoided by those with diabetes. Your podiatrist can identify the cause of the corn and remove it painlessly.