What are Corns?

17 Aug What are Corns?

About Corns

IF you have corns, calluses, warts, fungal nail or any other ugly little foot problem, give Shuman Podiatry a call. We’re the foot experts who will get your feet looking and feeling their best.

What are Corns?

Corns are rough, hard patches of skin that form on the feet. Corns are the body’s way of protecting itself. Constant rubbing irritates your skin. In a response known as hyperkeratosis, your skin responds by developing a thick protective layer of keratin, a protein found in skin and hair.

Corns are not dangerous, but they can be painful and ugly. Just putting on shoes and socks can hurt when the corn gets in the way.

In people with diabetes, corns can develop into skin ulcers. It’s important to call a podiatrist to treat corns if you have diabetes, peripheral neuropathy or other circulatory conditions.

Types and Symptoms

You probably know all too well how a corn looks and feels. But did you know that there are different types of corn?

  • Hard corns generally occur on the heels and soles.
  • Soft corns have a rubbery texture and usually appear between the toes.
  • Seed corns are very small and tend to occur on the soles.


Corn or Wart?

Corns and plantar warts can look very similar. Before you attempt an over-the-counter or home remedy for that lump on your foot, make sure a foot care specialist has diagnosed it.

Warts are caused by a virus and are contagious, while corns are not contagious and are caused by friction.

What Causes Corns

Poorly fitting shoes. Shoes that are too tight or don’t have ample toe room will cause rubbing and friction that leads to corns and calluses.

High heels. High heels exert extra pressure on the skin around the toes and heels, leading to corns. This is why women are more likely to develop corns than men are.

Wearing shoes without socks. Socks protect the feet of your skin. Wearing socks or sandals without socks can lead to corns.

Exercising and playing sports. Any activity that puts friction on the feet can lead to corns and calluses.

Foot abnormalities. Congenital foot conditions or a poor gait can lead to excess friction on the feet.

Foot Care for Corns

There are some over-the-counter remedies for corns, including:

  • moleskin patches that cover the corn to reduce pain;
  • salicylic acid formulas to help dissolve the corn;
  • antibiotic creams to prevent infection.

These may offer some relief, but it will only be temporary. For the most effective treatment, consult Shuman Podiatry. We’ll identify just what that bothersome bump is and make sure you get the right treatment for it.

Medical Treatment of Corns

  • Debridement: an inpatient treatment that removes the rough skin layer and the keratin core.
  • Keratolytics: a mix of salicylic acid and lactic acid that dissolves the corn.
  • Oral antibiotics: in the case of infection or ulceration.
  • Custom orthotics: to correct gait problems that might be leading to friction.


Do’s and Don’t to Prevent Corns


  • slice or cut a corn as this could lead to serious infection.
  • use wart remover on corns.
  • ignore a corn and hope it will go away.


  • call a podiatrist for professional diagnosis and treatment of corns.
  • wear well-fitting, supportive shoes.
  • examine your feet regularly, especially after physical activity.


A No-Corn Zone

If you’re troubled by corns or any other foot problem, call Shuman Podiatry and Sports Medicine and discover why we’re one of Loudoun County’s favorite podiatric clinics. We’ll get you back on your feet with our warm service, client-focused approach, and the most up-to-date diagnosis and treatment techniques.

Call Shuman Podiatry and make your feet a no-corn zone.

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