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What is a Corn?
A corn is a lump of hard skin in a small area. These can be very painful and deep. They are often caused by pressure or rubbing from footwear or the mechanics of your foot. You can get corns on the top of your toes, the bottoms of your feet or in between your toes. When they are between the toes, they are often called soft corns.
Seed corns are a common problem too. These often form around the toes, ball of the foot, arch or heel and usually present as a cluster of little corns which sometimes can be picked off or come away with gentle filing, but keep returning. If they are deeper and cannot be filed down, then you need a Podiatrist to treat them.
How can I help myself?
You can sometimes alleviate the pain by avoiding wearing footwear that causes pressure and you may be able to offload the corn(s) with padding or corn pads. Some corn pads/plasters contain an acid to soften the skin. We would suggest that you are careful when selecting a corn pad/plaster like this. If you have sensitive skin, are susceptible to infection (have diabetes or a skin condition) you should probably avoid the plasters containing acid, but certainly read the packaging before using.
When to see a Podiatrist?
You should see a Podiatrist if you can’t control your pain or the corn(s) seems deep. Corns won’t go away unless you have them removed and then try and take the cause of the problem away and often, regardless of treatments, corns keep coming back and need regular management.
A Podiatrist can remove a corn using a gentle scalpel technique called enucleation. Your podiatrist may also want to give you an orthotic device or insole to put in your shoe or they may advise footwear changes to try and help you to prevent the corns from coming back.