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Corns

What is a corn?
A corn is an upside down cone of hard skin with the point of the cone facing into your foot. They can be very painful and are found in between toes, on the sole of the foot or on the tops of toes.

What causes a corn?
A corn is caused by an area of pressure from your shoe or by poor foot function. The body responds to pressure by creating hard skin to protect itself. The build up of hard skin can become extremely painful.

Who gets corns?
Anyone with slightly abnormal foot function or poorly fitting shoes may get a corn. They are common in older people who have lost the protective fat from the sole of their foot or in heavier individuals and sporty people. Any repeated pressure being put through the same area will cause hard skin formation.

Treatment options

A quick trip to a registered podiatrist will enable them to remove the corn, usually totally painlessly.There are treatments available to buy, such as corn plasters, however these often contain harsh acids which can damage the skin. These types of plasters should be avoided. A podiatrist can make you a pad to deflect the excess pressure away from the area to slow down the return of the corn.

Self care treatment is advisable in between visits to your podiatrist. This is very simple and includes buying a foot file and some moisturising cream (emollient) that suits your skin type (aqueous cream, E45 or cocoa butter are all suitable). You should file your hard skin or corn depending on the severity 2-4 times a week when dry (before a bath or shower) and then apply cream after bathing. This will keep the hard skin down and keep you more comfortable.
Orthotics may be required if poor foot function is causing the corn.

Outcome
It is wholly necessary to see a podiatrist if you have a corn. If the cause of the corn is identified, it is possible to fully resolve a corn. It may be necessary to return every so often if the cause cannot be treated or you are unable to carry out self care.