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Understanding Corns: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment


Welcome to Foot Foundation's informative guide on corns. In this post, we'll delve into the details of what exactly a corn is, what causes it, the symptoms associated with it, and the available treatment options.

Definition of Corns: Corns are small, thickened areas of skin that develop on the feet due to repeated pressure or friction. They typically appear as hard or soft bumps and can be quite painful if left untreated.

Causes of Corns: Corns develop as a natural defence mechanism of the skin in response to pressure or friction. Common causes include:

  • Ill-fitting shoes

  • High heels

  • Foot deformities (such as bunions or hammertoes)

  • Abnormalities in gait or foot structure

  • Repetitive activities that put pressure on specific areas of the foot

Symptoms of Corns: The symptoms of corns may vary depending on their type and severity. Common symptoms include:

  • Pain or tenderness at the site of the corn

  • Thickened, rough, or waxy skin

  • Visible bump or lesion on the skin

  • Discomfort while walking or wearing shoes

Treatment Options for Corns: Several treatment options are available for managing corns and relieving associated symptoms:

  • Proper footwear: Wearing comfortable, well-fitting shoes with ample room for the toes can help alleviate pressure on the corns.

  • Padding or cushions: Applying protective pads or cushions to the affected area can provide cushioning and reduce friction.

  • Salicylic acid: Over-the-counter treatments containing salicylic acid can help soften and remove the thickened skin of corns.

  • Professional care: A podiatrist can safely and effectively remove corns using specialised instruments and techniques. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to correct underlying foot deformities contributing to corn formation.

Prevention Tips: To prevent corns from developing or recurring, consider implementing the following preventive measures:

  • Wear properly fitting shoes with adequate support and cushioning.

  • Avoid high heels or shoes with narrow toe boxes.

  • Use protective padding or orthotic inserts to redistribute pressure on the feet.

  • Maintain good foot hygiene and keep the skin moisturised to prevent dryness and cracking.


Corns are a common foot condition that can cause discomfort and affect your quality of life. By understanding the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for corns, you can take proactive steps to manage your condition and maintain healthy feet. If you're experiencing persistent pain or discomfort from corns, don't hesitate to seek professional care from the experienced podiatrists at Foot Foundation. We're here to help you find relief and get back on your feet comfortably.