Corns on feet: symptoms and treatment

Corns are thickened and hardened areas of skin that develop as a response to moderate repeated friction and pressure to the skin. It is the body’s protective reaction to protect the underlying skin.

What is a corn?

Corns are inverted cone shaped calluses that penetrate the deeper layers of skin as a result of excessive friction and pressure.

What does a corn look like?

Corns generally look like circular bumps of hardened skin. The visible part of the corn usually looks round, but its root is hard, tapering and directed inward. Corns are relatively small in the beginning but gradually increase in size and eventually become painful since pressure on them pushes their root deeper into the skin.

Where do corns develop?

Corns most commonly occur on bony areas that lack cushioning like the tops or sides of the toes or on the side of a bunion but can also appear on the soles of feet. Due to their sensitivity to touch and the placement on the foot they can cause great discomfort from pressure when walking.

There are three types of corns on feet

Soft corns

Soft corns develop on moist skin usually between adjacent toes. The warm and moist area keeps them moist and soft. Corn between toes develop as a response to friction from example walking in tight, pointed-toe shoes causing the skin on two adjacent toes to rub together.

Hard corns

Hard corns develop on dry, flat skin areas. They usually form on bony areas such as on top of toes that have been tightly compressed in shoes which causes bone pressure against the skin. Hard corns (corns on toes) tend to be small, hard, round with a defined area and can look like raised bumps of hardened skin.

Seed corns

Seed corns are small, hard, and circular defined skin spots that typically form on the soles of the feet and are associated with areas of dry skin. Seed corn on foot is caused by excess pressure and friction.

Verruca or corn?

Sometimes seed corns (corn on bottom of the foot) can be difficult to tell apart from verruca (warts) on the soles of the feet. However, they are very different in origin since warts, unlike corns, are developed from a virus infection. To differentiate between corn vs wart, you can see that plantar warts usually have small brown or black dots inside them and disrupt the natural lines on the bottom of the feet which corn does not.

Corn removal

There are several corn treatment methods for foot corn removal, and some are better than others.

Here are some ways of how to get rid of corns on feet.

  • Use Salvequick’s Corn Plasters with salicylic acid that effectively helps to remove corn on foot.
  • Use a corn removal pen.
  • Soak your feet in lukewarm water in 10-20 minutes until the skin softens. Then carefully use a pumice stone or foot file to remove the excessive hard skin from your feet. Finally, you should moisture the feet with a foot cream.


How do corn plasters work?

To treat corns effectively you could use a corn plaster containing salicylic acid, for example Salvequick’s Corn Plaster. In the center of Salvequick’s Corn Plaster there is an area containing salicylic acid which helps to remove foot corn and calluses. In addition, the plaster helps to reduce pressure or friction on the corn and thus help to relieve pain immediately (due to the cushioned ring around the center of the plaster). Be careful when using products containing salicylic acid and follow the instructions, since it can harm surrounding healthy skin.


What causes corns on feet?

Corns usually form caused by repeated use of badly fitting or tight shoes, or heels. For example, if your shoe repeatedly rubs against and puts pressure on an area on your foot then a corn may form to protect the skin from the friction.


How to relieve the pain

To reduce pain, you can use nonmedicated corn protectors such as corn cushion pads, toe sleeves or toe separators. For example, you can use Salvequick’s:

  • Silicone Tube Protector for pressure relief and protection (in between the toes) against corns and toe chafing
  • Oval or Round Corn Protector for prevention of friction and pressure relief

Be careful when using Salvequick’s Corn Plaster!

Do not use Salvequick’s Corn Plaster if you are diabetic or hypersensitive to salicylic acid or suffer from poor blood circulation. Pregnant women and children: only use with doctor approval. Skin damage will occur if healthy skin come in contact with salicylic acid. Protective plaster contains 0,4 g/g (40%) salicylic acid. Dispose the plaster inmediately and carefully after usage, without any contact with healthy skin, to prevent the spreading of infections.

How to prevent foot corns

To prevent corn formation, you need to minimize rubbing and pressure to the skin.

  • Use footwear and do not walk barefoot. When walking barefoot you expose the feet to pressure and friction from the ground against the feet which can cause corns.
  • Use footwear that fit properly. The most prominent cause of corn is bad fitting shoes which is a source of pressure and friction. Therefore, it is essential to wear shoes that are neither too tight, lose, high-heeled or have hard soles or badly placed seams. The shoes should not pinch, rub, or put the feet under excessive pressure.
  • Avoid tight shoes and heels, especially pointed-toe heels, that compress the toes and causes bone pressure against the skin, to prevent corn on the toes. You should have plenty of room for your toes and be able to wiggle them, but if you wear too loose shoes the foot may repeatedly slide and rub against the shoe. In addition, you should avoid hard-soled shoes without cushioning. If the seams of the shoes are badly placed your foot may rub against them and it might cause irritation.
  • Use socks when wearing shoes. If you wear shoes or sandals without socks it can cause friction on your feet. Use socks that fit properly and are comfortable. If necessary, use socks that are cushioned and thick around the areas that are prone to corn growth.
  • Keep your toenails trimmed. If the toenails are too long, they can press the toes up against the shoes, causing a corn to form.
  • Use protective coverings like heel pads, insoles, toe separators or nonmedicated corn protectors over areas that rub against the shoes.

For example, you can use Salvequick’s:

  • Silicone Tube Protector for protection and pressure relief (in between the toes) against corns and toe chafing
  • Oval or Round Corn Protector for prevention of friction and pressure relief

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