How Do Corns Form?

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How Do Corns Form?

Wondering how you got the corns on your feet? Dr. Jeffrey Agricola, foot doctor at Prestige Podiatry, treats corns at his Indianapolis, IN, areaCorns offices in Carmel and Greenwood/Southport. He explains how corns develop and discusses treatment options.

What causes corns?

Corns form due to friction. Tight shoes are often the cause of the condition. When your shoes exert constant pressure on your feet, your body reacts by producing a corn. If your shoes are so tight that your toes rub together, the constant friction can cause corns on the sides of your toes. Do you have a hammertoe or bunions? It's not unusual to also have corns because it's difficult to find shoes that don't rub against your feet. Other possible causes of corns include bone spurs, an abnormal gait or flat feet.

What's the difference between corns and calluses?

Both corns and calluses cause the skin in the affected area to thicken. If you have a callus, the skin will remain flat, even though it's thicker than normal. Corns look like raised bumps. Under the skin, the core of the corn may be hard or soft. Corns aren't always painful, but they can be if you have an open sore or if the core happens to push on a nerve. If your corns do hurt, the pain may increase when you wear shoes that press on them.

How are corns treated?

If you suspect that tight shoes are the cause of your corns, it's important to switch to roomier shoes. Placing self-stick cushions over your corns can be helpful, as can using toe separators to reduce rubbing and friction. You may be able to reduce the size of your corn by soaking it in warm water for about 15 minutes, then gently removing the hardened skin with a pumice stone.

If you have diabetes, don't use a pumice stone on your foot. Call our Carmel or Greenwood/Southport office to schedule an appointment instead. Attempting to treat the condition at home can increase your risk of infection.

Whether you have diabetes or home treatment just isn't effective in relieving your corn pain, we can help you feel better. In addition to removing the corns, we can offer orthotics, custom-made shoe inserts that improve the position of your foot when you wear shoes.

Although corns aren't usually a serious condition, they can certainly be painful. If your corn hasn't improved with home treatment, visit Dr. Agricola, our Indianapolis foot doctor at Prestige Podiatry. Schedule an appointment by calling (317) 846-4111 for the Carmel office and (317) 881-0070 for the Greenwood/Southport office.