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Blog Post

Frequently Asked Questions: Corns

Published: December 4, 2019

A corn is a small area of hardened skin that develops on areas of the feet that sustain too much compression or pressure. Corns can develop on weightbearing areas of the feet or areas that don’t bear weight such as on or in between the toes. They form to protect the underlying skin and can be very painful.

Do corns have roots?

Corns have what is called, a nucleus, which refers to a deep centre or core. These are sometimes called roots.

What does a corn look like?

Foot with corns
A corn looks like a small bump of thick, hardened skin, and is usually yellow in colour. The skin surrounding the corn may or may not be inflamed.

Can I treat a corn at home?

Corns are difficult to treat at home because they tend to be relatively small and have a deep core that needs to be removed for effective relief. A chiropodist or foot specialist will use a sharp scalpel blade to remove all hardened skin including the core as part of corn treatment.

Between appointments, you can maintain the corn and slow down its return by using a foot file to exfoliate the skin as well as a good moisturizer.

When should I see a foot specialist for corn treatment?

If your corn is painful and it affects your daily activities, or looks inflamed or discoloured (i.e. purple, brown, red), see a foot specialist for treatment. Pain is your body’s way of telling you that something is not right so do not ignore it. When corns are left for long periods of time, the healthy skin underneath can break down and result in an ulcer or wound in the foot. If you have diabetes, see a chiropodist for corn treatment as soon as possible.

Can I do other activities (drive, dance, walk, exercises, etc.) after a corn treatment?

Yes. Corn removals are usually painless and there is no down time. Most people experience immediate relief after treatment and can go back to their normal routines feeling much better than they did before the appointment.

How long do results last after getting treatment?

This will vary depending on your footwear choices, level of activity, and presence of and severity of digital deformities. Most corns will require continuous periodic care and management. On average, an individual should experience relief for at least 2 months after treatment.

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