Corns, what the heck are they?

A commonly misunderstood nasty that we are here to help with. Scroll to the end for pictures if you are impatient!

I am writing this blog purely because I see so many cases (and the one 5 minutes ago that inspired me to write this) of “I wish I had seen you years ago!”.

One of my favourite things about work is giving people relief from pain they experience every step of the day. Although they are not as cool as a sports injury or a ‘flat foot’, corns are such a simple thing for podiatrists to manage. They require no painful local anaesthetic injection, nor do they require imaging and other expensive investigations. Removing them is pain free and you get immediate relief.

What is it?

Corns and callouses are in the same family of lesions. They do not discriminate and it isn’t only your grandmother who gets them. I see 16 year old boys having issues with these regularly. Corns and callous are due to an excess build up of dead skin. This build up often occurs due to pressure through a particular area. It may indicate an issue in your biomechanics (the way you walk). The great things about these lesions is given the problematic tissue does not have a nerve or blood supply, they can be removed without pain or anaesthetic.

How are they treated?

Corns (and callous) can both be removed simply via ‘debridement’. The podiatrist carefully scrapes away the overlying callous and ‘flicks out’ the corn (core). It almost never hurts to do this, and takes only a few minutes typically. You will usually stand up and feel immediate relief.

Do they come back?

Unfortunately, recurrence of corns is not uncommon. If they come back quickly, your podiatrist may look in to options to reduce pressure to the area. Urea based creams can also be helpful and are available here. A pumice stone is also a safe way to help keep the hard skin away.

Below is a common area to get a corn. I have added a before and after shot. This corn took about 2 minutes to remove and this person walked out feeling like new.