Foot Corn: What Are They? Causes and Treatment


We are always on the move, traveling and busy getting from one place to another. People who make a living through labor and active lifestyles rarely tend to give a thought about the effect all this activity may have on their health and skin. But this should not mean that they don’t show on our skin. A foot corn is such an example where the results of such actions is shown on our body.

What causes foot corns?

Foot corn exhibits itself as hardened and thick layers that form on the skin in regions which experience more friction and pressure than other parts. This is the skin’s instinctive reaction to protect itself against possible damage.

Whereas normal skin can easily get damaged by extra friction, thicker and tougher skin is more resilient to it. However, they are unpleasant in appearance, and in the case of corns, they can be painful to the touch after a certain point of time in its growth.

Although quite evident on the skin, people sometimes need help in identifying the symptoms. The first step is to realize that corns appear mostly only on the foot, which is the part of the body which experiences the highest levels of pressure. If you come across thicker and rough areas of skin, which seem bumpy and hard on the foot, this is most likely foot corn.

Touching the region would mostly result in tenderness and even pain if there is corn underneath. The unsightly appearance is usually due to flaking or peeling of the skin, to reveal discoloured skin. These are the tell-tale signs or symptoms of foot corn.

The areas to watch out for corn formation are usually on the bottom and sides of your feet. The region between your toes can also fall prey to the condition at times if it experiences continual pressure in that area. Foot corn can be a serious recurring condition for people who are overweight since it applies more pressure on the feet.

The path of action to take after this point of recognizing your symptoms depends on your health. Anyone suffering from diabetes, for instance, should immediately refer to a physician, because the development of a corn or its infection can have far more dire consequences if left untreated.

However, if you happen to be a healthy individual, it is rare for the skin condition to have serious effects on your health, apart from the apparent discomfort that it may cause when walking and applying any pressure on that area.

Your chances of falling prey to such a condition are sometimes increased if you have certain traits. For example, people who have hammertoes (curled toes) or bunions that may increase chances of friction, can more easily develop calluses and even corn at times(4).

Foot corn usually takes up to a month to go away once the situation is controlled.

Also read: Athlete’s foot: What is it? Causes and Treatments

How to treat foot corn?

For people prone to developing foot corns, prevention can always be an easier option than curing the condition later. If they have any physical traits which cause corns, wearing shoes that provide more room for the toes can reduce chances of friction against the regions.

And it never hurts to wear certain protective corn pads or bandages on the areas which experience excessive rubbing. This can cushion the damage caused to such areas and reduce your chances of developing foot corns. Since this happens to be a common skin condition, there are new developments in the medical field which make it easier to live with the traits that cause this condition.

There are many therapeutic solutions, such as customized shoe soles which can be designed to accommodate the added pressure applied to certain parts of your feet. There is also medical footwear which is softer than normal footwear which reduces pressure on the feet.

Treatments for foot corn usually depend on the stage they are at. At earlier stages, they can be filed away or treated with corn caps available at pharmacies. They usually contain detailed instructions that guide the user on how to use them.

For more advanced forms of corn that appear deep-rooted, a visit to the doctor is recommended, especially if these previous attempts do not work. The last resort would be to surgically remove the corn.

Are foot corn caps effective?

Corn caps are essentially bandages with doses of salicylic acid as an ointment. It also contains a felt ring that rests around the area with corn, to relieve excess pressure on the wounded region.

The ointment is meant to loosen the cellular structure which holds the thick layers of skin together. By doing so, it makes it easier for the nucleus (centre) of the corn to be removed once you remove the corn cap after the said number of days. This can usually be anywhere between seven to ten days, depending on the brand of corn cap being used. And in most cases, they are known to be effective and safe.

But as it is with any skin condition, it is always better to consult with a doctor before taking your chances of treating the condition by yourself. This is a skin condition that can be easily treated and prevented, provided that you know what you are doing.

What is foot corn called in Hindi?

The colloquial term for foot corn in Hindi happens to be Gokhru ( गोखरू ) and is a very common skin condition in India.

Dealing with a difficult foot corn? Don’t let it get worse! Download the CureSkin App now by clicking here to get happy feet. It’s easy, fast and affordable!



Picture of Dr Jisha Gomez

Dr Jisha Gomez

She is a highly skilled dermatology physician with strong expertise in improving skin & hair health through the development of corrective treatment combinations. She completed her Post-graduate Diploma in Dermatology from Cardiff, UK & Fellowship in Aesthetic Medicine (FAM) from the Institute of Laser and Aesthetic Medicine, Delhi with over 5+ years experience treating skin patients. She has worked in Government hospitals in Trivandrum and Bangalore. She is actively involved in creating awareness for healthy skin, breaking the social stigma based on skin colour & stopping steroid abuse in our country.