How to prevent Corns

Corns and the footCorns and the foot

No! We aren’t talking about corn that you eat, but more specifically, the little round spots that can sometimes present on the foot.

They are called ‘corns” as the stratum corneum which is the outer layer of the epidermis can become thickened from irregular pressure which leads to helomas.

There are two types of helomas; heloma molle (soft corns) and heloma durum (hard corns)

Heloma durum (hard corns) will look well-circumscribed and often have a central core that looks slightly darker than the surrounding skin (often more yellow). These are often quite painful and feel like you're walking on a stone.

Heloma molle (soft corns) are less common and usually found in between the toes where there is more moisture so the tissue becomes “macerated” (white). These can become infected so special care is required to remove these.

What causes the abnormal pressure leading to corns?

  • Tight/poor fitting footwear or footwear which changes loads such as high heels
  • Prominent metatarsal heads or bunions or joints
  • Toes that press against each other
  • Activities that put more pressure on areas of the foot (rock climbing for example), working from home barefoot
  • Barefoot on hard surfaces for extended periods of time

How do prevent and manage corns at home?

  • Have shoes that are fitted to your feet- Bared, Active Feet, State of Solace, The running company, or the athlete's foot
  • Wear cushioned footwear or even Archies/Birkenstocks if on feet for extended periods of time
  • Regular filing with an emeryboard and moisturiser application
  • We strongly recommend NOT to use medicated corn pads. These apply an acid-based treatment to the area and can cause scarring and make the issue worse.

How can a podiatrist help you?

  • Can treat your corn quickly and painlessly
  • Provide footwear advice 
  • Guidance on the management of your corn long term

Don't put up with foot pain from corns unnecessarily - we can help!


Written by Tristan MacHutchison