Corns are painful, hardened, cone-shaped areas of increased growth of the corneous layer of the skin. They occur mainly over the toe joints and between the toes on the foot.
Calluses, warts, localized injury and inflammation, infection, or poor circulation can all manifest symptoms similar to corns. Corns, when cut (pared) pared away with a sharp instrument, have a clearly outlined translucent core, which is how you can be sure you have a corn.
Corn symptoms may only hurt in response to pressure or they may hurt spontaneously for no apparent reason.
The hardest corns occur mainly on the toes while softer corns occur mainly between the toes. Prevention is key and is accomplished by eliminating undue pressure at certain areas of the foot. Assessment by a podiatrist, osteopath, or chiropractor who can evaluate foot gait is required.
Proper treatment involves better fitting shoes, since corns can disappear when the inappropriate pressure is eliminated. Although podiatrists can cut (pare) the corn away, the underlying cause still needs to be determined and addressed. Patients with recurring corns and calluses need ongoing treatment by a podiatrist. Patients with poor circulation from serious diseases such as diabetes mellitus also require special and regular care.