In podiatry, a corn is a specific type of callus, typically found on the toes or the soles of the feet. Corns are hardened layers of skin that develop as a protective response to repeated friction, pressure, or other forms of irritation. They often have a hard center surrounded by inflamed skin and can be painful when pressure is applied.

Corns are generally classified into two categories:

  1. Hard Corns (Heloma Durum): These are usually small, concentrated areas of hard skin, often found within a wider area of thickened skin or callus. They commonly occur on the tops and sides of the toes or on the sole of the foot.
  2. Soft Corns (Heloma Molle): These appear as a thinner area of skin and have a rubbery texture. They are usually found between the toes, where the moisture keeps them soft.

Corn removal in podiatry is the process of eliminating painful corns from the feet and toes. It can be done using several methods:

  • Trimming: A podiatrist may carefully shave or cut away the dead layers of skin using a scalpel. This should only be performed by a professional to avoid infection or damage to healthy skin.
  • Salicylic Acid: While available in over-the-counter treatments, a podiatrist can apply higher concentrations of salicylic acid to help break down the hard skin. It is then easier to remove the softened tissue.
  • Custom Orthotics: To prevent corns from reoccurring, podiatrists may suggest custom orthotics or shoe inserts. These help redistribute pressure across the foot more evenly.
  • Surgery: In some instances, if the corn is caused by an abnormal foot structure, surgery may be recommended to alter the bone that is causing friction.

After corn removal, it is important to eliminate the source of friction or pressure to prevent corns from returning. Wearing properly fitting shoes and using protective pads or insoles can help reduce the risk of future corns forming. Regular follow-up with a podiatrist is also advised to maintain foot health, especially for individuals with diabetes or circulatory issues, as they are at greater risk of complications from corns.