Similar to calluses, corns appear as thickened layers of skin that develop over time as your skin brushes up against another surface, such as a shoe. They're the result of your skin trying to protect itself against pressure and friction and are commonly found on the feet and hands. Fortunately, they're simple to treat in most cases, and they only require medical treatment if they're causing pain. Most of the time, they clear up when the source of the pressure or friction goes away. This can be as simple as upgrading to a better, more comfortable pair of shoes. Individuals with diabetes or other conditions that cause poor blood flow to certain areas of the body, such as the feet, may have a more difficult time getting rid of corns and may need medical treatment.
There are a few different symptoms associated with corns, including the following:
- Rough, Thickened Skin
- Raised, Hard Bump on Your Skin
- Pain or Tenderness Under Your Skin
- Dry, Flaky Skin
The development of corns has a few different causes, including friction and pressure from repetitive motions. Other causes include the following:
- Ill-Fitting Shoes: When you wear shoes that don't fit properly or regularly wear high heels, the soles of your feet may experience more friction and pressure than they would in shoes that fit properly.
- Not Wearing Socks: Socks help protect your feet from friction. When you choose not to wear socks, you leave them vulnerable to corns and even calluses.
- Using Hand Tools: Believe it or not, corns can develop on your hands, as well. They're actually pretty common for people who work regularly with hand tools or anything else that requires prolonged pressure or friction involving your hands.
If you're unsure whether you have corns, a quick trip to your doctor's office should verify it. To make a proper diagnosis, your doctor will examine your feet or hands to rule out other causes of your dry or thickened skin. If they detect an abnormality causing the corn, they may recommend an X-ray.
Fortunately, there are many simple treatment options available to help get rid of corns, including switching to more comfortable shoes and avoiding prolonged repetitive actions. Soaking your feet in warm water with Epsom salt may also offer relief, as will coating your feet in Vaseline and other thick creams and moisturizers. However, if these treatments don't work, your doctor may have other treatment recommendations, including the following:
- Trimming Excess Skin
- Medication, Including Those Containing Salicylic Acid
- Shoe Inserts, Including Custom-Made Inserts
In rare cases, your doctor may also recommend surgery if a bone misalignment is the root cause of your corn problem.
For many people, corns are easy to get rid of and more of an annoyance than anything. There are plenty of home remedies to available to help make your corns go away and even a variety of medical and medicinal options available. If you're ever unsure of how to treat your corns, a visit to your doctor's office should clear everything up.