How To Treat Corns


foot cornsDo your foot corns look like these?  What is the best way to treat corns, and how do you keep them from returning?


Corns are simply areas of thickened skin on the toes.  The medical term for a foot corn (and there always is one!) is heloma.

Helomas have 2 types, soft (heloma molles)and hard(heloma durums).

Soft corns:

Develop between toes

May or may not be related to a bony deformity (but usually are)

Most common between 4th and 5th toes when the end of the toe bone (the phalanges) is too wide

Can also occur in normal feet wearing tight, pointy shoes, and are common in dancers

What to do: 

Here are some useful tips that include how to prevent corns in the first place, and treat the ones you have. The main idea is to get pressure off the area and soothe the tissue.


  • Wear wider toed shoes
  • Use padding between the toes
  • Gently remove hardened skin

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Tip:  If soft corns are caused by widened bone, a minor surgery can be done with

little down time.

Hard corns:

  • More common, hard corns develop on the tips, and tops of toes, and the sides of the feet
  • Common with toes that 'curl' and are jammed into shoes in a curled position

What to do:  As above, wear shoes with more room in the toe area and use protective padding

Tip:  Your podiatrist can remove the corns with an acid solution, or burn them.  If the toe is not flexible (called a hammertoe), a minor procedure can be done to release the soft tissue for a straighter toe.

Another thing to note about acid solutions -- salicylic acid -- is that it can discolor dark skin.

What's the difference between corns and calluses?