What Are Corns?
Corns are your body's response to friction or pressure against your skin. If your foot rubs inside your shoe, the affected area of skin thickens. If a bone is not in the normal position, skin caught between bone and shoe or bone and ground builds up. In either case, the outer layer of skin thickens to protect the foot from unusual pressure. In many cases, corns look bad but are not harmful. However, more severe corns may become infected, destroy healthy tissue, or affect foot movement.
Where Do Corns Form?
Corns can range from a slight thickening of skin to a painful, hard bump. They often form on top of buckled toe joints (hammer toes). If your toes curl under, corns may grow on the tips of the toes. You may also get a corn on the end of a toe if it rubs against your shoe. Corns can also grow between toes, often between the first and second toes.
If your corns are mild, reducing friction may help. Different shoes, moleskin patches, or soft pads may be all the treatment you need. Sometimes you can even use orthotics to reduce friction and pressure.
If you have corns, it may be a good idea to wear shoes that have more toe room. This way, buckled joints are less likely to be pinched against the top of the shoe. If you have calluses, wearing a cushioned insole, arch support, or heel counter can help reduce friction.