Corns are calluses that form on the toes. They form because the bones in the foot push up against the shoe and place pressure on the skin. As a result, the tissues become irritated underneath, causing the skin to thicken and build up. Hard corns can usually be found on the top of the toe or on the side of the small toe. Soft corns can be found between the toes and can resemble open sores. They develop when the toes rub against one another.


Causes of Corns

The primary causes of corns are:

  • Shoes that are too tight and squeeze the foot, increasing pressure. If they are too loose, the foot may slide and rub against the shoe, causing friction.
  • High heeled shoes that put pressure on the forefoot.
  • Rubbing against a seam or stitch inside the shoe.
  • Wearing socks that don't fit correctly.



Corns are easy to see. They may have a tender spot in the middle that is surrounded by yellowish dead skin. Treating corns is a team effort. You will need to work closely with your physician to ensure that the problems don't recur.
The sports medicine professional at the Florida Hospital Celebration Health Sports Medicine Program will start by shaving off the dead layers of skin with a scalpel.

Once removed you will need to soak your feet regularly and use a pumice stone or callus file to soften and reduce the size of the corns. A donut-shaped foam pad made for corns will help relieve the pain - use the non-medicated ones as the medicated pads can cause irritation and result in an infection.

A bit of lamb's wool (never use cotton) between your toes can help cushion soft corns. Always wear shoes that fit correctly and have a roomy area for your toes. If your doctor discovers an underlying problem such as a toe deformity, it can be corrected through outpatient surgery.

If you have questions about corns or want to make an appointment with us, please contact one of our Patient Care Coordinators and they'll be happy to help you.