How to treat corns

Corns can be painful and uncomfortable. Learn how to treat corns with help from the podiatrists at Footmed Foot and Ankle Clinics. Heal corns between the toes and on any area on the foot – chat with our Adelaide and Murray Bridge team.

Corns between the toes and on the foot

Calluses and corns are simply areas of thickened skin that develop due to excessive pressure. They can occur over prominent joints or under the ball (forefoot) and heel of the foot. They can be very painful with walking.

What we do

Identifying the cause of the corn or callus will help in treating the problem. The cause may be due to your foot shape. For example bunions or hammertoe deformity will create more pressure over the prominent joint. It may be due to incorrectly fitting footwear. Or it may be related to your gait or walking pattern.


The callus or corn will be removed with a sterile blade and then further advice and strategies will be given to reduce the likelihood of recurrence. This advice may include changes in footwear, use of padding to reduce pressure, orthotics to alter your gait/walking or surgery to correct any foot deformity such as bunions or hammertoes.

Corns that won’t go away

If you find that a corn regrows very quickly and becomes painful despite treatment by your podiatrist then the problem is more than just skin deep. If a corn is back and painful again 4-8 weeks after debridement and your shoes are of adequate width and depth then you need to consider two things:

  1. It’s about the bone underneath the corn, usually a prominent piece of bone (exostosis)
  2. It’s about how the toe is aligned – if the toe is rotated or deformed such as in a hammertoe or mallet toe extreme pressure is being generated over an area of the toe during the push off phase of walking

Stubborn corns

A stubborn corn is not just simply a problem with the skin, but often related to a problem with bone and the rotation and flexibility of the toe itself. Curing the problem will involve minor surgery to address the bone and realign the toe. Unfortunately it is not just a matter of cutting the corn out. It is a myth that corns grow from a root, but a fact that getting to the root of the problem is by cutting the bone and often realigning the toe.

Different corns

  • Corns on the tip of the toes (apical corns) are often a result of hammertoe or mallet toe deformities
  • Corns on top of the toes (dorsal corns) are often due to hammertoe deformity
  • Corns between the toes (interdigital corns)
  • Corns affecting the nail of the fifth toe (onycho clavus or Lister corn)

This corn makes it look like there are two toenails present. Normally there are three phalanges in the toes of the foot. When investigating with x-rays for a corn affecting the fifth toe two phalanges are often observed. This is thought to be due to the end and middle phalanges being joined together from birth (synostosis). Often the joint in such a toe is very stiff so it does not flex to pressure and does not move well within the shoe. Pressure over the joint becomes extreme and the body responds by building up the skin in this area to try and protect the underlying tissue. This is when a corn forms.

Get rid of uncomfortable corns.

Call us on 08 8342 3131.08 8342 3131.