July 19, 2019

Do corns go away on their own?

Diseases and Conditions | Foot and Ankle | Non-operative Care


Footwear, like most foot-related problems, is the culprit when it comes to corns. Corns are calluses on the toes, usually on the bottom of the feet and on the sides of the toes where pressure is applied and in weight-bearing areas. Corns are caused by pressure on the skin from the bones and shoe pushing against each other. This results in the skin thickening into dead skin, which aggravates the tissues below.  

Pressure is constantly put on your feet. In fact, the feet experience pressure that is roughly two to three times the amount of your body weight. When it comes to corns forming, there are different types with different appearances.

What does a corn on the foot look like? 

  • Hard corns resemble calluses and are associated with the toes. They are found on top of toes or the sides of the little toes.  
  • Soft corns are different. They look like open sores and are typically found in between the toes that develop from friction.  
  • Seed corns are very small and can be tender. They are usually on the bottom of the feet.  

What causes corns to form? 

  • Wearing shoes that are too small, which increases pressure on the foot.  
  • Wearing shoes that are too big, which makes the foot slip and causes friction. 
  • High heels, which increases pressure on the toes.  
  • Socks that don’t fit. 
  • Inseams of the shoe, which feet can run against. 
  • Toe deformities, including claw or hammer toe.  
  • Some doctors think seed corns are caused by clogged sweat ducts.

The main symptom associated with corns is hard bumps enveloped in inflamed, yellowish dead skin. When pressure is applied to a corn, it can be painful. Once the cause is removed, the corn will usually go away on its own.  

How do I treat a corn? 

Corns can be self-treated and should resolve in months. There are several at-home remedies for corns: 

  • Wear properly fitting shoes. 
  • Soak your feet and use a pumice stone and/or a callus file to soften corns. 
  • Place a corn pad on top of the corn to reduce pressure.  
  • Use lamb’s wool on soft corns between the toes. 

In extreme cases, a medical professional can also help you get rid of corns. 

  • Doctors can trim the corn with a scalpel. 
  • If a toe deformity is the cause of the corn, a doctor will be able to determine this and perform surgery.  

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