Do you have a painful foot corn?

Have you tried all the corn pads at the chemist, and found they haven’t worked?

Its time to see a podiatirst for foot corn treatment.

We can help you.

Foot corns develop when the skin thickens due to mechanical stress on certain parts of the feet. They appear as a rough, tough, yellowing patch of skin that can be round or raised in appearance. Despite their size, they can be quite painful and impact your daily activities. 

Foot corns develop due to various factors.  Without effective foot corn treatment, they can worsen and reoccur. So if you have a corn that is bothering you and haven’t yet seen a Podiatrist, read on for  more on how we can help.

What causes a foot corn to form?

Repetitive microtrauma/mechanical stress on a localized point on the feet causes excess skin to form to protect the underlying tissue. This chronic localized stress compromises the skin barrier. The skin is unable to repair itself at the same rate as the stress and as a result forms a plug of hard skin to protect itself. This plug is pushed back into the skin and has the appearance of an inverted cone. This cone-like structure is often referred to as the nucleus. As the mechanical stress increases the nucleus extends down and presses on the inner layer of the skin and even nerves, resulting in pain.

corn structure

Podiatrist treatment for foot corns

There are many foot corn treatments. To ensure success a combination of knowing the cause of the corn and clinical treatment will help in reduce symptoms and repair the traumatised skin. 

Here is how we can help you:

correct diagnosis

Correct diagnosis

Lesions on the foot can look similar to the untrained eye. Podiatrists are trained and skilled foot doctors and will be able to diagnose foot corns correctly. In our foot clinics, we sometimes see patients who have been treating a corn which may be a wart or vice versa. Making sure that a correct diagnosis is in place can ensure successful foot corn treatment.



Initial foot corn treatment includes paring back the hard skin and clearing out the nucleus. This is a quick, immediate treatment that can reduce symptoms (such as pain) in 24 hours and allows you to move without discomfort. It is unlike using corn pads, which rely on multiple applications over a period of days and risk harming your skin.

biomechanical assessment

Biomechanical Assessment

Foot corns develop due to repetitive mechanical stress on the localised points in the feet. Before foot corn treatment, it’s important to assess your feet and how you walk. If you experience corns on the bottom of your feet, redistributing pressure can help prevent them from forming and repair damaged skin.

ortthotic therapy

Orthotic Therapy

Orthotics can be beneficial in treating corns as they offload specific points in your feet, redistribute pressure and provide comfort during the day.

Footwear Assessment

Footwear plays a critical role in causing foot corns. If you have bunions, hammer toes, or boney prominences, wearing ill-fitting shoes results in mechanical stress and can cause a corn to form. Your podiatrist will assess your footwear and provide recommendations on what features are important to reduce excessive stress on your feet. Footwear should always be well-fitting, leaving enough space on the front and around the toes. The material used on the inside of your shoes can also provide comfort and reduce repetitive rubbing on your feet. In some cases of severe foot corns, specialist footwear is recommended.


Adding padding to areas of the feet that are prone to forming corns can be helpful. Padding can be either silicone, foam or felt, which are either stuck on the skin, added to shoes or worn between or over toes. For soft corns between the toes, a customised silicone toe separator can be manufactured to separate and reduce contact between toes.

referral for surgery

referral for surgery

In some cases where corns are chronic and severely painful due to boney prominences as the result of a bunion or claw, surgery can be indicated. A podiatrist will be able to assess your feet and refer you for further surgical opinion and management. .

If you are prone to developing corns seeing a Podiatrist routinely can help control the development of foot corns and reduce symptoms. After assessing your feet and providing initial corn treatment, your Podiatrist will develop an individualised treatment plan.


  • Initial corn treatment appointment
    An initial appointment including assessment, paring and clearing of corns.
    General foot care also provided.
  • Ongoing
    Ongoing foot corn treatment including general foot care.


Here are a few things you can do at home to prevent corns from developing:

toe with padding

frequently asked questions

Callus’s form due to mechanical stress in a similar way to what corns do. The main difference is corns occur because of higher pressure (often multiples of body weight) causing the callus material (plug) to be driven deeper into the foot.

It is best to see a Podiatrist to accurately distinguish the two. Usually warts are slightly raised and exhibit small black dots within the lesion when examined closely. Also warts are more painful when squeezed whilst corns are also usually more painful when direct pressure is applied.

Whenever the skin of the foot is mechanically irritated enough to stimulate the skin to lay down more skin for protection. The majority of corns are caused by ill fitting footwear or use of shoes that are inappropriate for the chosen sport or activity.

Yes, however this is never the first recommended treatment option. All surgery comes with risk. The main risk of surgery to remove a corn is permanent scarring which can lead to chronic pain (much like the original corn that was removed).

Recommended treatment for corns does not involve drugs or chemicals. Addressing mechanical stress on the feet that causes the corn to develop and parring back the hard skin is the best treatment for corns. 

Seeking professional help for corns is the best treatment. If your corn is very painful and impacts your daily activities, we recommend seeing a podiatrist.

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