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What Are Corns and How Do They Impact Your Foot Health?

What Are Corns and How Do They Impact Your Foot Health?

Have you noticed thickened areas of skin on your toes or the bottoms of your feet? If they’re small and round, you likely have corns. These thickened patches of skin can be painful and even lead to foot issues in some cases.

John Jurcisin, DPM, is an experienced podiatrist and foot surgeon at Precision Footcare in the Midtown East neighborhood of New York City. He provides personalized care for all podiatric conditions, including corns.

In this blog, Dr. Jurcisin explains what corns are, how they differ from calluses, and how corns can be treated.

Basics of corns

People often use the terms “corns” and “calluses” interchangeably. And while these patches of thickened skin develop to help protect the foot from friction or pressure, they have some distinct differences.

Calluses typically form on bony areas of the foot that bear weight, are usually larger and more irregular in shape than corns, and are usually not painful. Corns, on the other hand, are usually small and round, typically develop on fleshy areas of the foot that don't bear weight, and can be painful.

The reason corns can be painful is that unlike calluses — which are just made of thickened skin — corns often have a hard center that is surrounded by irritated or inflamed skin.

The most common corns Dr. Jurcisin sees include:

Fortunately, if corns cause you pain, Dr. Jurcisin can treat them.

Common causes of corns

Corns develop because of things that create friction on your feet, such as wearing tight shoes or high heels, not wearing socks, or wearing shoes or socks that don’t fit properly. However, footwear isn’t the only cause. 

In many cases, people with corns often have other foot problems, and these problems can increase the friction on their toes and feet. These problems can include:

Corns can be unsightly, but they usually aren’t life-threatening. However, they can be incredibly tender or painful when pressed. They can also be a serious concern when you have certain health problems, such as diabetes.

When to see a specialist for corns

Dr. Jurcisin recommends seeing a specialist if you notice signs of corns, especially if you have conditions that affect your ability to heal, such as poor circulation or diabetes. Without treatment, corns can grow larger or become infected, making them even more uncomfortable.

The most common signs of a corn include:

Fortunately, corns are often straightforward to treat. In fact, Dr. Jurcisin usually starts by guiding you on how to stop the friction or pressure in the affected area. This could include changing your shoes, adding custom orthotics, or padding the area so the corns can heal.

If you have painful corns that persist, Dr. Jurcisin could trim them down or remove the corns entirely. It’s essential not to try doing this at home, especially if you have a condition that interferes with the healing process, such as diabetes. 

Diabetes can put you at risk of wound complications and infection, even from seemingly minor problems, such as corns. Dr. Jurcisin offers diabetic foot care services to protect your feet and reduce your chances of amputation.

While addressing your corns, Dr. Jurcisin can also offer treatment strategies for other foot issues you may have, no matter how big or small.

Do you have corns? Dr. Jurcisin has solutions. To learn more, call 212-750-8344 or book an appointment online with Precision Footcare today.

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