Corns: Great on the cob, not on my feet!

It’s surprising how many patients have corns on their feet and visit a BioPed Chiropodist only after years of pain, not knowing sooner that there was treatment available for their condition. When they arrive, the questions they have are almost always-

So what is the difference between a corn and a callus? Can it be permanently removed? Is treatment painful?

Corns and calluses are different but they have one thing in common… they are both areas of thickened skin that develops as a natural protective measure due to repetitive high pressure or friction (example, from rubbing shoes). Basically, the easiest way to differentiate the two is that corns appear on the top of the foot/toes (or sometimes in between the toes) and calluses appear on the bottom (sole) of the foot. Calluses are typically not very painful, whereas corns can be extremely painful!

Some corns have nerves or blood vessels wrapped up inside them and so trimming them at home is not recommended. It is best to seek professional assessment and guidance.


A BioPed Chiropodist will conduct an exam of your feet, inspect your shoes and will watch you walk. They may request that you have x-rays taken. They will also need to ask you some questions about your medical history, lifestyle and daily activities.


Most foot specialists will warn against using over-the-counter medicated corn pads, especially if you are diabetic, have poor circulation or numbness in your feet. Some viruses also look a lot like corns, so it is best to see a professional, such as a BioPed Chiropodist, for treatment.

At your Chiropody appointment, the corns will be trimmed by our professionals with medical grade, sterilized paring tools. Rest assured- this is typically painless unless a superficial nerve is involved. If this is the case, we will numb the area to make the treatment completely comfortable.

Cortisone injections may be given if the corn is causing significant pain. If the Chiropodist believes that you would benefit from surgery (rare), then they may make this recommendation.

Patients typically have instant relief with trimming but corns will recur unless the culprit (reason for high pressure) is addressed. The Chiropodist may suggest using orthotics, changing shoes, wearing a toe sleeve or adding padding to your shoes.

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