What Causes Corns and How to Avoid Them

Corns — areas of thick skin on your feet — result from repeated pressure or friction on the affected area. You’ll know you have a corn if you find a thick, rough, firm patch of skin on your foot, sometimes showing rings of a gray or yellowish color.

Even though corns generally don’t hurt to the touch (in fact, they may be much less sensitive than the skin around them), they can be painful when under pressure or may make it difficult for your feet to fit comfortably in your shoes. If corns aren’t causing you pain, you can carry on without treatment (though you may want to get rid of them, per personal preference), but because corns can be a symptom of more serious problems, you may want to schedule an appointment with a doctor and have an expert examine your feet. Patients in the Phoenix, AZ, area can consult the podiatrists at the Southwest Foot Institute for corn treatment and how to prevent the skin deformity.

A podiatrist will be able to help identify the exact cause of your corns, but these skin patches often relate directly to your footwear. Corns could also be an indication of an uneven gait or bone deformities in your foot, which is why visiting the doctor is a good idea if corns cause you discomfort.

If your shoes are too tight in certain areas, the repeated friction may result in calluses or corns — by wearing properly fitting shoes, you should solve your problem. Shoes with wider toes should relieve toe-on-toe pressure, as well as pressure between the sides of the shoe and your foot.

Even if you’re taking proper care to avoid corns, like wearing sensible footwear, it’s not uncommon for people to develop rough skin on their feet. You can reduce the thickness of this skin by soaking it in water and use a pumice stone to remove the dead skin, but you should never attempt to cut off calluses or corns by yourself. To learn more about how you can treat and avoid corns, schedule an appointment with Dr. Michael Dershowitz at the Southwest Foot Institute by calling 602-340-8686.

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