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What is a Corn?

A corn is a localised area of the skin which has become thick and hard due to repeated friction and pressure.

How is it formed?

It is formed due to repeated friction, pressure or irritation on one particular area.

What are the common sites of corn formation?

Corns are most often found on soles because of frequent walking especially with ill-fitting footwear, bony defects or faulty walking habit. People often develop calluses on the middle finger of their dominant hand due to writing or on their palms in bike riders.

Is it harmful, does it spread to other body parts?

Corns are not harmful and do not spread to other body parts. It is formed only on areas where there is repeated contact.

Is it contagious?

No not at all.

How is a corn different from a wart?

The main differences between warts and corns are in location, appearance and number. Warts can occur anywhere on the foot while corns develop at areas of maximum pressure. The appearance of a wart will have dry, crusty surface with tiny black dots deep inside while the corn will have a surface which is thick and callused and there will be no black dots. The warts often develop in clusters as it spreads to surrounding areas while corns are always single but may be found in several different areas on the same foot. Finally, warts are contagious but corns are not.

What is the role of Corn Caps?

Corn caps are over-the-counter medications that are applied on the corn. The problem encountered with them is that often the skin over a corn is extremely thick and does not allow the medication in the corn cap to penetrate deep enough. Such cases generally require surgical removal.

How can one get rid of the corn?

A corn is easier to prevent than to treat. In early stages, they can be dissolved with keratolytic agents, but with a full blown corn, they have to be surgically removed.

Is the Surgical removal painful?

The procedure is done under anaesthesia, hence it is painless.

Can Corns recur?

Corns are caused due to pressure. So after surgical removal, it is important to avoid the root cause of friction in that location to avoid recurrence.

How can one prevent the formation of corn?

Minimizing friction and pressure will prevent corn formation. Footwear should be properly fitting , gloves and protective pads may be worn for hand corns. People with poor circulation or sensation should check their skin often for signs of rubbing and irritation so they can minimize any damage.