A corn is a very thick callus that forms on parts of the skin that are prone to chafing and pressure, such as between the toes or the soles of the feet. Corns may cause pain when pressure is applied.
Corns are often caused by pressure or friction, particularly around the toes. This friction causes the skin to develop a hardened area to protect itself against damage. Tight-fitting shoes are a common culprit. Some corns may develop as a result of aging or arthritis as the tendons and ligaments of the toes stiffen and the toes become less flexible.
Pain when walking is the primary symptom of a corn. The corn will usually look like a small, rough mound of firm skin.
Treatment options include topical acids and pumice stone to wear away the hardened skin, or use of a small pad to relieve pressure on the toes. Wearing wider shoes or sandals may also relieve pain. If the corns are caused by stiffening of soft tissue around the bones, surgery may be required to restore flexibility of the toes.