Corns

Corns and Other Common Causes of Foot Pain

Because we expose our feet to potential injury in our daily lives by walking, we have all experienced pains in the feet at one time or another. There are many common causes of foot pains, such as blisters and corns. There are also less common causes of foot pain, such as sciatica and osteomyelitis. Treatments for foot pain depend on the particular cause.

Picture of Corns and Calluses

What are corns and calluses?

Corns and calluses are annoying and potentially painful thickenings that form in the skin in areas of excessive pressure. The medical term for the thickened skin that forms corns and calluses is hyperkeratosis (plural=hyperkeratoses). A callus refers to a more diffuse, flattened area of thick skin, while a corn is a thick, localized area that usually has a popular, conical or circular shape. Corns, also known as helomas or clavi, sometimes have a dry, waxy, or translucent appearance. A callus is also known as a tyloma.

Corns and calluses occur on parts of the feet and sometimes the fingers. Corns are often painful, even when they are small. Common locations for corns are

  • on the bottom of the foot (sole), over the metatarsal arch (the "ball" of the foot);
  • on the outside of the fifth (small or "pinky") toe, where it rubs against the shoe;
  • between the fourth and fifth toes. Unlike other corns that are firm and flesh-colored, corns between the toes are often whitish and messy; they are sometimes called "soft corns" (heloma molles), in contrast to the more common "hard corns" (heloma durums) found in other locations. Continue Reading
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Reviewed on 2/18/2015
Foot Pictures Slideshow: Common Foot Pain Problems

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