Corns

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Quick GuideCommon Causes of Foot Pain

Common Causes of Foot Pain

What causes corns and calluses to develop?

Hyperkeratosis simply means thickening of the skin. This thickening occurs as a natural defense mechanism that strengthens the skin in areas of friction or excessive pressure. Abnormal anatomy of the feet, such as hammertoe or other toe deformities, can lead to corn or callus formation as can bony prominences in the feet. Footwear that is too short or too tight or that exerts friction at specific points can also cause skin thickening that leads to corns and calluses. Abnormalities in gait or movement that result in increased pressure to specific areas can also be the cause.

It can be hard to know why finger corns develop since they often don't appear at sites of obvious pressure. Finger calluses may develop in response to using tools, playing musical instruments such as the guitar, or using work equipment that exerts pressure at specific sites. Continue Reading

Reviewed on 4/26/2016
References
REFERENCES:

Hogan, Daniel J. "Corns." Medscape.com. Sept. 18, 2014. <http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1089807-overview>.

Kasper, D., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Professional, 2015.

IMAGES:

1. iStock

2. "Corns" by Marionette / iStock

3. Getty Images

4. Getty Images

5. Getty Images

6. Getty Images

7. Getty Images

8. Getty Images

Subscribe to MedicineNet's Newsletters

Get the latest health and medical information delivered direct to your inbox!

By clicking Submit, I agree to the MedicineNet's Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of MedicineNet's subscriptions at any time.

VIEW PATIENT COMMENTS
  • Corns - Treatments

    What treatment has been effective for your corns?

    Post View 10 Comments
  • Corns - Symptoms

    What symptoms did you experience with your corns?

    Post View 14 Comments
  • Corns and Calluses - Seeing a Doctor

    If you have corns or calluses, what were your reasons for seeking medical help?

    Post View 2 Comments
  • Corns and Calluses - Prevention

    How do you prevent recurrences of corns or calluses? Have you changed the type or style of shoes you wear?

    Post View 2 Comments
  • Corns and Calluses - Risks

    Are your shoes too tight? Explain the reasons why you think you developed corns or calluses.

    Post View 3 Comments

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors