How do corns occur and how can they be treated?

Corns occur in response to mechanical stresses applied to the skin of the foot. Corns are not an infection and do not have roots as is popularly believed. A corn on the foot can be referred to as a kind of callus, the latter being a thickened section of skin and usually larger than corns. Nonetheless, corns and calluses are caused by stress on feet, and require proper removal techniques that are safe.

Having a foot corn is a common problem and we have advised on the appropriate treatment for many of our patients in Singapore.

Corns - family podiatry centre

‘Stressed’ out feet

Our feet undergo four main types of mechanical stresses on a day to day bases:

  1. Compression stress results from the tissue being squashed between the ground and the bone structures in the foot. Compression also occurs when adjacent toes are pushed together in a tight shoe.
  2. Tensile stress is the stretching of tissues under your body weight.
  3. Shearing stress arises when two forces act in different planes and in opposite directions. It occurs when the foot moves in the shoe. The foot slides forward as the base of the shoe moves backwards.
  4. Torsional stress is a combination of shearing with rotation. It typically occurs when the foot makes pivoting movements inside a shoe.

These stresses are often well tolerated by our feet but as soon as it goes beyond the threshold level then pathological changes occur. One such pathology is the dreadful corn, medically known as Heloma.


Safe foot corn removal and post-treatment

Correct diagnosis is extremely important since corns are often incorrectly surgically excised under local anaesthetic. The corn reappears after a few weeks with the added complication of a scar which becomes very painful. Proper diagnosis is achieved by examining the leg and foot, the corn type, shoes and most importantly what happens during walking to identify and change the mechanical stresses. These are important for us to understand before we carry out the surgical removal procedure and advise on post-treatment plans.

Book an appointment for corns and calluses removal in Singapore

If you are experiencing persisting discomfort at your foot due to a corn or callus, you can seek treatment at our clinic in Singapore by booking an appointment at +65 6464 8654. Alternatively, you can reach our podiatry team in Malaysia at +603 7710 5244 if you are in Kuala Lumpur.

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