Corn on a little toe of a foot 

Foot Corn on a Toe: Causes and Treatment Options for Corns on the Toes

Table of Contents

Foot corns consist of hardened layers of skin, usually around the bony areas such as the tops and sides of toes. As one of the most common lesions you can get on your feet, chances are you’re already familiar with them. But do you know the causes of foot corn on a toe and their treatment options? Are you aware that there’s corn removal surgery? Read on to find out all of the necessary information we’ve gathered for you.

What Causes Foot Corn on a Toe?

No matter if you’re dealing with a hard, soft, or seed corn, these bumps that form around the bony areas of the feet are relatively small and usually round in shape. But why does this happen in the first place? 

Foot corn forms due to friction and pressure against the bony parts of your feet, especially the area around the toes. So, let’s see the most common culprits that cause this friction and result in hardened, thick layers of skin on your feet.

Wearing Wrong Shoes

When you wear uncomfortable shoes or ones that don’t fit right, repeated friction, rubbing, and pressure can result in a foot corn. Shoes that are too loose will cause the foot to slide around inside the shoe and rub against it, whereas tight shoes will create additional pressure and squeeze the feet. 

Also, if you, for some reason, have to frequently wear tight dress shoes or high heels, the chances of foot corn developing increases. The same goes for standing or walking for long periods of time, taking part in sports activities or work that put pressure on your feet, as well as going barefoot frequently. 

Avoiding Socks

The shoes you wear are not the only potential culprit that can cause foot corns. Your socks can also cause friction and rubbing if they are ill-fitted and slide around inside the shoe. Also, wearing shoes without socks can lead to friction seeing as the foot doesn’t have a layer of protection between the shoe and the skin of the foot. 

Person experiencing foot pain while running

Inheriting a Tendency to Develop Corns

Foot corn doesn’t always have to be the result of ill-fitted shoes or socks. It can also develop when an individual already has a medical condition that causes abnormal alignment of the bones in their feet. This includes conditions such as arthritis, hammertoe deformity, bone spurs, and bunions on your big toe

If you have a joint disease affecting your feet or toes, it’s essential to use things such as shoe inserts, pressure-relieving or silicone pads, or even custom-made shoes, because even if the shoes are not that tight, it can result in unnecessary friction. Inheriting an abnormal foot structure or walking with improper posture can cause a lot of additional problems if not treated properly. 

What Are the Best Treatment Options?

Now that we understand the most common causes of foot corn, let’s talk about ways in which you can get rid of them and stop them from coming back. But first, let’s see what are the main ways you can prevent foot corn from occurring:

  • Wear comfortable, well-cushioned shoes that are the right fit,
  • Avoid wearing high heels or narrow-pointed shoes whenever you can,
  • Always have a pair of more comfortable shoes on you,
  • Always wear socks with shoes and get a moisture-wicking pair to minimize friction,
  • Avoid walking completely barefoot. 

Trimming Away Excess Skin

Treating foot corn depends on what caused it to develop and the symptoms you’re experiencing. That being said, the most common foot corn treatment consists of simply removing the buildup of thickened skin. 

Start with soaking the foot in warm water for 10 to 15 minutes, then use a wet pumice stone or emery board to gently remove the dead, thickened tissue. Be careful not to remove too much skin because that could lead to bleeding and even an infection. When you’re done with removing the hardened skin, apply a moisturizing lotion every day. 

Medicated Patches

If you have heart disease, diabetes, or other medical conditions with your circulation, it’s not a good idea to treat foot corn by yourself because you can easily make the problem more serious. A foot specialist will offer you different kinds of treatment, such as the already mentioned trimming away excess skin or treating your foot corn with medicated patches. 

These medicated patches, made specifically for foot corns, help soften the hardened skin in order to safely and easily remove it. Also, these soft pads cushion the problematic area, which helps in relieving the friction and pressure of an ill-fitted shoe that can potentially be painful. 

Woman soaking her feet in the water


In some cases, surgery might be the best way to correct your foot corn problem. It’s a standard outpatient procedure that improves foot bone position, and you go home the same day. Besides removing the corn, your surgeon will also realign or remove protruding bone tissue if necessary, and the exact surgical procedure that will work best for you depends on your particular condition. 

How to Know When You Need Surgery?

Most corns can be easily managed by methods we’ve just discussed and go away once the friction causing them stops. But, if you’re not sure what exactly is causing your foot corn, or they’ve become very painful and just won’t go away, it’s definitely time to consult a specialist and see if a surgical procedure is the right solution to your problem. 

Consult With Your Surgeon in Miami About a Procedure

If you’re having problems with this kind of foot lesion and are not sure what exactly is the root of it, it’s best to contact us and schedule an appointment with our skilled specialists at Luxe Foot Surgery clinic.


How Do I Get Rid of This Corn on My Toe?

You can use medicated patches or simply soak the feet in warm water to easily remove the hardened skin. In severe cases, surgery is the best solution. 

What Causes Corns on Toes?

The main causes of foot corn are frequent friction on the bony areas caused by ill-fitted shoes, activities that put pressure on certain parts of the foot, or having an inherited deformity or tendency to develop corns. 

Can You Pull Corn Out of Your Foot?

Pulling or cutting away your foot corn can be dangerous and should be done only by a reputable specialist.


  1. Cleveland Clinic. (2021). Corns and Calluses. Retrieved from
  2. Mayo Clinic. (2021). Corns and Calluses. Retrieved from
  3. NHS. (2021). Corns and Calluses. Retrieved from
  4. Healthline. (2021). Treating and Preventing Foot Corns. Retrieved from
  5. Dr. Scholl’s. (2021). Foot Corns. Retrieved from


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