What Causes Seed Corns

What Causes Seed Corns?

Table of Contents

Seed corns are a type of corn that many people develop and can become painful when walking. While uncomfortable shoes may be a cause, a variety of factors can lead to seed corn formation on the foot. Corns occur due to mechanical trauma to the skin, such as friction, rubbing, or pressure, and are most commonly seen in athletes but can also affect people with diabetes, amputees, and the elderly. In severe cases, corn removal surgery may be necessary.

Seed Corns: Understanding the Mechanical Factors That Contribute to Their Formation

Corns are thickened, irritated skin that forms as a result of some type of mechanical trauma to the skin. It is usually caused by friction, rubbing, or pressure. Most commonly, athletes develop the condition because they are exposed to friction from their footwear. But people with diabetes, amputees, and the elderly are susceptible to getting them as well.

Wearing Poorly Fitting Shoes

The number one reason why you might get seed corn is the use of uncomfortable shoes. Whether it’s tight shoes or high-heels, the surface inside the footwear that rubs against the skin will eventually cause problems. The situation can grow even worse if you pair high-heels with already present foot conditions such as a hammertoe and a painful bunion.

Walking or Standing For Long Periods of Time

If you wear high-heels or tight shoes for an extended period of time, the skin will be irritated, and the risk of getting seed corns will increase. Standing or walking long distances in rough terrain will cause corns. Wearing an appropriate pair of socks and comfortable footwear will help you tremendously when you need to walk or stand for a long time.

High-Impact Physical Activities

Intense exercise and exhausting physical activity will make you susceptible to this issue. Athletes get them often since their feet are under constant pressure. Repetitive exhausting movements are detrimental to the skin.

Runner holding her foot on a track

What Are Medical Conditions That Can Cause Seed Corns? 

There are a couple of congenital and acquired medical conditions that can hasten the formation of seed corns. Generally, the major factor is the shape of the foot. People who have flat feet have difficulty finding appropriate footwear, and they end up getting seed corn when they stand or walk for a long period of time. Also, bunions and hammertoes rub against the surface of the shoe and cause issues.

Can Arthritis, Diabetes, and Neuropathy Cause Corns?

Arthritis, diabetes, and neuropathy can be factors that lead to painful seed corns. The medical condition doesn’t cause them, but the change in the way you stand and walk does. For example, arthritis and neuropathy weaken your foot and the muscles in your legs. If you struggle with the imbalance and improper walking, corn can develop. Also, people with diabetes often get corns since their blood flow is decreased and, thus, sensation in their feet, which leads them to step improperly.

Is There Such a Thing as Heredity and Predisposition to Seed Corns?

Many people wonder why some individuals get seed corn on both of their feet frequently, and others don’t. Is this condition hereditary? Actually, the general theory is that some people are more predisposed to getting seed corn than others. However, since other congenital conditions, such as bunions and hammertoes, lead to seed corns, they can be thought of as a consequence of other hereditary factors.

If You Want to Get Rid of Corns, Contact Your Miami Surgeon

Nothing is more important than reaching out to your doctor once you suspect that the condition has become worse and that it led to an infection. Skip treating your seed corn at home and head to the doctor for an examination. In a 30-minute surgery, you can be free from the pain. Contact us and get an appointment as soon as possible. Luxe Foot Surgery is here for all patients who need advice and help with their stubborn feet issues.


How Do Seed Corns Happen?

In most cases, seed corns happen because of friction injuries caused by high-heels or tight shoes. The skin and the inside surface of the shoe are in constant friction, and the skin gets irritated. As a result skin on foot thickens.

How Long Does It Take For a Seed Corn to Go Away?

If you treat corn effectively, it will disappear in the course of two weeks. Sometimes it might take longer, about a month. If you get surgery, they are removed instantly, and the recovery period lasts about a month and a half.

Why Do I Keep Getting Corns?

If you keep getting corns, then you have not eliminated the cause of the issue. Perhaps you have an untreated bunion or hammertoe. On the other hand, if you keep wearing poorly-fitting shoes, the corn will return.

How Do You Stop Seed Corns From Coming Back?

If you want to live without this nagging problem, we recommend using corn pads, wearing socks and shoes that fit adequately, and keeping your skin moisturized.


  1. Health Library – Ask Apollo. (n.d.). What are Corns and How Do You Cure Them? Retrieved from https://healthlibrary.askapollo.com/what-are-corns-and-how-do-you-cure-them/
  2. Healthline. (2021, June 15). How to Identify and Treat Seed Corns on Feet. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/seed-corn-on-foot
  3. DeNiel Foot & Ankle Center. (n.d.). Seed Cord. Retrieved from https://denielfootandanklecenter.com/seed-cord/#:~:text=Acquired%20and%20Congenital%20Deformities%3A&text=A%20bone%20spur%20is%20a,the%20formation%20of%20seed%20corns.
  4. WebMD. (2021, September 8). Understanding Corns and Calluses — Basics. Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/understanding-corns-calluses-basics


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