A corn is a hardened area of skin that occurs on toes. They usually cause mild to moderate pain, but in some cases can become infected and quite painful. They are quite commonly found on the lateral, or outer side, of the 5th toe. Corns also occur on the other lesser toes, usually on top of one of the joints. There are two types of corns: hard corns (heloma durum) and soft corns (heloma molle). Hard corns are on the tops and outer sides of toes, and soft corns occur between the toes. Moisture keeps the lesions between the toes “softer” than the ones on the tops or outer sides of the toes.
Constant pressure from shoes on the skin overlying a boney prominence. The circulation is compromised from the unremitting pressure, which causes the skin to actually die and become hardened or “unviable”.
Ill-fitting shoes can cause corns to develop – especially on the 5th toes.
If you have contracted toes (hammer toes), pressure from shoes on the tops of the joints can cause corns to develop.
Soft corns often occur between the great toe and the 2nd toe – from unremitting pressure on the bones in the toes. This is a common finding with people who have bunion deformities that cause the great toe to press against the 2nd toe.