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Corns are a frequent problem of the foot which can be painful and difficult to treat. They are caused by a lot of pressure on an area of skin. They are part of a normal mechanism that has gone wrong. Anytime there is too much pressure on the skin, that region of skin will thicken up to protect itself. If the pressure continues over a extended period of time, it becomes so thick that it is painful. This can be similar to the process that happens when, by way of example, chopping wood. Doing this, you eventually develop a callus on your hand. The same thing happens on the foot with pressure from the surface or pressure on a toe from footwear. When you quit cutting wood, the thicker skin on the hands disappear. The issue in the foot is that you keep using footwear and you keep walking, so the pressure continues and the thicker skin forms into a corn and will become painful.
Getting rid of corns is relatively easy and a skilful podiatrist will be able to remove them. That is the easy part. The hard part is stopping them coming back. It's one thing to remove them, however if you don't remove that cause (the higher pressures on the skin), chances are they will just come back eventually. Corns do not have roots that they can re-grow from. They come back as the cause is still there. Taking away a corn is like dealing with the symptom. They will come back unless the cause is taken away. This is where the skill of a podiatrist is required to identify the correct cause. A complete assessment is necessary of the function, shoes, foot shape and lifestyle to work out just what it is that is bringing about the higher pressure. Once that cause has been identified, then different treatments can be used to reduce that pressure. This might range from simple shoe advice to foot supports to surgery.