Corns are one of the most common foot ailments [1]. They are the result of an increased production of keratin as your body’s protective response to prolonged or repeated friction or pressure. That’s why corns usually appear on typical pressure spots and why certain people are more prone to developing corns then others.

Prevention is the best remedy

The best way to prevent corns is to avoid the above mentioned causes as much as possible. Here are some general tips on how best to prevent corns, without having to give up your favorite activities or your job:

What to do:

  • Take care of your feet! Wash your feet with soap and water every evening and apply a moisturizing foot cream after drying them well. If you tend to have hard skin, regularly use a pumice stone or foot file to remove it.
  • Keep your toenails trimmed. Long toenails can rub on the neighboring toes or push the toe against the shoe. To trim your toenails correctly, make sure to cut them straight across and not rounded or angled.
  • Wear comfortable well-fitting shoes. The most common cause for corns are shoes that are the wrong size or shape. Wide, comfortable shoes with a low heel and soft sole that do not rub are the ideal. If you want to be sure of the right fit, ask a shop assistant for help. Since your feet slightly swell during the day, preferentially shop for shoes in the evening, when your feet are the largest. Also pay attention to any seams that might cause irritation.
  • Regularly change your shoes in order to avoid irritating the same pressure spots every day. This is particularly advisable for people that are at a higher risk of developing corns due to their professional activities.
  • Wear comfortable socks, which, if necessary, are thick and cushioned.
  • Avoid excessive sweating. If you tend to sweat a lot, using talcum powder in your socks is advisable.
  • Use heel pads or soft insoles. If you are have to stand or walk a lot due to your professional activities, this might help you to relive the pressure on your feet.
  • Pay attention to your feet! Take care of any irritation or pain directly and if necessary see a foot specialist regularly.
  • Protect your feet when breaking in new shoes. Wear thick socks or light breathable bandages on areas prone to corn formation when breaking in new shoes. If you know that you will wear tight shoes or if you start feeling a point of pressure, corn plasters, such as Compeed® Moisturising Corn plasters might be of use. Compeed® Moisturising Corn plasters provide a protective layer to prevent further rubbing while their hydrocolloid technology combined with petroleum is designed to provide a continuous moisturizing treatment.
  • Seek medical advice if you have any underlying foot problems, such as deformities of the feet or an abnormal gait. In these cases your doctor might recommend special foot-wear or corrective inserts.
The most common cause for corns are shoes that are the wrong size or shape. Wide, comfortable shoes with a low heel and soft sole that do not rub are the ideal.

What to avoid:

  • Avoid wearing ill-fitting shoes where possible. Try not to wear shoes that are too tight, too loose, too high or have badly placed seams. Types of shoes not adapted for long time wear include high heels, pointed-toe heels, and high arched boots.
  • Don’t wear badly fitting socks, no socks or no foot-wear at all.
  • Try to avoid prolonged periods of standing.