A soft corn is the buildup of skin between the toes and can be quite painful. The most common place for a soft foot corn is the inside of the little toe. Not only is it the most common, but it’s also the most painful. Oftentimes, a patient will complain of severe pain in their little toe and not know why. One would not necessarily know to look between the toes. Even if you could, the soft corn could be so small you wouldn’t expect it to cause such severe pain.
Soft corns can also develop between other toes. The simple reason for why it occurs in the first place is due to excessive friction. Two toes have to be rubbing together in order for a soft corn to develop. Sometimes, the reason is obvious, as in toe deformities such as hammertoes or bunions, and sometimes the toes are perfectly straight.
When a patient complains of pain in the toes, we always take x-rays. We’re looking for bone spurs, arthritis, bone tumors, fractures, and bone infections. Knowing the cause of the problem allows us to determine a long-term solution rather than just treating the symptoms.
A soft corn on the toe of someone with diabetes can lead to a very serious problem. Immediate attention by a specialist is essential as a soft corn can lead to an open wound, an infection, and ultimately an amputation.
Since many people with diabetes have numbness in their toes, inspecting in between them on a daily basis is recommended. Anything that looks suspicious should be addressed by a podiatrist immediately. Attempting to self-treat this kind of condition can lead to unfortunate consequences. The worst thing for anyone to do who feels or sees something between the toes is treat it with an over-the-counter medicated product. Not only is it a waste of money, but it’s also ineffective. We’ve even seen these products make the situation worse.
There is often a simple solution to most foot conditions. What makes it more difficult is that people wait longer than necessary and try to self-treat it. If you are experiencing pain in your toes and don’t know why or do know that a soft corn is present, we recommend a professional evaluation. You can avoid having a simple condition lead to something major.