Have you been plagued with something that feels like you're walking on a pebble in the ball of your foot? Well, people come in all the time and they tell me, I think I have a corn or I think I have a callus, I think I have a wart, I think I have a growth.

But what are they? Most often they're seed corns.

What Are Seed Corns?

It could be all of those things, but most commonly what we actually find is a teeny tiny corn. And these little corns are about the size of a sesame seed. Funny enough, we call them seed corns. When they're that tiny, you almost can't see them, but you can feel them.

What Causes Seed Corns?

First of all, they do tend to form in areas where we have more weight, typically in the ball of the foot, but it can be on the tip of your toes and it can be other places. However, it's not caused by weight. So what is a corn? It's just usually a thickening of skin. However, when they get a center to them and it looks like you could dig them out, we think there's a root.

There are no roots to corns. That's number one. Number two, so what causes them? Well, I said they form in an area of pressure but they're not caused by pressure. they're caused by dry skin. What happens? You can call it an aberration of the skin, but these tiny things form. Dry skin causes them. They form in an area of weight bearing and then they hurt.

Treatment for Seed Corns

You can trim them, but there's no root to the corner. I said it twice. Let's go on. Given that they're caused by dry skin, you'd think moisturizer would work alone. It doesn't. So what we've found that works besides trimming them is using a strong medication on the bottom, much stronger than what you can buy over the counter, corn remover, very same medication.

And we do it in an enclosure, in an aperture, in a pad so it doesn't get all over the place. And you keep that dry for just three days, then it'll do some more work. It will debride or trim out more than we can get with my blade. Once that happens over a period of a few days, we then have you use some over the counter medication on it. Then you come back in. Now the skin is down to a deeper, healthier layer that will be receptive to moisturizing.

So if you're plagued with a pebble in the ball of your foot, consider you might have a combination of dry skin causing seed corns. Come in and let us help you get rid of this pesky problem.

Learn more about corns and calluses here!

Dr. Rion Berg
Connect with me
A podiatrist in North Seattle treating families for over 40 years.