If your job involves wearing high heels or tight boots, there’s a good chance you’ve experienced the pain a corn can cause. Corns might seem like a relatively minor annoyance, but unless they’re treated properly, they can lead to a number of serious conditions—some of which can prove fatal for patients with ill health.

Symptoms and Conditions of Corns or "Hyperkeratosis"

As experienced podiatrists, we’ve seen untreated corns cause the following symptoms and conditions:

  • Pain. Before you experience a chronic secondary condition, you will likely have worsening pain in the area of the corn, possibly followed by blisters or calluses. You might also unintentionally change your posture to avoid pain in the foot that has the corn, and this often puts stress somewhere else on the body.
  • Bursitis. This inflammation of a fluid-filled sac between the skin and bone typically requires treatment with an antibiotic. In some cases, your doctor may need to drain the fluid in the bursa and inject a steroid.
  • Septic arthritis. If the corn becomes infected, bacteria can spread through your bloodstream and cause infection in one or more joints. You could experience intense pain, redness, and swelling in the joint and have difficulty moving it. This condition also is treated with antibiotics, and the synovial fluid in the joint is usually drained.
  • Osteomyelitis. If the bacteria from an infected corn spreads, it can infect bone tissue and nearby tendons. This type of infection often occurs in people with diabetes and smokers, as these individuals often have poor blood circulation in their feet. Antibiotics are usually used to kill the bacteria. In many cases, dead bone tissue will need to be surgically removed. 

The trusted Media and Phoenixville podiatrists at Healthmark Foot and Ankle Associates know that the key to treating corns is to catch them early. By getting treatment before the condition has a chance to progress, you can reduce your risk of suffering life-altering side effects—and lessen your chances of experiencing another corn in the future.

We make it easy for patients to get excellent care from our Philadelphia foot and ankle doctors by offering two convenient locations. Call us at 610-565-3668 in Media, 610-933-8644 in Phoenixville, or at 610-269-4610 in Exton to make an appointment. You can also order a copy of our FREE informational guide The Foot Is Not an Island: Recognizing Vitamin D Deficiency & How to Correct It by clicking on the link on this page.