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Podiatry (Foot Surgery)

Corn Removal

at Cadogan Clinic, London’s Leading Cosmetic Surgery Specialists.

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Best Clinic Aesthetics Awards 2024

We were awarded Best Clinic London at the industry-leading 2024 Aesthetics Awards.

CQC ‘Outstanding’ Leadership

Our Leadership is rated ‘Outstanding’ by the independent healthcare regulator in England.

20 Years of Medical Distinction

We’re now entering our third decade at the top of our field, with over 100 of the country’s best consultants under our roof.

96% Customer Excellence Rating

We support 30,000 patient appointments each year, 96% of which were rated 5*.

Medically Reviewed November 2023, by Mr. Bryan Mayou (GMC: 1414396) - founder of the Cadogan Clinic and one of the world's leading plastic surgeons

What is Corn Removal Treatment?

In many cases, corns can be managed using simple self-care methods, such as wearing appropriate footwear and pumicing the affected area.

But if you are repeatedly developing corns due to a structural deformity in the foot, then it is time to consider corn removal treatment. 

In most cases, corns can be permanently removed with excellent cosmetic results. Surgery for corns often involves the removal of small sections of bone under local anaesthetic.

People also opt for corn removal treatment if their corns are painful and prevent them from walking comfortably or normally. By changing the way you walk, you risk further foot problems, as well as knee pain and posture problems.

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Before and after Corn Removal

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What are Corns?

A corn is a small, hard patch of dried skin that appears on the sides or bottom of the toes. Corns are caused by friction, such as wearing shoes that are too tight or don’t fit properly. But they can also be caused by prominent bony lumps and bumps in the foot.

People who suffer from bunions are more prone to corns. This is because the bunion throws off the natural symmetry of the foot, meaning extra pressure is put on the toes or sole of the foot, resulting in corns. 

People with claw toes or hammertoes, which are foot deformities caused by an imbalance in the muscles, tendons or ligaments that normally hold the toe straight, can also find themselves prone to corns. This is because the tops of the bent toes rub against the top of shoes, causing these stubborn hard patches of skin to form. This will be a recurring problem that can only be solved by corn removal treatment.

Corns can be extremely painful and can make it difficult to wear closed shoes and sometimes it can affect the ability to walk comfortably.

What Causes Corns?

Corns are caused by friction, when the affected part of the foot is repeatedly rubbed. There are a number of things which can lead to the appearance of corns.

  • Ill-fitting shoes: When it comes to corns appearing on the top of the foot, shoes that don’t fit properly are the number one culprit. Shoes that are too tight rub against the skin, causing friction, leading to the formation of corns. Shoes that are too loose can cause the foot to slide, repeatedly rubbing against the shoe.
  • Walking or running: Walking or running for long periods of time, for example running a marathon, can cause corns. It is particularly important that you invest in a quality pair of walking or running shoes to minimise the chances of rubbing.
  • Wearing shoes without socks: Wearing shoes without socks means the shoe is rubbing against the skin rather than the sock, leading to corns.
  • Foot deformities: Bunions, hammertoes, claw toes, tailor’s bunions, bony spurs or other foot deformities can cause corns. This is because they can cause the foot to rub against the shoe, or, particularly in the case of bunions, it can lead to a person changing the way they walk, putting extra pressure on the toes.

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What are the signs and symptoms?

Corns are pretty easy to recognise and diagnose. Corns present as small, round, raised bumps of hard skin. These are usually surrounded by an area of irritated skin. 

Unlike calluses, corns tend to develop on parts of the foot which don’t bear weight, for example the tops of the toes. However they do sometimes occur in weight-bearing areas of the foot.

Corns can be very painful, particularly when pressed or put under pressure. This may feel like a burning pain.

There are three types of corns:

  • Hard corns: This type of corn usually forms on the tops of the toes. These present as hard, dense areas of skin, usually sitting within a larger area of thickened skin.
  • Soft corns: These appear between the toes. They are white or grey in colour and have a softer, more rubbery, texture than other corns.
  • Seed corns: As the name suggests, these corns are small, and are usually found on the bottom of the feet.

Corns are rarely harmful, although their presence can undoubtedly affect your quality of life. Corn removal treatment is the only way to alleviate this pain for good.

The Cadogan Clinic is the home of world-class surgeons, including experts on corn removal in the UK. Book an appointment to find out how we can help you get rid of corns for good.


What are the options for corn removal?

When it comes to corn removal, there are options available, depending on the patient and what has caused the corn to form.

Excision: The surgeon may decide that surgical excision is the best option to get rid of the corn. With this corn treatment, the corn is removed layer by layer, including the root, leaving no trace behind. This method of corn removal will allow you to be back on your feet immediately, but you should try and rest as much as possible for 48 hours after the corn treatment. High-impact activities, such as running or playing sports, should be avoided for two to three weeks to allow a full recovery.

However, if you suffer from recurring corns caused by a structural deformity of the foot, then surgery to correct the deformity would be the better option for you.

Surgery: Corns often come hand-in-hand with the presence of bunions, hammertoes or similar foot deformities. In this case, the only way to get rid of corns for good is to treat the deformity to realign the foot and prevent the corns from reoccurring. This may involve shortening the toes by removing a portion of the bone at the contracted joint to realign the toe. A metal pin may be placed in the toe during the recovery period.

In order to remove a bunion which is the root cause of your corns, the surgery may involve removing or cutting into the bone, repositioning tendons and ligaments, or, in particularly severe cases, fusing the joint. 

If you have surgery as a corn treatment, rather than excision, then the recovery time is much longer.  You should stay off your feet for as much as you can for at least a fortnight after the operation. You cannot drive for six to eight weeks and will need six to 12 weeks off work. All sports should be avoided for six months after surgery.

The cost of Corn Removal

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What are the benefits of corn removal?

The main goal of corn removal is to stop the pain and discomfort that comes with it. Corns feel particularly painful when pressed, which can make walking very painful or uncomfortable. As a result, you may change the way you walk, which can put pressure on other parts of the foot and throw out your posture. By having corn removal treatment, this lessens the likelihood of associated problems, such as knee pain, occurring in the future. 

Another benefit of corn treatment is that it means you will be able to wear closed shoes comfortably, and won’t have to rely on open-toed footwear.

Corns can be painful and unsightly and have a huge impact on your quality of life. If your corns make walking painful, they may stop you from going out or prevent you from doing the things that you love, such as running, hiking or playing sports. This can have a huge impact on mental wellbeing, potentially leading to mental health problems, such as depression. 

You may find your corns unsightly and feel embarrassed or self-conscious by their presence, particularly if you have to wear open-toed shoes or go barefoot for an activity such as swimming. 

Corn removal at the Cadogan Clinic will improve the aesthetic of your foot and eliminate any pain or discomfort, giving you back your self-confidence and ability to do the things you love.

Corn Removal Surgeons

We have invited a selection of the country's very best consultants to join us at the Cadogan Clinic so that you can be sure that whatever the nature of your treatment, you will be seeing one of the top practitioners in the country.

The Patient Journey. A breakdown of what you can expect on your journey with us

We are deeply invested in ensuring that every step of your surgical journey with us is as informative and reassuring to you as it can be. This article outlines what you can expect at each stage of the journey

The Patient Journey

Frequently Asked Questions

The best thing you can do to prevent corns from developing is making sure that you have footwear that fits well and is comfortable to walk in. Your shoes should not be too tight or too loose. Shoes with narrow or pointy toes should be avoided as these force the toes together, causing friction which could lead to corns developing. Shoes should be cushioned and have shock-absorbing soles. If the soles are not appropriately cushioned, you should wear insoles to ensure your shoes fit correctly and comfortably.

You should wear socks with shoes to help prevent the shoes from rubbing on the skin. Make sure your socks fit properly and don’t bunch up underneath your feet, which can cause further problems. Keep your feet clean and use a foot moisturiser to keep the skin soft and supple.

However if your corns are caused by a foot deformity, surgical intervention is the only way to prevent corns developing.

Corns may go away on their own if the cause of the friction is removed. For example, if you swap a pair of poorly-fitting shoes for a well-fitting, comfortable pair with an appropriate amount of cushioning. This includes wearing well-fitting, appropriate shoes for activities such as running and walking. Sometimes soaking the foot in warm water and gently removing the excess hard skin with a pumice stone may be enough.

However these may not be enough to get rid of corns. If the friction is caused by a foot deformity, such as a bunion, then surgical intervention is the only way to get rid of troublesome corns for good. 

To stop corns from getting worse, make sure the shoes you wear fit well and are comfortable. Use a cushioned insole if necessary. Avoid narrow shoes with pointy toes.

You may want to try a fabric corn relief pad. These adhesive pads, which have a hole in the middle, are placed lengthways on the foot, with the centre of the hole positioned over the painful area. This padding can help protect the corn from irritation, relieving the pressure. This can help to prevent a corn from getting worse. These special pads can be bought without prescription from your local pharmacy.

Regularly removing a build-up of hard skin on the foot using a pumice stone or emery board and moisturising the feet daily can also help to stop corns from getting worse.

However, if the corns are caused by a foot deformity, then there is little you can do to stop corns from getting worse without tackling the root cause of the problem.

Removing a build-up of hard skin on the foot can help to get rid of some corns. You can do this by soaking your feet for around five to ten minutes to soften the skin. 

While the skin on the foot is still soft, use a wet pumice stone or emery board to file down the corn and remove dead tissue. This should be done gently and with great care not to remove too much skin, which may lead to bleeding or infection. Apply a daily moisturiser to the corn and surrounding skin. This can be done alongside wearing a corn pad. You should also keep your toenails trimmed as long toenails can push against the tops of shoes, causing corns. You should always cut straight across the nail.

People with diabetes, heart disease or poor blood flow should not try to treat a problem corn themselves at home. This is because even a minor injury can lead to an ulcer, which will require medical treatment. 

Yes, corns can be very painful. They can be particularly painful if pressure is applied, so a person with a corn may experience pain while walking, running or playing sports. Wearing shoes that fit and a fabric corn pad can help to relieve this pressure.

Worsening pain can also be the sign that a corn has become infected. If you think your corn has become infected, you should seek medical attention. Other signs of infection include swelling, redness and pus or drainage.

Pain is the number one reason why people seek out corn treatment. If you want to get rid of corns for good, book an appointment with our expert surgeon here at the Cadogan Clinic to find out how we can help you with corn removal.

What are the risks?

Complications are rare although, as with all surgery, possible. Your surgeon will discuss each of these risks comprehensively at your consultation. 


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Aesthetics Medicine Awards

Clinic of the Year

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Aesthetics Medicine Awards

London Region’s Clinic of the Year

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Aesthetics Awards

Best Clinic London

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Aesthetic Awards

Highly Commended Best Clinic in London

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Aesthetics Awards

Highly Commended

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My Face My Body

Best Clinic Winner

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My Face My Body

Best Clinic Winner

Laurel Wreath for Awards
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My Face My Body


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