Pain between the toes? Probably a corn!

In this blog i have decided to write about pain in-between the toes as a few patients have presented this week with using acid patches on the sore area in an attempt to self-treat but causing more harm then good. A corn is technically keratin which is the most upper layer of the skin. It has no blood or nerve supply. When excess pressure is applied on the skin, particularly over joints, it leads to excess keratin in order to protect the site from breaking down. This extra keratin can taken different shapes and size depending on the direction and size of the pressure. A corn is simply excess keratin but it presents in the shape of a small cone with the sharp point being deepest. It can sometimes be confused with a wart due to the round shape you see on the surface. When corns occur between the toes, they can be very painful because it feels like having a splinter in your skin wedged. Inter-digital corns often present in winter due to frequent use of closed-in shoes. 

As painful as they are, corns are very simple to treat without any pain being incurred during the treatment. Using a sharp blade it is removed and you have instant pain relief. Podiatrist will also have a look at footwear being used, shape of toes, and other factors to give you advise on how to try and prevent a re-occurrence.


The skin between the toes is thin and people often attempt to self-treat inter-digital corns with these medicated corn pads which have salicylic acid. This may work on the sole of the foot, but not suitable for the toes at all. They create a white soft area around the corn which can become infected. Even worse, your pain can become worse then what you initially had. It definitely makes my treatment trickier when a person has presented to me with having already used this. Safe initial home treatment is using non-medicated gel or foam separators to keep the toes apart slightly and avoiding closed-in footwear.

In the event you have pain between the toes, don’t take a chance with self-treating. See a podiatrist for correct diagnosis and safe treatment. ‘

Dr Vanessa Hadchiti