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A corn is a localised area of hyperkeratosis (thickening of the skin), which usually occurs over a bony prominence as a result of localised friction between the skin, the bone and footwear.
It has a visible, translucent central core which presses deeply into the skin, causing pain and sometimes inflammation.
Hard corns commonly occur on the top of the smaller toes or on the outer side of the little toe. These are the areas where poorly fitted shoes tend to rub most.
Soft corns or seed corns sometimes form in between the toes, most commonly between the fourth and fifth toes. These are softer as the sweat between the toes keeps them moist. Soft corns can sometimes become infected.