What is a Seed Corn?

    Seed corn on foot is a small, round, hardened area on the foot. You feel a tiny particle in the skin, which is painful and worsens when walking or standing. Seed corns respond to constant rubbing or pressure in a specific foot region. They cannot exceed the size of a kernel of corn, hence the name given to them.

    What’s the Difference Between a Seed Corn on foot and a Callus?

    While both seed corns and calluses are types of thickened skin that form due to pressure and friction, they have some key differences:

    • Size and Shape: Calluses are thicker and less numerous than seed corns. It mainly develops on areas of the skin with constant rubbing, such as the hand palms and the foot soles. Seed corns are considerably smaller and much more localized.
    • Pain: Calluses are not tender in most cases. They have a rough and thick surface texture but are not uncomfortable. Seeds, however, can be quite painful due to their size and the pressure exerted on them, especially in areas of the foot that bear pressure.
    • Location: They develop in any area with constant rubbing, such as when doing manual work with the hands or walking with the feet. Seed corns develop on the feet, particularly in the regions that stay under pressure from shoes or walking.

    What’s the Difference Between a Seed Corn on foot and a Plantar Wart?

    Plantar warts and seed corn on foot can appear similar, but they are different in several ways:

    • Cause: Plantar warts are transmitted by the human papillomavirus (HPV). They are a viral infection of the skin. In contrast, mechanical pressure, such as friction, causes seed corn. They are not viral.
    • Appearance: It is common to find small black spots on the surface of plantar warts. Small clotted blood vessels form them. Seed corns do not have these black dots.They are not smooth, thin plaques. Instead, they are elevated and thickened skin lesions.
    • Texture: Plantar warts are typically rough and grainy and may turn spongy at the center. Seed corn on foot is hard and dense.
    • Pain: Both can be painful. However, plantar warts usually cause pain. The wart’s pressure and the body’s immune response to the virus create this pain.

    Causes of Seed Corn on foot Formation

    Seed corns form due to repeated pressure or friction on a specific area of the foot. This can happen for several reasons:

    • Improper Footwear: Wearing shoes that are too tight, too big, or those with high heels put pressure on various areas of the feet, hence forming seed corn.
    • Walking Barefoot: Wearing shoes on a hard floor increases pressure on specific foot regions, thus causing seed corn on foot.
    • Foot Deformities: Hammertoes, bunions, or any other foot deformity results in increased pressure on particular areas of the foot, leading to the formation of seed corns.
    • High-Impact Activities: Any actions that exert a great deal of pressure on the feet, including running, jumping, or walking on the feet for many hours, may lead to seed corn formation.

    Identifying Seed Corn on foot Symptoms

    To identify seed corns, look for these symptoms:

    • Small, Round Area of Thickened Skin: Seed corns are commonly as big as a kernel of corn and develop on the sole.
    • Pain or Tenderness: Seed corns are somewhat painful, but the discomfort is felt when walking or applying pressure on the affected area.
    • Rough, Dry Texture: The skin over seed corn may be discoloured, slightly yellow and could be indurated or scaly.

    Effective Home Remedies for Seed Corn on Foot Relief

    There are several home remedies you can try to relieve the discomfort of seed corn:

    Moisturizing and Exfoliating

    First, you need to immerse your feet in warm, soapy water for about 10-15 minutes to help soften the seed corn. Once the skin has softened, scrub it with a pumice stone or foot file to remove the dead layer of skin. Take precautions not to shave too close as this may lead to bleeding and more irritation. It is also important to moisturize your feet daily so the skin remains supple and seed corn does not develop.

    Over-the-Counter Treatments

    Subsequently, it is appropriate to employ any of the available remedies, which include medicated pads or ointments. These products might consist of salicylic acid which helps in the long run to soften the skin.Swallow the medication once or twice daily. This helps soften the seed corn, making it easier to shed.

    Proper Footwear and Sock Selection

    As mentioned earlier, you can control seed corn by wearing appropriate shoes and socks.Choose shoes that are comfortable and have enough room for your toes. Do not wear high heels and shoes with a pointed-toe area. It is also important to wear non-absorbent materials for socks to avoid having sweaty feet, which are likely to cause the formation of seed corn.

    How is a Seed Corn on foot Treated?

    Seed Corn on foot Treated

    If home remedies are ineffective, you may need to see a doctor or a podiatrist. Professional treatments for seed corn include:

    • Trimming: However, the doctor can carefully shave the affected area with a sharp scalpel blade and remove the thickened skin. It only takes a few minutes, and it may bring some relief to the discomfort right on the spot.
    • Stronger Medications: Topical treatments, which could even contain prescription-strength salicylic acid and other agents, may be put on the corn to reduce its hardness. It is highly advisable to seek your doctor’s advice on the safest way to take these.
    • Orthotics: When worn properly, custom shoe inserts can be helpful in reducing the possibilities of pressure areas which might cause seed corn in future.

    How Can You Prevent Seed Corn on foot from Forming?

    Preventing seed corn is all about reducing pressure and friction on your feet. Here are some tips:

    • Wear Properly Fitting Shoes: It is important for your shoes to provide enough space for your toes and good support for your arches. Never wear shoes that are too small or too big for you.
    • Avoid High Heels: Wearing high heels also exerts pressure on the balls of the feet, which can cause the formation of seed corn on foot.
    • Use Moisturizer: The feet should be rubbed with lotion to soften the skin on the feet from time to time. This helps the skin not to become more dry and thick than it is.
    • Wear Protective Pads: One should use cushion pads where he/she foresees the development of corns to reduce contact pressures.
    • Practice Good Foot Hygiene: Some of these are washing and drying the feet daily and cutting the toenails to reduce pressure and irritation, among others.


    Seed corn on foot causes pain, but you can treat and prevent it when necessary. Choose comfortable footwear, wash and soften your feet, and protect them with pads. However, if all home treatments fail, one should consult a doctor for further assistance. These measures will help you maintain healthy and pain-free feet. Be more active to prevent getting seed corn in future.


    Q: Can seed corn go away on its own?

    Ans: It is important to understand that seed corn does not heal independently. You must manage them by decreasing pressure and friction, using home remedies, or visiting a doctor for treatment.

    Q: Are seed corn contagious?

    Ans: No, seed corn is not contagious and cannot be passed from one person to another.Mechanical pressure or friction causes them, not a virus or bacteria.

    Q: When should I see a doctor for seed corn?

    Ans:If home remedies do not help or if the seed corn is very painful, then consult with the doctor. They can cut the corn, prescribe a stronger medicine, or recommend an orthotics.

    Q: How can I tell if I have a seed corn on foot?

    Ans: Check for a small, round, and hardened growth on the sole of your foot. It may be sore, especially during walking or standing, and its surface may be scaly or dry.

    Q: How can I treat seed corn on foot at home?

    Ans: To treat seed corn at home, the following can be done: soak feet in warm, soapy water, exfoliate the feet with a pumice stone, apply over-the-counter remedies such as medicated pads, and wear appropriate footwear and socks.


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