Corns are a common skin condition. Although corns occur more often on a person’s toes and feet, they may develop at points of high pressure on the fingers and hands.
Corns are a thickening of the outer layer of the skin in areas that experience frequent amounts of friction. In fact, corns (like calluses) are the body’s natural reaction to protecting the skin underneath. The problem with corns is that they can be uncomfortable. Some can even cause moderate pain.
Corns are very similar to calluses. However, corns typically appear at points of high pressure, such as a bony protrusion of the foot, whereas calluses are simply skin that’s hardened from continual rubbing.
Corns are also smaller than calluses. They have a rounded shape with a tough, central core of rough skin.
Causes of corns on fingers
Corns usually develop on people’s feet due to:
- tight shoes
- bony protrusions on the side of a toe
- excessively long toenails
But what about fingers?
Just like the feet, corns develop on the fingers or hands in response to pressure, friction, and long-term abrasion. Some examples of people who are more likely to develop corns on their fingers include people who frequently work with their hands, such as:
- construction workers
- guitar players
Symptoms of corns
If you’ve developed corns on your fingers, you may experience certain symptoms, such as:
- rough, yellow skin in bumpy patches on the fingertips or sides of the finger
- sensitivity that reacts to changes in pressure, such as gripping or pinching
- pain when performing manual work without gloves
- tenderness underneath the affected area
- flaky or waxy skin
Sometimes, people with corns on their fingers don’t experience any painful symptoms. In these cases, the condition is purely cosmetic.
With or without pain, there are effective home and professional treatments you can use to manage and remove corns on your fingers.
Treatment and prevention
Depending on the severity and the length of time you’ve had the corn, there are various treatments to consider.
When trying to manage corns, you want to soften the skin so it can be treated easier. Some methods you can use to soften corns include:
- soaking them in warm water
- applying moisturizing creams
- applying salicylic acid
Once the skin is softened, you can remove the layers of dead skin using a skin file or pumice stone.
It’s important to avoid removing too much skin so you don’t damage your hands or fingers. In some cases, removing too much skin may cause an infection.
As a matter of prevention, you can help keep corns from returning by doing the following:
- Moisturize your fingers and hands daily.
- Wear gloves during manual work.
- Cover the corns in bandages or pads.
If the corn is extremely painful or it’s not going away with at-home treatment, your doctor can surgically remove the corn or shave it down for you.
The development of corns on your fingers or hands doesn’t typically cause much pain. Corns usually resolve within a matter of weeks following proper treatment.
Remember to keep your fingers moisturized, wear protective coverings like gloves or bandages, and use files to help remove excess dead skin.
If you’re experiencing excessive pain from the corns on your fingers or they’re particularly large or won’t go away, consult your doctor to consider your options.