top of page

Understanding Seed Corns On Your Feet

Updated: Oct 19, 2023

seed corn of the foot
A cluster of seed corns on the foot

A seed corn, also known as porokeratosis, is a common foot problem that can also cause pain. They can look like regular corn, but seed corns have different characteristics. Because of this, seed corn will need a different kind of treatment or management. In this blog post, we will talk about everything having to do with seed corns from their causes, symptoms, and treatment options.

What Are Seed Corns?

Seed corns are seen as small, round, hard, rough, areas on the soles of the feet. Corns are caused by pressure or friction, but seed corns are the result of a plugged sweat gland.

Seed corns are most commonly seen in areas of the foot where there are the most sweat glands, which would be the ball of the foot or heel. People describe the feeling of having a seed corn like walking on a pebble or rock.

Seed corns can burrow pretty deep into your foot, causing much pain, and this "walking on a pebble" feeling. This pain in some people can be so severe, that they can walk with a limp, or avoid athletic activities like running or other forms of exercise.

Causes of Seed Corns on Your Feet

Some factors that can increase your risk of getting seed corn on your foot are:

  • Sweat gland problems: Malfunctioning sweat glands can result in the accumulation of sweat within the skin, leading to the formation of seed corn.

  • Certain shoes: Wearing shoes that don't fit properly, or that aren't breathable can increase your risk of developing seed corn.

  • Dry Skin: Having very dry, dehydrated skin can increase your risk of developing seed corn on your foot.

  • Foot Deformities: Foot deformities like hammertoes or bunions can increase the pressure in certain areas of the foot when standing, walking, or running. This can increase the risk of getting seed corn on your foot.

Treatment Options for Seed Corns

Seed corn treatment options, which include conservative options that can be done at home include:

  • Moisturization and Exfoliation: Regularly moisturizing the feet and using a gentle exfoliator, like a sea salt scrub, can help soften the skin and reduce seed corn formation.

  • Pumice Stone or Foot File: Gently filling the area with a pumice stone or foot file can help remove dead skin and make the seed corn somewhat smaller. The skin should always be moist when using a pumice stone, or else the skin can become irritated.

  • Non-medicated corn pads: Non-medicated corn pads can be used to give additional padding to the area surrounding the seed corn, which leads to less pain, or no pain at all. I do not like, or recommend medicated corn removal pads, because the acids in these pads can not tell the difference between normal skin and seed corn. Medicated corn removal pad use can lead to serious wounds in the feet.

  • Custom Orthotics: In cases where certain foot problems like bunions, hammertoes, or a high-arched foot can increase the chances of developing seed corn on your foot, custom orthotic inserts can help remove pressure from the areas where your seed corns are forming, decreasing the chance that they come back again, and alleviating pain.

  • Prescription creams: In severe cases of seed corns, a podiatrist or foot doctor can prescribe creams with urea or retinoids to soften the seed corns on your feet.

  • Professional Treatment: A podiatrist or foot doctor can remove seed corn on your foot in their office.

seed corn of the foot
Shaving a seed corn of the foot


Seed corns on your feet can be uncomfortable, even painful, and definitely impact your life with being able to being about to do certain things without pain. With the right treatments, a seed corn on your foot can be managed, or even treated to the point where they don't come back.

Schedule Your Appointment At Direct Podiatry Arizona Today

Are you in the Phoenix area, and are interested in seed corn removal? My name is Dr. Tarr, and I am the owner of Direct Podiatry Arizona. To view available appointment times, click the link here:

2,637 views0 comments


bottom of page