Corns, also known as helomas or clavi, are painful calluses that can be either soft or hard. They often appear on the ball of the foot (bottom side), on the outside of the pinky toe where it rubs against tight-fitting shoes, and between the fourth and fifth toes. This last type of corn is often soft, white. Foot abnormalities, gait abnormalities, and wearing incorrectly fitting shoes can lead to the formation of corns. Essentially, any activity or condition that causes friction to build between two pieces of skin or the skin and something else can produce thickening of the skin resulting in a corn or callus. There are several types of medications that can help to alleviate corns, all of which include the active ingredient salicylic acid. Salicylic acid acts as a keratolytic, which means it dissolves keratin—the protein that makes up a corn. If the corn doesn’t respond to over-the-counter medication or becomes bothersome or infected, professional medical attention may be necessary. Podiatrists can pare corns down with a scalpel and prescribe an antibiotic, if necessary. Physical therapists who specialize in treating feet can custom create orthotic devices that redistribute weight, so it doesn’t put additional pressure on the corn.