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heloma du´rum hard corn; see corn.
heloma mol´le soft corn; see corn.


/he·lo·ma/ (hēl-o´mah) corn.
heloma du´rum  hard corn.
heloma mol´le  soft corn.


, pl. clavi (klā'vŭs, -vī)
A small conic callosity caused by pressure over a bony prominence, usually on a toe.
Synonym(s): heloma.
[L. a nail, wart, corn]


; corn; clavus conical, focal, hyperkeratotic plug formed in response to intermittent pressure and friction, by local dermal inflammation and reduction of local epidermal desquamation, in relation to skin type and foot and/or lower-limb pathomechanical factors; plug apex is directed towards the dermoepidermal junction; dermal tissue deep to long-standing lesions undergoes fibrosis and ties skin to deeper tissues, reducing normal tissue movement and potentially exacerbating the condition; treatment involves enucleation of the keratin plug, identification and resolution of the underlying cause, and predisposing factors (see Table 1)
  • heloma durum (plural: helomata dura) hard corn, e.g. of plantar skin in association with a depressed metatarsal head, or at dorsum of an interphalangeal joint in a deformed toe

  • heloma miliare seed corn, e.g. of anhidrotic skin subject to excess friction or movement during gait

  • heloma molle soft corn, e.g. of interdigital skin, either at depth of interdigital sulcus in relation to excessive sagittal-plane movement of adjacent metatarsals, or overlying medial/lateral aspect of proximal or distal interphalangeal joints, especially in axially rotated toes ± hyperhidrosis

  • heloma neurovasculare excessively painful hard corn incorporating blood vessel and nerve elements (i.e. dermal tissue) within deepest area of the keratin plug; they bleed readily during treatment, are difficult to enucleate fully without the use of an anaesthetic, and are resistant to resolution

  • heloma vasculare hard corn incorporating blood vessel elements within deepest area of the keratin plug

  • Durlacher's corn hard corn within lateral nail sulcus of an axially rotated fifth, or occasionally fourth toe; cornified tissue may be difficult to distinguish from nail sulcus onychophosis

Table 1: Types and presentations of corn (clavus)
Corn typeName (abbreviation)Typical siteLesion characteristics
HardHeloma durum (HD)Over bony prominences and jointsDark yellow; hard central nucleus, overlain by callosity
SoftHeloma molle (HM)At base of interdigital webspace/interdigital aspect of digit, overlying an interpahalangeal jointWhite/yellow macerated hyperkeratosis; shallow, rubbery nucleus
SeedHeloma miliare (HMill)Weight-bearing skin
Areas of dry skin
Isolated or groups of tiny hyperkeratotic lesions with very hard nuclei
FibrousAreas of skin under high load
Long-standing lesions
Long-term fibrosis ties lesion to underlying tissues; difficult to resolve fully
NeurovascularHeloma neurovasculare (HNV)Areas subject to high load and torsionAs HD, plus elements of vascular/nerve tissue within the nucleus; enucleation is usually painful
Durlacher'sLateral nail sulcus of varus fifth and fourth toesLocally painful; can be overlooked as they resemble nail tissue
SubungualSubungual heloma (HSub-ung)Nail bed, below the nail plate, or encroaching under the nail platePain; local dystrophy, onycholysis and yellow discoloration of overlying nail


a corn.