Smokers / Fibrous / Neurovascular corns (intractable plantar keratoderma (IPK))

What are Smokers / Fibrous/ Neurovascular corns (intractable plantar keratoderma (IPK))?

The main feature that differentiates a fibrous/neurovascular/smokers corn/IPK from a regular hard corn is that these lesions are generally significantly more painful than regular corns.

Smokers corn

They typically present as normal hard corns do, however there are subtle features that differentiates these lesions from regular corns.

Differences can include:

  • Underlying central fibrosis (white scar tissue in the centre)
  • Nerve fibres in the corn
  • These areas are very sensitive to pressure
  • Vascular elements in the corn
  • Skin generally tends to be more rubbery
  • These lesions are more prevalent in those who smoke cigarettes

Causes of Smokers / Fibrous/ Neurovascularcorns (intractable plantar keratoderma (IPK))?

The exact cause of these particular lesions is unknown.

It is theorised that pressure plays an important role in the development of the lesions.

It is also theorised that smoking plays an important role in the development of these lesions. This PDF  Smoking and Formation of Callous ( provides additional information about the relationship between smoking and the development of the painful lesions.



Diagnosis of Neurovascular/ Fibrous/ Smokers corns (intractable plantar keratoderma (IPK))?

Diagnosis is usually based or symptoms and presentation

At the Ankle, Foot and Orthotic Centre we are able to provide additional information about the presence of a these particular corns.


Treatment of Neurovascular/ Fibrous/ Smokers corns (intractable plantar keratoderma (IPK))?

Treatment needs to eliminate the corn this can be achieve in most cases with offloading and lifestyle modification

  • Smoking Cessation
  • Orthotic Offloading

Caution needs to be taking with aggressive debridement of these lesions as deriding into the dermis will result in scar tissue which can develop into a more painful lesion than the original.



The Ankle, Foot and Orthotic Centre’s Northcote Podiatrists can help you with all lower limb complaints, including Smokers Corns. Make an appointment to get your foot and ankle pain under control.

Expert Podiatrists for the treatment of Smokers Corns servicing the areas of Northcote, Thornbury, Fitzroy, North Fitzroy, Carlton, North Carlton, Alphington, Fairfield, Brunswick, Coburg and Preston