How To Deal With Painful Corns

Published: 25th July 2008
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The accumulation of the dead skin cells lead to corns on the foot, which causes the area to harden and thicken. These look like projections of the feet. It has a cone-shaped core with a point, which can press on a nerve below causing pain. These are very common ailments affecting the tips, tops and sides of the toes. Constant friction with the footwear leads to inflamed corns and some corns are formed between the toes and are referred as soft corns.

Corns appear like small rough mounds containing firm dead skin that grows between the toes. It has a hard waxy core that extends down, presses the tissues and nerves under it, and thus causes pain. Sometimes the corns affect the bursae - fluid-filled sacs that cushion the juncture of two or more bones, causing irritation and results in bursitis.

There are two types of corns - soft corns and hard corns. Most common type of corns is hard corn. These are usually caused due to toe deformities and ill-fitting shoes. Usually such corns develop on the top and tips of the toes and on the side of the feet. On the other hand, soft corns also known as heloma molles are usually caused by abnormalities in toes. Sometimes it is also referred as kissing corns.

The corns are usually caused due to pressure or friction on the toes, which comes from ill-fitting shoes or high-heels. Our skin protects the body, and corns are formed when the body attempts to protect the troubled area from more pressure. Heaps of dead skin cells are accumulated and a hard substance called keratin is secreted. The person having abnormal bone structure in their feet or certain types of arthritis may also develop corns. You should avoid tight-fitting or high-heeled shoes, if you do not want corns on your feet.

The corn core of foot and hand are made of constant pressure or disturbances. It has a corn-shaped projection inwards, which is referred as core, root, nail, or seed. Depending on the place it occurs on the skin, the corns might appear white, grey, yellow or brown in color. With a corn in the toe, it feels as if there is pebble in the shoe causing irritation.

If the corns are inflamed, they become quite painful. Especially the small corns. Due to initial abrasions or friction, blisters may occur. On continued rubbing or friction, a callosity or corn may be produced.

Tight fitting footwear, high heeled shoes, tight fitting stockings and socks, deformed toes, are some of the major causes for development of corn on the feet. Usually the soft corns are seen on the bony prominences, which are located between the toes. If the corns are neglected complication may arise leading to bursitis and in some cases ulcer.

Treatment and Prevention
Corns can be prevented and treated in a number of simple ways. The first suggestion would be to wear fitting footwear with enough space in the toe box. It would be better to avoid too loose or too tight shoes. It is also advised not to wear tight shocks or stockings to provide a healthier environment to your foot.

It would be better to steer away from corn removing solutions and medicated pads. Further, the solution may lead to discomfort and irritation. Individuals with poor circulation and diabetics should never use any chemical agents to remove corns. However, if the problem persists you should immediately consult a podiatrist.

There are many acid preparations, which are available for calluses and corns. One of the widely used solutions is a mixture of lactic acids, salicylic acid and collodion (Salactic Film, Duofilm and Viranol). There are some over-the-counter products such as trichloroacetic acid, which are used for treatment.

Questions To Ask Your Doctor
What would be the best way to treat the corns?
How much time is required for complete treatment?
Is application of acid suitable for everyone?
How much and how often should the preparation be applied?
What is the best way to prevent the inflammation of corns?
Is surgery needed for the treatment?

Dr. Maasi J. Smith, surgical podiatrist in private practice in Philadelphia Pennsylvania is a foot care expert. Visit to find abundance of information with a unique approach in regards to foot health.

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