How To Deal With Corns On The Feet
Corns are common foot complaints which can be irritating, very sore and painful. They can be experienced by both men and women and can limit our mobility and make our shoes uncomfortable to wear, but they are completely treatable.
What Are Corns?
Corns are small localised areas of callus which appear at the site of friction and pressure on the feet. This can be under metatarsal heads on the plantar aspect of the foot, on the dorsal or tops of the toes where footwear is prone to rubbing, on the tip or apex of toes, in-between the toes which is known as a soft corn, and they can even develop under a toenail. The pain from corns can be extreme, especially when they are neuro-vascular in origin, in-between the toes or under the nail.
They can give an ongoing niggling pain, they make the wearing of footwear at times unbearable and in extreme cases can become infected.
What Causes Corns?
Corns can sometimes be the result of the development of irregular exostosises and bony formation of the toes which causes pain, but most regularly they are caused by other more preventable factors, such as:
- Friction and irritation from ill-fitting footwear pressing on the toes, in particular when footwear is too narrow or too tight
- High heels forcing the weight to be pushed forward onto the balls of the feet, causing callus which has a central area of pressure which develops into a corn
- Bunions and the associated bony deformity leading to corns under or over the 2nd metatarsal
- Gait and weight distribution causing pressure points which form callus and can lead to corns at the exact point of friction
- Bony deformity and irregularities of the toes can be pressed upon leading to corn formation at these points.
- Footwear which rubs at any point
- Maceration between the toes leading to an interdigital soft corn
What Are the Symptoms of Corns?
Corns can present themselves in a number of ways. These are some of the key symptoms:
- Ongoing niggling pain and throbbing to pressure from footwear which is pressing down on the corn
- The corn is centralised and set within callus which is painful to pressure
- Neuro-vascular corns are very painful as they have a distinct nerve supply and are the most likely to bleed due to the blood vessels within the corn tissue
- A corn which is very painful and left untreated can become infected and poses a risk to general health. If the area throbs incessantly and is reddened inflamed, and also appears to contain a new “pocket of pus” it is most likely to be infected
- Seed corns refer to multiple tiny corns usually on the sole of the foot
- Interdigital corns appear between the toes when toes are macerated and squashed together and are first noticed as a burning pain which is often referred pain so more difficult for a patient to locate themselves
- Corns under the toenail are most common with the big toe and usually form as a result of firm footwear repeatedly pressing on the toenail.
- Corns have the appearance of thickened oval shaped lumpy skin when they are on the dorsal aspect of the toes
- Corns can become infected with the over-use of home remedies of salicylic acid corn pads which should be avoided
How Are Corns Treated?
Remove the corn and take the cause away and the corn will go with it. Corns should and can be removed painlessly by a Podiatrist during a Medical Pedicure treatment. The most important thing however is to find the cause of the corn, which can be footwear related or due to gait related issues and weight distribution.
Further Tips and Advice for Dealing With Corns
If you suffer from corns, follow these tips to reduce discomfort.
- If you suspect your corn is infected you must urgently see a Podiatrist or medical professional as soon as you can
- The Podiatrist will remove corns and callus during the Medical Pedicure treatment and give your feet a complete overhaul. The cause of the corn(s) will be established and steps taken to ensure they do not return
- Corns under the metatarsal heads or ball of the feet are difficult to treat yourself and often need the pressure to be removed with the wearing of insoles to alter the weight distribution from that area
- The pressure needs to be alleviated over the corn and the build-up of excess tissues removed. The Margaret Dabbs London hard skin remover Professional Foot File can be used at home to reduce the layers of skin and alleviate the pressure and associated pain this causes
- Care should be taken if you choose to use a salicylic acid plaster bought at a chemist. These can be very damaging to the skin and should really be avoided; they should never be used by diabetics.
- Interdigital corns – that is corns between the toes – can be helped with the swabbing of surgical spirit, drying between the toes with a cool hairdryer after bathing and the daily use of the foot powder and a toe separator
Products to Treat Corns
We have some home products and techniques for you to reduce the unsightly appearance and pain from corns on your feet and toes, you can use a couple of products.
Reduce the pressure and build-up of the top layers of hard skin from your corns at home by using the Professional Foot File. This will alleviate the pressure and associated pain from the corn.
For interdigital corns use the silky Soothing Foot Powder every day to alleviate the friction between the toes and from tight footwear which is causing friction and pressure.