What Is a Corn?
It is an area of thickened skin on the top of your foot that forms to protect that particular area from any further irritation.
There are hard corns (that generally form on the top of a toe) and soft corns (most frequently form between toes where there is moisture and warmth).
What Causes Corns?
Hard corns often form when a toe rubs against the inside of a shoe.
Soft corns, the commonly more painful of the two, seems to form when a calcium deposit or small spur of bone rests beneath the lesion itself. Soft corns are prone to infection.
If a soft corn is surrounded by skin discoloration, painful to touch, is warm and/or has pus or bloody discharge, you should immediately make an appointment to see your podiatrist.
How Do You Treat Corns?
Hard corns, that do not generally hurt or bother you, can be left alone and treated by avoiding further aggravation. If you notice the formation of corns with a particular pair of shoes, the best idea would be to get rid of the shoes – no matter how much you love them! Treatment of soft corns includes the patient to carefully select shoes that relieve the pressure causing the corns. Apply a cotton ball or pad between the affected toes. This will help relieve the pressure and should reduce discomfort.
When Home Treatment Isn’t Enough:
You should see a podiatrist when the pain is impairing your daily activities.
Your podiatrist will examine your feet, potentially take X-rays, watch you walk and then determine, along with your medical history, what the best course of action would be.
In the cause of a mild hard corn, the doctor might recommend you change your shoes, or perhaps add padding in your shoe for more support. In the case of a large corn, the doctor would reduce the size of the corn by taking a surgical blade and shaving it down. The procedure is painless since the skin is already dead.
With soft corns, a local injection of a steroid (cortisone) or an anti-inflammatory may be administered and would help in reducing the discomfort and size of the lesion. Surgery may be an option for those soft corns that are resistant to these other forms of care.
How Do I Prevent Corns From Forming?
Wearing properly fitted shoes helps reduce the pressure that causes corns to form. If you have toe or foot deformities, talk to your podiatrist for the best options in prevention.