The what, why, when and ways of corns

Corn,At,Toe

What

Firstly, a corn is not dangerous, it is a small, circular patch of hard skin. It can be painful if you press the center of the corn. If you have had it a long time, it might be discoloured, this is when people get them confused with verrucas.

The two main types are-

-Hard corn. These usually develop on the hard bony areas of your foot.

-Soft corn. These develop in soft areas, usually between your toes.

 

Why

Corns form due to pressure; it is your body trying to protect itself. Any excessive pressure will cause thickening of the skin. Some of the common causes of pressure are;

  • Shoes that are too tight
  • Shoes that are too loose (it’s the friction that causes the pressure in this case)
  • A seam that is in the wrong place
  • Not wearing socks, meaning your feet take all the impact
  • Poorly fitting socks
  • Some people just get them as they get older

 

Even though corns are not dangerous, they do often cause pain and make walking difficult. It is important to be proactive and come in, as they will not magically disappear.

 

If you have any of these medical conditions please do not attempt to treat your corn yourself.

  • Diabetes
  • Poor circulation
  • Reduced immune system
  • Neuropathy

Certainly, do NOT use over-the-counter bought “corn remover”! I see a lot of damage.

Due to their location on your feet, it is very tricky to see the corn, let alone get yourself in the correct position to treat it without damaging the healthy skin.

 

When

When you come into the clinic, we will be chatting a lot. I need to assess your foot, have a look at your shoes and socks to try and work out a cause. A big part of preventing the corn from reoccurring is to work out where and why your foot is reacting to the pressure.

The main way I treat corns is to safely and gently shave away at the hard skin and the core.

Most patients report immediate relief from the foot pain when they stand up from my treatment chair (honest! It’s just people forget what it’s like to have pain-free feet!)

 

Ways to prevent

The amount of times I say this on a daily basis “prevention is always better than a cure” not because my cures don’t work but because I would rather people always had healthy feet.

Good skin care is the starting point- moisturise your feet! Every week rub your feet over with a foot file or pumice stone and then apply a cream, this will keep the skin fresh and supple. But remember – do not apply cream between the toes as this can make the area too wet and other problems can occur.

Limit the time you walk around barefooted, wearing good socks cushions your feet and reduces the chance of sustaining an injury.

Get your feet measured, feet do change size and shapes as we get older, and wearing correctly fitting shoes will limit pressure build-up. Ladies, we all like our fashion shoes but not to wear them constantly!

 

I hope this helps you keep your feet healthy and corn-free and reassures you that having treatment for your corn isn’t awful. Never be embarrassed by your feet, I can promise you, I’ve seen it all before.

Dermatologist examining a foot