Your feet take a beating all day long. Despite the extraordinary demands placed on them, your feet can be easy to take for granted. When you do have an issue, foot problems can stop you dead in your tracks.
Fortunately, corns aren’t usually enough to ruin your day, but they can be annoying, painful, and unsightly. Typically, you’ll only need to visit podiatrist Errol Gindi, DPM about corns when they start to create a lot of pain or when they become inflamed.
However, if you have health complications such as diabetes, then scheduling a session with Dr. Gindi is the smart move to avoid complications. Otherwise, here’s what you need to know about corns and calluses and their care and prevention.
Pressure and friction are the forces that cause corns to develop. Made up of layers of skin that harden, a corn is distinct and different from a callus. Although, they both result from the same source and feature thick, hard skin. Corns are the smaller of the two, consisting of an area of inflamed skin around a hard, central portion.
Corns usually, but not always, form on non-weight bearing parts of your foot, including the tops and sides of toes. Pressing on a corn may hurt. By contrast, calluses form on the bottom parts of your feet, they’re often larger than corns, and they rarely become painful.
Causes of corns
So where do the pressure and friction originate? Corns usually develop from either deformity of the feet or from poor choices of footwear. Your risk of corns climbs if you have foot conditions such as bunions, bone spurs, or hammertoe.
Shoes and socks are perhaps the most direct culprits. Tight shoes that crowd your toes push your feet into shapes that rub against the inner shoe in odd places.
Your feet can also slide around inside shoes that are too large. The design of your shoes could also play a role. Stitches or seams that rub against your foot may also be to blame.
If you have diabetes or another condition that compromises blood flow to the feet, leave treatment to Dr. Gindi. When you’re otherwise healthy, you can attempt to treat corns at home.
- Properly fitted shoes and socks: aim between too tight and too loose by shopping for shoes later in the day when your feet may be swollen
- Corn pads: shaped like donuts, these pads surround a corn and relieve direct pressure
- Soak your feet: 10 minutes in warm water softens the hard skin forming your corn
- Pumice: use a pumice stone to gently abrade the hard skin forming the corn, but don’t be too aggressive or you’ll cause bleeding and open the potential for infection
- Moisturizers: regular application of moisturizing liquids help to soften the corn
- Salicylic acid cream: these formulations dissolve the proteins forming the corn as well as the dead skin surrounding it, but the creams can irritate healthy skin
When you notice swelling, redness, pus leakage, or increasing pain, contact Dr. Gindi’s office. A little bit of professional care is likely all you need to ease your feet back into everyday life. Don’t wait, schedule your appointment today.