FOOT CORNS- Treatment, Cure and Home remedies
Corns and callus are one of the most common problems seen by Podiatrists. They can occur on any part of the foot and vary in symptoms from a mild callus under the foot, to an infected ulcer that can develop under a corn on a toe. Other names for corns and callus are hyperkeratosis, clavus, heloma and tyloma).
Pathologically they are all the same - the skin has thickened in response to pressure. A callus generally refers to a more diffuse thickening of the skin (more common on the toes, but can occur under the ball of the foot) whereas a corn is a thicker more focal area (more common on the toes). A corn can occur under and be surrounded by callus
Symptoms of foot corn
You may have a corn or callus if you notice:
A thickened layer of skin
Tenderness or pain under your skin
Flaky, dry or waxy skin
Corns and calluses are often confused, but they're not the same thing. Corns are smaller than calluses and have a hard center. Corns usually develop on parts of your feet that don't bear weight, such as the tops and sides of your toes. Corns can be painful. Calluses, which may feel rough, are rarely painful and vary in size and shape, but are often more than an inch in diameter. Calluses usually develop on your palms and soles, especially underneath the bottom ends of your foot bones (metatarsals
Causes of foot corn
Shoes that don't fit properly. If shoes are too tight, they squeeze the foot, increasing pressure. If they are too loose, the foot may slide and rub against the shoe, creating friction.
Toe deformities, such as hammertoe or claw toe.
High heeled shoes because they increase the pressure on the forefoot.
Rubbing against a seam or stitch inside the shoe.
Socks that don't fit properly.
There are two types of corns. Hard corns (heloma durums) are the most common type. They are caused primarily by ill-fitting shoes and toe deformities. They usually develop on the tops and tips of the toes and on the sides of the feet. Soft corns (heloma molles) usually occur as the result of bone abnormalities in the toes. They develop between the toes and are sometimes referred to as "kissing corns."
In many people, the toes curl downward and do not lie flat. Fitting curled toes into shoes with tight toe boxes is the most common cause of hard corns. The toes remain curled inside the shoe and press against the inside of the shoe, usually at the toe joints. Additionally, the tip of the curled toe presses against the sole of the shoe. The skin compensates for this added pressure by thickening at the point of contact and hard corns develop to protect the underlying structure.
Soft corns typically develop between the fourth and fifth toes when one of the toe bones (phalanges) is slightly too wide. Normally, phalanges are hourglass-shaped and the ends are wider than the middle. Soft corns result when the ends of the toe bones are too wide, causing friction in between the toes. Tight-fitting shoes aggravate this problem.
People with normal toe bones can also develop soft corns. This condition is especially common in women who wear high-heeled shoes with narrow, tapering toe boxes. These shoes shift the body's weight to the front of the foot and often do not provide enough room for the toes.
Diagnosis of foot corn
The doctor will examine the skin where a corn or callus has formed. Diagnosis is based on symptoms and visual observation of the corn or callus. They are easily distinguished by:
Location - Corns usually only form on or between the toes.
Degree of pain - Corns are usually quite painful. Calluses are usually painless or only slightly painful.
Prevention of foot corn
Avoiding friction-causing activities can usually prevent corns and calluses and wearing shoes that fit properly, are activity-appropriate, and are kept in good repair. Soles and heels that wear unevenly may indicate a need for corrective footwear or special insoles. Socks and stockings should not cramp the toes. Gloves, kneepads, and other protective gear should also be worn as needed.
Feet should be measured, while standing, whenever buying new shoes. It is best to shop for shoes late in the day, when feet are likely to be swollen. It is also important to buy shoes with toe-wiggling room and to try new shoes on both feet.
Treatment/How to get rid of foot corn
Severe or persistent corns must be treated by a doctor, however, they rarely require surgery.
Persons with diabetes, atherosclerosis or other circulatory diseases should never treat a corn themselves, as their risk of infection is much greater.
Many acid preparations are available for reducing corns and calluses. A commonly used prescription preparation is a mixture of salicylic acid, lactic acids and collodion
The over-the-counter acids are weaker than their prescription counterparts, such as trichloroacetic acid, 80 percent (Tri-Chlor). Such preparations may be more harmful than helpful, because the bony prominences of the toes have such thin coverings. Acids should not be used by diabetic patients and are not advisable for individuals with impaired sensation or for the elderly with thin skin.
Corns and callus that are not treated will become painful. They will not come right on their own unless the pressure that caused them is taken away. If it is not the skin will continue to thicken and become more painful. After a while the body will start treating it as a foreign body and a ulcer (abscess) can develop. This can get infected - the infection can spread. Infection of corns on the toe is more common than a callus
General Home Care
You can soak your feet regularly and use a pumice stone or callus file to soften and reduce the size of corns and calluses.
Wearing a donut-shaped foam pad over the corn will also help relieve the pressure. Use non-medicated corn pads; medicated pads may increase irritation and result in infection.
Use a bit of lamb's wool (not cotton) between your toes to help cushion soft corns.
Wear shoes that fit properly and have a roomy toe area.
Home Remedies of foot corns
Lemon is valuable remedy for corns. A fresh slice of lemon should be tied over the painful area at night and allowed to remain there the whole night.
Raw papaya is useful in the treatment of corns. Its juice is an irritant and it is, therefore, a useful application in this condition. Half a teaspoon of raw papaya juice may be applied thrice daily.
The herb Indian squill is useful in removing corns. A bulb may be roasted and applied over the corn. It should he secured with a bandage. This application may be made at night and removed in the morning.
The milky juice of green figs is beneficial for corns of long duration. It helps to soften them. Half a teaspoon of this juice may be extracted from the fruit and applied two or three times daily.
Chalk powder has also been found beneficial in the treatment of corns. A small piece of chalk may
be ground into a paste with water and applied over the affected area.
Call The Doctor
People with diabetes who notice problems with their feet should contact their health care providers. Otherwise, simply changing to better-fitting shoes or wearing gloves should resolve most problems with corns and calluses.
If you suspect that your corn or callus is infected or is not getting better despite treatment, contact your doctor.
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