Corns occur on the feet, and they are generally hard and thick. In appearance, they are similar to callus; but smaller, harder, and painful. The good news is that corns are not dangerous or life threatening but known to irritate. Women are more susceptible to corns compared to men.
There are 3 main types of corns, which are:
- Soft – These are gray or whitish, and have a rubbery texture. They often occur between toes.
- Hard – These are small but concentrated in a specific area of hard skin. They mainly found within a wider area of thickened skin.
- Seed – This type of corn is very small and mainly found on the bottom part of the feet.
Hard corn is the most common. When corns thicken, they tend to be very painful. Remember, this is not a disease, but merely a way our body reacts to skin pressure or friction. For this reason, Johns Hopkins Medicine says you can easily prevent them as well as treat them at home.
Of course, before treatment; diagnosis comes first. Diagnosis is a way or method of identifying something. In this case, diagnosing is a way of identifying corn and the type you may have.
The good news is that specialized tests are not needed. All it takes is direct observation of the skin and the corn itself.
Remember, corns are roughly round and occur on top, bottom, and sides of the feet. It is important to note that the difference between calluses and corn is that; callus is not painful when touched, but corn can be very painful. That is because the skin is sore and may have either a soft or hard center.
How to Prevent Corns
Prevention is better than cure. This is why it is wise to ensure it does not develop or come back after treatment. Therefore, the million-dollar question is; how do you prevent corns from developing? Well, preventing skin friction is the only way to prevent corns from developing or forming. You can achieve this through:
- Wearing Socks and Shoes That Fit Properly – This is one way to prevent corns from forming. As such, anytime you want to purchase shoes of socks, ensure that you have measured your foot size. Always buy shoes and socks that are not too loose or tight. To get the correct shoe size, always measure and purchase them at the end of the day, when they are slightly swollen.
- Trim Toenails – when toenails are too long, you may be forcing your toes to push against the shoe. This creates pressure, which may cause corns to occur.
- Using Corn Pads – Investing in high-quality corn pads is a great way to protect yourself from friction or excessive pressure. These products are available in different materials that include moleskin, felt, and even foam.
- Cleaning Your Feet – Another method is through feet cleaning. Wash your feet with soap, and water daily.
- Keeping Feet Moisturized – You can achieve this through foot creams to prevent friction and dryness.
How to Get Rid of Corns
Remember, before undertaking any form of treatment, it would be wise to identify the cause of friction or pressure. That is because they always tend to go away on their own after eliminating friction or pressure.
If for any reason you are unable to prevent corn from irritation, dermatologists recommend the following steps to get rid of them.
1. Soaking Foot in Warm Water:
For this step to be practical, ensure the corn is fully submerged in the water for about 10 minutes, or until the skin softens.
2. Filing The Corn with Pumice Stone:
This stone is a volcanic rock, which is spongy looking, but rough; and can be used to scrape away dry skin. However, you must first dip the stone into warm water and then carefully file the corn. You should always use a circular motion.
NOTE: Do not overdo it; otherwise, you will make it bleed or cause infections.
3. Use Foot Cream:
The next step is to moisturize the area, using a good foot cream. If you do not own a foot cream, then a regular lotion can do the trick. Note that Salicylic acid is not recommended for people with delicate skin, poor circulation, or diabetes.
4. Take Advantage of Corn Pads:
For the corn to go away, you should prevent the area from making contact with the shoe. This is where this donut-shaped pad comes into play.
When to Consult a Professional
You should consult a doctor when the corn is too painful (extraordinarily painful), if you have fragile skin, have diabetes, or suffering from peripheral arterial disease. You seek medical attention when your corn begins to show signs of infection with symptoms such as:
- Drainage or pus
- Excessive pain