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Hi Anon -
A foot corn is an area of thickened skin that occurs in areas of pressure. They may appear on the top of toes, on the surface or toes, or even inbetween toes. One of the first steps in eliminating corns is to remove the source of pressure that's causing the corn. That cause is often tight-fitting shoes.
If you're healthy, you only need treatment for corns if they cause discomfort. For most people, simply eliminating the source of friction or pressure makes corns disappear. If a corn becomes very painful or inflamed, see your doctor. Also, if you have diabetes or another condition that causes poor circulation to your feet, you're at greater risk of complications from corns. Seek your doctor's advice on proper care for corns if you have one of these conditions.
If you have no underlying health problems, these suggestions may help clear up corns:
-Use over-the-counter pads. Apply pads to protect areas where corns develop. Be careful using over-the-counter liquid corn removers or medicated corn pads. These contain salicylic acid which can irritate healthy skin and lead to infection, especially in people with diabetes and poor circulation.
-Soak your hands or feet. Soaking your hands or feet in warm soapy water softens corns. This can make it easier to remove the thickened skin.
-Thin your thickened skin. During or after bathing, rub corns with a pumice stone or washcloth to help remove a layer of toughened skin. Don't use a pumice stone if you have diabetes because your risk of infection is higher. Whether or not you have diabetes, don't cut or shave corns. Doing so could lead to an infection.
-Moisturize your skin. Apply moisturizer to hands and feet to help keep your skin soft.
-Wear comfortable shoes and socks.
Stick to well-fitting, cushioned shoes until your corn disappears. Also, choose socks made of a polyester-cotton blend because they wick moisture away better than all-cotton socks do. Additionally, wear socks that fit properly.
Treatment for corns usually involves avoiding the repetitive actions that causes them to develop. Wearing properly fitting shoes, using protective pads and other self-care measures can help resolve them. If a corn persists or becomes painful despite your self-care efforts, medical treatments can provide relief.
These following approaches may help you prevent development of corns:
-Trimming. Your doctor can pare down thickened skin or trim a large corn with a scalpel, usually during an office visit.
-Salicylic acid. Additionally, your doctor may apply a patch containing 40 percent salicylic acid. He or she will let you know how often you need to replace this patch, and may recommend that you use a pumice stone or a metal nail file to smooth away the dead skin before applying a new patch. Salicylic acid is also available in a topical form for large areas.
-Antibiotic medication. Your doctor may also suggest applying an antibiotic ointment to reduce the risk of infection.
-Shoe inserts. If you have an underlying foot deformity, your doctor may prescribe custom-made padded shoe inserts to prevent recurring corns.
-Surgery. In rare instances, your doctor may also recommend surgery to correct the alignment of the bone causing the problem.
-Wear shoes that give your toes plenty of room. If you can't wiggle your toes, your shoes are too tight. Have your shoe shop stretch your shoes at any point that rubs or pinches.
-Use protective coverings. Wear felt pads or bandages over areas that rub against footwear.
How long have you been dealing with corns? Does this information help? What do you plan to do? We'd love to know how it works for you.March 18, 2010 - 5:36pm