Corn is a painful callus that has grown inwards. It is mainly found on the feet and between the toes. Corns are a common condition and a daily torment for many people. The pain can be so severe that walking becomes more difficult.
A corn is often caused by friction and pressure to specific points on the feet. This could be caused by:
- Wrong and tight shoes.
- An incorrect position of the feet.
A corn is a highly keratinized part of the skin on the foot, usually ring-shaped with a small, deep center. The size is up to a few millimeters. A number of clearly identifiable signs and symptoms can be designated to a corn:
- Suffering from a scaly, waxy and/or dry skin.
- Pain under the skin or at least it is more sensitive.
- One sees and feels a hardened bump, which is raised.
- The surface of the skin feels rough and thick.
In the middle of the corn, the dead skin residues are gathered. This is shown by the dark color. A corn is very painful: it feels like there is a pin in the foot.
Corns are easy to recognize. The diagnosis is made by looking at the spot. Sometimes it can be difficult to tell the difference between a corn and a wart. The difference is that a corn is located on a pressure place and a wart can be anywhere. By cutting away some callus, the difference is clear: in a wart small black dots are seen, in a corn a horn core emerges.
Treatment of corns is necessary, because they don’t disappear on their own. If a person suffers from a mild form of corn, he or she can try to treat the corn by using corn plasters, washing well and drying thoroughly. The plasters contain salicylic acid. This softens the calluses, making it easy to remove.
In some cases, the doctor can decide to intervene surgically. This may be the case if there is a corn which keeps coming back, for example as a result of a toe or foot defect. Here, the deformed part of the toe or foot is restored, which will eliminate the cause for the recurring corn. Think for example of putting a toe straigt, possibly in combination with the removal of fused bones or protrusions in the toe bones.
Corns can be treated effectively. When the pressure on the skin remains, however, the corn will be back soon in the same place. So the cause of the pressure has to be addressed.
- Wear well-fitting shoes that don’t pinch.
- A corn ring can optionally be stuck around the corn, which reduces pressure on the corn.
- An insole can sometimes reduce pressure.
- A pedicure or podiatrist can treat the corn and reduce foot problems.