Corns are skin formations that develop to protect the underlying structures of the foot. They most commonly form on the toes or sides of the feet. There are two types, hard corns and soft corns.
Switching to baggy shoes can help alleviate the expense associated with corns.
Hard corns are often caused by poorly fitting shoes or occasionally by structural malformations of the foot. Soft corns occur between the toes and are the result of the bones of the fourth or fifth toes, phalanges, being too wide. There are different ways to remove different types of corns.
Hard corns are usually easier to treat. To remove calluses of this nature, doctors suggest changing to wider, more comfortable shoes that don’t put pressure on the corn. Adding pads made from lamb’s wool can also help remove corns. In some cases, a podiatrist can remove calluses by cutting them or burning them with acidic preparations.
Applying papaya to the callus is an herbal treatment.
Doctors may also opt for surgery to remove calluses, correcting malformations of the toes. Toes that don’t bend well, sometimes called hammer feet, can cause calluses to form. Surgery can correct this condition and cause fewer calluses to form in the future.
Over-the-counter medications can occasionally remove corns. Corn pads with a salicylic acid preparation can be purchased, which gradually remove calluses over several days. Herbal recommendations for removing corns include applying licorice, green figs, lemon or papaya to the affected area to gradually melt the corns. Using ice can also help remove corns.
Podiatrists deal with painful foot irritations, including corns and bunions.
Those with soft corns may also find some benefit in switching to wider shoes. Usually, though, a podiatrist must remove calluses through surgery. In these cases, the surgeon shaves part of the enlarged bone from the fourth and fifth phalanges to increase the width between the toes. While this surgery looks dramatic, it usually takes place in an office and only requires a few stitches after the procedure. Subsequent recovery is usually uncomplicated.
Since diabetics are at an increased risk of foot infection, they should consult a doctor before having corns removed.
People with diabetes are at increased risk of foot infection. Before trying any of the above remedies to remove corns, diabetics should consult their doctor. Simple infections can easily cause gangrene, and some preparations to remove calluses can actually do more harm than good. Those who have suppressed autoimmune systems or diabetes should report any foot problems to a doctor.
Hard corns are generally easier to treat than soft corns.
For others, corns can be painful, but unless you have soft corns, it’s certainly worth experimenting with some home remedies to remove them. If calluses persist, even with over-the-counter treatment, affected people should consult their doctor to determine the best way to remove them.