Grandma used to be able to tell when it was going to rain as “My corns are hurting me”. Simply put a corn is merely a contracted toe at the joint with the resulting “callous” or thickened skin at the top of the joint. Calluses which usually occur on the bottom or sides of the feet are areas of increased pressure or rubbing with walking usually as a result of tight or ill fitting shoes. Both can be painful and should not be ignored.
Treatment of Corns
There are many over the counter (OTC) remedies. Some are painless and helpful while others are just plain dangerous. The helpful ones can include things such as pumice stones to gently remove the dead or calloused tissue along with moisturizers to help keep the skin soft and pads to help cushion the areas that are being rubbed in your shoes. Other more dangerous remedies include “callous removing liquids” or “corn pads”. These are nothing more than acids that go to work by eating away at the dead and thickened skin. They are chemicals that actually burn off the “corn or callous”. There have been many patients whom I have treated for chemical burns that started out with “It was just a corn, Doc”.
Getting relief does not have to be a painful experience. First of all it begins with a trip to your podiatrist, who will take and X-ray, and explain to you the nature of your individual condition. Simple treatments include careful debridement of the thickened tissue and perhaps some padding to give extended relief. In more severe conditions a tine injection may be indicated to give immediate relief for a badly inflamed joint, (bursitis).
Long term relief can come in several ways. Periodic debridement works for many people. Changing of shoe styles also goes a long way to give relief. Often women who wear very pointy or high heeled shoes find that this is all that might be needed. In some circumstances where the problem has been present for many years, surgical intervention might be called upon to give permanent relief from those painful corns and calluses. Give your podiatrist a call and together you can reach a common ground to make your feet happy and comfortable.