What is it? Sometimes painful, a corn is a localized thickening of the skin that usually has a conical or circular shape. Paring down a corn one often sees a central plug or seed formed from keratin (dead skin cells). A corn may have a soft yellow ring surrounding it and a white or grayish center. Unlike calluses, which generally appear on weight-bearing surfaces, such as palms and soles, corns occur on non-weight-bearing surfaces in regions of extra pressure, such as overlying the joints of the toes.
How do you get it? While the cause of a corn is always pressure, the cause of the pressure can be different among clients. Some pressure is formed simply from ill-fitting, tight, or pointed shoes. In this case, corns often form on the outside of the small toe. However, sometimes corns form at the site of another problem, such as a bunion or hammertoe, or where rheumatoid arthritis has inflamed the joints. Often times corns are formed caused by the pressure of tight shoes.
How is it treated? Treatment for corns is to remove the pressure, and the pressure is most often removed by changing footwear. Often, with a change of shoes, a corn will heal on its own. Many people find relief during healing by placing a donut-shaped pad over the corn. Other protective pads, such as toe wraps and toe separators, are available at any drugstore. If there is pain at the site, consult a podiatrist to have the corn pared down, which can provide immediate relief. In cases where the corn is due to the structure of the bones and joints, a doctor’s visit to diagnose and treat the underlying problem is necessary. Women are more likely to develop corns than men, because women’s shoes are not always ergonomically friendly. The elderly would seem to be more likely to develop corns as age often brings arthritis; however, usually by the time arthritis is threatening, the aged have opted for better, more comfortable footwear, removing the pressure from their feet. Children generally do not get corns.
Schedule a consultation today with your Mani's & Pedi's Nail Specialist on the perfect pedicure treatment to assist with the treatment of this condition.
Excerpts contributed by Dr. Robert S. Fawcett