Corns, also called calluses, are simply areas of skin that have become thicker than the surrounding skin due to friction and use. Corns actually serve a positive purpose, that being to protect the underlying skin. They most commonly form on the sides or tops of the toes or the balls of the feet. They can either be soft and mushy or dry and hard. The most common reason they form is poorly fitting shoes (more on this later) and/or arthritis. Corns can eventually become annoying and unappealing. Consequently, foot care specialists recommend you do the following to treat this common skin condition if it becomes annoying:
- Make Sure Your Shoes Fit Properly: Poorly fitting shoes, either too loose or too tight, can cause excess friction and pressure on the toes and other areas of the foot. Therefore, one way to prevent corns from developing, to begin with, is wearing properly fitting shoes. If you already have corns, it’s important to make the changes in your footwear as soon as possible to get rid of the corns and/or prevent them from coming back.
- Use a Pumice Stone: One way to remove the rough skin associated with corns is through the use of a pumice stone. The process will be easier if you immerse the pumice stone in warm water before scrubbing. Also, avoid a sideways motion and instead move the pumice stone in a circular motion to remove dead skin.
- Apply Lotion Regularly: Find a good moisturizing lotion that contains urea, ammonium lactate or salicylic acid. Apply this lotion on a daily basis. Over time, doing this will soften your calluses and/or corns.
- Try Some Padding: Wear padding to protect your corns from additional irritation. Purchase an adhesive pad in a donut-shape, which you can find at any drugstore. By using these adhesive pads, you will prevent your corn from coming into contact with your shoe and becoming more irritated.
- Make Sure Your Toenails Are Properly Trimmed: Corns can form when toenails are not properly maintained and become too long, causing the toe to push against the shoe, resulting in excessive pressure. To remedy this issue, ensure your toenails are trimmed on a regular basis. If you are unable to do this task yourself, consider visiting a professional to have the service completed.
- Use a Home Remedy: There are various home remedies you can try to remove problematic corns. The following are a few of the most notable:
- White Vinegar: White vinegar is a tried and true method that has been used effectively to remove corns. Vinegar’s high level of natural acidity softens the problem skin. To use white vinegar as a treatment for corns, mix ¾ water and ¼ vinegar and dab on the affected area. Once applied, cover the area with a bandage. Keep the bandage on for 8 to 10 hours, then remove and clean the area.
- Lemon: The acid in lemon is another way to soften the hardened skin affected by a corn. Squeeze the lemon juice onto the affected area around three times daily until the skin is softened.
- See a Podiatrist: Sometimes, a problem corn needs the help of a professional, i.e. a podiatrist, to completely irradiate. Professionals in foot care like those at Red Mountain Footcare are well equipped to treat annoying and sometimes painful conditions like corns.