| What Causes Corns?
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What Causes Corns?

What Causes Corns?

Foot corns are a very common condition faced by many people each year in the United States. They are hardened layers of skin that develop as your body’s natural response to pressure and friction. Corns tend to be smaller than calluses and appear on the toes versus on the sole of the foot. Fortunately, corns are not a serious problem and there is treatment available to help ease the discomfort a patient might be feeling. Corns can be diagnosed with the naked eye and do not typically require imaging tests.

Corns most often develop below the toenail bed, between toes, on the sides fo the feet, or even on the bottom on the feet. They are often caused by wearing shoes that are too tight on the feet. This is especially true for women who wear high heeled pumps daily since they put pressure on all the toes. In addition to heeled or improper fitting shoes, corns can also be caused when people stand on their feet for a long period of time or carry excess weight which puts excess pressure on the feet.

Corns respond best to treatment when the treatment is given early. Patients can file away the corns when they are small. This process works by soaking the feet, applying a hydrating lotion to them, and gently rubbing the corn with a pumice stone. These steps can be repeated as needed. There are also other over the counter options available such a salicylic acid. This process typically takes about two weeks for the corns to be removed. If these over the counter and at-home treatments do not work, it may be time to visit a doctor. Your physician will most likely refer you to a podiatrist or foot specialist.

After being referred to a specialist, you may be told the corn will need to be cut off. However, this is only in severe cases. In most cases, corns can be treated at home. The best way to treat corn is to avoid developing one, to begin with. This means having good foot hygiene, wearing comfortable shoes, and wearing socks that are thick over your toes when you are breaking new shoes in. The best way to determine whether or not your shoes fit right is the “wiggle test.” Your toes should have enough room in shoes that you can wiggle them easily. If you cannot, the shoes are too tight.

Corns are a very common occurrence. In fact, most people will experience corn at least once in their lives. However, corns are preventable. Prevention is the best way to deal with corns developing. By wearing proper shoes, maintaining a healthy weight, and avoiding standing for long periods of time, you should be able to live a corn-free life. Fortunately, if you do develop corns there are at-home treatment regimens that are easy to follow. If the corns do get out of control, a quick trip to the podiatrist can get rid of the corns and have you living a much more comfortable life.


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