Introduction to Corns
Corns are circular areas of thick skin that develop on areas of thin skin, such as the top and sides of the feet and toes.
What are Corns?
Corns are circular areas of thick skin that develop on areas of thin skin, such as the top and sides of the feet and toes. The thick skin is a result of the previous skin being exposed to repeated friction and pressure. Having corns can lead to damage of the deep tissue and the formation of ulcers.
What causes Corns?
Corns are commonly caused by ill-fitting shoes, which apply excessive pressure to discrete areas of the foot. They are also more likely to form where a patient has a pre-existing bone abnormality, such as a bunion or a hammer toe (toe bent in the middle). Diabetics should also be careful, as some patients have insensitive skin, meaning they are unaware of the friction their skin is experiencing.
What are the symptoms of Corns?
The main problem most patients experience with corns is the pain and discomfort they cause. As most corns occur on the feet, this leads to problems with walking. If left untreated, corns can have more severe consequences. This is due to the pointed shape of the corn, which concentrates pressure in a small area, which over time can cause the skin to ulcerate. An infected corn will be painful, red and may leak clear or coloured discharge, it is essential this is seen by a GP before the infection spreads.
How are Corns treated?
If you have a corn on your foot, you should make an appointment with a podiatrist. Identifying the cause of the corn is the highest priority, as only then will the skin be able to heal. One method of treatment is the removal of the corn, this must be done by a health professional using specific equipment, reducing the chance of infection or collateral damage to the skin. Pharmacies can also provide a number of remedies that can help with corns, these range from rehydration creams for thick, dry skin to special plasters. Soft, cushioned insoles for shoes can also be used to relieve the pressure of shoes on the skin.