THE FACTS ON FOOT CORNS:
WHAT ARE CORNS ON FEET?
Corns on the feet are bumps that consist of thick, hardened layers of skin. They tend to form on bony areas of the feet, especially on the tops and sides of toes. Some foot corns have a hard center, also called a core. The bumps are typically round and relatively small. Friction and pressure on the feet are the most common causes of corns. Wearing shoes that slip and rub against the skin on the feet can result in a corn. Shoes that squeeze the feet can also cause corns.
There are three different types of corns:
- Hard corns are the most common type of foot corn. As the name suggests, hard corns feel hard to the touch. They form most often on the tops of toes.
- Soft corns are pliable and soft to the touch. They usually form between toes.
- Seed corns are very small and typically form on the soles of feet.
Contrary to popular belief, corns are not the same thing as calluses although the two are often confused. While both corns and calluses form because of friction and pressure, and both consist of hardened skin, there are some key differences.
- Calluses are more common on the soles of the feet while corns are more common on the tops and sides of the toes.
- Calluses tend to be large, covering a significant area of the sole of the foot. Corns, on the other hand, tend to be small.
- Corns are often painful to the touch while calluses aren’t usually tender or sensitive.
- There’s often inflammation on or around a corn while calluses don’t usually become inflamed.
WHAT CAUSES A FOOT CORN?
Foot corns form due to pressure and friction against bony areas of the feet, usually the toes. The most common culprit of foot corns is ill-fitted shoes that are too loose or too tight. Loose shoes can cause the foot to slide around and rub against the shoe. Tight shoes, on the other hand, can squeeze the feet, including the toes, causing pressure.
Socks that don’t fit right and slip around can cause friction. Wearing shoes without socks can also lead to friction since the foot doesn’t have a protective layer between the skin and shoe.
Individuals with health conditions that cause abnormal alignment of the bones in the feet may be at a higher risk of corns. These conditions include arthritis, bunions and hammertoes.
HOW TO PREVENT FOOT CORNS?
The best way to prevent foot corns is to reduce pressure and friction on the feet.
- Wear comfortable shoes that fit well. Your shoes shouldn’t rub against or squeeze your feet. If your shoes are too loose, consider using insoles or heal liners to improve the fit.
- If you wear high heels, opt for the lowest heel height possible to prevent squeezing your toes into a tight space where they can easily rub against your shoes. Avoid shoes that have pointy-toes as this style of shoe can crowd the toes and increase the risk of corns.
- If you’re experiencing friction on a specific area of the foot, use a moleskin product such as Scholl’s® Molefoam®Padding Strips or Dr. Scholl’s® Moleskin Plus Padding Roll to protect against rubbing and pressure.
- Wear moisture-wicking socks with shoes to minimize friction.
HOW TO GET RID OF FOOT CORNS?
Getting rid of foot corns can take time since corns consist of many layers of hardened, thickened skin, which build up over time. The most effective way to remove a corn at home is through gradual and regular exfoliation with physical and chemical exfoliators. Attempting to remove too much of the corn at once could result in irritation, discomfort or even injury.
Following these steps on a weekly basis can help reduce a foot corn through manual exfoliation:
- Soak your foot in warm water for several minutes in order to soften the corn.
- Gently exfoliate the corn with either a pumice stone or foot file to remove the top layers of the corn. Avoid removing too much of the corn in one sitting.
Chemical exfoliation with a salicylic acid corn treatment can be done once or twice a day for up to two weeks. You can apply liquid corn treatment directly to a corn. Dr. Scholl’s® Liquid Corn/Callus Remover contains a maximum strength salicylic acid formulation for fast and effective corn removal. The package also contains corn cushions to protect the corn and ease pressure from shoes.
You can also opt for Dr. Scholl’s® One Step Corn Removers for mess-free corn treatment. This convenient product combines a discreet bandage with a built in medicated disc. The bandage is designed to stay in place all day. For additional protection, Dr. Scholl’s® Corn Removers with DURAGEL® consist of a medicated disc along with a cushion that fits over the disc and stays in place like a bandage. The cushion helps reduce pain and pressure while the medication works to remove the corn.
If your corn doesn’t go away with home treatments or if it’s causing severe pain, see your doctor. Some corns require evaluation and treatment from a specialist. A podiatrist can remove a corn with a specialized tool. If you have diabetes, talk to your doctor before attempting to remove a foot corn.
SHOP PRODUCTS FOR FOOT CORNS: