Corns are a foot condition that can occur due to prolonged, excessive pressure on the skin. There are a number of reasons that they can occur, such as overly tight shoes, or if your feet are particularly bony, but the underlying reason often comes down to a lack of cushioning. A corn develops when the skin is compressed in a concentrated area over time. With a corn, the skin and tissue can eventually harden all the way down to the bone, differentiating it from a callus, which only affects the top few layers of skin. Because a corn reaches all the way down, it can be particularly painful, as any time pressure is placed on the foot, it is transferred to the sensitive nerve-laden areas deep in the tissue.
So how can they be avoided?
The first step to avoiding corns, as with all conditions concerning the feet, is to maintain a regular foot care regime. By taking good care of your feet you can help prevent such problems as corns, calluses, fungal infections and hard skin. Here are some steps that you can take to specifically avoid corns:
- Ensure that your footwear fits comfortably.
This is the most common cause of corns. Footwear that is either too tight for your feet, or footwear that is the right size but inadequately cushioned. Even if a shoe is comfortable in every other way, if it puts too much pressure on just one area of your foot, then a corn can form over time.
- Make sure your feet are completely dry before putting on shoes.
Having wet, or even slightly damp, skin greatly increases friction. This means that any slight rubbing that may happen within your shoes will be greatly amplified, keeping the pressure in one place. By making sure that your skin is completely dry, you can limit the amount of friction, and thus the amount of pressure.
- Don’t put up with foot pain.
If you are suffering from pain in any part of your foot that doesn’t get better over time, or continues to get worse, then make sure that you do something about it. Even if it doesn’t seem like much at the moment, it could develop into something more serious, such as a corn. Why not check the symptoms listed below if you are unsure?
Why do they keep coming back?
Many people believe that corn treatments are only partially successful because their corns usually return – sometimes within a few months. This is usually a misconception arising from the fact that the sufferer may have continued to wear the types of footwear that can cause the problem. It could also be that they have other foot problems – bunions, for example – which leave toes more vulnerable to the rubbing and pressure that cause corns.
How to recognize a corn?
If you do suspect that you are suffering from a corn, it can be difficult to know how to recognize the condition. They are often mistaken for calluses, but these are usually much bigger. A corn is a small circle of hard, flat yellow skin, and can be very painful. They usually occur on the sole of the foot, or on the tops and sides of the toes.