How to Get Rid of Corns in Five Easy Steps
Thursday, 15 February 2018
Corns are areas of hard, thickened skin that form on the feet as a consequence of friction, rubbing or excessive pressure. They generally occur on the tops and sides of the toes, or on the balls of the feet. While corns actually form naturally to protect the skin, they can be unsightly and can make walking painful. The good news is that there are a number of steps that you can take to heal corns and prevent them from forming in the future.
What Are Corns and Why Do They Form?
There are two main types of corns – hard and soft. Hard corns are small patches of thickened dead skin with a plug of skin in the centre. A soft corn has a thinner surface, is pale and rubbery and usually appears between the toes.
Corns can be caused by poor foot posture or deformity, or can result from wearing ill-fitting shoes or wearing shoes without socks. High heels are notorious for causing corns, and they make women four times more likely to suffer foot conditions than men.
The Best Line of Treatment
Treatment of corns involves removing the thickened skin, and eliminating the source of pressure or friction that caused them to form in the first place. You can heal your corns with the following five easy steps:
Soak and Scrub
Soak the corns in warm water for 5 - 10 minutes. When the skin is soft, dip a pumice stone in warm water and use it to gently file the corn using sideways or circular motions. Don't be too rough or file off too much skin, or the corns may bleed or become infected.
Soften the Skin
You can soften corns by applying moisturing lotion to the area on a daily basis. Lotions that contain ammonium lactate, urea or salicylic acid work best. You can also buy corn plasters, such as the Compeed Foot Care Medium Corn Plasters (Pack of 10), which provide continuous moisturisation for up to 24 hours to soften the corn.
Cushion the Corn
You should pad corns while they are healing to prevent further friction and pressure. Try the Pedag Toe Strips for Corns, which relieve pressure, alleviate pain and moisturise corns, or the Silipos Antibacterial Gel Corn Pads (Pack of 6), which are reusable, anti-bacterial gel pads that release mineral oil to soften corns.
Switch Your Shoes
While your corns are healing, it's best to avoid overly loose or too tight shoes, as well as skipping high heels and shoes with pointed toes. Ensure that you wear socks with your closed shoes to prevent friction between your bare skin and your shoes.
Trim Your Toenails
Toenails that are too long can impede the healing of corns. This is because they often force the toes to bend upwards inside of shoes, which can place pressure on the corn and cause friction that inhibits healing.
Prevention Is Better Than Cure
In order to prevent corns, you need to know what caused them in the first place. Start by considering whether you have a foot deformity, such as overlapping toes, bunions, hammer toes or Morton's neuroma, or feet that have a tendency to roll too far inwards or outwards – all of which can cause excessive rubbing or pressure on your forefeet.
For bunions, overlapping toes, claw toes and hammer toes, you can use toe separators, correctors or caps to alleviate pressure and prevent friction between toes. Try the GelSmart M-Gel Digital Cap or the Pro11 Double-Looped Gel Toe Spreaders to keep toes separated.
If you have either supination (where the feet roll too far outwards) or over-pronation (where the feet roll too far inwards), you can use insoles to correct this problem and reduce the amount of pressure of the sides of your feet when you walk. Try wedges such as the Rehband Pronation and Supination Foot Wedges, or full insoles like the Pro11 Orthotic Insoles with Metatarsal Pad and Arch Support that correct foot posture.