Most of us have had them, and they’re quite painful too! They are corns, the small hard circles that form on the feet when the skin experiences excessive pressure. Corns are most commonly caused by ill fitting, tight shoes that squeeze the skin in many ways. They also occur on particularly bony feet, since there is less cushioning to prevent the skin from being pressed against the bone – thus, a corn is formed at the site. They most often occur on the tops and the soles of the feet, and they can also occur as a result of other conditions such as bunions. Both conditions cause a thickening of the skin, which is often a response to various pressures and stresses placed on the feet.
How to Recognise a Corn
Corns are often mistaken for calluses. However, the two are quite different from each other. Calluses are much larger in size than corns, and they also don’t have such a well-defined sharp and circular edge. Meanwhile, a corn looks like a small yellowed circle of flat hard skin, and it is unlike a callus, which is quite thick and loses most of its sensation. Corns can be quite painful, and they usually develop on the sole of the foot, or on the top or the sides of the toes. However, they need not be restricted to these areas of the feet.
What exactly is a Corn?
Whenever the skin on the feet is continually compressed and squeezed, it responds by hardening. This hardening of the skin is unlike that of a callus, where only the skin on the surface hardens. In a corn, the tissues can harden right down to the bone. So every time you place pressure on the corn, the pressure is transferred to the nerves close the bones of the feet. This causes pain and acute discomfort. There are two kinds of corns: hard corns and soft corns. The differences between them are quite surprising – hard corns commonly occur on the tops of smaller toes, where poorly fitted shoes can cause friction with the skin. This gives them a hard texture. Meanwhile, soft corns are formed between the toes. They are soft in nature because the sweat in the area keeps them moist. However, they are more vulnerable to infection.
Can they be prevented?
The easiest way to prevent corns is to wear shoes that fit properly, without pinching the toes. It pays to look closely for signs of skin hardening – if your shoes rub your skin or put excessive pressure on a specific area of the foot, then you should not continue to wear those shoes or else a corn will most likely form over there.
What to do if you have a Corn
The first and most important thing to do when you notice a corn, is to eliminate the cause. The corn will not go away unless the source of pressure causing it is removed forever. So it is important to identify the cause and make sure that it does not worsen the situation more.
Meanwhile, you can get some immediate comfort from the pain by wearing specialised corn plasters, or cushions. These relieve the pressure off the corn and prevent the corn from worsening. Over time, they also remove the pain.
Remember that these plasters do not treat the corn, but will ease the discomfort to a large extent. Use Scholl’s Corn Removal Plasters for the best results.
This is how you use the plasters: Apply the plaster on the corn present on the toes. It breaks down the tough skin that creates the corn, and you can get immediate relief from the corn as the plaster eases the pressure considerably. Be sure to use it as directed on the package, and you will have excellent results from the first usage.
You can explore the entire range of Scholl products designed specifically for corns here.