Corns are extremely painful. I’ve had one in my life and I have made sure that I will never have another. A corn is a toughened area of skin, quite small, which rubs against the bone and causes pain when we walk. A corn is a callus with a hardened centre, common to those who stand or walk all day. This continual pressure on one point of your skin initiates this hardened growth. There are remedies for corns, such as the many products marketed by the Dr Scholls company. One treatment is the corn pad, which reduces the pressure on your corn. Another is the corn remover, which typically uses the same salicylic acid that is used to remove warts. The best method is prevention of corns. Even if you can remove a corn and it does not return, you are likely to experience pain for weeks while you are treating the corn with acid. Corns sometime return, because the skin treatment does not get to the heart of the problem. So here are ways to prevent corns in the first place.
• Wear clean, dry socks. The continued application of moisture to your skin has an eroding effect. Once the skin has lost its natural toughness, corns and bunions will form. This is a good idea on general principle. Moisture in your sock leads to athlete’s foot. It also contributes to foot odor. But you should avoid dirty, moist socks to avoid more painful foot injuries.
• Don’t wear shoes indoors. When you are at your house alone, go with bare feet. This is the most natural, healthiest way to treat your foot. Even the most comfortable shoe is not as forgiving as going bare. Of course, if your feet have orthopedic problems that are corrected by special foot ware, you are exempted from this advice.
• When perusing the shoe rack at a shoe store, avoid the shoes that don’t have a natural shape to them. Shoes need to have the shape of a foot. If the shoe is straight and thin, it is likely to cause corns and bunions. Shoes which appear flat-footed are also likely to cause you problem.
• Do not wear shoes which are tight around your toes. If your toes rub against the inside of your shoe all day, they are likely to develop a painful corn. Once you have it, continued use of the shoe will make walking unbearable. Tight shoes cause your toes to rub together. This results in “soft” corns between your toes. Shoes too small for your feet are a common cause of corns. When you try on a new pair of shoes, look for those which are wide on the toe end.
• When you try on new shoes, pay special attention to where the inside seams are. If they rub constantly along the edge of the foot, this can cause a corn. This is especially true if the seam is placed close to a bone, such as on your big toe or the ball of your foot at the base of your big toe. The same is true of the ball of the foot, where the bone might rub against a seam. Look for shoes without protruding seams. If they are smooth on the inside, you are much less likely to develop corns.
• Look for shoes that have extra padding. This padding creates a buffer. Your foot will settle into this buffer, maintaining its normal position as it would if you had on no shoes. Make certain a shoe has padding on the ball of the foot and on the back heel. These are the places most likely to develop corns.
• If your corns reoccur despite taking the above precautions, talk to a podiatrist. These doctors provide sufferers with foot inserts and wedges specifically meant to prevent corns. When no shoe can help you, there are modifications which can help. You don’t have to suffer with corns all your life.
• Consider surgery only in extreme cases. If chronic corns persists despite the efforts of a podiatrist, you might have a deformity of the foot which requires surgical attention. Relieving pressure on your toes might require something so drastic. I would exhaust all other options first, though.