Corns, also known as hyperkeratosis, are painful skin conditions that occur on the feet. It is characterized by thickened skin that is conical or circular in shape. Corns are formed due to the skin’s response to friction or pressure. They are a common skin condition that occurs due to wearing ill-fitting shoes, having sweaty feet or for those standing for long periods of time. The scientific name for a corn is heloma. Corns are known to affect women more than men.
As mentioned before, corns occur due to wearing ill fitting shoes or having sweaty feet. People with abnormally shaped feet with conditions like Bunions and Hammertoe are more at risk to develop corn.
The symptoms presented with corn are thick, roughened areas of the feet, tenderness under the skin, a hard raised bump surrounded by inflamed skin that is painful. Corns generally occur on the tops and sides of your toes or between the toes, however in some cases they may occur on the soles of the feet, causing severe pain and difficulty in walking. The condition worsens when the skin experiences pressure.
Simple home remedies like filing the corn and regular application of moisturizer may help manage the condition. Over-the-counter medication like corn pads containing salicylic acid is available. However, if the corns are painful or a person suffers from diabetes or other problems, consulting a dermatologist or a podiatrist would be advisable.
After initial examination, the doctor may file away the hard, dead skin surrounding the corn. In some instances, the damaged layers are scraped or cut into to alleviate the pressure that could worsen the conditions. A patch containing salicylic acid is then applied on the corn which needs to be replaced at regular intervals by the patient. If the skin surrounding the corn is reddened, it indicates infection and the doctor would prescribe a round of antibiotics.
The simplest way to avoid corns is to wear comfortable shoes. If a person is more prone to getting corn then they may consider wearing breathable socks or bandages to the sides of the feet to lessen the occurrence. Also regular foot care, moisturizing and filing dead skin can help.