Clear Up Your Corns in Time for Summer

According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, “the average person spends several hours on their feet and takes several thousand steps” each day. Much of that time at home and at work is spent wearing shoes that may increase friction on your feet, and could lead to an uncomfortable and less-than-glamorous condition known as corns.

Corns are raised, rounded areas of thickened skin, similar to a callus, which forms on the toes. Corns are designated “hard” or “soft” according to their thickness and location. Hard corns form on the top of toes and can cause painful friction, pressure, and in severe cases can make walking and standing difficult. Soft corns form between toes and may feel “rubbery” or as if they are filled with fluid. If you have, or suspect, you might have corns, contact a foot expert. Your podiatrist will be able to diagnose your condition, assess the cause, and provide treatment.   

Corns aren’t pretty, and they can be painful, but they rarely constitute a serious medical condition. More often than not, they’re the result of improper fitting shoes, but they can also be a sign of underlying issues. Some of these are arthritis, toe deformities, abnormal foot structure and gait, so it’s best to talk to a podiatrist. Corns can occasionally become infected, which requires attention from a medical professional. Risk of infection is more severe for patients with diabetes or other medical conditions.

The good news is, there are medical and self-care methods your doctor may recommend to reduce the look and discomfort of corns, and starting now may mean there’s time to clear those corns up for summer. At New York Foot Experts, Dr. Daniel Drapacz, DPM, offers relief from painful corns and any underlying conditions causing your corns.

Medical treatment from a foot care specialist

Medical treatment for corns is provided by your foot care expert. Your doctor will examine your feet, diagnose the cause of your corns and establish an individualized plan for your treatment.

Depending on the results of your examination and diagnosis, this treatment may consist of orthotic recommendations (insoles, inserts, pads) for your shoes to relieve pressure or friction causing the corn, the use of topical corn removal medications, or he may “shave” or “trim” layers of dead skin from your corns. These procedures can decrease your discomfort and the appearance of your feet.

If the corns are a symptom of a more serious issue, such as abnormal toe or foot structure, your doctor will work to correct the underlying cause as part of your treatment.

Self-care treatments at home

Your doctor might also recommend a range of self-care treatments you can do at home to clear up corns and prevent further discomfort. Since corns are made up of dead skin, softening and removing that skin can help reduce the appearance of your corns while alleviating discomfort.

Your doctor may recommend using a pumice stone to remove dead skin after a bath or after soaking your feet to soften the skin. Your doctor may also recommend the use of over the counter or prescription creams, gels, patches, or moisturizers to soften your corns.   

Your doctor might also recommend that you wear a different pair of shoes, if the cause of your corns are related to poorly-fitting shoes. Since corns often disappear on their own after the pressure or friction that causes them stops, a change in footwear might be just the thing the doctor ordered - literally. Wearing shoes that fit your foot shape and size can help existing corns heal while preventing the formation of future corns.

Get barefoot ready

There’s a difference between wiggling your toes in the sand and hiding them there. If you notice an uncomfortable bump forming on your toes, call or make an online appointment with the New York Foot Experts. Start your healing at one of the New York Foot Experts’ convenient New York City locations in Midtown Manhattan, Harlem, the Upper East Side, or the Financial District.

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