Corns On Feet

Corns on feet

Foot Corn

Corn, also referred to as a "calvus," "heloma," or "focal intractable plantar hyperkeratosis," is a specific type of thickened skin lesion. Corns develop due to repeated mechanical trauma from friction or pressure, leading to discomfort. The terminology used in medical literature can be confusing, as it often interchanges terms for various hyperkeratotic skin lesions. It is important to differentiate a corn from a callus, a more common skin thickening. Corns are distinct, well-defined areas of hyperkeratosis. They frequently occur in athletes and individuals who experience uneven friction from footwear or have walking issues, including the elderly, diabetics, and amputees.

Difference Between Corns and Calluses

Corns are smaller and deeper than calluses. They feature a hard center surrounded by inflamed skin and can be painful when pressed. Hard corns typically develop on the tops of the toes or the outer edge of the small toe, while soft corns usually form between the toes.

On the other hand, calluses are larger and more irregular in shape. They typically develop as hard, thick patches of skin on the bottom of your feet, particularly on the bony areas that bear weight, such as your heels, big toes, the balls of your feet, and the sides of your feet. Some degree of callus formation on the soles of your feet is normal. Calluses can also form on your hands, especially in areas subject to repeated friction or pressure.

Corns and calluses

Types of Corns

There are three main types of corns:

  1. Hard Corns: These are small, dense areas of skin that typically develop within a larger area of thickened skin. Hard corns usually form on the tops of your toes, where there is pressure from the bones against the skin.
  2. Soft Corns: These corns are softer, have a whitish or gray appearance, and are rubbery in texture. These are commonly found between the toes.
  3. Seed Corns: These are tiny corns that usually develop on the bottom of your feet.

Causes of Corns

Corns are thickened areas of skin that develop due to repeated friction and pressure. Understanding the specific causes of corns can help prevent and manage them effectively. Here are the primary factors contributing to the development of corns:

  1. Improperly Fitting Shoes:
    • Tight Shoes: Wearing shoes that are too tight can cause constant rubbing against the skin, leading to the formation of corns, especially on the tops of the toes.
    • High Heels: High-heeled shoes shift weight to the balls of the feet, increasing pressure and friction, which can also result in corns.
  2. Extended Periods of Activity:
    • Standing, Walking, or Running: Engaging in these activities for prolonged periods can cause friction and pressure, contributing to corn development.
  3. Physical Activities:
    • Sports and Hobbies: Activities that exert pressure on the feet or cause repeated friction on specific areas can lead to corns. This includes sports that require extensive foot movement or hobbies that involve pressure on the hands and fingers.
  4. Barefoot Walking:
    • Walking barefoot frequently can expose the skin to rough surfaces, increasing the risk of friction and pressure points that lead to corns.
  5. Lack of Socks or Improper Socks:
    • Not Wearing Socks: Footwear without socks can cause direct friction between the skin and the shoe, leading to corns.
    • Slipping Socks: Socks that slip or bunch up under the feet can create pressure points and friction, contributing to the formation of corns.
  6. Improper Posture and Gait:
    • Walking with Poor Posture: Walking too heavily on the inner or outer edge of the foot can create uneven pressure and friction, leading to corn formation.
  7. Foot Deformities:

Addressing these contributing factors can help individuals reduce their risk of developing corns and manage existing ones more effectively.

Complications of Corns

Untreated or improperly managed corns can lead to several complications. Addressing the underlying causes and taking appropriate measures to treat corns is crucial in preventing these issues. Here are some potential complications of corns:

  1. Growth and Enlargement: Corns may increase in size if the underlying friction or pressure is unresolved. This growth can lead to more significant discomfort and make walking or other activities more difficult.
  2. Infection: Corns can become infected, especially if the skin is broken or there is prolonged irritation. Infections can cause severe pain, swelling, and redness, making walking challenging. Treatment may require antibiotics or, in severe cases, surgical intervention to remove the infected tissue.
  3. Pain and Discomfort: As corns grow larger and deeper, they can cause significant pain, particularly when pressure is applied to the affected area. This can affect mobility and daily activities.
  4. Complications in Individuals with Diabetes or Poor Circulation: People with diabetes or conditions that impair blood flow to the feet are at a higher risk of complications from corns. Poor circulation can slow the healing process and increase the risk of infections. For these individuals, even minor foot issues can lead to serious complications, including ulcers and, in extreme cases, the need for amputation.

How to Prevent Corns

To prevent corns from developing or recurring after treatment, it is essential to eliminate the conditions that cause them. Here are some effective tips to help reduce friction and prevent corns:

  1. Proper Footwear and Socks: Ensure your shoes are not too tight or loose. Have your foot measured by a professional, and choose shoes that provide ample space for your toes. Shopping for shoes when your feet may be slightly swollen at the end of the day can help ensure a proper fit. Limit wearing high-heeled shoes, which can increase pressure on certain areas of your feet and lead to corns.
  2. Wear Soft and Comfortable Socks: Soft and comfortable socks are essential for preventing corns. Choose socks with seamless toes to reduce friction and pressure on your feet. Additionally, opt for socks made from antimicrobial and moisture-wicking materials to keep your feet dry and reduce the risk of infection.
  3. Foot Care: Keep your toenails trimmed to prevent them from pushing against your shoes, which can create pressure and lead to corns. Also, maintain proper foot hygiene by washing your feet daily with soap and water and using a scrub brush to remove dirt and dead skin. Regularly apply foot cream to keep your feet hydrated and reduce dryness and friction.
  4. Use Protective Pads: Corn pads protect against excess pressure or friction around the affected area. These pads are available in materials like foam, felt, and moleskin and are typically donut-shaped to redistribute pressure around the corn. Ensure the corn is in the center of the pad's hole for maximum relief.
  5. Avoid Going Barefoot: Always wear shoes or protective footwear to avoid exposing your feet to rough surfaces that can cause friction and pressure.
  6. Proper Posture and Gait: Be mindful of your posture and how you walk. To prevent uneven pressure points, try to distribute your weight evenly across your feet.
  7. Regular Foot Inspections: Regularly inspect your feet for any signs of corns or other abnormalities. Early detection can help you address issues before they become severe.

Following these tips and maintaining good foot hygiene can significantly reduce the risk of developing corns and keep your feet healthy and comfortable.

Take care of your feet with Viasox

Our range of soft and stretchy socks helps prevent and manage corns, which develop from repeated friction and pressure. Viasox socks feature soft, seamless toes to reduce irritation, antimicrobial and moisture-wicking fabrics to keep your feet dry, and proper cushioning for ultimate comfort. Shop our collection online today and experience the comfort and health benefits of Viasox non-binding socks.

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