Symptoms and the correct treatment for corns

What are corns?

Corns are ring-shaped, thickened areas of skin that have formed as a response to continuous pressure. They can occur between the toes, on the toes, and also on the soles of the feet. People who write a lot with a pen even have them on the joints of their fingers. The characteristic feature of a corn is its hard conical core whose tip faces the joint and can cause severe pain when pressed. The outer calloused ring and the hard, glassy “pupil” in the middle are reminiscent of a bird’s eye.

How do corns develop?

Corns are the skin’s protection against hard wear, and they always occur where the skin is subjected to particular strain: weals and corns can develop out of calloused skin in sensitive places where the skin is put under pressure between the bone on the one side and hard shoes on the other, for example. Thickening of the skin is intended to function as a cushion to absorb the excessive pressure, which is why corns usually occur on the backs of the toes, and also between two toes that rub together, or on the soles of the feet.

The problem is that if the pressure continues, the horny area becomes increasingly calloused and the conical core grows further downwards. If it reaches the lower layers of skin, it can aggravate nerve fibres and cause stabbing pains. Besides foot or toe malpositions, the most common causes of corns are simply poorly fitting shoes, and so corns are usually found on the toes. However, they can also be caused by hammer toes and bunions (hallux valgus). In the case of a foot malposition such as splay foot or fallen arches, the pressure exerted is uneven – corns are then more common on the sole or ball of the foot. Inadequate foot care also encourages corns – extreme calluses are not removed sufficiently and there is no prevention against new formation.

What is the treatment for corns?

Get rid of the cause of the problem – in other words, the shoes that press; remove the excessive calloused skin and take the pressure off the affected area, for example by wearing orthopaedic insoles or special pieces of silicone or foam. In the majority of cases, this improves the problem. You need to be extremely careful when removing the calloused skin, however: Soften the skin in a mild footbath and gently rub away the callus. It is better to repeat the process again on the following day instead of removing too much at once. Injuries should be avoided at all costs as this can lead to infection! This is especially important for diabetics, who need to leave this work to a qualified podiatrist.

The right care for corns

In order to remove a corn, you must repeat the procedure over several weeks: Cover the skin on your feet with a good amount of cream each time. This firstly prevents the skin from drying out during the foot bath, and secondly stops fresh calluses from forming as quickly on the smooth, supple skin. In order to inhibit the formation of new calloused skin, while also making the dry skin soft and supple, special products by Allpresan can be helpful.