When it comes to your body's health, many people tend to focus on their upper body and face, but it should be noted that even those who are concerned with the health of their lower body tend to forget the feet until they start to cause problems. One of the maladies that often afflicts feet are corns. You should know what corns are, how they are caused, as well as how they are treated and prevented in order to fully cope with corns when they occur on your feet.
What Are Corns?
Have you ever experienced a pain in your toes, usually your big toe that feels like a dull ache? Have you taken off your shoe only to realize that one or more of your toes has developed a hard, blister-like substance on its side? This is a corn.
A corn is a series of dead tissue and skin that has taken on a life of its own and developed into a hard substance. A corn is essentially a callous that appears on your toe. Friction and pressure when the skin on the foot rubs up against something causes a wound, which hardens into a callous.
What Causes Corns?
There are a number of different things that can cause corns, but the main culprit of corn formation is improper pressure and friction on your feet. As pressure is applied to the skin on the feet, the skin starts to die off. A hard blob, the corn, then starts to form around the dead skin. Corns can be either hard or soft. Soft corns occur when the hard skin of the corn starts to absorb the sweat of your feet, resulting in a soft, squishy liquid-filling corn.
Usually improper pressure is put on the foot due to an ill-fitting shoe. However, the way that your feet and toes naturally lie may also cause improper pressure and friction, regardless of whether or not your shoes fit properly.
How Will My Podiatrist Treat My Corns?
There are a number of things that a podiatrist can do to treat your corns. However, there is one procedure that a podiatrist will usually perform on most patients. This procedure involves cutting away the majority of the dead skin, leaving living flesh at the epidermal layer of your skin. It is not recommended that potential patients try this method at home, as cutting too deep may cause a gaping wound, which in turn might become infected. This can make the issue that much worse in the long run.
If your corn is mild, your podiatrist might recommend an at-home treatment. He will have you treat your corn with a mild salicylic acid treatment to help soften the corn up, and then gently rub the corn with a pumice stone. Since corns are made of dead skin, rubbing it with the pumice stone will gradually break it down.
How Can I Prevent Corns?
First and foremost, make sure that you are wearing nicely fitting shoes that do not scrape against your toes. This is the best way to prevent the phenomena of corns. You can also wear thick socks during the winter months, such that you can keep your feet and ankles warm and also serve to protect your toes from rubbing against the inside of your shoes as well as each other. At home, soak your feet in warm water (or, on occasions, with a bit of salt) after a long walk in order to soften the tissues of your feet and especially of that around your toes. You can also wear moleskin or toe separator on the areas of your feet that tend to develop corns in order to prevent friction.
Corns can be an annoying prospect, but luckily, they are a problem that can be easily dealt with!
Visit a site like http://www.westmorelandfootdoctor.com for more information.