Gargi Bansod tells you more about that ugly yellow spot of thickened skin
A corn is thickened skin, common to those who stand or walk a lot. This continuous pressure on a particular part of your skin initiates a hardened growth which is often painful. The medical term for a corn is hyperkeratosis and it mostly appears on the soles of your feet and in-between your toes.
What are the causes?
Hyperkeratosis simply means thickening of your skin. The main cause of corns is ill-fitting footwear which may be too tight or which causes friction on certain points, leading to skin thickening. Sometimes, conditions such as hammer toe or other toe deformities can lead to corn formations as well.
Are there any cures?
Corns can be treated with many types of medicated products such as applicators, drops, pads and plasters which break down the thickened and dead skin. These products contain salicylic acid which dissolves the protein that make up the corn and the thick layer of dead skin which often tops it. You can also try using sandpaper, a file or a pumice stone to soften your skin. Make sure you soak your skin in warm water for at least 10 minutes prior to treatment. Do not attempt to cut or shave the corn at home as this can lead to an infection. If your corn re-appears, it is best to consult a podiatrist or a skin specialist.
Even if you get rid of the corn, you are likely to experience pain for weeks while it heals. And a corn has the tendency to return as most treatments don’t attack the root problem. So, prevention is better than cure. Here’s how:
Right shoes Avoid shoes that don’t have a natural shape. Shoes need to support the shape of your foot. If the shoe is straight and thin it may cause corns and bunions. Also, avoid wearing shoes that are tight around your toes as they lead to soft corns between your toes. Make sure the seams of your shoes don’t rub against your heel or the edge of your foot. Wear shoes with padding as they create a buffer between your shoes and feet.
Wear socks You need to keep your feet moisturised at all times. Whenever you wear socks, make sure that they are clean and dry. Also, use a body lotion every night and cover your feet with clean socks so that your skin stays soft.
Foot inserts If you suffer from corn growths, it is best to use foot inserts and wedges specifically meant to prevent corns. Consult a podiatrist and get your shoes customised with inserts.
Do corn strips work?
“Around two years ago, I had a nasty corn on the heel of my foot. At first, it didn’t trouble me much, so I didn’t do anything about it. But, as the weeks wore on, I developed a shallow hole in my foot and walking became really tough as the corn began to hurt a lot. I had heard of the corn band-aids, which are supposed to remove the corn, so I decided to give them a try. The first time I tried them, I did it on my own and it didn’t work at all. I then visited a doctor, who put the strip on properly and told me to wear it for a week. A week later he cut the dead skin and the corn out. It was quite painful, but very effective. The strips really work, but I recommend that you get them applied by a doctor.”
— Shubham Mehta (20), Mira Road