Do you remember your grandmother talking about her painful corns? You probably paid no mind to it at the time; but are you in pain now and wondering what it could be?
Corns are focal areas of thickened skin that lie over bony areas of your feet. They are often painful because the thickening extends deep into the skin. This can cause irritation and inflammation to the area with resultant pain.
There are two types of corns: hard and soft. Hard corns are the traditional hardened growth that many people think of when they hear the word corn. Hard corns are often found on the top of toes, especially when it is a contracted hammertoe. Soft corns are found between the toes. There is pressure on the skin caused by the bones of two adjacent toes. Because the space between the toes becomes moist and macerated, it softens the corn and the surrounding skin. Make no mistake though, it is painful.
What about a callus? What is the difference between a corn and a callus? Corns are similar to a callus in that both are thickenings of skin. A callus does not extend very far into the skin, and is usually not as painful as a corn. A callus can thicken more with time, and even form corns within it, so don’t ignore it!
The treatment for both a corn and a callus is very similar. Many patients find comfort from over the counter corn and callus removers sold in grocery stores and pharmacies. Because the medication in medicated pads contain acid and can burn through the skin, leading to sores that can become infected, we don't recommend them. Using any pad that is NON-medicated is fine and helpful to relieve the pressure from the corn or callus and help remove the pain. We carry a variety of premium pads in our Houston podiatry office to manage any corn or callus.
Many people find a great deal of comfort in having their corns and calluses pared down by a podiatrist. There is no pain involved and most patients feel better as soon as they step out of the chair. There are times when corns may return quickly. In these cases, we may recommend foot surgery to eliminate the pressure of the bones causing the corn.
If you have a painful corn or callus there is no need to suffer through the pain. Houston podiatrist Dr. Andrew Schneider will do what he can to relieve your pain and discuss what you can do to keep the pain gone.