When you're living with diabetes, even a small corn on your pinky toe is a big problem. And so is opting for frozen meals, takeout or other quick-fix meals that could throw off your blood sugar.

Want to hear your Houston podiatrist's solution? I'm going to help you care for your corns the right way. And then I'll share quick, diabetic-friendly dinner ideas from the American Diabetes Association.

Caring for Corns with Diabetes OTC corn treatments are dangerous for diabetics

Remember: corns are patches of hard, dead skin. The raised skin is a result of rubbing and pressure. Both of which build up over time.

You're most likely to notice a corn on your toes or feet. And, sadly, it seems like your pinky toe is a common corn target. You'll know you've got a corn if you see a patch of hard, raised skin. (It's often a little yellow in color.)

Also, most corns have a core. That's the hard white spot in the center. Now, I've already talked about removing the core (or seed) to treat a corn. And I've also talked about over-the-counter corn treatments. But I'll summarize my points real quick.

First, OTC corn treatments. Some work, some don't. But they can be very dangerous for your feet. Especially if you have diabetes, because they contain salycilic acid, which can burn your feet and cause worse problems. So it's better to see your podiatrist than to treat your corns at home.

Second: you won't stop a corn from coming back just by removing the seed. After all, as I said before, that corn developed because of pressure and rubbing. So if you don't deal with those two issues on your feet, your corn will keep coming back. Probably in the same spot as before. Or maybe in brand new ones as well.

The Right Way to Keep Corns Away

To start, we can take steps to prevent corns from developing. Make sure to wear shoes that fit correctly. They shouldn't pinch, but they also shouldn't be too roomy, since that can cause rubbing.

After you develop corns, and we've removed the growth and core, I'll look at your foot structure. Why would that matter? I need to figure out spots where your biomechanics could be causing pressure. That way, I can help you change your shoe type. Or get you fitted for custom orthotics, to take pressure off your feet. And stop that corn from coming back.

Now, how will I get rid of your corn once it's there? Well, if it's small and not too painful, we can pad your corn and check it regularly. As long as it's not getting bigger, or causing you discomfort, we'll take the wait and watch approach.

But what if your corn is painful, or infected? That combination could spell trouble, whether or not you have diabetes. So, in that case, I may recommend surgery for your corn. I offer a simple procedure that corrects your bony growth.

Of course, as with all foot surgeries, I recommend that option as a last resort. Because, in my practice, I try to treat your feet with less invasive treatments. That's why I focus on preventative care. And why I talk about your overall diabetic health, sharing recipes and other tips. Like these 8 great dinner ideas, perfect for diabetics, but tasty enough for the whole family to enjoy!

Easy Diabetic Dinner Ideas Eggs can be the base of an easy diabetic dinner

Scared to go in the kitchen and come out with something no one will eat? These 8 quick and easy dinner ideas are designed for diabetics. But tasty enough to please your entire crew!

1. Night-before prep

Defrost frozen fish filets in the fridge the night before you plan to use them. Brush the fish lightly with olive oil and season with freshly ground pepper and other dried herbs. Bake the fish in the oven until done and serve with ½ cup of pre-cooked brown rice and steamed green beans.

2. Go green

Make a salad for your entrée. Chop up your favorite non-starchy vegetables and serve them over a bed of greens. Add some rotisserie chicken breast, cottage cheese or another reduced-fat cheese. Have your salad with a side of whole wheat garlic bread or some fresh fruit.

3. Tacos any day

Try chicken tacos. Use rotisserie chicken or defrost and roast up some frozen chicken. Fill a corn or whole wheat tortilla with shredded chicken, tomatoes, lettuce, fresh cilantro and black beans. If you want, top it all with a spoonful of salsa and some non-fat plain Greek yogurt.

4. On point with eggs

Scramble up a few eggs for dinner. Top them with peppers and onions that you've heated from frozen. Throw in a slice of whole wheat toast with some trans free margarine.

5. Pasta can still work

Try pasta primavera. Add frozen vegetables to pasta during the last 3 minutes of cooking. Drain the water and then toss with two tablespoons of light salad dressing and cooked diced chicken. Or, toss in pasta sauce if you prefer a red sauce.

6. The right kind of frozen

 Keep a frozen vegetable stir-fry medley in your freezer. Sauté on the stove with vegetable oil. Add some frozen shrim

p or heated chicken and serve over brown rice, quinoa or whole farro.

7. Flatbreads for the win

Veggie flat bread makes a great quick, healthy and diabetic-friendly dinner!

Make a veggie flatbread, as pictured at right. Sauté some frozen or fresh veggies and pile them onto a premade whole wheat pizza crust (or a whole wheat pita will also work!) and top with reduced-fat mozzarella cheese and tomato slices. Bake in the oven until the cheese melts.

8. Slow cook for fast results 

In the morning, toss some canned beans, canned tomatoes, tomato sauce, and frozen corn in a crockpot with some cumin, chili powder and garlic. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours to make a chili that will be ready when you get home. You can also add other vegetables that you have on hand like diced onions, bell pepper or carrots.

Need more help managing your diabetes? From foot care to lifestyle tips, my Houston podiatry team is here to help. Make an appointment today to get back on track with your diabetic care team!


Dr. Andrew Schneider
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A podiatrist and foot surgeon in Houston, TX.
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