Do you have questions about foot care? We have answers.

Do you have questions about foot injuries or the causes of foot pain? Tanglewood Foot Specialists provides the answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) about foot injuries and foot care. If you would like to schedule an appointment to talk to a doctor about your foot pain, call Tanglewood Foot Specialists at (713) 785-7881.

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  • Can you stop a corn from coming back by getting the root?

    When you're living with painful corns, you just want it gone. It's why there are so many over-the-counter corn treatments. (Which can be dangerous for your feet, so stay away. More on that later.)

    It's also why I hear so many rumors and misconceptions about treating corns.

    And this is the biggest one: people think that, when treating a corn it will not return if you get the "root" or "seed" out. Of course, I wish that was the case, but it's 100% false. Because, while corns look like they have "seeds" or "roots," that's not why these painful bumps form.

    What is a corn?

    Corns form in shapes that appear conical. That means they are widest at top and narrow at the bottom. Beacause of that formation, people think corns have roots. But that's not the case.

    Yes, a corn forms on your skin with a small, root-like attachment,. But the root forms because of pressure, not because some "seed" implants in your skin. In fact, a corn is thickened skin. It pops up when your shoes push on your toes, or when your bones don't stay where they should.

    In other words, pressure makes corns grow. Put more pressure on your corn, it gets bigger. Remove the pressure, and you'll see growth stop.

    So, if a corn doesn't have roots, why is it narrow at the base? Well, he most narrow or defined area will be closest to the cause of the pressure. Then, the corn widens as it reaches the surface of the skin. And that pressure comes from your bone. Which means you'll have to address issues with your bone if you want to keep corns from coming back.


    Permanent Corn Treatments

    By now, you've guessed the answer to your question. If you remove the root of a corn, will it come back? (If you haven't, I'll help you out. The answer is 'yes,' unless you address the underlying pressure.) You see, even in I remove that corn, all I'll give you is pain relief. But if I don't target the pressure that formed the corn, it's going to return.

    For that reason, I have to change the pressure on your toes to prevent a corn from coming back. Sometimes, that's as simple as changing your shoes. I can help you select a pair with a larger toe box. We can also pad spots where corns formed, to keep pressure off your toes. Now, for some of you, these swaps may be enough to reduce pressure on the bone.

    But that's not the case for everyone. Some patients have biomechanical issues that impact bone alignment. When that's the case, we may be able to relieve pressure with custom orthotics. These medical devices help compensate for certain anatomical problems. They may keep pressure away, so corns don't return.

    Having said all that, some patients will need foot surgery to cure corns. Why is that the case? Some corns will form regardless of what shoes you choose. Because many corns form from internal pressure. And that pressure can come from arthritis, bone spurs, or even hammertoes. In these cases, surgery is the best way to remove the pressure from the bone. And it's often the only way to deal with a persistent corn.

    Houston Podiatrist Treats Persistent Corns If hammertoes cause corns, you'll need to treat them to stop corns from returning

    What does a podiatrist visit for corns look like? When you come into the office, I'll start by paring down dead skin at the corn's top layer. Then, I'll go find that deep "root" and remove it as well. But that's only step two of your treatment plan.

    Since I want to make sure that corn doesn't come back, we'll start talking lifestyle once the corn root is out. I'm going to ask you questions and examine your foot and gait. That way, I can figure out what's causing pressure on your toes. So that I can go on and stamp out the source of the pressure.

    If it seems like you're just choosing the wrong shoes, I'll get you into a better pair. But if we realize the source of the pressure is the bone, we'll cycle through some other treatment options. At this point, surgery may well be in your future. That doesn't mean you need to panic, though.

    Look, I know that foot surgery sounds scary. But surgery to permanently remove corns is a small surgical procedure. Sometimes, I go to the operating room and remove a small piece of bone. In other case, I can shave down a small piece of bone that corresponds to where that corn formed.

    Both options are effective because they get rid of internal pressure. And that is what's going to stop your corn from coming back. So next time you come into the office and say, it's back again, I'm going to look at you and say, yes, it's back again.

    I won't judge you. And you can choose to come in every so often for me to treat your corn in the office. But if you want to take care of it once and for all, we can discuss the surgical option. Either way, I need to see you to figure out why you're getting corns. So give us a call at the office for an immediate appointment. The sooner we know the true "root" of your corn problem, the quicker we can get rid of them for good!

  • What is a soft corn?

    A soft corn is when a corn forms between the toes. The bones in two adjacent toes push against one another. The pressure on the skin causes a corn to form. The corn is a plug of hard, dead skin between the toes. The pressure causes pain between the toes. The tissue can also become inflamed or infected beneath the corn.

    The reason this corn is called a soft corn is because of the maceration that occurs between the toes due to perspiration and moisture. For the same reason, these corns are more susceptible to infection, due to the prevalence of bacteria between the toes. For this reason, and to make sure the pain is resolved quickly, you should contact Houston Podiatrist Dr. Andrew Schneider for immediate treatment

  • Does a corn grow from a seed?

    Unless in a garden or farm, corns do not grow from seeds. Joking aside, corns on feet do not grow from a seed or root. A corn is a thickening of skin in response to pressure. For instance, a shoe that is too narrow can press against a toe, resulting in pressure which causes the skin to react by thickening and forming a corn.

    Many corns occur regardless of how "good" a shoe is. A bone in the toe is often causing pressure internally. This could be from arthritis, bone spurs, or a contracture of the joint known as a hammertoe. The pressure from the bone also forms the conical area of hard, dead skin called a corn. Treatment for this includes padding and wearing shoes with more room inside. Surgery to remove the pressure from the bone is often the best definitive treatment for a persistent corn.

  • Why does my callus keep coming back?

    A callus forms due to areas of high pressure beneath the foot. While a callus may be removed by a Houston podiatrist, the pressure that initially formed the callus remains. Unless the pressures of walking are changed, the callus will return.

    The pressure created by walking that causes the callus to form can be changed in two ways. A custom orthotic is an insole that addresses the mechanics of the foot and ankle. In doing so, the pressure that causes the callus to form may be changed and cause the callus to lessen or resolve. Another way to redistribute the pressures that cause a callus is the use of a foot pad. A pad made from felt or gel works best to alleviate the pressure that causes the callus to form.

  • What's the difference between a corn and a callus?

    Houston treatment for corns and callusA corn and a callus both are an area of thickened, dead skin corresponding to areas of pressure on the foot. While they are composed of the same material, they are indeed two different things.

    A callus is found on the bottom of the foot. It is generally superficial and doesn't often cause pain. It occurs from the twisting, shear forces of the foot on the ground. The skin thickens with callus to add protection to these forces. You may feel some numbness in the area of the callus. Occasionally a callus is painful, feeling like their are pebbles embedded in it. This happens if callus tissue fills up pores and sweat glands on the sole of the foot.

    A corn is caused by a more direct source of pressure. It is smaller in breadth but often goes deeper, which causes a corn to be particularly painful. Corns are often found on top of the toes. They also can occur between the toes, where they're known as soft corns. A corn can also be found beneath the foot, usually in instances where the natural fat pad has worn away. This is quite painful and should be taken care of by a podiatrist in Houston, TX.

  • Is a plantar wart the same as a callus?

    A plantar wart and callus are two different things. A callus is a thickening of the skin in an area of high pressure. The outer layer of the skin is "dead" but puts adds to pressure beneath the foot, often causing pain. Treatment for a callus includes padding and the safe removal of the dead skin, often by a foot doctor in Houston.

    A planters wart is a manifestation of a virus on the foot, known as a verruca. A wart can occur anywhere, but a "plantar" wart is specific to the bottom of the foot. While a wart and callus appear similar, they are treated in different ways. A wart becomes intertwined with the healthy skin and is fed by blood vessels. The goal of treatment for a wart is to eliminate the wart tissue but preserve the healthy skin without injury or scarring.