What are Corns?

A health article about corns & calluses from Your Health Online the A to Z directory of dealing with Health Problems & nutritional Self Care Strategies

Both of these skin conditions are areas of hyperkeratosis, or over­growth of skin tissue. The skin thickens and hardens.

Calluses most commonly form on the soles of the feet and sometimes on the hands or knees.

Corns are small cone­shaped areas of skin overgrowth that most often form on or between the toes. They can be either soft or hard.

If they form between the toes, the moisture of the area keeps them soft; when they form on top of the toes they are typically hard.

Having a hammertoe or mallet toe may lead to a more severe form of callus called intractable plantar keratosis (IPK).

This callous forms as a result of a serious imbalance in weight-bearing, with considerably more pressure being placed on one area of the foot than on others.

These growths can cause inflammation and pain. These especially may ache and be tender to the touch.

Both conditions usually form in response to repeated friction or pressure, such as from wearing ill-fitting shoes or performing certain tasks repeatedly.

Other factors that may be involved include staphylococcus- or streptococcus-type infection, and an acid/ alkaline imbalance in the body

Some of the common symptoms of Corns

Corns are usually found over the joins of the toes and on the soles of the feet.

Symptoms include hard growths on the skin in response to direct pressure.

They may be extremely sore and surrounded by inflamed, swollen skin.

Some of the common symptoms are :

  • A hard growth on the skin of the toes.
  • Pain when pressure is applied against the area.
  • White and rubbery bumps of skin.
  • Sometimes redness and swelling around the corn, with severe discomfort.

Types of Corns and Calluses

They are painful bumps on the toes.

Areas affected with corns becomes hard and the skin becomes thick.

The skin surrounding it becomes yellow and it appears like a soft ring encircling it.

Skin in the center is gray.

They develop on the toes mostly and appear because of tight shoes, which apply lots of pressure on the toe region.

The rubbing of the shoes elevates the problem.

In this case, a more comfortable pair of shoes should be opted.

They can take a long time to go away.

A doughnut shaped pad can be worn in the shoe to avoid friction.

Pads with salicylic acid are also highly suggested.

What Causes Corns

They are usually formed as a result of pressure on the toes and skin surfaces of the feet, through incorrect footwear.

The toes are malformed from the same cause.

Some common causes include:

  • Seam or stitch inside the shoe which rubs against the toe.
  • Wearing tight shoes.
  • High heeled footwear
  • Not wearing of correct fitting shoes.

Risk Factors: Who are prone to Corns

Many people complain of callus after shoveling or raking leaves.

The symptoms are that the affected area develops hard skin and are similar to that of corns.

Repeated application of pressure will thicken the hardened skin which has a yellow or grayish color.

In some sense, it actually acts as a protection layer.

Gymnasts and guitarist often are victims of calluses on their hands from the friction of what they do.

Gymnasts develop them when working with uneven parallel bars and guitarists develop them when playing with the strings continuously.

But once they are formed, calluses make their task easier.

Gymnasts can swing on bars more easily and guitarists can play the guitar well.

Prevention of Corns

Almost everybody faces corns, calluses and blisters problem on their hands and feet.

They cause extreme discomfort, but at the same time, they are easily preventable.

The major cause for all of them is friction between the skin and foreign objects.

  • For soft corns, which usually occur between the toes, the feet should be washed daily.
  • Always wear properly fitting shoes.
  • Wear gloves when doing hard hand work

Blisters are usually caused when new pair of shoes has been worn, in general terms, they are caused by pressure and rubbing.

Also they are formed more easily when compared to calluses.

The skin is popped up with some watery fluid inside it and can appear anywhere on the hand or the feet.

The best way to avoid them is to wear protecting gear such as gloves when doing heavy duty work, like while shoveling or even when driving a cycle or a bike.

If the blisters aren’t taken care of in the initial stages, they grow further to form calluses.

This can happen when the same pair of shoes is worn everyday, which caused the blister in the first place.

Blisters heal by themselves over a period of time. They should be cleaned regularly and kept clean & covered with a bandage.  

In case of corn, calluses and blisters, the best approach is prevention when compared to cure.

Firstly, protective gear, like work gloves or grips, should be worn when doing strenuous jobs.

Tight-fitting shoes should not be worn to avoid corn and calluses.

Researchers say that the feet are of the maximum size in afternoon. So it is advisable to shop for shoes in the afternoon.

Also a trial should be done before deciding on the final pair.

A particular pair of shoes shouldn’t be worn on a regular basis. Shoe pads can be worn to avoid the pressure.

When To Seek Medical Attention For Corns

If the corn is hurting badly, a podiatrist should be consulted. 

If you suffer from diabetes, you may need to consult a doctor.

In people with diabetes, poor circulation can lead to problems with the feet.

You should also consult a professional if the area becomes infected.

Never use a knife or any sharp instrument to cut the hardened area away, as infection can result.


Callus when formed on the foot, especially on the sole, can be very painful every time it is stepped on.

They form on the ball or the curvy part of the sole, which follows the toes.

Sometimes they can also form the heel or on small toes.

To avoid callus, it is advised to avoid tight fitting shoes and shoes with high heels.

Both of them put a lot of pressure and stress on certain points.

The callus can be soaked in lukewarm water and then it should be rubbed with a pumice stone.

This will remove the dead skin.   

Self Care strategies for Living with corns

Natural Home Remedies Include:

  • Use alternate applications of alcohol-free goldenseal extract and tea tree oil to keep down infection and speed healing.
  • Lemon is another valuable remedy for corns. A fresh slice of lemon should be tied over the painful area at night and allowed to remain there the whole night.
  • Raw papaya is beneficial in the treatment of corns. Its juice is an irritant and it is, therefore, a useful application in this condition. Half a teaspoon of raw papaya juice may be applied thrice daily. Benefits in the treatment of calluses.
  • For corns between the toes, dab on vitamin E oil and place a clean piece of cotton or a cotton ball over it. Make sure to use 100-percent cotton, not synthetic cosmetic puffs. Put on clean white cotton socks and leave them on overnight after treatment. Vitamin E oil mixed with a crushed garlic clove is good for softening corns and calluses.
  • The milky juice of green figs is valuable for corns of long duration. It helps to soften them. Half a teaspoon of this juice may be extracted from the fruit and applied two or three times daily.
  • Medicated pads are available that are supposed to treat corns and calluses. Most of these products are fairly aggressive, however, and may attack good tissue as well, provoking an allergic reaction.
  • Compresses made from hot Epsom salts or Footherapy solution from Para Laboratories/Queen Helene are good.
  • The pulp of raw potato is also useful in the treatment of corn. It should be placed on the corn and secured with a bandage and allowed to remain for two or three hours.
  • Rub castor oil onto the affected area for two or three minutes twice a day.
  • Apply the juice of green figs to get relief from corns.
  • Chalk powder has also been found beneficial in the treatment of corns. A small piece of chalk may be ground into a paste with water and applied over the affected area.
  • Aloe cream is an effective skin softener, and two or three daily applications of calendula salve can soften skin and prevent inflammation.

Vitamin & Nutrient Associations

Even when we try to eat well, we're disadvantaged. The nutritional content of most food has been compromised over the years, not only by deficient soils and modern production, transportation, storage and processing methods, but also by the enormous amounts of chemical and artificial substances added to promote growth, storage life, taste and appearance.

It's for this reason that more and more medical authorities are advocating the use of vitamin and mineral supplements. However, finding them in the right combination can be both confusing and costly.

The nutrition products I am going to recommend you make use of knowledge gained from the botanical world's 6,000 year history. They incorporated health building nutritional herbs with the best modern technology to help our bodies cleanse and detoxify so that the cells - the tiniest living units - can be as fully nourished as possible.

This allows the cells to grow, repair and to perform their functions with the best possible efficiency so that we feel and look better and are more able to prevent and fight disease. Once the body begins to clear itself of toxins it can more efficiently absorb nutrition.

Further reading through our articles on health issues will give you a body of information that will help you decide what options you have to deal with the underlying causes of your problem through giving your body the nutrition products that will assist you body to heal from the inside out.

We wish you well in your search for solutions to this problem and your movement towards better health in all areas.

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