Corns and Calluses

Corns and Calluses

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What is a corn?

Corns are mainly found on the top of toe-joints or on the side of feet and are raised, shiny domes of hard thickened skin with a hard nucleus or centre.  Corns are similar to calluses and caused by friction on the skin. Corns can cause pain and get inflamed when they press on a nerve in the foot or against a hard shoe, so it is important for your foot health and comfort to remove a corn as soon as it appears.

Corns can usually be avoided by wearing shoes that fit properly, are neither too loose or too tight, are not pointed and do not rub and cause friction.  A useful tip when buying shoes is to consider trying on a pair at the end of the day when your feet could be warm and slightly swollen after being stood on all day. It is also good to remember to wear socks that are the right size and not too small or too large which will also cause the toes to bunch up and rub against the shoe.

It is important to keep your toenails trimmed. Toenails that are too long can push the toes up against the hard surface of the shoe and create friction and pressure which will gradually cause a corn to form. It is also important to keep feet clean and if they are very dry to moisturise them to reduce friction.

To ease the pain of a corn, you can use a corn pad to remove the excess pressure. Corn pads are donut shaped cushioned plasters with a hole in the centre for the corn to sit in and to protect it from chafing.

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To get rid of a corn:

Use a corn and callus remover regularly to soften and help remove corns and calluses

  1. Soften the corn by bathing in hot water.
  2. Dry thoroughly.
  3. Please note. It is important to mask the area surrounding the corn to protect the healthy skin, either by covering the area with a piece of adhesive plaster in which a hole the size of the corn has been cut or use a suitably sized adhesive corn ring.  Alternately protect the healthy skin around the corn with a layer of Vaseline. The corn will then be exposed in the open hole in the centre of the plaster or Vaseline.
  4. Apply the ointment so that it covers the exposed corn.
  5. Cover the corn with a second piece of plaster.
  6. Change the dressing every second day until the corn peels off in layers. It usually takes about 8 days for the corn to be removed but resistant cases may take longer. Do not administer the ointment for longer than 14 days.
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