Any kind of growth on your foot will eventually become painful. One of the most painful and yet common issues you may ever have to deal with on your feet is a corn. If you have a corn, you know just how painful walking around with such a development on your foot is, and how kicking your feet back and removing your shoes at the end of the day is the only relief. Thankfully, this is not something you need to deal with, as corn removal is possible. You don't even need to go to the doctor for corn removal. By following these tips and suggestions you can rid your feet of corns and, with it, improve your quality of life.
What Are Corns and How Are They Different from Calluses?
There are a number of growths your feet can suffer from. It is important to understand what each is. This way, you'll know what kind of treatment you need to seek out, as what you may believe to be a corn might end up being something completely different.
A corn is the buildup of hard skin around a bony area of your foot. Usually this is between toes or on the outside of your big toe. Usually, corns develop due to pressure placed on the particular area of the foot. This is why corns are more likely to form where the toes press against the side of shoes or when toes are pinched together.
A callus and corn have several similarities. A callus is the build-up of hard skin, but instead of between toes, calluses are formed on the bottom of a foot. Calluses develop on the underside of your foot because of improperly distributing weight on your feet. Most people have at least some form of a callus on the bottom of the foot (similar to calluses forming on portions of your fingers).
In terms of skin build up, both corns and calluses are exactly the same. The only real difference is the location on the foot.
While a corn forms due to constant pressure applied to an area of your feet, blisters form when there is constant friction. So you may develop a corn if your shoes are too tight. On the other hand, you might develop a blister if the shoes are too loose and the material rubs against the foot. It is possible for a blister to form below a corn, where a shoe both applies constant pressure and rubs against the toe. These are especially painful and difficult to remove, as it often means you need to go through the corn to get to the blister.
Lastly there is the bunion. This is different from the other issues you may experience with your feet, although it can begin developing the same way as these other issues. When you wear improperly fitting shoes, your big toe is forced up against your next toe. This forces the joint of your big toe to push out and, eventually, grow larger. The bunion looks like an oversized big toe joint (which is basically what it is), while the big toe will shift and point inward.
While you can correct the other issues with standard, at-home practices, a bunion is not something you can correct on your own. You will need foot surgery to have the portion of the joint removed and the toe alignment corrected. As you can probably tell, this is an extremely painful problem to deal with (and one of the reasons
why you need to invest in properly fitting shoes).
Why Is it Important to Remove Corns?
When you first see a corn develop, it may not hurt at all. It may just look like an additional development of skin. In addition to not having the most appealing look, if it isn't hurting you might avoid any kind of treatment. However, the development of a corn means your shoes are not fitting correctly. It also means your shoe is likely squeezing your big toe against your small toe.
As your corn expands the push against your big toe will increase. This additional pressure will force your toe to shift against the second toe and, with that, it increases your chance of developing bunions. While it is not a guarantee, bunions are more painful and will require surgery. This is an expensive procedure to correct eventual foot pain, when you could have just removed the corn.
Corn removal isn't difficult, and it is something you can do at home. At the very least, if you don't want to remove the corn at home you can pay a professional to do so; and even then it won't cost all that much.
It all comes down to taking care of your feet and, should something develop, addressing the problem sooner rather than later.
Proper Steps for Corn Removal
Corn removal can be a soothing experience. With corns on your feet you have, at the very least, feet that are pressing against your shoes or have toes pinching against one another. By removing the corn you'll correct this problem. However, there are some specific steps you'll want to follow for your corn removal.
What Not to Do
Yes, you've probably considered this before. You may have never done it before, but never cut at the corn. This means don't take a knife and work at the corn. This is an accident waiting to happen. You also should never turn your toe nail clipper into an excavating tool for your toe either. Clipping away at the toe will leave the skin uneven, plus it leaves open cuts in your toe that may develop infections. You want to smoothly sand this area away so you won't end up causing further problems.
Soak Your Foot
If you have corns on one foot, you probably have similar corns on the other. If you don't, it means either that your shoes are differently shaped (which probably isn't the case), or that your toes and feet are slightly different (more likely the case). Either way, you'll want to soak your feet to soften the skin. There are a number of ways you can do this. You can always just take a bath or shower. You can even go swimming in the pool and come out when you're all pruney.
You can also soak your feet in a foot bath if you're not in the mood to take a full shower. If you'd like, you can add some aroma therapy oils into the foot bath, or you can add something like tea tree oil to help soften the skin. If you do put something like tea tree oil (or even apple cider vinegar) into the foot bath, only soak your feet for 10 to 15 minutes. Anything more and you'll damage the rest of your skin.
Sand Down the Corns
Now that your skin is soft, you'll want to sand down the corn using a pumice stone. A pumice stone is made from volcanic stone, so it is lightweight and porous, yet it is great for removing dead skin on your feet. You can also purchase objects made specifically for working down corns from the local grocery store (such as Walmart or Target). These objects work like cheese graters, only the grate is far smaller. You'll want to use a pumice stone after using the grater to smooth out the skin (you only really need the grater option if the corns have become large and you need to work down more skin).
You won't even feel the removal of the skin from your feet. Once you can start to feel the movement of the pumice stone on that area of the skin you'll want to stop, as it means you've removed most, if not all the corn.
Professional Corn Removal
Perhaps you do not feel comfortable removing the corn on your own. That is perfectly fine as you can have it professionally done. Most nail salons offer corn removal services. This is a great option when you want someone else to remove the corn. They can polish up the rest of your foot while also working on your nails and removing dead skin from other areas of your foot. While this does cost a bit more than doing it yourself, it can be incredibly relaxing and well worth the monetary investment. If you've never done it before you should at least give it a try.
Corn removal doesn't need to be much of a chore. If you have properly fitting shoes, you won't have much of an issue. And even if you develop corns (after all, how many people have perfectly fitting shoes 100 percent of the time?) you can remove the corn in just a few minutes. So whether you perform the corn removal yourself or you go to a nail salon and pay someone to do it for you, foot care is important and ensures you won't run into more serious foot problems later.
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