Corns, otherwise known as foot calluses, are an accumulation of dead skin cells (calluses) around an irritated tissue on the foot. My step-mother used to have the most terrible corns, and maybe she still does. I haven't seen her feet for a while. She didn't wear shoes that were conducive to, well, feet. Her feet weren't meant to go in those shoes, or those shoes weren't meant to go on feet. I honestly don't know which is closer to the truth, but my recent trip to the mall has me eyeing the latest trends in footwear with some suspicion.
I don't know why women subject themselves to that sort of torture. Is it because men want them too? Is it because the high heels of "raunch culture" are seeping into everyday fashion? Sociological hypothesis aside, here are some things you can do to get rid of corns:
Practical Treatment for Corns
Wearing shoes that fit properly will most definitely get rid of corns. I can't believe people actually need to be told this, but I think we all know how deep denial can get when we're trying to achieve that perfect image. Listen, I know you like high heels and nice shoes that don't fit just right, but I'll tell you that the most common cause of corns are ill-fitting shoes, especially the dressy ones with narrow toes. Listening to reason is the first step toward getting rid of corns.
Soak your feet and use a pumice stone to grind away dead skin. You will find a good, natural soaking solution recipe in the sidebar to the right. Soak your feet in a warm mixture of boric acid, iodine, and bran for 20 minutes each day, and rub away that dead skin with either a cloth or a pumice stone. Members of wikipedia suggest a 40 grit piece of sand paper if you don't have a pumice stone. Really, any mildly abrasive surface will due to get rid of corns.
If you have corns between your toes, use a bit of cloth or padding to help keep your toes from rubbing against each other. Some people recommend cotton balls jammed between the toes to get rid of corns, but the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons recommends lambs' wool instead of cotton. Who knows why. Maybe they struck a deal with the heads of the lamb's wool industry in exchange for free legs of lamb during the holidays? I guess I trust a group of doctors more than an internet forum.
Corn pads are good, but medicated corn pads are not good. The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons does not recommend medicated corn pads because they present the possibility of further irritating the skin underneath the corn and could possibly result in an infection. An infection on your foot is never a good thing. So, if you're combining treatments, go ahead and use a non-medicated corn pad during the day to get rid of corns.
It is possible that you have a physical health problem that makes you more susceptible to corns, your doctor may be able to fix this. Toe deformations, foot development issues, bone structure problems: all of these things can be the cause of corns because a deformed food tends not to fit in a shoe properly or to be walked on properly. Go see an orthopedic specialist if you have a problem with recurring corns. Just cross your fingers and pray that your insurance company covers this kind of surgery. Orthopedic surgery is never cheap
Corn Medications & Calluses Removal
I wouldn't recommend corn pads, mostly because the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons doesn't recommend the medicated ones, and the others usually add more pressure to the corn, causing more corn-related complications. If you're going to use a corn pad, use a horseshoe or donut shaped pad to avoid putting pressure directly down on the corn, which is the primary cause of corn growth in the first place. If I were to recommend a particular corn medication, I would go with a medication called DPM. It seems to be a favorite among podiatrists, and usually isn't sold in drug stores or over-the-counter.
There is always surgical removal of a corn, but removal is a temporary solution to the problem. If you choose to have surgery on your corn, make sure to get antibiotics to prevent infection, and follow the advice above to prevent recurring corn problems.