Corns are one of the most common foot problems , but they can be prevented and treated.
- Corns develop as a part of your body’s response to prolonged or repeated friction or pressure.
- Corns usually appear on typical pressure spots.
- Some people are more prone to developing corns then others.
In this article:
- Who suffers from corns and why?
- Prevention is the best remedy
Who suffers from corns and why?
Genetics, trauma and aging are risk factors for developing corns.
- Foot abnormalities (flat-footed, abnormal gait)
- Foot deformities (bunions, hammer toe)
- Low skin elasticity (e.g. due to age).
- Activity. People with jobs that require a lot of foot work (e.g. nurses, waiters, flight attendants) are at a higher risk of developing corns.
- Choice of footwear. We too often choose our shoes by appearance and do not pay enough attention to a good fit and comfort.
Prevention is the best remedy
The best way to prevent corns is to avoid the activities and poor choices in footwear that cause corns and follow simple footcare. Here are some general tips on how best to prevent corns, without having to give up your favorite activities.
What to do:
- Take care of your feet! Wash your feet with soap and water every evening and apply a moisturizing foot cream after drying them well. If you tend to have hard skin, regularly use a pumice stone or foot file to remove it.
- Keep your toenails trimmed. Long toenails can rub on the neighboring toes or push the toe against the shoe. To trim your toenails correctly, make sure to cut them straight across and not rounded or angled.
- Wear comfortable well-fitting shoes. The most common cause for corns is shoes that are the wrong size or shape. Wide, comfortable shoes with a low heel and soft sole that do not rub are ideal. If you want to be sure of the right fit, ask a store assistant for help. Since your feet slightly swell during the day, shop for shoes in the evening, when your feet are the largest. Also pay attention to any seams that might cause irritation.
- Regularly change your shoes in order to avoid irritating the same pressure spots every day. This is particularly advisable for people that are at a higher risk of developing corns due to their professional activities.
- Wear comfortable socks, which, if necessary, are thick and cushioned.
- Use heel pads or soft insoles. If you stand or walk a lot due to your professional activities, this might help you to relieve the pressure on your feet.
- Pay attention to your feet! Take care of any irritation or pain directly and if necessary, see a foot specialist regularly.
- Protect your feet when breaking in new shoes. Wear the right socks or breathable bandages on areas prone to corn formation. If you know that you will wear tight shoes or if you start feeling a point of pressure, corn bandages such as Compeed® Corn cushions might be of use.
- Seek medical advice if you have any underlying foot problems, such as deformities of the feet or an abnormal gait. In these cases your doctor might recommend special footwear or corrective inserts.
What to avoid:
- Avoid wearing ill-fitting shoes where possible. Try not to wear shoes that are too tight, too loose, too high or have badly placed seams. Types of shoes not adapted for long time wear include high heels, pointed-toe heels, and high arched boots.
- Don’t wear badly fitting socks, no socks or no footwear at all.
- Try to avoid prolonged periods of standing.
If you do develop a corn, you can care for it using the Compeed range of products.
Dunn JE. Prevalence of Foot and Ankle Conditions in a Multiethnic Community Sample of Older Adults. American Journal of Epidemiology 2004 ; 159 : 491–498.