Diabetic Foot Care Advice

The aim of this blog is to help members of the public to understand their feet better. However the information on this blog should never be regarded as medical advice. Readers with foot problems are strongly encouraged to visit their GP if not the podiatrist for further medical assessment and treatment.

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Friday, August 1, 2008

Soft Corns

Corns are a buildup of hardened skin that forms as a protection from friction or pressure. Hard corns and soft corns are two types of corns. Hard corns are most common. Hard corns often form on the tops or tips of the toes and are usually due to ill-fitting shoes. Soft corns usually form between the toes.

Soft corns are sometimes called “kissing corns” or heloma molle. Unlike hard corns, soft corns consist of whitish, moist skin and may be pea-sized. These usually form between the fourth and fifth toes. Soft corns can be caused by an abnormality of the toe bones. If left untreated, soft corns are at risk of infection and can form small, open sores.

Both hard and soft corns are painful. They can be treated by over-the-counter corn treatments. Some people find relief by placing a foam wedge or small piece of lamb’s wool between the fourth and fifth toes to alleviate some of the pressure. Arch supports may help alleviate some of the pressure between the toes by shifting the distribution of pressure on the foot. If a soft corn is caused by an irregularity of the toe bones, this cause needs to be addressed with a podiatrist in order to stop soft corns from recurring.

Shoes that are too narrow or have pointy toes may aggravate the condition. Wearing shoes with wide toe boxes and cotton socks is recommended. Some people suggest the application of antibiotic ointment to the area of the soft corn.

It can be difficult to tell if the painful white skin is a soft corn or a symptom of severe athlete’s foot. A physician needs to examine a soft corn to determine the underlying cause and the best treatment for the soft corn. The over-the-counter corn treatments will often remove the corn, but if there if the cause is not addressed, it will return.


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