Understanding Corns

Corns are small sections of hardened skin | Family Podiatry Centre | Best Foot Doctor Podiatrist DPM Clinic Singapore Malaysia

Corns are small, thickened sections of skin which have hard centers surrounded by inflamed skin caused by constant stress being applied to the skin of the foot, such as long hours of walking. They are not an infection and do not have roots, contrary to popular belief.

What causes Corns?

Our feet undergo four main types of stress on a day to day basis:

  1. Compression stress, which results from the tissue being squashed between the ground and the bone structures in the foot, such as when walking. Compression also occurs when adjacent toes are pushed together in a tight shoe.
  2. Tensile stress, which is the stretching of tissues under your body weight.
  3. Shearing stress, which arises when two forces act in different planes and in opposite directions. For instance, when you walk, the foot slides forward as the base of the shoe moves backwards, rubbing against the bottom of the foot.
  4. Torsional stress, which is a combination of shearing with rotation. It typically occurs when the foot makes pivoting movements inside a shoe, such as when spinning or turning.

Our feet are usually hardy, and these stresses are often well tolerated by them. However, as soon as it gets to be too much, physical changes start to occur as the foot tries to adapt to the stress. This creates corns and calluses. 

Best Corns treatment

While there are many home remedies for corns and their close cousin, calluses, some are unsafe and may cause scarring or further damage – such as manually trying to dig them out. Proper removal techniques should be used to address them. 

Improper removal of corns can leave deep scars | Family Podiatry Centre | Best Foot Doctor Podiatrist DPM Clinic Singapore Malaysia

Corns and calluses are often confused for each other and with warts, which can be problematic. Correct diagnosis is extremely important since corns are often incorrectly surgically excised under local anesthetic. The corn then reappears after a few weeks with the added complication of a scar which becomes very painful. 

In order to arrive at a proper diagnosis, the leg, foot, type of corns and shoes must all be examined by a qualified podiatrist. The stresses which caused the corn in the first place must also be examined and understood so that we can arrive at the correct surgical removal procedure and post-treatment plans. In order to avoid misdiagnosis and potentially permanent scarring, we highly recommend visiting a podiatrist to examine your feet and remove the corns

Written by Mark B. Reyneker
Written by Mark B. Reyneker

Based in Singapore, 20 years of clinical experience. Practiced in South Africa, Malaysia, and Singapore. Pioneered CAD/CAM custom-made orthotics in S.E Asia.

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