Foot-corns--how-to-get-rid-of-corn-know-from-a-dermatologist

How to use corn cap or paint to get rid of corn: Dermatologist advice

Written By Dr Surbhi, MD Skin

Last updated: 15/05/17

Is your foot corn painful? Did you try corn caps many times already? Corns, especially foot corns are notoriously recurrent, no matter how many times you put corn caps. Do you know why? Because you might not be using corn cap or paints in the right way. Secondly, you should find and remove the underlying cause behind your corn or callus. In this article, I have discussed:

  • How to use corn caps?
  • What is dermatologist recommended alternatives to corn caps?
  • What causes corn?
  • How to prevent recurrences?
  • When to see a dermatologist?

How to use corn caps?

Corn caps works by removing the hard and dead skin of corn or callus with the help of salicylic acid. It is important to use the corn cap in the right way as given below:

  • Step 1 Soak your feet in warm water for 5-10 minutes: This will soften the skin of corn and enhance the absorption of salicylic acid present in the corn cap. You can skip this step once you notice that skin of corn is already softened; just wash your feet followed by drying it thoroughly.

  • Step 2 Rub with pumice stone: This step is optional and is recommended before first few applications. Gently rubs the corn or callus with pumice stone; the pressure should be gentle so that you don’t feel any pain.

  • Step 3 Completely dry your corn: This is essential step to avoid trapping moisture under the corn cap that can lead to maceration of your skin.

  • Step 4 Put corn cap:  Make sure that you put the corn cap exactly over the corn and secure it if needed with micropore so that it does not come out until next 24 hours.

  • Step 5 Remove softened skin: It very crucial to understand how to remove corn after putting corn cap. Most people might think harsher the better. But, you should not peel off the soft skin by putting undue pressure. Instead, take out the soft skin gently without much pressure. Use a scissor or nail cutter to remove the hanging piece of skin, if needed, 

  • Step 6 Repeat: Repeat the above steps until you cannot feel the thick skin. Gradually, you will not have pain on walking and the skin in the area of corn will get thinner. However, discontinue the corn cap if you notice that your corn or surrounding skin is getting raw and painful. In this case, consult a dermatologist.

  • Step 7 Pad the corn: As you repeat step 1 to 6 every night, you might feel that the skin over the corn is getting soft and peeling out in layers. It might pain as well. This is the time when you will need the protective corn pads or cotton padding.

  • Step 8 Stop: Now, the question arises "How do you know when corn is removed?" Most people stop once they do not feel the pain on walking. However, this is not the end point because the pain disappears on the removal of thickest part of corn, and the part that remains is too small to cause pain. I would recommend you to reexamine the corn area once a week. The appearance of the fingerprint lines or fine lines in continuity with surrounding skin is a good indicator of complete cure. However, if you notice, a hard white lump of skin instead, restart step 1 to 7 once again. You must remember that cure of corn does not ensure against recurrences, you should find and remove the cause for your corn to avoid recurrences as discussed in next sections.

 

What is dermatologist recommended alternatives to corn caps?

As a dermatologist, I prefer corn paints instead of corn cap because they can be applied exactly over the corn without spillage. Corn paints are collodion mixture of salicylic acid and lactic acid. This can be bought by prescription or otherwise. Dr. Scholl's Corn/Callus Remover Liquid is one such product that is available easily on amazon.in, amazon.com and amazon.co.uk. The steps of using corn paint are similar to corn cap with few differences as listed below:

  • Step 1 Soak your feet in warm water for 5-10 minutes: This will soften the skin of corn and enhance the absorption of Dr.Scholl's Corn or Callus Remover Liquid. You can skip this step once you notice that skin of corn is already softened; just wash your feet followed by drying it thoroughly.

  • Step 2 Rub with pumice stone: This step is optional and is recommended before first few applications. After cleaning and drying your skin gently rub the corn or callus with pumice stone; the pressure should be gentle so that you don’t feel any pain.

  • Step 3 Apply a thick coat of Vaseline jelly to the skin surrounding the corn/callus: This step is very important because the surrounding normal skin might peel and get sore if the spillage occurs repeatedly.

  • Step 4 Apply Dr Scholl's Corn or Callus Remover Liquid exactly over the corn or callus and wait until dry. This liquid is made of colloidan base that is thick enough to stay on the area applied and it dries very fast reducing the chances of spillage to surrounding skin.

  • Step 5 Pad the corn: As you repeat step 1 to 4 every night, you might feel that the skin over the corn is getting soft and peeling out in layers. It might pain as well. This is the time when you will need the protective pads for sure. Place the protective pad over the area of corn and secure it with plaster or bandage. This will ease the pain due to corn.

  • Step 6 Remove the corn: Instead of pulling the softened skin by your fingers, use a clean scissor to remove the skin that is already peeled off gently without pulling it.

  • Step 7 Repeat Step 1 to 6 until normal skin lines appear: Most people stop once they do not feel the pain on walking. However, this is not the end point because the pain disappears on the removal of thickest part of corn, and the part that remains is too small to cause pain. I would recommend you to reexamine the corn area once a week. The appearance of the fingerprint lines or fine lines in continuity with surrounding skin is a good indicator of complete cure. However, if you notice, a hard white lump of skin instead, restart step 1 to 6 once again.

 

What causes corn?

The major reason of recurrence of corn is either the faulty use of corn cap/paints or unaddressed cause. The cause might be in the shoe or your feet as stated below:

  • Faulty shoes: Corns are due to constant friction on a small area of feet due to either faulty foot mechanism or ill-fitted shoes. Ensure that you wear a right-sized shoe. If needed, please go to the shoe store to verify the size on a scale. Both loose fitting and tight shoes can cause corns because your feet keep on moving against loosely-fitted shoes while it gets compressed at certain points in the tight shoes. Similarly, any nail, stitch, buckle or for that matter any pointed area in shoe might be the cause of your corn. Ensure to determine the exact cause and correct it.
  • Foot abnormalities: Look and feel your feet for the deformities like out-turned, in-turned, curled or deformed toes. Many times, an overgrowth of bone is present beneath your corn. If needed, compare it with someone around you. Seek doctor’s consultation, if you notice anything unusual.

 

How to prevent recurrences?

Many times, it is difficult to totally remove the cause of corn like an underlying bony abnormality. In such cases, even after the cure of corn, pad the area of previous corn with cotton before wearing closed shoes, so that the skin does not get compressed between the bony abnormality or your shoe. Similarly, start dipping your feet in warm water for 15 minutes to soften any thickened skin as soon as it becomes visible followed by gentle rubbing it with a pumice stone every night. This procedure would delay recurrences.

 

When to see a dermatologist?

You should consult a general physician, chiropodist or dermatologist if your corn is painful, recurrent and not responding to corn cap/paint. They may suggest you take an X-ray of your feet to rule out underlying bony abnormality and refer to an orthopaedic if needed.

Pairing is the procedure done by the doctor to remove dead skin of corn and is an instant solution for painful corn. Though it involves scraping the dead skin of the corn with the help of blade, pairing is painless. Also, there will be no bleeding because the corn is made of dead skin cells devoid of blood vessels. Therefore, you should be having no problem in going for this procedure.

Well, at the end, I would like to emphasise the fact that key to get rid of corn completely is treating the cause and using the corn cap or paint in the right way!


SiteLock