Most drugstores are loaded with drugs, medications, creams, oils, etc… to treat calluses and corns. Most of us just go with any products that make blind promises. But I am not accusing all the products dedicated to giving you the much-needed relief. however, if you do a little research on the ingredients that can soothe your condition and cure it, then your quest will have a lot more sense. To treat this condition you would first need a right oil to soften that rock hard skin layers followed by customised skin patches to protect the affected area and right pair of socks, shoes, slippers, and insoles to bring down the pain. If you have corns in your hands then you would need a right pair of gloves for protection. So let us look into remedies.
What triggers calluses and corns?
Our body has a natural mechanism in place that protects us inside out. When some external part of your skin goes through a lot of abuse or take in a lot of stress and strain or when it gets rubbed way too often, our body’s natural defence mechanism starts to kick in, and starts to build up a strong armour in that particular location by piling up numerous dead cells. It can happen due to many reasons like wearing a pair of shoes that’s too big, lifting heavy metal objects way too often, working with heavy tools etc… Normally these pile of dead cells (callus) are harmless and also painless. However, it can turn very painful when it presses against the nerve endings, pain sensors, and blood vessels present in the deeper layers of the skin. If you have a foot corn then you might feel like you are stepping on a hard pebble every time you put more weight on it.
Stone and Board Remedy
You can scrape off some dead cells from callus or corns to ease down the pain from it. And there are two available options to carry forward the process.
Pumice Stone: This is easily available in many pharmacies and drug stores. Take a shower or wash your feet before this process. Wet feet would soften the dead skin cells and will make the scraping process more effective. Gently rub the pumice stone on the affected region.
Emery Board: You can make use of emery board when calluses and corns happen in areas where a pumice stone won’t fit in. For example, in places between your toes. In such instances, you can insert a piece of emery board to scrape off the dead cells right after a shower. Use the ones that are designed for filing fingernails.
Keep the Hard Cells Soft
One of the best oils that Doctors recommend to make those rock hard dead cells soft is castor oil. Buy some doughnut-shaped corn pads from your local pharmacy or drug store, stick it in such a way so that center of your callus or corn is at the center of the doughnut-shaped pad. Apply few drops of castor oil to the corn surface, you can make use of a cotton swab for the process.
Once done use an adhesive tape to keep the corn pad in place. Now you have some castor oil in place to soften the dead cells and the pads nicely encircle it taking in most pressure, friction, and stress from falling directly over the corn.
Sometimes castor oil can leak out of the tape leading to stains, so you can wear old socks (for legs) or gloves (for hands) while following this method
You can also add some Epsom salt in warm water and soak your feet in regularly to make those hard cells soft. Follow the directions in the package.
When to seek Doctor’s help?
Though home remedies can be quite effective for initial foot corns for most people, it is not really recommended for people with diabetes. Poor blood circulation in places like foot can put diabetes patients at high-risk of infections. Additionally, when you use unsterile instruments to treat it at home it can potentially induce infection causing bacterias. So, if you have diabetes then treating your corns with a Doctor is highly recommended. When calluses and corns get inflamed it is a sure sign that your condition needs a professional care from a Doctor.
Salicylic Acid to the Rescue
If you are out in the market for corn removing patches look for the ones with salicylic acid. Always apply the patch after a shower and leave it on till you take the next shower. Sometimes salicylic acid cause soreness to your skin, so check for it whenever you remove the patch. Else, it could lead to infection over the normal skin.
Do you know that aspirin tablets are a great source of salicylic acid? Crush some four to five aspirin tablets, make it into a fine powder, and mix it to half a teaspoon of lime extract and half a teaspoon of water. Make it into a fine paste. Apply this paste to the affected zone and cover it with a plastic wrap and cover the wrap with a hot towel for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes remove the hot towel and plastic wrap to expose the soften corn or callus. You can then scrape off the loosened dead cells from the area using a pumice store.
How to Prevent it?
- If you notice a spot that can potentially turn into a corn or callus then make use of a cream or lotion that contains urea such as Carmol. Lather some cream to the affected region but use it in small amount as it can be little stingy.
- Soak your feet in warm water for 10 to 20 minutes once a week. After drying your feet use any moisturizing cream like Eucerin to soften your skin.
- Use shoes that are comfortable. Shoes that are too big can rub against your foot and harden up your skin cells. Shoes which are too tight can do the same. So always choose rightly sized shoes and ensure there is enough space for your toes and your feet balls are not cramped to the sides.
- If you are someone who loves to wear high heels then save it for special occasions. However, choose a pair that has enough cushioning in the front so that your toes don’t have to take all the pressure.
- Each sport uses a specific type of shoes that are specially engineered to boost certain foot motions. So wearing tennis shoes for running or vice versa is the not the right option. Only wear shoes that are specifically designed for the sport you indulge in.
- If you are involved in a trade that demands you to lift heavy objects or working with heavy metal tools then wear well-cushioned gloves to prevent calluses on hands.
- Never purchase shoes in the morning as your feet naturally swell in the morning hours. Always purchase it in the noon or evening when your feet turn to its normal size.
Many people with corns get too excited and use tools like sharp blades, razors, scissors, tweezers etc… to cut out the dead skin layers. This is a bad practice you do not want to use these sharp tools on your own skin and end up injuring yourself and also making the condition much worse. So refrain yourself from this practice.