If you have a painful growth between your toes or on the top of your foot, you may think you have a wart. It could be a corn instead. A corn is a common foot condition that's often caused by your foot rubbing against your shoe. Here is some information about what causes this condition and how a podiatrist can help.
What Causes A Corn
A corn is a buildup of dead and thick skin that your body creates to protect the area from irritation. A corn is the same thing as a callous, except a callous forms on the bottom of your foot and is bigger, while a corn often forms on top and is in a concentrated area. Constant irritation as you walk causes a corn to develop. If you wear high heels frequently, you are at a higher risk of developing a corn. Wearing shoes with wide toes and low heels can help prevent corns, but you may still get them if a problem with your gait causes your feet to rub against your shoes. Corns are bothersome because they are unsightly and because they can be very painful. Once one develops, you may have difficulty walking or running due to the pain.
How A Podiatrist Treats A Corn
Treating a corn could be as easy as changing the type of shoes you wear and placing a padded bandage over the corn while it heals. The podiatrist may remove the corn by cutting it out or shaving it off. However, one of the most important things the podiatrist will do is determine why the corn developed because it could come back if the cause is not corrected. This involves analyzing your gait, and if you have a problem with how your feet bear pressure or if your feet roll when you walk, the podiatrist can make custom orthotics to correct the problem. Once you start wearing comfortable shoes along with inserts that compensate for your gait, your problem with corns might be eliminated at last.
Special Considerations to Know
While a corn isn't normally dangerous, it can actually lead to serious complications when you have diabetes or another condition that impairs blood flow or sensation in your feet. If you have foot numbness, poor circulation, or diabetes, then you want to see a podiatrist at the first sign of a corn, and never attempt to remove it yourself at home.
If your corn is mild and not painful, and if you have no medical problems that affect your feet, you may want to treat it at home by soaking your foot or using an over-the-counter remedy. However, if the corn causes pain or if you have ongoing problems with it, then an assessment by a podiatrist is a good idea so you can put an end to your pain and suffering.