What causes corn on toe? Explore on treatment and best home remedies to get rid of corn between toes.
What are corns
Corns are a skin condition that hardens, thickened also known as hyperkeratosis areas of skin that form as a result of pressure, rubbing or friction on the skin. Corns form on toes of the feet and sometimes on the fingers.
This condition is annoying and sometimes painful when walking and they may make it hard for your feet to fit in your shoes. When a corn on toes has much thinner surface it appears whitish in color and elastic, this mostly occurs between the toes.
You may be wondering how you will know that you have a corn on toe; the following are signs and symptoms of corns on toe or finger:
- Bump popular, conical or circular shape
- Bump on the toe waxy, or translucent appearance
- Pain or tenderness of the affected area
- Thick, hard patch of skin of toes
- Area of flaky, dry skin on toes
- It may have a soft yellow ring with a gray center
Corn on Toe Causes
Pressure and friction from repetitive actions cause corns on toes to develop and grow. Some sources of this pressure and friction include:
- Wearing shoes that are not fitting. Tight shoes and high heels can compress areas of your feet. When footwear is too loose, your foot may repeatedly slide and rub against the shoe. Your foot may also rub against a seam or stitch inside the shoe causing corn on the toe.
- Skipping socks. Wearing shoes and sandals without socks can cause corn on toes because of friction on your feet. Socks that don’t fit properly also can be a problem.
- Playing instruments or using hand tools. Corn on your finger may result from the repeated pressure of playing musical instruments such as the guitar, using hand tools or even writing.
- Abnormalities in gait or movement. This result in increased pressure to specific areas and can also be the cause of corn on toes.
- Abnormal anatomy of the feet. This including foot deformities such as hammertoe or other toe deformities, can lead to corn on toe
- A bunion is an abnormal, bony bump that forms on the joint at the base of your big toe; this may cause corn on the toe as well.
Do corns Hurt
When you feel pain in corns, even when you do not have shoes on your foot, you have most likely developed bursitis which is inflammation of the joint under the corn on the toe. Bursitis is the inflammation or irritation of the bursa. The bursa is a sac filled with lubricating fluid, located between tissues such as bone, muscle, tendons, and skins that decrease rubbing, friction, and irritation.
Bursitis is often treated with an injection of anti-inflammatory into the inflamed area. This type of pain should be evaluated by your podiatrist, because the other reason for pain without shoes is an infection in or around the corn on the toe.
Toe Infection can develop after an injury or wound to the skin. Signs of infection may include:
- Increased pain, swelling, redness, or warmth around the corn on the toe.
- Red streaks extending from the affected area.
- Pus draining from the toe
When corns hurts, Inflammation develops as a normal protective response of the immune system when body tissue is irritated for whatever reason. When tissue is irritated, the immune system increases blood flow to the area. This causes localized swelling, warmth, and redness.
The swelling may put pressure on nerve endings which may cause corn on the toe to hurt. Inflammation may occur in joints or extremities. Inflammation may occur with overuse of a body area or with minor injuries. Symptoms of inflammation may be present in conditions such as bursitis, arthritis or tendinitis.
It may be hard to tell the difference between inflammation and an infection, so be sure to evaluate any other symptoms that are present. Toe infections can become serious and may even lead to amputation in some patients.
Corn between Toes
Corns that develop between the toes are sometimes referred as soft corn, this kind of corn on the toe is more painful than those that develop on the top of the toe.
They are caused by poor hygiene, failure to keep corn area clean, that is moisture between the toes and tight-fitting shoes and to some extent by bone spurs. This type of corn is more venerable to infection and thus if you happen to have it you need more care and attention.
a. Antibiotic Ointment
When corns between toes become infected, they will become red and painful. At this stage, you need to ask your doctor about which antibiotic ointment you can use to treat the infection.
b. Cleaning the Affected Area
Hygiene is one of the essences when it comes to corn between the toes, clean the area with warm water and mild soap. Rub off the top layer of the corn with a washcloth. Then rinse your feet, then dry the toes using cotton wool.
c. White Vinegar
White vinegar is highly acidic and has antibacterial and antifungal properties. It is an excellent remedy for soft corn between toes. Combine three parts of water with one part of white vinegar. Dab this onto your corns before going to bed. Cover with adhesive bandage then leave on overnight.
The following day before you do anything, exfoliate the skin with an emery board or pumice stone. Apply olive/coconut oil to keep corns moisturized. Do this continuously until corns come out.
d. Wear Proper Socks
When it comes to buying inner garments like socks, vest, and pants, make sure you buy this fabric that are of high quality like pure cotton.When you use thick socks they help absorb sweet and pressure on your feet. Make sure they fit loosely and that they do not make your shoes feel too snug. Use socks that don’t have seams because these may rub against corns or cause you to get corns on the toes.
How to prevent and treat corn on Toes
In order for one to treat corn between the toes, there are a number of things that one need to consider before looking for a way on how to treat or prevent them. The choice depends on the severity of the situation and the cause of the corns as well. Below are some ways of treating and preventing them:
- Footwear and shoes
Tight or poorly fitting shoes are thought to be the main cause of most corns on toes. Sometimes a rough seam or stitching in a shoe may rub enough to cause a corn. The aim is to wear shoes that reduce pressure and rubbing on the toes and forefeet. Shoes should have plenty of room for the toes and have soft uppers and low heels. In addition, the extra width is needed if corns develop on the outer side of the toe. The extra height is needed if corns develop on the top of abnormal toes such as ‘hammer’ or ‘claw’ toes.
Wearing the right footwear will reduce any rubbing or friction on your skin. In many cases, a corn will go away if rubbing or pressure is stopped with improved footwear. If you have had a corn pared away, a recurrence will usually be prevented by wearing good footwear. If you are able, going barefoot when not outdoors will also help.
Some people with abnormalities of their feet or toes will need special shoes to prevent rubbing. A podiatrist can advise you about this.
2. Protection of foot and toes by footpad
Depending on the site of a corn or callus, a cushioning pad or shoe insole may be of benefit. For example, for a callus under the foot, a soft shoe inlay may cushion the skin and help the callus to heal.
If there is a corn between your toes, a special sleeve worn around your toe may ease the pressure. A special toe splint may also help to keep your toes apart to allow a corn between toes to heal. A podiatrist will be able to advise you on any appropriate padding, insoles or appliances you may need.
Other preventive way includes:
- It is recommended to wear sleeves around the toes to ease the pressure. A toe splint helps to separate toes thus giving time for the corn between the toes to heal.
- Losing excess weight, this will help the toes to have enough space for aeration
- Drying up the area between the toes properly, this helps in reducing excess moisture between the toes which it prone to infection.
- Moisturizing the heel and the ball of the foot. This helps to reduce contamination and blockage of air in between the toes.
Pink Toe corn
The little toe, often referred to as the pinkie toe, fifth toe or baby toe, corn on this toe tend to be very painful to an extent it can throw off your whole body.
Pinkie toe pain is very common since shoes tend to curve into the littlest toe. In fact, the fifth toe tends to have more problems than any other toe. The good news is these problems are usually easy to treat and surgery is rarely necessary.
Below are some of the causes of pink toe corn:
This is a toe with a joint permanently buckled downward. It can be flexible or stiff and can occur on any toe when abnormalities in the function of the foot cause ligaments and tendons to tighten. This tightening causes the toe joints to bend, cocking the toe upward hence creating friction within the shoes which cause the corn on the toe.
- Bone spurs
This is another cause of pink toe corn whereby the bone enlarges due to excess tension or pressure on the foot.
How to get rid of corn on toes
This can be used to treat corns on toes. These work by paring down the corn tissue which is made up of thickened dead skin. The main active ingredient in these products is salicylic acid. It has the ability to break down the layers of dead skin since it is a keratolytic.
This is possible because the corns are mostly made up of keratin which gets easily dissolved by the acid. Within a few days of usage, the corn starts peeling off. The following are procedures and steps to follow when using chemical treatment:
Wash your foot with soap and mild water. Use a washcloth or pumice stone to rub away to a soft top layer of skin on your corn on the toe, if any suck skin is present. Dry your feet with a clean towel.
Apply the corn pad to dry skin so your corn rests in the hole in the center. Corn pads cushion the corn so it doesn’t rub against the adjacent toe as it heals.
Apply a thin layer of salicylic acid gel over your corn. Some corn pads come pre-medicated with salicylic acid. If this is the case, apply the corn pad according to the package directions.
Repeat the above processes daily until your corn on toe has healed completely. Moisturize your foot skin on a regular basis, recommends MayoClinic.com, to help prevent future corns. Wear shoes that don’t force your toes together and cause extra rubbing and friction.
(2) Using a scalpel or Razorblade
This is another way to have the corns on the toe and between toes removed by using a razor blade, craft knife or scalpel you can cut the time it takes to remove a foot corn to a matter of seconds, but remember, toes do not grow back when cut. Whilst the chances of slicing off a toe are probably quite low, the chances of cutting away too much of the dead skin and removing some healthy living tissue are pretty high.
If you cut off too much, the skin will bleed and you run the risk of getting an infection. If you do want to take the fast route to corn removal, then make sure you use a professional corn paper, as these are far safer, and will only let you remove a small portion of the dead skin in one go.
Filing down corns on the toe is probably the safest and easiest way to treat your corns at home, although it may take some good old system.
The hard skin which makes up corn on the toe is rich in keratin, which is a particularly robust and fibrous structural protein which is also the major structural component in fingernails and hair.
Abrading it can be hard work, but to make the job considerably easier, it is best to soften the skin first. Soak the feet for around 10-15 minutes in a basin full of hot water with some salts mixed in, or take a long and luxurious bath before getting to work on your corns.
After soaking the feet for 15 minutes in hot water, then applying a little baking soda and a touch of water. This will help get rid of corns and make them easier to file down. Alternatively, household vinegar can be applied before going to bed. Simply dab the corn with vinegar, and try filing down your corns in the morning.
A hard skin file, pumice stone, or specialist corn file is the best bet for filing down corns. It may be long, slow and laborious work, but you are not likely to do yourself an injury. Corn removal is often best done over a period of days, taking a small amount of dead skin off each day.
Treatment of corn on toe at home is all well and good, but you really need a professional podiatrist, not only will they give your feet a proper check, but they will remove all the hard skin for you, cut off your corns and give you beautiful look on your feet.
The main advantage of podiatrist other than the safe removal of foot corns is that he or she will tell you why your corns are forming and he tackles the root cause of it, if the root cause is not tackled they will keep on coming back.
A podiatrist may highlight structural abnormalities in the feet as being the reason for the formation of corns on toes. This is often the case, either due to a congenital defect such as flat feet, poor bone structure or muscle weaknesses resulting in pressure hotspots forming.
A podiatrist will have a look at the feet and may recommend a foot pressure analysis or gait analysis to determine what can be done to correct the root cause of the problem. In many cases, custom orthotics will be recommended.
Custom orthotics is usually shoe insoles which should be worn all the time in shoes. They will essentially correct weight distribution in the feet, and will make up for what is naturally lacking. In contrast to standard insoles which are concerned with improving comfort and reducing the effects of pressure, custom orthotics aim to provide more substantial correction.