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The Angry Corn Patient

A corn on the foot can be painful. With time it comes back faster after every removal. Having a corn removed every 6 months, will soon become 4 months then 1 month and then just a few days of relief. To discover the reason for this we must look at why the corn is coming in the first place. A corn on the side of the 5th toe is purely from a shoe being to narrow. It will be worse on one foot compared to the other due to one foot being slightly wider and longer than the other. The pressure from a shoe, even a soft shoe presses the skin against the bone. This makes the skin toughen. If the pressure continues the concentration of the hard protein called keratin becomes so pure that it is harder than toenail. It creates a hard centre which can be very painful. If the shoe is not changed to a better fitting one for reasons of uniform or fashion, then the corn is expected to return. In warmer months when the foot may be more puffy, the corn will return faster. When the weather is cooler the return will be longer. If you have walked more or become more active, the pressure and friction increases and the corn will return faster. Smoking and weight gain will also increase the rate of return.

A corn under the foot is purely due to a bone being too close to the skin. They are usually found under one or more of the 1,2,3,4,5 metatarsal heads. These are in the forefoot. A patient will often complain that the “corn is now coming back faster” or ” you didn’t remove it all because it’s only been 2 months this time, or two weeks etc”. The patient must understand when the Podiatrist explains the reasons for the corn. A dropped forefoot arch causing the metatarsals to collapse and press through the skin. An insole / orthtoic will help prevent them. If the patient is not willing to change the position of the bones by wearing an insole then they must expect the corn to return at some point. Weight gain will also cause callouses and corns to become bigger, more painful and return faster. The patient may be advised to lose weight but if they do not and the weight stays the same or increases, then understandably the corn will return faster.
Smoking causes small friction areas on the foot to became much more thickened and painful . Corns also are exaggerated and much more painful. They return much faster. Smoking decreases the amount of oxygen that can be carried in the red blood cells. The feet are the most oxygen starved area of the body. If you smoke this makes any repair of the skin much slower. In the case of the feet the body defends itself by growing thicker skin. A smoker that quits smoking will notice in 6 months the skin is much healthier to the feet. Weight loss also reduces hard skin build up and corns. Make an appointment to see a nutritionist for expert advice and to make a plan and approach it as a scientist would a research project and keep a log by charting your progress.

A Podiatrist always explains to a patient with a corn why they have it, it is up to the patient to also help with the plan. If there is no orthotic / insole worn, shoes changed, weight loss achieved, quit smoking then the corn is guaranteed to return. And it will come back more frequently until there is no relief from any removal due to the living tissue becoming damaged.


  • Suzette

    September 18, 2017 at 4:08 pm

    Been having corns for years never thought that it is related with my foot alignment. Michelle gave me insoles/orthotics and is already giving good results. Thank you Michelle and to the whole Dubai Podiatry team. All the best!


  • Ruby

    October 19, 2017 at 5:11 pm

    This blog is really helpful. I myself suffers from painful corns and I’m so tired having it removed every now and then. Glad I read your blog and is very much relieved that there is another way of dealing with painful corns. All the best!


    • Dubai Podiatry Centre

      October 19, 2017 at 5:41 pm

      Hello Ruby, thank you very much for the kind words. We will be happy to see & help you. We look forward to hearing from you again. Regards, Leslie on behalf of Dubai Podiatry Centre


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