Corn on Toe
Toe Corn Overview
Toe corns or corn on toe are thick patches of dead skin that appear commonly on the knuckles of the toe joints but can also develop on other areas of the toe or foot and even other areas of the body. The medical terms for a corn is hyperkeratosis. This terms refers both to the thickened skin that causes calluses as well as corns. Corns are sometimes called helomas and can be classified as hard or soft and can sometimes appear waxy or even translucent.
Causes of Corn on Toe
Corn on the toe occurs when dead skin cells group together and build up in one area. Toe corns are commonly linked to other toe injuries such as hammer toe or mallet toe where the deformed position of the toe helps contribute to the creation of the corn.
When a callus forms it is the result of skin becoming thicker as a result of pressure. Toe corns form for the same reason. If there is excessive or continual friction at one or more points on the foot, corns are likely to form in those areas. Contributing factors can include moisture and ill-fitting shoes. Corns on the toe can often occur from wearing heels or playing sports with improper footwear.
Symptoms of Corn on Toe
The symptoms of toe corns are fairly self apparent; small lumps will form on the toe joints. As mentioned previously, some of the most common areas to see corn on toe is on the knuckle portion of the joint.
The corn itself can be tender to touch and sometimes appear red. However it can also be almost unnoticeable and simply feel like it is a part of the toe. Depending on the firmness of the corn it can sometimes be painful and any actions that originally contributed to creating the corn will likely aggravate the site if it done on a repeated basis.
Treatment for Toe Corns
Corn on toe can be treated with special acid washes that are designed to eliminate the dead skin. The acid wash works by using salicylic acid which dissolves the protein cells that make up the thickened layer of dead skin. This form of treatments comes in pads, drop and specially designed applicators.
An alternative home treatment involves using a pumice stone to gently remove the dead skin in layers. It’s recommended that you soak your foot for at least 30 minutes before attempting this and some toe doctors prefer to avoid this alternative altogether.
For a short term solution you can purchase corn pads or corn rings which essential protect the toe corn from further friction or pressure that would cause the corn to grow larger or lead to some level of toe pain. This sort of treatment doesn’t provide instant results but it does provide some relief.
The best solution of course is prevention. Wearing shoes that fit your feet correctly and ensuring that your feet have time to breathe is important. Toe corns are almost always the result of a poor choice of footwear. Taking action to prevent corn on toe from developing can be as simple as buying a good pair of shoes.
Toe Corn Summary
Overall, corn on toe is a relatively minor toe problem. It’s often self inflicted and can be solved with simple remedies. Toe corn surgery or medical intervention is rarely required but sometimes need to be done in special cases. Generally the best thing to do is wear shoes that fit. Forcing your toes into unnatural positions can lead to toe arthritis, hammer toe and other problems along with toe corns. Be smart and you’ll prevent the majority of any corns.