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General characteristics

General characteristics

A corn is an area of skin, usually on the feet or toes, that has become thickened and hard. There are two types of corn- the soft corn and the hard corn. Hard corns are often on the tops of toes and sides of the feet whereas soft corns ('kissing' corns) are generally between the toes, remaining soft due to the moisture between the toes.

All corns are caused by repeated pressure or friction, usually due to poor or tight fitting shoes, bad posture or problems with the feet themselves. Pressure on the skin causes it too thicken in an attempt to form a protective pad which over time will get bigger and bigger if the cause of the pressure is not removed. Eventually, if left untreated they can develop ulcers or abscesses underneath them and become very troublesome.

Diet and lifestyle

Diet and lifestyle

Good diet is always very important so include plenty of fresh and raw vegetables, grains and fruit. Drink several glasses of filtered water daily.

Raw pineapple or papaya can be used as a poultice to 'eat away' at the corn. Leave on for a few hours in the evening then clean and dry the feet before rubbing with castor oil.

Make sure you are wearing footwear that fits properly and don't hurt your feet when you walk. This is obvious really. If your feet hurt after being in your shoes for a few minutes then they are doing you damage.

Corns are a sign that need to be acknowledged and will keep coming back if the cause of the corn is not identified and remedied. If the cause is deformities of the feet or postural abnormalities then you will need to regularly see a podiatrist who can give you advise on how to manage them.

Take your shoes off as soon as you can and be barefoot around the house or at work if possible.

Useful herbs

Useful herbs

Herbs that reduce inflammation such as chamomile and celery seed can be taken as a tea 3 times daily.

Make a strong tea of st johns wort, ribwort plantain and chamomile and soak the feet each night for 20 minutes to soothe and help prevent formation. Rub with lavender oil after drying.

Use slippery elm powder between your toes for soft corns. This helps to absorb the moisture between the toes and provide a soothing and protective coating on the soft corn to prevent infection.

Meadowsweet and willow bark tincture can be dabbed on the corn to help relieve pain.

Soak a few ivy leaves in cider vinegar and apply one leaf a day, replacing with a fresh one the next day.

The milky sap from picked dandelion stalks can be applied to the corn regularly throughout the day.

Rub neat castor oil on the corn several times daily.

Natural healing

Natural healing

There are many home remedies for corns that involve common household ingredients. The most popular include;
  • soaking the feet in cider vinegar or dabbing cider vinegar on the corn several times a day,
  • rubbing the corn with the cut surface of a clove of garlic as often as possible,
  • binding a piece of fresh lemon rind (pith side to the corn) on the corn overnight and removing in the morning,
  • rubbing the corn with fresh lemon juice as often as possible, soak the feet in a bowl of warm water and epsom salts then rub on castor oil when dry,
  • soaking feet in a  bowl of warm water and bicarbonate of soda will ease pain.

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