I write many posts on this blog – from food I cook, bake, eat, races, adventures, beer and more. This one has to do a little more with my personal health. Last summer, I battled issues with my foot, specifically plantar fasciitis. I believe I am (knocking on all wood around me) basically rid of that wretched issue (thanks to some PT, dry needling and so much STRETCHING), I have had some more foot issues this summer. And, you are welcome in advance that I am NOT sharing any photos of my own feet. Ugh.
A few months ago, I thought I felt a familiar tingle of athlete’s foot. The dreaded itch on my feet. I can vaguely remember this feeling from high school when we showered in various gyms after basketball games, flip flops or not, I seemed to get that itch almost every season.
This dull ache, slight itch never went away so I ignored it. Of course, what else would I do? Pay it attention? No. Eventually it got worse and I kept looking between my 4th and 5th toes to see what could be going on. By the way, it is kind of hard to see between your toes, they are really close together. After a while, I could feel a bump forming. Google to the rescue! I found out I must have a soft corn.
Corns are areas of thick skin caused by pressure or friction. They can and usually do cause pain, especially when wearing shoes or walking. Corns have a core that is hard or soft. Soft ones are between your toes and hard corns form on the tops of your toes. Corns form from repeated pressure or friction on an area of skin. The pressure causes the skin to die and form a hard, protective surface. A soft corn occurs the same way, except that when sweat is trapped where it develops, the hard core softens. Corns are not caused by a virus and are not contagious. Repeated pressure from incorrectly fitting footwear may cause corns.
Corns are usually found where toes rub together. A soft corn is found between toes (usually between the fourth and fifth toes and are quite common in females and elderly), while a hard corn is often found over a bony part of a toe (usually on the fifth toe). Males, females, young and old all get corns and many people will get one in their lifetime.
You can tell you have a corn by the way it looks. I did the grave mistake of Googling corn on foot or something like that and looking at Google Images. I am here to tell you do not do that. You will get the worst case examples. But, if you are unsure, some of the images are similar to what I was experiencing.
The corn itself does not hurt, but it did hurt when wearing running shoes and running. Do not squeeze the corn or poke at it, which also hurts.
Again, I took to Dr. Google to see how to treat a corn and got many answers. Most of them state you do not need to see a doctor unless you have severe pain or if you have circulatory problems, especially if you are diabetic. There were several homeopathic options some as simply as soaking your feet in warm water and using a pumice stone. I also saw vinegar to be an option. I tried the vinegar route for about 4 days before my Mother told me to get my butt to the drug store and buy some Dr. Scholl’s pads. I did finally listen to good ol’ Mom when I was tired of smelling like vinegar and my band aid between my toes kept falling off.
At Hazen Drug, I was able to find thin bandages with small medicated discs. They came in a package of 9 for about $5. They fit much more easily and comfortably between my toes. Each application can last for about 2 days and healing should occur in about two weeks. This proved true for me, it took about 9 days and I could tell the corn fell off. It’s so gross but there is no way around it. I continued with the medicated discs until the package was gone. I was sure to clean my feet extra well and use a pumice stone between those toes to slough off any dead skin of which there was kind of a lot.
Throughout my two weeks of medication I continued with all my activities – normal walking, running, cycling and other exercises with no problems. I am just more careful now to check between my toes and use the pumice stone from time to time. So, please learn from me:
- Always pay attention to any pain on or in your feet
- Maybe try the easy OTC medication instead of some homemade cure
- Listen to your Mom, always
- Don’t let Dr. Google freak you out
Here’s to hoping 2017 is pain free and foot healthy! (I got most of this info directly from WebMD.)