by Nathan Wei, MD, FACP, FACR
Nathan Wei is a nationally known board-certified rheumatologist and author of the Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit. It's available exclusively at this website... not available in stores.
Click here: Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit
A corn is a high grade callus that occurs at a pressure point in the foot, such as the top of the toe or under a toe joint.
A corn has a hard core, which extends down and applies pressure to underlying tissue and nerves, causing pain. Corns are caused by a pressure or friction on toes, usually from poorly-fitting shoes such as extreme high heels.
The site for corns is usually on the outside of the great or little toes, since these are the points where pressure tends to occur. Corns that form between the toes are called "soft" corns, since the moisture between the toes softens them.
Persons with diabetes, atherosclerosis or other circulatory problems should definitely seek out a doctor's help. While there are many over-the-counter acid preparations available for corns they should not be used by diabetic patients and are not advisable for individuals with neuropathy (nerve damage)or elderly people with thin skin.
Corns are often associated with other foot problems due to arthritis. Bunions (also know as hallux valgus) are osteoarthritis of the great toe joint associated with bursitis. A bunionette is the same type of problem affecting the small toe joint.
Bunions and bunionettes have many causes, including genetic prediposition, but poorly fitting shoes and high heels are the leading cause of painful bunions. Wearing wide, soft, comfortable shoes should be the initial treatment of choice. If this fails, and pain is unbearable, surgical correction may be indicated.
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