While there is a lot of awareness about the need to wear diabetic or therapeutic footwear, there is little information available on how to differentiate the real from the phony ones. Foot corn can be extremely painful and can obstruct your day-to-day activities.
Unlike edible fungi or mushrooms that live on dead vegetable matter, the fungi and yeast that infect the feet are specialized dermatophytes, meaning that they only feed on keratinized tissue such as hair, skin and nails. Fungal infection in the foot can be confined to the nails and may then spread to the skin, or the other way round, starting on the skin and then infecting the nails. Other names are tinea unguium, dermatophytic onychia, dermatophytosis of the nail, or ringworm of the nail. In the case of dermatophyte fungi and yeast, small invasions are usually dealt with by your body's own natural resistance or defence mechanisms, provided you have a healthy immune system at the time. The first sign of fungal infection in the nails is a slight discolouration of the nail plate. Remember that pressure or friction is the cause of callous.
Sometimes, the pressure of the corn or callus may cause inflammation, which can result in pain, swelling and redness. The body protects skin tissues from pressure or friction damage by producing an area of hard skin. So unless the cause of the pressure or friction is found and removed, calluses and corns will continue to form. Over-the-counter treatments, such as corn plasters, can damage the healthy surrounding skin if you use them incorrectly. Look at and feel each foot for signs of injury including bruises, blisters, broken or cracked skin, hot or cold areas, corns and calluses, and discolouration. If your eyesight is poor, get someone else to check your feet for you. Tinea is a contagious fungal infection of the skin. It usually develops between the toes and along the arch of the foot.
Metatarsal pads, soft insole inserts, and modifying standing areas with a soft surface (e.g., a rubber floor mat) may relieve the discomfort of tender calluses. Custom-moldedarch supports (called orthotics ) or over-the-counter arch supports may help if flatfeet contribute to the problem. If one of the metatarsals is too low, an orthotic cutout can equalize pressure on the ball of the foot. Because the thickness of the callus causes pressure, reducing the overgrown tissue by soaking the feet in warm water and filing down the callus with a pumice stone to smooth down the thick tissue may be helpful. In severe cases, podiatrists may use a device called a sterile surgical blade to remove the outer layers of thickened skin. In some cases, one of the metatarsals may be too low or too poorly positioned for orthotics to work.
Patients with poor vision cutting nails too deep beneath crease line can lead to skin breakage and in patients with poor blood flow to foot can lead to major amputation.Proper nail cutting techniques should be learnt,toe nails should be cut straight,not beneath creaseline. At the center of a corn is often a very dense knot of skin called a core, which is located over the area of greatest friction or pressure. Firm, dry corns that form on the upper surfaces of the toes are called hard corns. Pliable, moist corns that form between the toes are called soft corns.