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How to treat a corn between the toes?

How to best treat a soft corn between the toes depends on a number of factors.Soft corn between toes

The photograph opposite shows a corn at the very apex or the skin between the digits.  These are very tricky to remove because the good skin rises up around the corn on all sides, making it impossible for the owner to attempt self treatment. See a podiatrist to have the corn painlessly trimmed away.

Likewise, a podiatrist should be consulted if there is any infection, discharge, bad odour or night pain from the area. The dead tissue of the corn can allow a nasty infection, abscess or ulcer to occur below it and should be properly addressed as soon as possible. Under no circumstances should you apply any corn pads, medicated discs, corn paint or other corrosive chemicals to such an area.

A simple corn on the inner sides of the toe (rather than right in the tight space of the apex of the cleft) are more easily addressed by simply debriding the dead tissue away from the living. This is still a task best left to a podiatrist as visualising the area is very difficult on one’s own foot.

After removing the corn, there are three things to check to avoid its return:

1)  Determine what feature of which shoe created this problem.  Avoid these or similar shoes in the future. For example, it may be a line of stitching that runs directly across the area which will always stop shoe material from stretching in the direction of the stitch. Alternatively,  it may be simply too narrow.

2) Appropriate Padding.  The podiatrist can make for you a device to go between the toes with a gap where the corn is.  This changes the pressure from being virtually only on the corny spot to be shared by the rest of the surface area of the toes, sparing the existing problem zone. Any sort of padding that adds thickness over the painful spot – such as a strip of plaster or padding directly on the corn – will generally increase the pressure on it and also the pain.

3) Shoe Last and “Comets”.  Sometimes, the shoe isn’t so much narrow as just not the same shape as your foot.  This is an important idea and we look at it more closely in the next FAQ:  Shoe Shape and Pressure Comets.

Alternatively, use this link to return to the FAQ list.

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