Should you use corn removal pads?
Posted: Apr 19, 2022
Corns and calluses on the foot are probably the most common problem that affect the feet seen by podiatrists. Corns are a discrete area in which the skin thickens up in response to too much pressure on an area. If that pressure is over a wider more diffuse area, then that typically forms a callus. The increased thickening of a skin is a normal process that the skin uses to protect itself from the pressure. In a corn and callus the pressure is so great that the increased thickness of the skin become painful. There are a number of approaches that are used to treat foot corns and calluses. The corn removal pads are a popular method used by consumers to try and treat these corns on the foot. However, they are not all that they are assumed to be.
The corn removal pads contain an acid that you put over the corn and they are supposed to remove that corn. The most commonly used acid in these pads is usually a salicylic acid. The acid comes on a bandage type vehicle that you place over the corn and the acid is supposed to eat away at the corn and remove it. The problem with this is that the acid has no idea what is corn and what is not a corn, so it cannot tell what the normal skin is and what is the corn. The pad will eat away at whatever you put it on. That will include the normal skin around the corn and underneath the corn. It is not hard to see how dangerous that can be, especially if you have an underlying medical problem such as diabetes or poor circulation. It is for this reason that almost all professional diabetes and podiatry associations around the world recommend against using these corn removal pads.
If you permanently want to get rid of a corn on the foot, then you need to get rid of what is causing it. Corns do not have roots that they can grow back from. Corn removal pads do not remove the cause of them. Corns are clearly caused by too much pressure on the area that causes the skin to thicken to protect itself. If you want to deal properly with the corn and get rid it of permanently, then that pressure which is causing it has to be removed. A podiatrist can skillfully debride and remove a corn, but its is going to come back eventually after that unless steps are taken to reduce that pressure that was causing it. You need to discuss this with your podiatrist as to what is the cause of the higher pressure is in your case and what are the options to reduce that pressure over the long term. This may involve just footwear advice or the use of padding to remove the pressure or it may involve surgery to correct the problem. Whichever long-term treatment is advised, do not use the corn removal pads as they are not going to fix anything over the long term.
Craig Payne is a University lecturer, runner, cynic, researcher, skeptic, forum admin, woo basher, clinician, rabble-rouser, blogger and a dad.