Toes are perhaps the most common parts of the foot that corns are likely to appear. Generally, they occur when toes are subjected to constant friction, either resulting from footwear or from contact with the ground, for those who rarely make use of footwear.
To tell a corn from other skin conditions such as warts, bunions, cysts and calluses, here are the main features to look for:
- A defined spot on the upper side of the foot or between the toes. The spot will be tough but can also be smooth for soft corns. They rarely occupy a large surface area. Depending on whether they are inflamed or infected, they can be painful and a source of irritation.
- You will find hard corns on toes, and as their name suggests, they are tough and rarely will they bleed. Vascular corns on the other hand take root deep in the skin and even have networks of blood vessels inside them. For this reason, they are extremely painful and will bleed from time to time. Soft corns occur in between the toes. They are smooth, reddish, delicate and painful. Other types include seed and fibrous corns.
- Unlike calluses which form on the parts of feet where most pressure is exerted, corns are more victims of friction than they are of pressure exertion. For this reason, they mostly appear on the toes and the side of the foot. However, the possibility of finding them on the bottom of toe or on the sole itself should not be ruled out.
What causes corns on toes and the side of a toe?
So what causes corns on the toes? Think of a time when you went on a short or long walk in ill-fitting closed shoes or high heels. After having spent a considerable period of time in such shoes, you must have experienced a kind of bruising or pain on localized points of your toes or sole. This will also happen if you decide to walk outdoors barefooted.
In the above thought experiment, you will find that on the affected parts of the foot, you will be experiencing the bruising from where you have been rubbing against the footwear you were in or the ground itself. This is where corns arise from. As the body tries to protect itself from potential damage to the delicate parts, a hardened spot will form on the affected areas.
In the case of toes and the parts of feet that do not experience a lot of pressure, a corn will form. For the bottom of foot such as the ball of the foot, where both pressure and friction are sustained, a callus is more likely to form.
Any of the following can cause a corn on the toe:
- Closed shoes
- High heels
- Sloppy walking style
- Poor gait
- Tight socks
- Not wearing socks
- Walking barefooted
- Manual exercises
- Long toenails
- Deformities such as bunions
How to identify corns from pictures; pictures of a corn on toe
If you are to stand on one foot, you can feel the points of your foot that most pressure seems to accumulate. The parts include the side of the big toe, the side of the little toe and the ball of the foot. A corn may develop on those parts. However, the chances of this developing are fewer, compared to the possibility that a callus will develop on the same.
In yet another experiment, try folding your toes, as if you are trying to form a fist with your foot. Your toes will bend to form small ‘hills’ especially at the second joint. It is on these hills where corns on the toes mostly develop.
Since the big toe and the baby toe are the immediate neighbors to the edges of a closed shoe, they are more likely to develop corns on the side, something that appears as a hump, either on the toes or just at the base of the toes.
A detailed picture of a corn on the toe will show that corns can also develop on the bottom of toe. It is recommended that you browse through such pictures to get a clearer image of what these may look like. We have included some of such pictures here but other online galleries can also illustrate it more extensively.
How to prevent and treat a corn on the pinky toe; baby toe
It is perhaps not fair that the baby toe is left to deal with all the friction that may be coming from one edge of a closed shoe. All in all, chances of developing a corn on the pinky toe are very high.
The main way of preventing a corn on the pinky toe is by wearing the right sized shoes. Here, try to leave a thumb-sized space between the edge of the big toe and the edge of the shoe.
When it comes to treatment, a corn on pinky toe can be treated at home. You can also get quick treatment in a clinic, especially when deformities in the foot are the source of the corns.
How to remove a corn between toes
A corn between the toes is referred to as a soft corn. As the name suggests, it is rather soft, red and delicate especially at the center. A picture of corn on toe will usually show a soft corn appearing between the baby toe and the adjacent toe. As you may already be suspecting, the edge of an ill-fitting shoe will keep pushing on the baby toe, which will then keep rubbing against the adjacent toe. In the end result, a soft corn will appear. They are in most cases painful and are encouraged by moisture between the toes areas.
When it comes to how to treat a corn between toes, clinical treatments such as surgery and use of salicylic acid are not recommended. Rather, home remedies such as castor oil and turpentine oil are better options. We will discuss them later in this article.
You can reduce the severity or pain caused by a corn between toes by refraining from putting on ill-fitting footwear, keeping the area between toes dry but hydrated with foot creams, as well as maintaining the correct gait.
How to treat a corn on the toe permanently
Looking for medications for how to treat a corn on the toe permanently? Well, some people are not always open to the idea of home remedies. In such a case, any of the following medications can be used to remove corns from toes:
- Turpentine oil – although it still is a home remedy, a doctor can use it to get rid of corns permanently. It acts as an antiseptic. It also is effective for infected corns and vascular corns. Since it inhibits the spread of infections, it can also be used for the treatment of boils on the neck.
- Creams – foot creams can be used to keep the corns hydrated. With time, they will soften and disappear.
- Trimming – in a clinic, a doctor will get rid of the skin covering the area around the corn. After that, removal creams or ointments will be applied to get rid of the corn fast.
- Antibiotics – ointments containing antibiotics can be applied on infected corns to reduce the risk of bacterial attacks.
- Salicylic acid – this is a mild but very effective corn removal solution. It is most effective when the corns have been trimmed. You are not advised to use the acid at home on your own, especially for treating a soft corn or in people with diabetes.
- Over the counter products – you can buy removal kits over the counter. Most of them can also be used for the treatment of other skin conditions such as a mole under the armpit. This is because they mostly contain salicylic acid.
- Surgery – surgery may be the last option that your doctor will recommend. This is in cases where corns on toes are resulting from deformities such as bunions. In this case, the surgical operation will not be mainly oriented into treating the corns but in rectifying the deformity that is causing the corns.
Home remedies for corns on the toes treatment at home
Home remedies for corns on the toes treatment are very prolific. However, you will find that most will work best when used with an over the counter pad or prescription salicylic acid. Also, you will need to keep using a pumice stone regularly to clear the upper layers of the corns. To get the best out of them, choose any of the following remedies and search for wiki step by step guidelines with pictures on how to use the same:
- Apple cider vinegar – a dilute solution containing this substance can also be rinsed in the mouth to get rid of a pimple on tongue.
- Epsom salts
- Vitamin E capsules oil
- Pineapple peel
- Castor oil
- Clove oil
- Baking soda
- Tea tree oil – a very potent anti-inflammatory and antifungal home remedy. It can also be used to get rid of ringworm.
- Willow bark
- Stale bread
Home remedies do remove corns effectively and permanently but not overnight. In fact, desired results can take up to multiple weeks to kick in.
How to get rid of corns on toes at home through prevention
You find that corns mostly occur due to poor habits, unless foot deformities are involved. Although the above discussed treatment options are largely effective, corns can still be prevented by:
- Trimming long toenails
- Making use of footwear
- Wearing fitting shoes
- Not over-wearing new shoes
- Custom made shoes for people with foot deformities
- Keeping your feet dry but hydrated with foot creams
- Not over-doing high heels
- Attaining the right gait and posture
- Making use of foot/glove pads, bandages and silicone foam wedges
- Getting surgery to rectify foot deformities
If you can’t seem to identify the actual cause of corns, have a doctor check them and advise appropriately. This also includes cases that the corns are bleeding, oozing pus or are interfering with your posture.
In fact, it is for the best that you keep going for checkups, not only concerning foot health but also other skin and body conditions including warts or diabetes. You may find that a small boil on neck is actually a symptom of an underlying health condition that needs treatment.