Lots of my patients ask me about corn pads:
Do they work? Which ones should I buy? Will they cure my corn?
They're easy to use, easy to buy and cheap.
A lot cheaper than new shoes, extra appointments or custom insoles.
Corns are a hard plug of skin formed from pressure. This solid mass presses on nerve endings which causes sharp pain.
(If you're not sure if you have one check out some foot corn images.
Now there are many ways to treat foot corns: footwear changes, insoles and scalpel removal.
Then there are corn pads. They're instantly recognizable by the donut design and fetching shade of pink.
How Do Corn Pads Work?
The circle of foam is placed so the corn is positioned in the hole in the center.
This provides a buffer and allows the skin to heal. It also stops any further development of hard, compacted corn skin.
Now in an ideal world, every patient would address the pressure and friction that necessitates the use of a corn pad.
But as you know, we don't live in one!
Will They Cure My Corn?
Used early on, when a corn is just starting to form, they can stop it in its tracks.
The problem is, that corns don't tend to be too painful at this stage.
By the time they enter the convo, the corns are usually unbearable and pads a last resort. The key here is: early.
Corn Pad Areas
Toes: They work really well for pinky toe pain.
They tend to be great for hard corns on the tops or outside of toes.
The area is small and bony. This gives the corn cap plenty to hold on to.
Soles: Corns found on the soles (like seed corns) can be more of a challenge. Application here needs to be when the feet are dry.
The sheer amount of pressure the bottom of the feet are subject to can easily sheer corn pads off.
Interdigital: Between toes are also trickier. The skin creases here cause moisture, which can reduce how much the corn pads stick.
In my experience gel spacers are best for interdigital corns.
What About Corn Plasters?
Corn plasters are an entirely different beast. They go over the corn and contain an acid that burns it away.
In theory, they work like this:
Podiatrists Hate Acid Corn Plasters
A lot of Podiatrists want medicated corn plasters banned.
And here's why...
Corn plasters with salicylic acid are infamous for causing chemical burns.
The acid is the same one used to burn warts, so applied to the skin and left in situ, it has the same effect.
But Podiatrists are Biased
Podiatrist are the victims of a bias.
We see people who have tried and failed to home cure their corn. When they come to us, they're desperate and willing to try anything.
What we don't see are the ones who've used corn plasters with perfectly good results.
90% of corn plaster burns I see come from using them long-term.
The best corn pad is the one that you're comfortable with and sticks on!
Podiatrists would love to address the underlying reason you need to use corn pads (or plasters). This is whether you're a long-time corn pad aficionado or rookie.
For toes, it tends to be shoe width or height. For the soles of the feet, an insole or padding usually helps.