For the first time in their boring little lives, robots are the talk of the town.
Yep, apparently every internet search is now answered by AI with a wig and funny accent.
(Though tbf, you'd improve most healthcare blogs with a non-human)
But blinking blue lights on a computer don't get a heloma molle. They can't get one, no matter how much they try.
Heloma Molle (aka Soft Corn)
Between your toes (and ibuprofen pills ) they don't give much of a warning shot.
Helloma molle is better known as a soft corn. But cute and cuddly they ain't.
When I first treated one, I thought it was a blister. And I was kinda right.
They're white, damp and squidgy. And agony, like a halfway-through hike abscess.
It's All Greek to Me
But before we get into all that, a word on the word itself...
"Heloma" means "foot corn". The term came across the green Aegean Sea, from ancient Greece.
(Those same Athenians invented the syringe and sipped mint tea for headaches)
But, alas, we time travel from 10,000 BC to nineteen-eighteen seven.
Corns, Corns, Corns
In 1987, the hairspray-lenient Mötley Crüe sang Girls, Girls, Girls.
Well, now it's time for the lightly-anticipated Corns, Corns, Corns.
(Record deal offers are gonna pour in)
Now, there are foot corns; then there's foot corns
(As well as corns between toes that ain't soft, like this one)
If you've got a Heloma molle soft corn, boy, you'll know all about it.
Pantheon of Foot Pain
Have you got a word you always wanted to use in a sentence?
(Discombobulated is always up there)
Well, today's my lucky day. Heloma molle has reserved a place in the Pantheon of Foot Pain.
Now, a pantheon means a collection of Gods. The temple in Rome came long afterward.
Sat beside soft corns are plantar fasciitis and gout. These three conditions are by far the most agonizing ones I treat.
They're unpredictable, invisible and hard to control.
Never Work With Kids, Animals (or Foot Corns)
(A bouffant-haired entertainer. And Siegfried and Roy)
Say what you want, but you can work with most foot corns. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying it's easy.
It's on par with Siegfried and Roy and their tamed tiger, Mantacore.
In other words, just about manageable. Just don't shove a microphone in its mouth.
For example, a hard corn on your pinky-toe will stop throbbing with spacious shoes.
Slaps of urea cream and an emery board sort most seed corns.
It may not cure them, but you can tame the beast long enough to stagger home.
But a heloma molle? They laugh in disdain at such mortal attempts at relief.
And a big part of this is because of their root cause.
The Callus Buyers Club: Heloma Molle Causes
All corns are caused by literal tons of pressure and friction.
What does that mean?
One part of your foot takes more of your weight when you walk. This means that the skin spot grinds the ground harder.
At first, you build a yellow rough callus. Now, some people are lucky and stay in the Callus Buyers Club forever.
They manage fine with an occasional sand-off.
But, for an unfortunate few of you, you're saddled with foot corns.
(A hard corn aka callus that's tipped over the edge)
Callus Tipping Point.
I know, it's not setting any TV director's phone on fire.
But if the hard skin builds, with the same pressure present...
...then your foot skin can't take any more.
Lumping hard skin on top of hard skin doesn't work so it starts to form inward.
These skin nuggets then bury down into your nerves and foot flesh. Voila! You now have a foot corn.
So far, so straightforward, or is it?
A heloma molle throws a gold-colored curve ball into the process.
It's not foot-on-ground; it's skin-on-skin.
Remember, these corns are interdigital. This means that the friction 'n' pressure are from your toes rubbing together.
(Like a pair of rusty, trusty garden shears)
Most of you don't feel this at the time — your clamped toes are numb.
A Shoe Vice
(A sliver of Imelda Marcos' shoe collection)
Shoe vice. No, not like Imelda Marcos, who owned 3000 pairs. What I mean is how tight your shoes grip (and never let go).
Think about it: a corn on the sole of your foot gets a split-second rest when you lift your foot.
Without your weight pressing down, it's carefree and airborne.
But a heloma molle squeezes as long as you wear shoes. And I assume that's often.
That's not all, most people with soft corns have toes that add fuel to the fire.
Big Thimbles of Sweat
Most heloma molle cases trace back to toes kicked, wrenched and pulled out of place.
They've tucked under or retracted back.
They turn around like an oil barrel in a river (a big cause of thick accessory nails).
Soft corns usually lodge on the inside skin of your pinky-toe — or the one next to it.
The poor little digit takes a battering. It's why they're more frequent here than other toes.
The toe rub and shoe squeeze combo gifts you big thimbles of excess sweat.
And this seals the deal on heloma molle's brutal burn.
Wetter (Isn't) Better
As a gentleman, I won't go into details. But let's just say your toes sweat more than you realize.
(Put your hand in your gym trainers after a workout to find out)
This moisture turns easy-peel hard skin into snow-white mush. It rips, bleeds and gives no protection against the grind that's still going on.
This devil's mix of sweat 'n' friction means that heloma molles have some quirky traits.
Some Approaching Violence: Heloma Molle Symptoms
Tough to see, hard to reach. Because of this, you have no idea what's going on.
Now, seed and hard corns are like Greek marble statues — proud and obvious.
They're simple to see and easy to reach on the bottom of your foot.
Not so a heloma molle. Remember, their other name is interdigital corn. They're jammed tight between your toes.
This means it's tough to tell what the hell is causing you so much pain.
Heloma Molle: Commonly Confused Conditions
Why are your toes suddenly scorched? There was no big break beforehand?
(I'm usually asked if it's pinky-toe gout because it burns and comes from nowhere)
But remember: pinky toe gout isn't all that common. Put it this way, it's much rarer than a heloma molle.
The other one I hear a lot is a plantar wart.
Again, it's possible; but I can count on two feet how many times I've seen a verruca between toes.
As hard as it can be, the best clue to working out if you own a heloma molle is to take a good look.
The Hungry Dog Tick
Soft corns strike anywhere between your toes; from down near your toenail to right up to your toe webs.
It's all about which area is taking the friction and pressure.
In the flesh, they tend to take on one of two appearances. The first is like a flat dog tick in need of a feed. A poached ivory oval of skin.
Other times, they look like an athlete's foot and hard callus lovechild.
But these two manifestations are when your soft corn has really bedded in.
When they're very fresh, they can be almost invisible.
Something Wicked (This Way Comes)
As a Greek philosopher (probably) said — prevention is better than cure.
But a heloma molle doesn't give you much warning.
When I ask my patients how it all started, they say they felt an occasional chafe. It wasn't so bad at first.
It disappeared after a few days or only bothered them in diamond-shaped heels.
Before long, it's constant. Nothing soothed it except wearing flip-flops or floating.
It's at this stage temptation sets in to reach for the acid corn plasters.
When the dust has long settled people will whisper in dark corners in awe.
Heloma molle pain is legendary.
Enough that people burn themselves with acid. And this isn't rare, ask any Podiatrist.
This is how it happens: You buy corn plasters with salicylic acid in desperation.
You put one on and nothing changes. You try another but the burn remains.
So you go for another round. After a fortnight, you look down in horror to see a lump of white rubber skin.
This, btw, is a chemical burn.
Heloma Molle Removal
To give yourself a chemical burn isn't optimal.
(How very management speak)
If it's at this stage, then, please see a professional. There's a heap of burnt white skin to remove as well as the actual corn.
And here's the irony: a heloma molle is easy for a Podiatrist to cure.
(The hardest thing is the finger-gymnastics involved to get at it)
But, I know there's a lot of reasons why you may opt for a heloma molle home cure.
And if you do, bare the next points in mind!
Heloma Molle Home Remedy?
Not gonna lie: heloma molle corns aren't easy to home remedy.
Shrouded by tight-tendon toes, they're hard to get at. You can't urea-cream them to death like seed corns.
(In fact, this makes them worse at first as they get even softer)
But you can press a pause button on the pain.
"Feel the wind in your hair". Well, I say feel the breeze in your toes.
You have to aerate your digits. You have to separate the soft corn from the next toe while you're healing.
I can't emphasize this enough.
The best way to do this is with good ol' flip flops. (Or thongs if you're Australian).
Remember: you have a heloma molle soft corn because your favorite shoes are too tight.
When you need something more enclosed, you won't go wrong with a good pair of running trainers.
(I like Asics as they're consistently good regardless of model)
Bigger shoes aren't enough. There needs to be a mini-door stop in your digits.
The best thing to use for this are Silipos gel spacers. They buffer the shearing and allows the wet skin to desiccate.
No, I don't mean slugging back Wild Turkey and a DIY-go with a darning needle.
I mean rubbing alcohol, or surgical spirit as it's called here in the UK.
Remember, one of the biggest pain producers in a heloma molle is wet skin.
If you've put a spacer in - you're on the right track - but it needs an accelerant.
A swab of rubbing alcohol a day keeps the soft corns away. It sucks moisture out of the wet skin and makes it easier to pick off and out.
Corn Plasters For Heloma Molle
Most Podiatrists see acid corn plasters like vampires see garlic.
They hate them and want them banned. And they don't spare their patients a good lecture on their evils.
But, in the words of Saul Goodman: I, myself, am more open-minded.
In fact, for soft corns, salicylic acid plasters are one of the few things that work.
But you have to know what you're doing.
Proceed With Caution
The first trick with corn plasters is to know exactly where your heloma molle lurks.
Do not guess this. If you need to, use a mirror, phone or passing monk to help you.
Second, only use them for the recommended time. When that's up take off, rip away and discard the plaster.
Allow your skin at least a few days to recover — trust me, it needs it.
Third, you have to actually remove your new flap of dead white skin. This contains the heloma molle.
(You may need an emery board or to pick it off)
The Right Time (For The Right Cream)
Remember I said that you can't slap on foot cream to cure a soft corn?
Well, there is a right time to utilize the good stuff.
Once you've spaced, dried and picked off the offending dead skin, then it's time.
You need to keep it as flexible and soft as possible.
(I use Gehwol Mint on my patients)
I will say though, a home cure for heloma molle is far from guaranteed.
If it's possible, it's a lot less hassle to go to a Podiatrist straight off the bat.
I'm going to repeat the rule of thumb for corn plasters. Don't keep applying them without allowing your skin a break!
Women (Have Worse Feet Than Men)
Yep, and it's all down to those ballet-tight footwear.
Fashion is an integral part of your life. Society says so — like corsets.
But it's not only shoes and buying apparel online is a double-edged razor.
You can access stuff you'd never see down your McHigh Street for sweatshop prices.
Then it rocks up and looks (or fits) decidedly different from advertised.
If you've got Amazon Prime, use Try Before You Buy.
You can order six items (including shoes, kids and men's clothes) and cavort in front of a mirror trying them for 7 days. You only pay for what you decide to keep.
(Returns are free).
Heloma Molle (aka Soft Corn)
So there we have it, the tale of heloma molle aka soft corn.
A journey from Ancient Greece through to 80's hair bands and tiger tamers.
This is because As long as tight shoes exist, then so will heloma molle.
Remember, if you feel the chafe, then get a spacer, any spacer between your pinky-toe. Keep it as dry as possible to stop your skin from turning into mush.
Last, if you use corn plasters then do it sparingly!