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Corns (cont.)

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How are corns and calluses diagnosed?

The diagnosis can be made by observing the characteristic changes in the skin. Specialized tests are not necessary.

How can corns and calluses be treated?

Corns and calluses can be treated with many types of medicated products to chemically pare down the thickened, dead skin. These products all share the same active ingredient -- salicylic acid, the ingredient used in over-the-counter wart-removal products.

Salicylic acid is a keratolytic, which means it dissolves the protein (keratin) that makes up most of both the corn and the thick layer of dead skin which often tops it. Used as indicated on the package directions, these products are gentle and safe for most people. Salicylic-acid treatments are available in different forms including

  • applicators,
  • drops,
  • pads,
  • plasters.

All of these treatments will turn the top of the skin white and allow the dead tissue to be trimmed or peeled away, making the corn protrude and hurt less.

It generally is recommended that salicylic acid not be used by people with diabetes or when there is frail skin or poor circulation (because of concern about how the skin can heal). In these situations, application of salicylic acid can potentially lead to ulcer formation on the skin. A health-care professional can help determine whether salicylic acid-based products are safe for use on a particular individual.

Do not attempt to cut or shave away corns and calluses at home. This can lead to potentially dangerous infection of the surrounding tissues. This should be performed by a podiatrist or other health-care professional.

A health-care professional may also prescribe antibiotics for any corns or calluses that have become infected.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/12/2014

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Corns - Treatments Question: What treatment has been effective for your corns?
Corns - Symptoms Question: What symptoms did you experience with your corns?
Corns and Calluses - Seeing a Doctor Question: If you have corns or calluses, what were your reasons for seeking medical help?
Corns and Calluses - Prevention Question: How do you prevent recurrences of corns or calluses? Have you changed the type or style of shoes you wear?
Corns and Calluses - Risks Question: Are your shoes too tight? Explain the reasons why you think you developed corns or calluses.
Source: MedicineNet.com
http://www.medicinenet.com/corns/article.htm

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