Heloma: Find Out The Causes Behind That Painful Corn In Your Foot

Heloma, is the hardened layer of thick skin that develops when a body part tries to protect itself against friction or pressure. They often form on feet and toes or hands and fingers, mostly found in athletes, it is also common in middle-aged Indian women who work for long hours every day.

Heloma, is the hardened layer of thick skin that develops when a body part tries to protect itself against constant friction or pressure. They often form under the feet, on toes, inside the palms and on fingers. They are mostly found in athletes, people engaged in physical labour, and it is also common in middle-aged Indian women who work for long hours every day.

Heloma is widely known as corn, commonly known as corn is similar to calluses, but they are deeper inside the skin and have a hard centre, at times are painful. And this centre is often surrounded by swollen skin. They can be painful as well.

There are two types of corns, soft and hard. Soft corns form between toes and harder corns form on top of toes, the edge of the toes or the underside of the feet.

Causes of heloma

Corns form because of friction and pressure from repeated actions between skin and the surrounding surface. They are also found in people who have diabetes and issues with blood circulation

  • Wearing ill-fitting shoes and socks: Wearing tight shoes squeeze the feet and if shoes are loose they slide repeatedly and rub against the feet. This constant friction may give rise to the thickening of skin, which can either develop into calluses or corns
  • Not wearing socks: Socks are a great means to stop and protect the skin from constant rubbing against the seams of footwear. It is advised to wear socks both with shoes and sandals.
  • Using tools with hands and playing instruments: Constant pressure from activities like playing instruments like guitar, using sports equipments like rackets or writing or typing, gardening, farming can result in formation of inward growths
  • Genetically inherited: There are types of corn form on palms and soles, which are non-weighting bearing body parts. The cause of these growths can be linked to our genes.
  • Walking with bad posture: Bad posture can lead to many life complications, walking heavily or putting pressure on one side of the foot can lead to formation of corns.
  • Standing or walking for a long period of time and walking barefoot: Doing either leads to pressure build up on the feet, which results in friction between the skin and surface.

Cure for the corns

When you feel the corn is growing in your feet, soak your feet in warm water until the skin is soft and supple. Use a pumice stone or thick nail fail [emery board], wet it and rub the sine or the file gently on the corned area and remove the dead skin.

Maintain the motion and file it down. Don’t overdo the dead skin removal, as it can lead to infection and bleeding.

Apply a moisturizing cream or lotion with urea, salicylic acid or ammonium lactate in it —  to the affected area, every day, as this will help in softening the skin.

Treatment for heloma

In Indian drug stores, donut-style adhesive pads, shaped like bandages with circular padding, are easily available. They go by various names like corn caps, decorns, corn bandages etc.

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A person suffering from corns doesn’t need a prescription to buy them. But these pads are not a long term cure, they are a temporary solution. They curb the immediate growth of the inward skin and remove the corn after a week or so.

But if our habits and practices don’t change, the corns are bound to come back in a few months.

How to prevent heloma

  • Wearing proper shoes that fit and don’t hurt the toes or slide off the feet.
  • Wear socks when running or walking
  • Trim your toenails, as long nails push against the shoe and results in pressure.
  • Wear gloves and wristbands while using tools and instruments
  • Don’t try to cut the dead skin around the corn with sharp objects
  • If you are diabetic or have poor blood circulation, consult a doctor.
  • Don’t use dissolving products without supervision.

If you or anyone you know is suffering from painful corn and calluses, it might be an issue with genes or bone deformities developed over the years.

Indian middle-age women are much more prone to developing corns and calluses because of hours they spend working on their feet. Hence, make sure, that they are well rested and are wearing proper shoes or gloves when they are working. The best way to cure corn and calluses is by taking precautions.

Image Source: Kaspars Grinvalds, free on Canva Pro

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Aritra Paul

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