Soft corns are composed of keratin, and are thickenings caused by repeated pressure or friction to the toes. The top of the corn pushes inward into the base of it, which is very uncomfortable. Soft corns typically form between the toes. They're more flexible and whiter than hard corns because they're softened by a steady supply of perspiration. Anybody capable of walking around on his or her own can develop soft corns.
While soft corns can appear anywhere on the foot that is subjected to pressure or friction, thickenings tend to occur on the toes, with softer, conical extensions pushing between the toes. The area is usually reddened and quite tender.
Soaking your feet in a nice warm Epsom salts bath according to the packaging instructions will go a long way in easing the discomfort of your soft corns. If you don't have Epsom salts, just soak in plain warm water for about 20 minutes. Pat your feet dry with a soft towel, but don't rub them. Rubbing encourages skin damage, and remember that everything is more delicate when it's wet. Apply soothing, moisturising aloe vera to your corns. Seal your feet in a plastic bag or wrap, and go prop them up while you read or watch TV for a couple of hours. Remove the plastic and gently rub the soft corn with an emery board or pumice stone to help reduce its size. This personal spa foot treatment will bring you enormous relief.
Wash your feet several times daily, and follow with a dusting of cornstarch. Leave them uncovered and exposed to the air as much as possible.
Shield and protect your soft corns with non-medicated over the counter corn pads. These surround the corn with soft, cushy material that extends higher than the corn itself. This will ease some discomfort by relieving pressure.
Gently wedge some lamb's wool, moleskin or soft cotton between your toes to prevent them from rubbing against each other, producing pressure and friction
Over the counter catalytic agents, such as urea cream, can help soften thickened areas of skin.
If you're planning to do some walking, coat your soft corns and the surrounding areas generously with petroleum jelly before putting on your socks. This will help to reduce friction.
Do's and Don't's
Don't abuse your feet. Avoid wearing shoes that don't fit well, or that are nonporous or rigid and inflexible. Choose box-toed styles so that you're toes will have plenty of room and won't be squashed together, causing friction between them. You should be able to wiggle your toes freely within your footwear.
Keep toenails well trimmed. They're designed to protect your toes from injury, but the pressure of a long toenail against your shoe can force the toe joint to push up against it. This causes foot friction which often results in the formation of corns.
Soft corns are not generally considered to be dangerous and seldom require medical attention. However, individuals with certain conditions should seek the advice of a physician. There are risks of more serious complications in people with diabetes, heart disease, or connective tissue diseases and disorders.
Call your doctor if you accidentally make your soft corn bleed. The broken skin is highly susceptible to infection. An infected or ulcerated corn will discharge clear fluid or pus, and should be treated by your medical professional at once.