Do corn plasters work?

If you suffer with corns on your feet, hands or somewhere else, you may be tempted to try a corn plaster to reduce its size and the pain associated with it. However, this isn’t always the best option and could make the affected area worse.

Below, you can find out more about how corn plasters work, but also what you can use instead to prevent further pain or infections. 

How do corn plasters work?

Corn plasters are made with salicylic acid, which gets to work quickly once applied. The acid is designed to burn away any hard skin that is around the corn or causing the corn. By reducing the hardness of the skin, the corn can be softened and worn away. Some brands even recommend peeling the corn away once it is soft enough.

However, corn plasters should be used with caution, if at all. The plasters will also wear away healthy, soft skin and this can lead to further problems, including burns and infections. When the skin around the corn is softened, the weight of the corn causes further damage underneath the skin, in areas you can’t see. 

Are corn plasters effective?

Corn plasters may be effective for treating corns, however, as podiatrists and experts in foot health, we can’t recommend these products. This is because they can cause more problems than they solve thanks to the use of salicylic acid.

When the acid begins to burn away healthy skin, as well as the hard skin around the corn, burns can form on the surface, but also under the corn. In more severe cases, they can also cause tissue damage, such as ulcers, and sepsis.

In using these salicylic acid plasters, you risk making a fairly simple problem worse. Many podiatrists and foot experts hope that they will be banned in the future to safeguard the general public from these complications. 

Can diabetics use corn plasters?

It’s imperative that those with diabetes look after their feet. This is because they are more likely to experience ulcers and infections when the skin on the feet is damaged or injured.

For this reason, anyone with diabetes shouldn’t use corn plasters. The acid in the plasters may burn away healthy skin, causing increased risk of infection to the area. 

The NHS recommends getting professional medical care for corns and calluses if you have conditions like diabetes or heart disease. Therefore, seeking advice from a GP or podiatrist is probably your best option. 

What can you use instead?

Corns are generally caused by pressure or friction, and therefore, these are the problems that should be addressed, rather than trying to physically remove the corn or soften the skin yourself. 

The best option may be a specific gel insole that treats corns and calluses. These insoles work by distributing pressure caused by standing or exercising across your whole foot, instead of localising it to one place (such as the ball of your foot). The insoles can be adjusted by removing small sections so they fit any shoe brand and size, and you’ll surely start to see a difference within a matter of time. It’s a long term solution that doesn’t involve applying chemicals to your skin. 

Another option is corn pads. Unlike plasters, they don’t contain any salicylic acid and merely reduce the friction or pressure on one area of your foot, such as your toes. The pads, however, are a use-once product, and need to be disposed of after use.

You may also want to address the route cause. What is causing your corns? Perhaps you’ve bought a new pair of shoes that don’t fit properly, or you wear high heels regularly. Maybe you’ve started a new sport that is causing increased impact on the bottom of your foot. These things can all increase your risk of a corn forming. 

Summary
Do corn plasters work?
Article Name
Do corn plasters work?
Description
If you suffer with corns on your feet, hands or somewhere else, you may be tempted to try a corn plaster to reduce its size and the pain associated with it. However, this isn’t always the best option and could make the affected area worse.
Author
Publisher Name
ZeroSole

About the author

David Barton

David began innovating offloading insoles and orthotic devices for diabetic foot ulcers as an undergraduate. His research provided instrumental data which sparked off further R&D projects relating to the ZeroSole Reliever insole, all of which has paved the way to developing numerous disruptive products, not just in the pharmaceutical retail sector, but in the medical sector too. As a founder, David is on a mission to make ZeroSole the go-to brand for innovative offloading (pressure-relieving) technologies that are effective, simple and easy to use.
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