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Toe Pain – Part 1.
1. Corn and calluses
The most common cause of foot pain in the toe area is usually due to corns. If you think you can find corn only in fields, then chances are you are one of the fortunate ones who have never experienced the pain that comes with it.
A corn is a layer of cone-shaped, hardened dead skin, a form of callus; formed due to repeated friction, with a core that points inward. Pain is felt whenever the core touches or puts pressure on a nerve. Corn can develop on the top or in between the toes and is by far the most common cause of foot pain.
What causes corns to develop? Believe it or not, the main culprit is ill-fitting shoes resulting in friction from the toes rubbing together against the shoes. We might be inclined to think that shoes that are too loose largely ( no pun intended) contribute to this problem, but shoes, socks and stockings that fit too tightly around the toes are as much to blame. Other than ill-fitting shoes, it is thought that pressure on the toes from high-heeled shoes as well as deformed and crooked toes can also cause corns to develop.
To prevent or treat corns and calluses:
1. Wear shoes that are not neither too tight nor too loose, preferably well-padded
ones with either open toes or a wide toe box
2. Wear thick socks to absorb pressure but make sure they are not tight
3. Use corn caps or rings which you can find in most drugstores, to provide padding
over problem areas
4. soften corns and calluses by applying petroleum jelly or lanolin hand cream
5. If corns occur between the toes, place cotton, lamb’s wool or mole skin in
these areas for cushioning.
Although there are medicated solutions and pads available to aid removal of corns and calluses, repeated treatments are required and most of the time offer only temporary relief. In addition to that, these solutions commonly contain salicylic acid and should therefore be used with caution by diabetics and those with circulation or neurological problems.
2. Ingrown toenails
Another common occurrence in the toe area is ingrown toenails. They can occur on any toe but are usually found on the big toes. They are thought to be caused by the excessive pressure put on the toe nails by tight fitting or narrow shoes that force the nail to grow into the flesh of the toe. Other causes include incorrect toenail trimming, fungal infections, injuries, repeated impact on the toenail from high-
impact aerobic exercise and abnormalities in the structure of the foot.
Pain caused by ingrown toenails can be relieved somewhat by soaking the toe twice daily in a warm water and antiseptic solution. Wearing sandals or open-toed shoes also helps.
Severe cases of ingrown toenails are usually treated surgically. Non-surgical methods usually involve chemicals, cauterization (heating) or lasers to remove the affected tissue and skin although infections are reportedly common after a chemical procedure.
write by Odette