By Dr Alpana Shah
Sometimes when our body tries to protect itself from some injury or pain, it creates a defence, that is troublesome to itself.
When excessive pressure or friction is applied on a particular part of skin, the superficial tissues try to protect the internal tissues from any injury. The superficial tissues become hard and rough so as to form a protective layer. However, this protective layer can itself become a cause of trouble when a pointed hard structure forms in the core. This pointed structure presses over the internal surface when one walks and causes pain. This is nothing but corn.
Corns arise from hyperkeratosis, a normal physiological response to excessive pressure or friction on the skin. They are most common on the hands and feet but appear localized to the area that bears repeated pressure or friction. Corn on soles of the feet can be quite painful. They also hinder mobility. One is often forced to walk in a crooked manner to avoid putting pressure on the corn.
Conditions which leads to repeated pressure and friction on the skin of palms and soles:
Tight fitting or ill-fitting shoes.
Cramped footwear, use of hard footwear.
Using shoes without socks.
Dancing, walking or standing bare feet on a hard surface for long time.
People with hammertoes – toes that are bent downwards, typically as a result of pressure from footwear
Bunion – forms when big toe pushes against next toe, forcing the joint of big toe to get bigger and stick out. Skin is red and sore at this site. It is formed on the joint at the base of the big toe.
Abnormal gait due to some other disease/fracture/deformity
Occupations like hair-dressers, carpentry, boxing, cherry pitting, dancers who perform spins on their backs, jewelry making, musicians, etc. increase the occurrence of callosities on parts exposed to repeated frictions and pressures.
Corns may be acutely painful because of pressure of the central keratin plug on underlying nerves in the papillary (second layer of skin) layer. Callosities which are soft or overlying bony surfaces can occasionally become infected due to minor tears in the thin overlying skin.
What are the treatment options?
Any treatment measure opted for must treat not only the corn or callus, but also provide relief from recurrence.
Pain relief: It can be obtained by relieving the tension within.
Regular scrubbing with a pumice stone after soaking the feet or callus in warm water can prevent recurrence especially in painless callosities.
Uses of proper footwear which distributes weight evenly can prevent the recurrence of callosities.
Can homeopathy Help?
Homeopathic medicines can relieve the pain and stop recurrence of the callosities and corn as well. Painful callosities that cannot be scrubbed by pumice stones respond well to homeopathic medications taken internally.
There are many homeopathic remedies which are effective in treating corns, but today I will be discussing commonly used five top rated homeopathic medicines.
1) Antim Crud:
Antim crud is very effective in treating hard, horny and sensitive corns and callosities which are extremely painful. There is intense pain in the soles of feet and it makes walking difficult. The slightest pressure will produce a callosity, or a sore place. There is unusual tendency of thickening of the skin on the soles of the feet. The skin may start to chap, thicken, and become rough and cracked. There is callous formation under the nail of the great toe. It is effective for warts grow upon the hands. There is associated complaint of indigestion with lot of food allergies. Person feels hungry all the time with thick white coating on the tongue. Antim crud patient show tendency to grow fat.
Thuja is a deep acting medicine. Thuja is indicated in very fleshy persons with dark complexion, black hair and unhealthy skin. Thuja personality have tendency for overgrowth of tissues and hyperkeratosis. People with recurrent tendency of corns responds well to Thuja. There is general aggravation from damp weather. Perspiration is oily and sweet smelling, or sometimes offensive. Thuja has the singular property of softening hard tissues.
3) Nitric acid:
Nitric acid is indicated for thick, hard corns on feet with severe pain. This medicine is specific when there are hard corns with cracks. These are very painful and bleed on touch or movement. Nitric Acid is indicated in patients who have tendency of Hyperkeratosis, where the adjacent skin has golden-yellow characteristic hence it has been used for the removal of corns, warts, tumors, ulcers, and Keloids. It is indicated in patients who are greatly broken by long suffering, pain and sickness. Suited to patients who catch cold easily.
Acts best in dark-haired patients, plethoric, with sensitive livers.
One of the best homeopathic remedies for corns with yellow discoloration in surrounding area. It is indicated when corns have resulted from exertion or too much walking. Corns are painful on walking especially ones on right toe.
It is one of the carbon remedies. There is a tendency of thickenings of the skin. Patients have rough, hard, dry and unhealthy skin. Their feet sweat profusely and moderate walking causes soreness between the toes. Finally the sides and roots of the finger and toe nails become sore and are exceedingly painful. There are cracks in the heels and in between toes, with burning and stinging pain. There is tendency of ingrowing toe nails. Graphites patient has tendency for skin complaints like eczema, inpetigo, fissures and cracks. Person is sensitive to cold. Suited to females in there menopausal complaints.
Dr. Alpana Shah is a renowned Homeopath of Mumbai and also has her clinic in Surat. She could be contacted at Homeoworld , Plot No.267, Shop No.1, Amar Apartment, Road No 12, Goregaon West, Mumbai – 400062 .