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A com refers to a localized thickening of the skin, especially on the toes, and extending into subcutaneous tissue. A corn is usually small and painful.
Corns are usually found over the joints of the toes and on the soles of the feet. They are shaped like a pyramid with the apex pointing inwards. They are tender when touched. Sometimes painful and infective warts that occur on the soles of the feet are mistaken for corns.
Corns are usually formed as a result of pressure on the toes and skin surfaces of the feet through incorrect footwear.
Liquorice is one of the most valuable remedies for corns that are just appearing. A paste made by grinding three' or four liquorice sticks and mixing it with half a teaspoon of sesame oil or mustard oil should be rubbed into the hardened skin at bedtime. The skin gradually softens and the com decreases in size.
Lemon is another valuable remedy for corns. A fresh slice of lemon should be tied over the painful area at night and allowed to remain there the whole night
Raw papaya is beneficial in the treatment of corns. Its juice is an irritant and it is, therefore, a useful application in this condition. Half a teaspoon of raw papaya juice may be applied thrice daily.
The herb Indian squill, botanically known as Urginea indica, is useful in removing corns. A bulb may be roasted and applied over the com. It should be secured with a bandage. This application may be made at night and removed in the morning.
The milky juice of green figs is valuable for corns of long duration. It helps to soften them. Half a teaspoon of this juice may be extracted from the fruit and applied two or three times daily.
Chalk powder has also been found bene¬ficial in the treatment of corns. A small piece of chalk may be ground into a paste with water and applied over the affected area.
A light nutritious diet containing vitamins and minerals in the form of fruits and vegetables is recommended.
For proper treatment of a com, it is essential to first stop wearing the shoes that caused it In most cases the com will disappear when the pressure is removed. Medicinal com-removing plasters, known as corn caps, are easily available with chemists. They are found to be effective.
For soft corns, which usually occur between the toes, the feet should be washed daily. This should be followed by the application of a mild talcum powder.