Foot Corns are hardened skin tissues that occur on the soles of feet. Rarely, corns can be found even on the hands. Foot corns may or may not be painful. While some corns remain silent, and often go untreated, leaving it unattended can be detrimental to your feet in the long run. Ayurveda believes that an imbalance of kapha and vata doshas, may be the reason for corns. Whatever be the case, if the corns are painful, then you cannot do without a treatment, as it can affect you walking style and daily activities.
Causes for foot corns:
- Corns may occur due to any of the following reasons:
- Improper foot care
- Bad posture
- Wearing tight / uncomfortable footwear
- Wearing high heels
- Activities that put repeated pressure on the same spot
- Standing in the same posture for long time
- Being overweight (as excess weight can increase pressure on the feet)
- Not keeping your feet clean
Ayurvedic Home Remedies for Corns
Foot Corns can be easily treated at home with the following Ayurvedic home remedies:
- Soak your feet in lukewarm water to which salt (preferably Epsom salt) is added. Leave it on for five to ten minutes to soften the area. Then scrub the area gently with the help of pumice stone or other scrubber to remove dead skin. Gently massage the foot with coconut or mustard oil.
- Just roast a garlic clove in a little ghee until golden (should not be brown). When still warm, apply the garlic clove on each corn. Leave it on for a day. Continue doing this daily until the corn falls off.
- A therapeutic foot soak would be to use Epsom salt and chamomile tea, as they help in softening dead skin cells that causes corn and calluses. To prepare the soak, just add a handful of Epsom salt in a basin of warm water, and add chamomile tea to it. Keep your foot soaked in this solution for 10 minutes. The dead cells that accumulate on the topmost layer of the corn can be removed with the use of pumice stone.
- Baking Soda is a great exfoliating agent. It removes hard layer or dead skin cells that engulf the corn, and promotes quick healing. It’s antibacterial and antifungal properties can also help prevent skin infections. To use, just mix 3 tablespoons of baking soda with lukewarm water and soak your affected foot for 15 minutes. Then rub the corns gently using a pumice stone.
- Just add a cup of vinegar to warm water and soak your feet in it for 10 minutes. Then scrub with castor oil or olive oil for further lubrication. Then tie a small piece of cotton dipped in vinegar onto the corn and leave it in this position for few hours or overnight. Vinegar helps in sanitising the dead skin tissue and makes the affected area easier to scrub off the dead tissue.
- Roast turmeric powder in mustard oil and when it is bearably hot, apply this paste to the corn. Tie it up with a bandage and leave overnight. Do this daily.
- Tie a piece of orange peel or lemon peel on the affected area. After you have done the soaking, scrub with pumice stone and apply coconut or mustard oil on the area.
- Mix a teaspoon of aloe vera gel with half a teaspoon of turmeric and apply on the corn, leave it overnight.
Note: All these ayurvedic home remedies may take a few days to show results, but, it is best to get cured slowly and naturally, than resorting to extreme steps trying to remove the corn in one day.
Ayurvedic Treatment for foot cornn
For chronic, hardened and persistent corns, you need advanced ayurvedic treatment by a physician.
Generally, an ayurvedic physician performs ‘kshara karma’ with ‘gaumutra’ (cow urine) and ‘yavakshara’ (pearl ash).
‘Jatyaadi Taila’, ‘Shadadhwata ghrita’ and ‘Kasisaadi taila’ are some ayurvedic medicated oils to massage the skin.
According to Ayurveda, corn is caused due to vata and kapha imbalance. Hence, it tries to bring about a balance between these doshas by modifying your diet and lifestyle.
If there is no other option, and none of the topical medicines work, the corn may be removed surgically. Generally, conventional surgery is associated with significant rates of recurrence and during this process a deep wound is formed that may require adequate care and dressing post-surgery. Further, a patient may not be able to walk normally for a long time.
In Ayurvedic Surgery however, a therapeutic procedure called ‘Agnikarma’ is performed, with the help of fire. The procedure involves therapeutic burning of the corn tissue with fire, using various ayurvedic materials and tools. This is a simple, cost-effective procedure that does not require hospitalization or prolonged dressings. Recurrent rates are almost nil making Agnikarma an effective alternative to surgical excision.
Some tips to prevent foot corns:
- Keep your feet clean by scrubbing and massaging from time to time.
- Keep your weight under check, as your feet will not be over-pressured.
- Use appropriate footwear that protects your feet and are comfortable, allowing even distribution of your weight.
- Maintain good posture and ensure that you don’t put undue pressure on a particular area of your foot.
- Use customised padding on various areas of foot to temporarily redistribute pressure, such as, wearing little foam wedges between your toes.
- Use a good natural moisturizer like coconut oil to massage your feet daily.