Corns are hardened skin tissues that tend to accumulate in soles of the feet and less commonly, even on the hands. A corn is formed due to improper feet care or bad posture. Wearing tight/uncomfortable footwear and high heels that put repeated pressure on the same spot or standing in the same posture for a long time, are other causes.
Being overweight too, could lead to developing a corn as the excess weight increases the pressure on the feet. It also affects the person’s gait, which in turn puts abnormal pressure on the soles.
Corns may or may not be painful. Some corns are so silent they often go untreated, which is detrimental to your feet in the long run. Ayurveda deems corns as a less significant disease [kshudra roga] and ascribes them to imbalance of the kapha and vatta doshas.
When you get a corn…
- Soak your feet in salted warm water for 5 – 10 minutes to make the area soft. Then, scrub the area gently with the help of a pumice stone or some other scrubber to rub off the dead skin. After this, apply a medicated cream or gently massage the foot with coconut or mustard oil. You can even add Epsom salts to the water instead of regular salt.
- Add a capful of vinegar to warm water and douse your feet in it for 10 minutes. Then scrub gently and massage with a greasy oil like castor oil or olive oil for further lubrication. Tie a small piece of cotton/bandage dipped in vinegar onto the corn. Leave it in this position for a few hours or overnight. Vinegar naturally sanitises dead skin tissue, making the affected area easier to clean and scrub off the dead tissue.
- To remove a soft corn, tie a piece of orange peel or lemon peel on the affected area after you’ve done the soaking, scrubbing and oil massage ritual.
- Roast some turmeric powder in mustard oil and apply this paste when bearably hot to the corn. Cover it with a bandage and keep overnight.
- Mix one teaspoon of aloe vera gel with one half teaspoon of turmeric and apply on the corn.
- Massage skin with medicated oils such as jatyaadi taila, kasisaadi taila and shadadhwata ghrita.
For chronic, hardened and persistent corns, you need advanced ayurvedic treatment by a physician.
Generally the vaidya or ayurvedic physician performs kshara karma using gaumutra [cow urine] and yavakshara [pearl ash]. He may even remove the corn surgically [shastra karma] or cauterise it [agni karma].
These procedures are accompanied by bandaging the localised area with turmeric paste and aloe vera paste to promote healing and provide natural antiseptic cover.
As ayurveda attributes corns to kapha and vata imbalance, balancing the two doshas curb the re-occurrence. This involves modifying your diet [aahara] and lifestyle [vihara].
How to avoid having a corn
- Keep a regular check on your weight. When you maintain proper weight, your feet won’t be over-pressured.
- Take care of your feet by cleaning, scrubbing and massaging them from time to time.
- Wear proper footwear that not only protect your feet and are comfortable but also allow equal distribution of your weight.
- Maintain a good posture that doesn’t put undue pressure on one side of your foot.
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