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Sunday, November 14, 2010

Soft corns 

This has been a hard blog to write. I’ve had to start this two or three times. That’s because I’m not planning a rant or trying to write something funny or just saying the first thing that pops into my mind.

This time, I’m trying to write something helpful and, for most of my regular readers, this will be completely irrelevant. If you’re looking for some of my usual stuff, stop reading now. Normal service will be resumed later.

I’m aiming this at anyone who has itchy feet and doesn’t know why.

And by that I don’t mean you have wanderlust and you want to move house, change your job or your relationship. I really do mean feet that itch. Specifically feet that itch for no visible reason.

I know there is very little to be found on the internet for this because I looked for it. I have had a couple of episodes of this problem myself. The first was a few years ago and the second right now. The internet was no help at all.

My feet look perfectly normal. There are no strange growths on my feet, no warts, no spots, no discoloration but there is an itch. Or rather, itches, and itches that don’t stay in the same place. There is nothing obvious to point to and say “aha, a verruca” before applying some suitable cream from the pharmacist.

Does that sound like you? Do you have feet that itch? Does the itch move around?

I know this isn’t a serious problem and there are much worse things in life to suffer. This is one of those things that you just put up with because there’s nothing to see and it is only an itch, after all. It’s an itch that strikes at you whenever you take pressure off your feet, an itch that won’t stop no matter what you scratch it with, an itch that tempts you to slip off your shoes whenever you think anyone is not looking and have a bloody good scratch.

When it first struck me, I became rather desperate and tried several solutions before doing the obvious thing and going to a podiatrist. I did feel silly though. After all there was nothing to see.

It took a bit of investigation with him peering at my feet with very powerful magnifying glasses but it eventually turned out I had soft corns under the skin on the soles of my feet. They were just large enough to cause a itch but not large enough to be visible or be felt. The podiatrist, Toby, was able to remove them all within a few visits and give me pointers to help me prevent them returning.

They were probably caused by my feet rubbing against my slightly ill-fitting shoes. Toby gave me some insoles and later I managed to find shoes that fit me better.

I was free of them for years and then, all of a sudden they were back, itching away like anything and driving me barmy. I would find myself rubbing my feet on the sharp edges of the coffee table as I watched TV or slipping my socks off at work for a bloody good scratch. I had forgotten that I had recently had to say goodbye to a lovely pair of very comfortable shoes which obviously had kept the corns at bay.

So I made a return visit to see Toby and he removed the corns again. Most of them. He can’t get them all at once and I can feel there’s at least one left behind.

He mentioned that he’d had one other patient with the same problem since he last saw me and that, as soon as she mentioned that she had an invisible itch on her feet, he remembered me and was able to treat her quickly and easily.

That’s why I decided to write this. I was sort of indirectly able to help this woman. There is bound to be someone else trying to find a solution to the same problem.

Go to a podiatrist or a chiropodist, tell them about your itchy feet and mention soft corns.

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