CORNS, CALLUSES AND OTHER BUMPS Recently I decided to take a good look at my feet.  Ack! There’s a bump near my big toe.  Happily, it’s definitely not “COVID toe,” painful red and purple bumps that can occur at the tips of the toes or tops of your feet with the virus.  It’s a bunion, a bony bulge at the base of the big toe on the inside of my foot. 

Bunions aren’t the only cause for bumps on feet.  Other common causes are bursitis, ganglion cysts, corns, and calluses.  Bone spurs are different from bunions; they’re often caused by osteoarthritis.  An x-ray will tell you if you have a bone spur and aside from easing the pain, it’s important to manage the arthritis. A heel spur is a calcium deposit on the bottom of the heel bone that causes a painful bump. A diet rich in magnesium and alkaline foods helps balance PH levels and calm inflammation and reduce calcium build-up.  Nevertheless, surgery is sometimes required to remove the calcium deposits. Ganglion cysts are fluid-filled bumps that usually don’t require treatment and often resolve on their own. Of course, if you are concerned about a troublesome bump, don’t hesitate to contact your health care provider.

Regardless, of the cause, many of these bumps cause pain.  Here are a few suggestions for home remedies that can provide relief:

  •         Internal – Bromelain, an enzyme found in the fruit and stem of the pineapple plant take daily to quell inflammation, The usual dose is 500 mg 3 times a day. Avoid if allergic to pineapples.  Consult with your health care provider if you have a blood-clotting disorder, liver or kidney disease or hypertension.
  •   Increase anti-inflammatory foods – in particular fruits and vegetables such as blueberries, apples, and leafy greens that are high in natural antioxidants and polyphenols—protective compounds found in plants. And, add strongly anti-inflammatory herbs such as turmeric (curcumin), ginger, black and cayenne pepper, and cumin seeds to your diet.
  •         Topical applications –  1. To ease pain and stimulate circulation, Arnica gel. 2. Lotions, creams or liniments made with counter-irritants such as Peppermint, Cayenne, Camphor or Menthol. 3. Curcumin cream, studies have shown that the effects of Curcumin are similar to those of hydrocortisone, and OTC pain killers;  
  •         Footbath –  Epsom salt:  dissolve 1/2 cup Epsom salt in warm water, add 5-20 drops of pure essential oil like Rosemary, Lavender or Peppermint, soak 10-15 minutes. Sipping Green, Ginger or Turmeric tea while you soak will help decrease pain. Finish with a cool rinse,
  •         Smooth away corns and calluses – 1. Apple cider vinegar – mix together a solution of four parts water and one part apple cider vinegar, soak your callus for about 20 minutes. If you find the vinegar too acidic for your skin, soak a cotton ball with ACV, tape it to the bump and remove after 15-20 minutes. 2. Lemon peel – before going to sleep, cut a slice of lemon peel about an inch long and the width of your toe. Place the pith over the corn, securing with a bandage and covering with a white cotton sock overnight. Continue each night until the corn disappears. 3. Castor oil, soak a cotton ball with Castor oil, place it over the bump, tape in place and leave overnight.  You may need to repeat for a week or two. It doesn’t have to be Castor oil, vegetable or mineral oils work just as well. 4. Cream gels containing urea (the main nitrogenous breakdown product of protein metabolism in mammals, excreted in urine) this old-time remedy can be an effective treatment. 5. For any of the above, once the dead skin has softened, use a clean, wet callus file or pumice stone to file down the layers. Rub the stone on the wet callus or corn using light pressure for 2-3 minutes to remove dead skin. Be cautious, if you go too deep it may result in bleeding or infection. If you have diabetes, peripheral arterial disease, peripheral neuropathy or other circulatory problems, check with your health care provider for trying any treatment for calluses or corns.