A corn is a thickening of the outer skin layer, usually over the bony areas of the foot, such as the joints of the toes that cause a rather protruding appearance, caused by excess bony growth on bones of the foot. This callous is painful, and is typically caused by repetitive irritation or pressure. In most situations, corns develop on the skin between toes or on toe joints. Corns, also known as calluses, form to protect certain areas of the skin against repeated rubbing or squeezing type injuries. The pressure causes the skin cells to grow at a faster rate, leading to overgrowth.
Most corns are caused by improperly fitted shoes, or those engaged in long-term athletic activity that places stress on the feet. Individuals with foot or toe deformities may also experience an increased risk of developing corns.
Two types of corns are recognized - hard and soft. Hard corns typically form along the side of the toes or under the feet, while soft corns form between the toes in high moisture areas.
Medical treatment for corns generally involves cutting off or shaving away the hardened areas of the skin. Sometimes, corns or calluses can be removed by then removing the actual corn or callous with medicine. However, this procedure does not remove the initial cause of the corn, and for many, post-surgical scarring causes pain and may complicate healing.
Laser corn removal surgery is an outpatient procedure that is done at a podiatry clinic. During the procedure, the corn is removed and surgically cauterized. A variety of laser options are available. In most cases, the corn will be topically medicated at the base, and then a podiatrist or other health professional removes the corn through laser technologies. In some cases, patients may be advised to wear a surgical shoe or undergo counseling regarding proper shoe wear and foot care following the procedure in order to reduce risk of future corn development.
Laser corn removal surgery may be performed for chronic formation of corns and calluses on the feet that make wearing shoes and walking difficult. Laser removal utilizes a high-powered and medical grade laser to literally burn the corns off the foot. Because overgrown cellular tissues that cause corns or calluses don't contain pain receptors, the procedure is relatively painless. Prior to removal, your doctor may apply a local or topical anesthetic. The length of the treatment process depends on how deep and how large the corn is, and can last anywhere from 15 or 20 minutes to several hours.
A guided laser passes over the corn, literally vaporizing excess tissue, or literally, burning it off. The heat of the laser beam also destroys the virus that causes the cellular growth.
How Much does Corn Removal Cost?
Cost of laser procedures for corn removal depend on how large the corn is, where it's located, and how deep (superficial or deeply seated) it has extended into the foot. Hard corns with a solid core are more difficult to remove than a soft corn, so will naturally cost more. The type of laser or technology used will also affect cost.
The procedure is an outpatient procedure, reducing the need for overnight hospital stays. However, costs are also determined by the number of corns being removed, the specific doctor or facility where the procedure is performed, and other factors. Patients traveling to foreign locations such as South America, Southeast Asia, and Europe may save between 20% and 50% on same procedure costs.
Who Performs Corn Removal Procedures?
A podiatrist who belongs to the American Board of Podiatric Surgery, the American Board of Podiatric Foot Surgery, or the American Academy of Pain Management, or country specific organizations and associations, or trained to deal with not only a number of podiatry issues, but laser surgery approaches in dealing with those issues.