CORNS are small hard growths, resulting from an increase in the thickness of the cuticle or epidermis, which is generally caused by the irritation of some excessive pressure or friction on the part. They occur most commonly on the toes as a result of tight shoes. Three varieties of C. are described, viz.-1. Laminated corns or callosities, in which the hardened cuticle is arranged in layers, frequently of a dark brown color, from the effusion of blood in the deeper layers. 2. Fibrous corns (elavi), which are not only fibrous in their early stages, but, as time goes on, sink into the skin, sometimes producing great pain. Frequently, a bursa, or small bag, is formed beneath, to protect the tender subjacent tissues, and if this bursa should inflame, matter speedily forms, and the pain and constitutional irritation becomes severe; at other times, the pressure may cause absorption of the ends of bones, and serious alterations in the condition of a joint. The duty of the chiropodist is to dislodge the imbedded peg of hard cuticle from its socket. Should lie cut it across, the fibrous arrangement will present the appearance of "roots," a popular delusion of great value to itinerant corn-doctors. 3. Soft corns occur between the toes, and cause much annoyance; they are generally small, and being constantly bathed in perspiration. the cuticle does not harden, as in the other varieties. They sometimes•give rise to painful ulcerations.
The treatment of C. consists in the removal of all undue pressure or friction, either by removing the shoe altogether, or protecting the corn by surrounding it with a border of some soft material, as amadou (q.v.) or soft leather: or the hardened cuticle may be softened by the application of some alkaline lotion, and then scraped or filed away: or it may be extracted, as before mentioned. A lotion of soda or potash is often found very useful. The cuticle composing a soft corn should be clipped off with scissors, and a small piece of cotton-wool be placed between the toes. . In all serious cases, applica
tion should be made to a respectable chiropodist.
C. affects horses as well as men. In the foot of the horse they occur in the angle between the bars and outer crust, and consist in a bruise of the sensitive secreting sole. Two forms of feet are especially subject to theta—those with deep narrow slanting heels, in which the sensitive sole becomes squeezed between the doubled-up crust and the shoe; and wide flat feet which, by the senseless cutting away of the bars and outer crust, allow the delicate interior parts to be pressed with all the force of the animal's weight on the unyielding iron shoe. Serum and blood are poured out, the secreting parts being weak and irritable, produce a soft, scaly, unhealthy horn. C. constitute unsound ness; cause a short, careful, tripping gait; are the most frequent source of lameness amongst roadsters; abound in badly-shod horses, especially those with the kind of feet alluded to; and usually occur in the inside heels of the fore feet, these being more espe cially subjected to weight, and hence to pressure. The discolored spot indicating the recent corn must be carefully cut into with a fine drawing-knife; any serum or blood is thus allowed free vent. If the bruise has been extensive, a poultice will have the twofold effect of allaying irritation, and relieving the sensitive parts by softening the hard unyielding horn. When the injury has been of some standing, and soft faulty horn is secreted, a drop of diluted nitric acid may be applied. On no account must the bars or outer crust be removed; they are required for bearing weight, which may be further kept off the injured part by the use of a bar-shoe. In horses subject to C., keep the feet soft by dressing with tar and oil, or any suitable emollient; pare out the C. every fortnight; use a shoe with a wide web on the inside quarter, and nailed only on the out side; and, if the sole is thin and weak, employ leather pads.