Skincare Q&A: Corns and Hormonal Acne

February 14, 2012  |  

You asked, and Dr. Dina D. Strachan, MD has answered. This board-certified dermatologist is a graduate of Harvard and Yale and currently holds a faculty appointment at NYU.  We recently asked readers to submit their skincare questions for Dr. Strachan. Check out her responses to questions about foot corns and hormonal acne.

I have a corn in one of my toes which is lighter than my toe with a dark circle. How do I get rid of it or at least make the skin even on that toe?

Corns are caused by pressure on the skin.  Corns often appear on the feet.  Shoes that are too tight, not supportive enough, or high heels can cause corns.  Hammer toes, which are deformed toes which bend in the middle and rub up against the tops of closed shoes, can also cause corns.  In people with brown skin the corn may have discoloration (dark and light) in response to inflammation caused by the friction.  If you are getting corns with discoloration, they are probably on the tops of your feet and caused by hammer toes.  Covering the affected skin with bandages or corn pads can help protect it from the friction that causes the corn and discoloration and over time, if the skin is protected, the corn and the color changes should resolve.  If hammer toes are severe it is best to see a podiatrist as surgery may be required. As for the discoloration, bleaching cream can be helpful for the dark area but there is no treatment for the lighter area other than protecting the skin so that it can heal and the normal color can come back.
What over the counter products are available for combating hormonal acne?

Acne is caused by a variety of factors, hormonal changes being one of them.  Although the over-the-counter ingredients available to treat acne, usually benzoyl peroxide, salicyclic acid or glycolic acid, can help, if one is trying to specifically address the hormonal causes, usually an oral, prescription medciation is required.  The birth control pill and spironolactone are best usually the choice for this type of acne.

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