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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Help with Corns or Callouses?


basmatina ballerina

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Dear All,

 

I just noticed that my tiny, petite DD has a corn/and or callous on the tail end of her ball of her foot. I had noticed about 1 month ago that she had a tiny corn the size of a tiny pebble and I had made an appointment for the podiatrist. She got the stomach flu on the day that she was supposed to go to the appointment. They re-scheduled as for the first week of January. Today I noticed that it has gotten considerably bigger. I would say that it is about 4-4.5 cm long. It looks simply horrible. She had kept it from me because she was scared that it would keep her from dancing.

 

She has been dancing a lot. Ballet classes are 4 days a week. Nutcracker rehearsals were 3 days (Thankfully some fell on ballet class days) and now performances have been, since Thanksgiving 4-5 days a week. That is a lot of time on her feet and a lot of time to be in sweaty tights and ballet slippers.

 

I want to be as informed as possible so, yes, I have been perusing the internet so I can go in with as much knowledge as possible. It sees that this is an affliction akin to many a dancer so I would like to know if anyone can relay experiences. I know this is not a site to offer medical advice. I am merely looking to, as I always do, go in not completely ignorant of a situation so I can ask a many questions as possible and know options.

 

Thanks in advance!

 

 

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Plantar warts, corns, callouses are all easily dealt with by a podiatrist. They will diagnose the problem, and either numb the area with an injection to remove it, or simply scrape off the dead skin if it can be done.

 

Most of those types of things are only a bit of time off from dance- nothing that will interrupt her progress :)

 

Some follow-up questions might be to find out what might have caused the issue to begin with, and how to prevent it in the future.

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Once you get the problem "fixed" or it heals up my biggest piece of advice is to figure out to prevent it in the first place. I had a soft corn between my little toe and the toe next to it. It took forever to heal and the podiatrist I went to really wasn't much help. If I wear a toe spacer on those toes I NEVER have a problem but if I forget for even one class it flairs up. It is like it is never completely gone, always waiting to come back if the chance arises. Being vigilant is key! Also make sure her non dancing shoes are giving her feet the break they need:)

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Thank you Clara 76 & ppixie. I will take her to a podiatrist that sees a lot of kids who are in sports. I am going to also see if perhaps there is a ballet slipper that might be better for her than what she is wearing now. She loves the Bloch Prolite II, but I wonder if the split sole might be the cause of it. I never liked her wearing the split soles. I always felt that it might be better with a full sole. Anyway, thank you both for your advice.

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Just a quick thought......some schools require a split sole shoe once the dancer is at a certain level, so you might want to check with her instructors first. My DD just switched to a stretch canvas flat and loves it (she used to wear the Bloch shoe).

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Dear Buzz & Moo,

 

I think I know you. My daughter is 2 levels below your daughter. We have talked quite extensively and you always have good advice. Anyway I am not sure about the split sole shoes. I know my DD switched because she loves how her foot looks in them but I will go back to the full sole Bloch.

 

Thanks!

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Whoops, my bad. My sincerest apologies.

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  • 1 year later...

Well misery loves company, they say.

 

I had been using my phone to view posts and was not seeing much about these soft corns. I see older threads tonight, on the PC, where others are saying things that my daughter and I have been bantering back and forth for over a month now.

 

Trying to survive Nutcracker (first year of flowers and snow - go figure!). Thought she had athlete's foot back at the beginning of November and treated with the OTC topical cream. Not too concerned until she hit the car after an afternoon of rehearsal and burst into tears. She said her foot had been just "so painful." I admit that she can be a bit of a drama queen about other things but pain is one thing my DD can usually tolerate fairly well. I checked it out when we got home, and her foot was flaming red on the flat part in front of the fourth and baby toe. This being a Sunday night, I took her to the pediatrician the next day. Ten day course of oral antibiotics prescribed. The redness went away, but the "white stuff and crater" - which one of my DD's teachers (with qualification that she is not an MD!) identified as a soft corn - did not go away. We have been soaking in Epsom salt at least twice daily (with a change of water and second dousing if there is time) since Thanksgiving. I obtained a "salve" from a homeopathic physician with calendula as a base and this is soothing. We soak, blow dry, apply the salve and then spray on the OTC athlete's foot stuff (it turns to a powder). Applying Neosporin at the theater between matinee and evening has helped a little. But what a long run, indeed. We are just nursing it along, day by day. I had made an appointment with the podiatrist when the corn was not gone near the end of the course of antibiotics, but cancelled this appointment because we have been afraid this would put DD out of commission too long. We are new to this school/production this year. We see the summer intensive auditions on the immediate horizon. We are worried, though, about maintaining things for another 3-4 weeks. How long are you off pointe once a soft corn is scraped? It does, indeed, seem like this is what we need to do. Thank you for the support of others who have "gone before" that we have found here tonight. This does help!

 

The small consolation is that it is pretty clear how she got this. We went down a width in her pointes in mid-October. Her teachers had commented that the fit was "gappy," especially once the shoe had broken in and requested that she be re-fitted. We had one pair of the wider width already sewn, but not worn, when this happened. This was "meant to be" because this is the only pair of pointes she had been able to wear for the past week. And it is a Freed. Fingers crossed that she can get 5 more shows this coming week/weekend out of them! I am thinking what she really needs is a custom fit: she needs the narrower width up on the foot to eliminate the "gappy" look and the wider width in the box so she does not get any more of these nasty soft corns! I guess I will need to explore this. The current shoe is a Studio Opera.

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DD has reoccurring soft and hard corns between all her little toes. The podiatrist said it from the way her feet and toes are shaped, the toes sort of angle down next to each other and in pointe shoes (or any narrow, close fitting shoe, non dancers who wear pointy shoes get them too) they rub and cause the corns. DD called them her "corn fields" because there are so many- blech. As long as dances, she will have them, so the solution is podiatrist every 6-8 weeks and he cuts them/files them away. Dds do hurt her, but they aren't excruciating she says.

 

She wears a spacer in her big toe so no corns there, but a spacer between every toes would be impossible, and trying tape/paper towels/etc never works for her, something rubs or her shoes don't fit. So podiatrist forever until she stops wearing pointe shoes is the solution. She is on a second podiatrist now, but the first one said he has patients with similar feet who will not give up narrow pointed shoes and one has been coming to him for almost 30 years to have corns removed over and over! I thought it was a pointe shoe specific issue (like if she changed brands they may improve) but for her at least it's a foot shape issue, the shoe won't matter unless they are tennis shoe pointe shoes.

 

People remove corns on their own, but I am way too afraid of infection for that and our insurance is really good, just a small copay, so we let the podiatrist do it.

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My daughter is 18 and has never had corns until this fall. She is fitted for pointe shoes by a very knowledgeable fitter. We've been told that it's her pointe shoes not fitting they way they used to. As well as her dancing in a new weather/humidity state. So she has switched pointe shoes to help resolve the issue. In the mean time, she stopped using her toe spacer as the whole reason for corns is lack of space and rubbing. She started using little bits of cottonballs between her toes as cushions and to help pull away the moisture in her shoes. That has given her a lot of relief and they are slowly starting to go away.

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Had not considered bits of cotton ball. Will try - thank you! Seems soft. The corn pads she has been using add bulk.

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My DD has had soft corns scraped off, and was back on pointe the same day. I believe that was part of your original question. I just asked her, and she said it was less painful to dance after the corns were gone. You should check with the podiatrist you plan on seeing, but I believe this is generally the case. Good luck!

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