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for his own use. We can never find a perfectly fitting shoe in a ready made shoe store. That is readily granted. Neither can we have one made on an old last. The feet of no two persons are exactly alike, so no last can fit them both.
Thus, too, a foot always shows its own delicate natural form.
Not that we urge any departure from the prevailing style of shoe. If carefully fitted, they will answer very well, although some female reformers have declared their independence of them. A distinguished woman who not long since returned from Europe, told a friend of ours, of an interview with Miss Florence Nightingale. During the conversation she could not help but notice the singular shape of that eminent lady's foot. She had never heard that Miss Nightingale was lame, or mal-formed, but certainly something was the matter. Her curiosity prompted her to inquire of some mutual friend, who at once explained that Miss Nightingale, despising the modern instrument of torture vended by fashionable shoemakers, is accustomed to plant her stocking foot firmly on a piece of leather, draw the outline of the figure it forms, and have her shoe made to correspond exactly with it!
The heel should neither be very high nor narrow, as this throws the body forward, impairs the gracefulness of the carriage, and is also apt to predispose the ankle to “ turn” or give way, which is both awkward
HOW TO CURE CORNS.
and painful. The centre of the sole should rise above both heel and toe on the inside of the shoe, so as to preserve the arch of the foot.
Our next subject is a tender one-not love, as you will at once guess, but-corns. They are the Nemesis which visits infraction of the rules we have just laid down. So common are they that in all our large cities there are individuals who devote themselves to their extraction, and make a living by it. These gentlemen are not always too implicitly to be relied upon. Some, indeed, are skilful and reputable specialists, but the majority are ignorant and tricky, thinking of nothing but how to make business,” that immortal principle which Charles Dickens says is the only stable and entirely certain one in English law. We had recently in our hands a small book published by one of them in which he urgently dissuades any one from cutting their own corns, but always to come to the celebrated chiropodist, Dr.
to have it done ($5.00, if you please).
This is charlatanism. Every person can not only cut, but
their corns, if they will take the trouble. They can even learn to extract them on the feet of others, but not readily on their own. The method is simple, the operation painless, and we shall describe it.
The only instruments needed are a pair of small steel forceps, and two or three blunt-pointed steel or silver
instruments, technically called quadrilles. The corn is first softened by immersion in warm water, or by a drop of oil or glycerine. The foot is then held in a good light, and the centre of the corn loosened by passing the point of the quadrille gently around the circumference of the callous portion. This is seized by the forceps, and held to one side while the instruments loosen the other side. So the operation is continued, very gently and leisurely, until the whole callus is loosened and the corn picked out by the forceps. Under ordinary circumstances not the least pain need be given and not a drop of blood shed. This is the art and the mystery of corn doctoring.
It requires some skill, some command over the fingers and the nerves; it cannot be performed on one's self. This is disappointing. But we have not yet divulged all the "tricks of the trade." Here are some methods of curing one's own proper and peculiar corns without assistance from any one.
Take several small pieces of ordinary sticking plaster. Cut in them holes the size of the corn. Apply one over the other so as to surround the corn, but leave it exposed. Then in the opening drop a saturated solution of caustic soda, and cover with a thin piece of plaster. Renew this every other day for eight or ten days, and the corn will be gone.
Or cut the corn carefully with a knife not too sharp, taking care that it is not cut to the quick or to blood.
A CORN PLASTER.
Then touch it lightly with nitrate of silver in stick. In two or three days a dark, callous crust will cover the surface. Remove this with the knife, and apply a second time the silver nitrate. Do this for a fortnight, and if it is judiciously and regularly done, and the part protected from pressure, it will cure any corn.
Very painful corns can be helped by being covered with the following plaster, though we have little faith in its curative powers :Resin plaster
one ounce ;
Muriate of ammonia two drachms;
one drachm. The strong tincture of iodine applied daily is often an efficient remedy, and another is to rub them morning and night with a piece of pumice-stone. If well softened beforehand, this latter method, though tedious, is satisfactory and painless. It is particularly suited to soft corns between the toes.
A word concerning the cutting of corns. There is a right and a wrong way to do even this. Bear in mind that the part of the growth which is thick and painful is not near the edges, but in the centre. Therefore, they should be pared into a concave or funnel shape; not flat across, but deeper in the middle than at the circumference.
A bunion is a corn on a large scale, which has its seat on the outer side of the joint of the great toe.
As soon as there are any signs of their advent, a small, flat, hollow ring of India rubber should be worn to prevent pressure from the shoe. When once formed they can be reduced by assiduous poulticing, and touching with nitrate of silver, tincture of iodine, or chromic acid. Sometimes they become violently inflamed, and then it is best to call in a surgeon, for grave injury of the joint may result, if they are neglected or ill-treated.
A sleigh ride or a skating party leaves many a delightful reminiscence, and sometimes one that is not delightful, to wit, chilblains. They are the result of frosted feet, and keep up a burning and stinging for months, whenever the foot becomes warm. There are numerous domestic remedies in vogue for their prevention and cure. Soaking the feet in water in which potatoes have been boiled, in strong brine, in branwater containing several teaspoonfuls of muriate of ammonia, rubbing them with oil of turpentine, all have their advocates among those respectable old ladies who are rich in domestic lore, and all occasionally do wonders. A more unfailing remedy will be found in keeping the parts moist with this lotion : White Castile soap
a drachm; Milder solution of ammonia two drachms; Tincture of cantharides
two ounces. Or if it is too inconvenient to keep up an application of this nature, the frost-bitten parts may be painted