Corns on the toes and feet cause a lot of pain and irritation. Most people find it difficult to walk or run when the corn has grown severe and rough.
Warning: Before starting any new treatment or diet, seek advice from your physician or any other qualified health provider.
If you are wondering how to easily treat corns and calluses on your foot or toe with natural remedies, this article is about to solve your concern.
We have researched and gathered the right remedies and preventive measures that can take care of this painful skin disease.
In this article, we shall be discussing biomedicine, natural remedies, and preventive measures that you can adopt to remove corns.
What Are Corns And Calluses
Corns and calluses are major foot problems in the United States. Corns and calluses affect about 5% of the population.
Generally, Corns and calluses develop from recurring friction, rubbing, and pressure on a particular skin area. Nos specialized medical tests are necessary to diagnose corns and calluses.
There are some differences between calluses and corns.
“Corns” refers to a thick, upraised area of the skin that is shaped like corn. “Calluses” are hard, diffused, and thickened patches of dead skin.
Corns usually appear reddish and swollen when they have become severe or infected. It usually occurs in the sole, on the exterior side of the pinky toe, on the ball of the foot, or between the toes. They are common, particularly in older people.
Calluses typically grow on the palms of the hand and soles of the feet. The skin hardens or thickens to protect itself from friction or pressure. Once you remove their cause, they usually disappear in one to two weeks.
Don’t try to cut or shave away this extra growth by yourself because that can lead to potentially dangerous infection of the surrounding area of skin.
Common Cause Of Corns
Your feet mirror your general health. Most foot ailments are symptoms of bad health conditions such as circulatory and nervous disorders, diabetes, and arthritis.
We rarely find people born with foot problems. Foot issues like calluses and corns are the result of neglect and a lack of awareness of proper foot care.
When a particular area on the sole or toe regularly experiences excessive pressure or friction, it could result in the development of corns. Pressure or rubbing can cause either soft corns or plantar calluses.
The soles of the feet and toes are most vulnerable to corns as they have to bear the heavy pressures from body weight, walking, running, and the friction caused by footwear and socks. Those which are small and usually found on the bottom of the foot are called seed corns.
Corn is actually born out of the defense mechanism of the body to protect the skin tissues from excessive friction and pressure.
Here are some of the common reasons that contribute to the growth of corns:
- Wearing ill-fitting footwear, socks, ankle binders, and toe rings;
- Improper styles of gaits and running;
- Foot deformities like club foot, cavus foot, and hammertoes;
- Foot and heel bone spurs;
- Flat feet;
- Walking barefoot on rough and uneven surfaces.
What causes corns on the top of the feet may depend a lot on the lifestyles and work habits of people. Farmers and gardeners are at a heightened risk of getting corns on their toes and feet. Persons who have crossed 60 years of age and have diabetes, vascular issues, peripheral arterial disease, or high blood pressure are more susceptible to this skin disease.
A person who does jobs by standing for a long period wearing tight shoes or high heels might get foot corns or calluses.
Chances of getting foot corns are higher in people who have damaged sweat glands, hammertoes, orthopaedic foot, bunions, warts, or scars on their feet.
Symptoms of corns are:
- hard raised bumps, a thick and rough patch of skin (usually in a circular shape);
- reddish or yellowish color when it becomes infected;
- severe pain when the affected area comes under any kind of pressure;
- tenderness and erosion of skin tissues;
- flaky, dry skin in the affected area.
Treatment For Corns And Calluses – Biomedicines
It is painful and irritating to have corns on your foot. Fortunately, you can remove corn on your feet and toes with simple medical treatment and simple preventive steps.
The most important steps for corn on the foot removal are the elimination of the sources of pressure or friction. In most cases, the treatment for corns actually demands changes in the lifestyle, living, and working conditions of the patients.
However, in cases of corns caused by foot deformities the patient needs lifelong care and attention to prevent this skin disease.
Let us now see how to clear away corns on toes and feet permanently through diagnosis and over-the-counter treatment, DIY remedies, and personal care.
There are several mainstream treatments and medications available for corn removal. These prescription remedies mostly contain salicylic acid, which helps to eliminate the hard, dry, lifeless skin that forms the corns.
Here are the most popular treatments for corns in allopathic medicine:
Trimming (paring down)
A podiatrist pares down the thickened skin of corn by using a scalpel blade. This procedure helps to lessen the pain and reduce the pressure on the underlying tissues. A few sessions of trimming down the hard skin over a period of a few weeks may be required to completely erase corn on the pinky toe or sole of the leg. It is a painless procedure, as corns are a lump of dry skin with no sensory nerves in them.
Corn plasters/corn caps are two of the popular OTC products commonly used for getting rid of corn at home. Corn plasters usually contain chemical medicines like salicylic acid. When you stick the plaster on corn, the gel-like substance in it penetrates the rough and hard skin of corn on a pinky toe or sole of the feet. The corn caps also have a ring made of a felt-like substance that reduces the pressure exerted on the corns while walking or standing.
Many people suffer from recurring occurrences of corns between the toes, pinky toes, and the soles of the legs due to genetically acquired deformities. The podiatrist could perform surgical procedures to remove deformities such as clubfoot, cavus foot, hammertoes, heel bone spurs, flat feet, etc. Surgical procedures are also used to remove the very stubborn corns on toes and feet. In some of the patients, OTC products like corn caps or plaster may produce a little result, and the ammonium lactate, salicylic acid, or urea in them might cause discomfort too.
In some cases, corns on the toes and feet could become very painful due to the overgrowth of the infection. Cortisone injections into the foot or toe could be given if the corn or callus is to blame for the pain. Corns with severe pain and infection need to be removed via surgery or trimming.
Chemical Paring Down
Instead of trimming or surgery, chemical paring is the most commonly used mainstream treatment for corns. There are different chemical treatment products for corns such as corn pads, plasters, caps, sprays, ointments, and drops. The prominent ingredient in most of these products is salicylic acid, a keratolytic substance that can dissolve the protein (keratin) constituting most parts of the corns.
Home Remedies For Corns Or Callus
Traditional treatments are the right solution to your query on “how to get rid of corn.” They are safe and easy to use. Natural treatments work well for corns, especially at the initial stages of its development. It is better to cure skin diseases with natural remedies instead of using chemical substances and expensive surgical procedures.
Here are 9 popular natural remedies for eliminating corns on toes and feet fast:
1. Using Pumice Stone Or Emery Paper
The basic treatment for corns consists of reducing the thickness of the skin. You can reduce the thickness of the corns by rubbing off the hard skin with emery paper twice a week. You can soak your feet in warm, soapy water for 15-20 minutes. This helps to soften the skin and makes it easy to scrub off the thick and dry perished skin of the corn.
Massaging the corns with pumice is another practical solution to your problem of ‘how to remove a corn’. Pumice scrubber massage helps in scrubbing off thick and dry dead cells that constitute the corns. Regularly massage the corns for a few minutes every other day till the thick skin mold has disappeared totally.
2. Baking Soda
Baking soda is a commonly used DIY remedy for the exfoliation of dead skin cells. It can help in removing the flat skin tissues covering the corn. The antibacterial properties in baking soda also prevent the possibility of infection that can happen with corns.
Take a basin full of warm water and add 3 tablespoons of baking soda to it. Soak your feet in the water in the basin for 20 minutes, and scrub the corns with a pumice scrubber stone.
Or you can make baking soda paste together with lemon juice and water. Apply this paste around the corns and leave it there overnight to stay there with a bandage over it. You can wash your feet in the morning with lukewarm water and use a pumice stone to scrub the corn. Repeat any one of these treatments until the corns are fully removed.
Corn removal is easy with the lemon remedy. The citrus acid in lemon helps soften the hard skin that forms the corn. When lemon juice is regularly (3 to 4 times a day) applied to corn for a couple of days, it diminishes in size and gradually disappears.
Another method of this treatment is mixing a few drops of lemon juice with one teaspoon of brewer’s yeast to make a thick paste. Apply the paste to the corn and wrap it in a bandage to keep it in place overnight.
4. White Vinegar
The acetic acid in the vinegar helps remove corns on the pinky toe and feet. Applying vinegar to the corns may make the hard, perished skin the corns soft and brittle. It is also effective for preventing pathogenic infections on the skin.
The vinegar must be diluted with 3 parts water before you dab it on the corn. Or you can wet a cotton ball with diluted vinegar, fix it to the corn with the help of an adhesive bandage, and leave it there overnight. In the morning, you can remove the bandage and scrub the corn with a pumice stone or emery board. Repeat this treatment every day until the corn totally vanishes. See also the substitutes for white vinegar in your kitchen.
Garlic contains antibiotics, antioxidants, and antibacterial properties that can help reduce the pain and infection of corns. The garlic extract also softens and erodes the rough and hard corns.
You can either rub the sliced garlic cloves on the corn or apply the mashed garlic paste to the corn and bandage it up for overnight treatment. In the morning, wash the feet with warm water and scrub the corn with a pumice stone to gently remove the eroded skin.
Adding a few drops of diluted vinegar to the garlic paste will enhance the effectiveness of the treatment. Repeat the treatment daily till the corn is totally gone.
Licorice is a traditional remedy for treating corns on toes and feet. Licorice contains amazingly effective medicinal properties that help in healing many skin diseases.
Take one teaspoon of licorice powder and a few drops of coconut oil or mustard oil to make a thick paste of it. Apply the paste to the affected area and leave it overnight on the corn while protecting it with a bandage.
In the morning, wash the feet with warm water and use an emery board to scrub the corn. Repeat the treatment daily until the desired result is achieved.
7. Turpentine Oil
The antiseptic properties of turpentine oil are good for corn removal. This oil can easily penetrate hard and dry skin formed by the corn and make it soft from within.
Do a cold compress with ice on the affected area of the skin for a few minutes. After drying the skin, soak a cotton ball in the turpentine oil and stick it on the corn with the help of a bandage; allow it to stay there overnight. Repeat this treatment daily before you retire to bed.
You can enhance the effectiveness of turpentine oil treatment by mixing an equal amount of camphor oil into it.
Turmeric has great medicinal value, especially in treating various kinds of issues affecting the skin. It is an excellent natural anti-inflammatory medicine that works well to ease pain and speed up the healing of wounds and infections.
You can make a thick paste of turmeric powder by adding the required amount of honey to it. Apply the turmeric paste to the corn and allow it to dry there. You can repeat the treatment three times a day until the corn is removed.
Instead of honey, you can also use Aloe Vera gel to make the turmeric paste.
Papaya is a traditional treatment for the removal of corns on the feet and toes. Papaya is enriched with several natural enzymes that help to slough off the hard lump that forms the corn. Papaya is also effective for easing pain and discomfort in the toes and feet.
Take two tablespoons of juice extracted from raw papaya. Soak a cotton ball in the extracted papaya juice and place it on the corn; keep it overnight there with a protective bandage over it. This treatment helps to exfoliate the hard, dry skin of corn.
How To Prevent Calluses And Corns
We have already discussed a few do-it-yourself solutions on how to dispose of corns on foot and toe. However, the old saying is true: “Prevention is better than cure.” Here are a few tips on how to prevent and eliminate corn:
- Keep your toenails trimmed to avoid unwanted friction and pressure on toes; feet become tighter in the shoes;
- Moisturize your feet regularly to prevent dryness and friction and for healthy skin;
- Do not wear shoes that are too tight causing friction and pressure on the skin;
- Choose shoes that aren’t too loose;
- Buy shoes from a shop at the end of the day, when your feet may be slightly swollen;
- Decrease the pressure and friction on the skin by placing a protective covering or pad which helps protect the feet and toes;
- Keep your feet and toes clean and well moisturized;
- Use comfortable and soft shoes or sandals; use extra padding if needed;
- Avoid walking barefoot on hard and rough surfaces and fields;
- Avoid wearing high-heel shoes and flip-flop sandals;
- Do not cut and trim the corns yourself as this might lead to infections and septic reactions;
- Prevent corns between the toes by separating the toes using cotton or lamb’s wool;
- Try to treat corns well and if needed see a podiatrist.
Recommended reading list: