Corns on toes and feet cause a lot of pain and irritation. Most people find it difficult to walk or run when the corns have grown severe and rough.
If you are wondering how to easily get rid of corns on 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.
By the way, there are some differences between calluses and corns. It is worth knowing the difference between the two.
Corns and calluses are one of the major foot problems in the United States. Corns and calluses affect about 5% of the population (1).
“Corns” refers to a thick, upraised area of the skin that is shaped like corn. “Calluses” are diffused and thickened patches of dead skin.
In this article, we shall be discussing biomedicines, natural remedies and preventive measures which you can adopt to remove corns.
What Causes Corns?
Your feet mirror your general health. Most of the foot ailments are symptoms of bad health conditions such as circulatory and nerves disorders, diabetes and arthritis.
We rarely find people born with foot problems. Foot issues like callus and corns are results of neglect and lack of awareness on 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. Soles of the feet and toes are most vulnerable to corns as they have to bear with the heavy pressures from body weight, walking, running and the friction caused by footwear and socks (4,5).
Corn is actually born out of the defensive mechanism of the body to protect the skin tissues from excessive friction and pressures (6).
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.
The occurrence of corns on feet a lot depends on the lifestyles and work habits of the people. Farmers and gardeners are at the heightened risk of getting corns on toes and feet. Persons who have crossed 6o year’s age and with 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 callus.
Chances of getting foot corns are higher in people who have damaged sweat glands, hammertoes, bunions, warts or scars on 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 pressure;
- tenderness and erosion of skin tissues;
- flaky, dry skin in the affected area (7,8).
How To Get Rid Of Corns On Toes And Foot?
It is painful and irritating to have corns on foot. Fortunately, you can remove corn on foot and toes by simple medication and simple preventive steps.
The most important steps for the corn on foot removal are the elimination of the sources of pressure or friction. In most of the cases, the treatment for corns actually demands of changes in 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 remove corns on toes and feet permanently through diagnosis and OTC treatment, home remedies, and personal care.
Diagnosis And Treatment For Corns (Biomedicines)
There are several mainstream treatments and medications available for corn removal. These prescription remedies mostly contain salicylic acid that helps to eliminate the hard and dry, dead skin that forms the corns.
Here are the most popular treatments for corns in Allopathic Medicines:
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 few weeks may be required to completely remove corn on a pinky toe or sole of the leg. It is a painless procedure as corns are a lump of dead skin with no sensory nerves in them.
Corn plasters/corn caps are one of the popular OTC products commonly used for getting rid of corn. The corn plasters usually contain chemical medicines like salicylic acid. When you stick the plaster on corns, 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 felt like substance which reduces the pressure exerted on corns while walking or standing.
Many people suffer from recurring occurrences of corns between toes, pinky toes, and in 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 corn on toes and feet. In some of the patients, the OTC products like corn caps or plaster many produce a little result and the salicylic acid in them might cause discomfort too.
In some cases, corns on toes and feet could become very painful due to the overgrowth of corns or infection. Cortisone injections into the foot or toe could be given if the corn or callus to reduce 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 down is the most commonly used mainstream treatment for corns. There are different chemical treatment products for corns such as plasters, caps, spray, ointments, pads, and drops. 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
Home remedies are the right solution to your query on ‘how to get rid of a corn’. They are safe and easy to use. Natural treatments work well for corns especially at the initial stages of their development. It is better to cure skin diseases with natural remedies instead of using chemical substances and expensive surgical procedures.
Here are 9 popular home remedies for getting rid of 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 in the affected area. You can reduce the thickness of the corns by rubbing off the hard skin with an 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 make it easy to scrub off the thick and dry dead skin of the corns.
Massaging the corns with a pumice stone is another practical solution to your problem ‘how to remove a corn’. Pumice stone 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 home remedy for the exfoliation of dead skin cells. It can help in removing the dead 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 in it. Soak your feet in the warm water in the basin for 20 minutes and scrub the corns with a pumice stone.
Or you can make baking soda paste together with lemon juice and water. Apply this paste on the corns and leave it overnight to stay there with a bandage over it. You can wash the feet in the morning with warm water and scrub the corn with a pumice stone. Repeat any one of these treatments till the corns are fully removed.
Corn removal is easy with the lemon remedy. The citrus acid in lemon is helpful for softening the hard skin that forms the corn. When lemon juice is regularly (3 to 4 times a day) applied on corn for a couple of days, it diminishes in size and gradually disappears totally.
Another method of this treatment is mixing a few drops of lemon juice in one teaspoon Brewer’s yeast to make a thick paste out of it. Slather paste onto the corn and fasten it with a bandage for keeping it overnight.
4. White Vinegar
The acetic acid in vinegar is helpful for removing corns on pinky toes and feet. Applying vinegar on the corns makes the hard dead skins on corns soft and brittle. It is also effective for preventing pathogenic infection on the skin.
The vinegar must be diluted with 3 parts of water before you dab it on the corn. Or you can wet a cotton ball with diluted vinegar and fix it on 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.
Garlic contains antibiotic, antioxidant and antibacterial properties that can help in reducing the pain and infection of corns. The garlic extract also softens and erodes the rough and hard corns.
You can daily rub the sliced garlic cloves on corn or apply the mashed garlic paste on corns 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 remove the eroded skin.
Adding a few drops of diluted vinegar in garlic paste will enhance the effectiveness of the treatment. Repeat the treatment daily till the corn is totally gone.
Licorice is a traditionally used home remedy for treating corns on toes and feet. Licorice contains amazingly effective medicinal properties that help in healing many of the skin diseases.
Take one teaspoon licorice powder and few drops of coconut oil or mustard oil to make a thick paste of it. Apply the paste on the affected area and leave it overnight on the corn by 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 in turpentine oil are good for corn removal. This oil can easily penetrate into 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 in 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 the 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 in it. Apply the turmeric paste on the corn and allow it to get dried over 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 traditionally used home remedy to get rid of corns on foot and toes. Papaya is enriched with several natural enzymes that help to slough off the hard dead skin that forms the corn. Papaya is also effective for easing the pain and discomfort on 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 dead skin on corn.
How To Prevent Corns And Callus?
We have already discussed a few do-it-yourself solutions on how to get rid of corns on foot and toe. However, the old saying is true that ‘Prevention is better than cure.’ Here are a few tips on how to prevent and remove corns:
- Try to identify and avoid the excessive pressure created on a particular area of the toe or foot because of the wrong footwear you wear or the gate;
- Keep your toenails trimmed to avoid unwanted friction and pressure on toes; feet become tighter in the shoes if the toe-nails are not trimmed;
- Moisturize your feet regularly to prevent dryness and friction;
- Wear shoes or sandals that comfortably fit your feet;
- Decrease the pressure and friction on the skin by placing protective covering or pad to prevent the development of corn
- 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 reaction;
- Prevent corns between the toes by separating the toes using cotton or lamb’s wool.
I hope this article has given you a good bit of useful details on how to get rid of corns on toes and feet. You can prevent and cure the corns by following the remedies and preventive measures we have discussed here. Do not forget to share your opinion and experience on corn removal in the comment section below.