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How To Remove Corns (Calluses On Your Feet)

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If you need to know how to remove corns, it is important to first understand what they are and how you can avoid them in the future. It can be difficult to tell whether you have a corn, or another similar condition such as a callus, bunion, or wart, so here is a look at everything you need to know about this problem. Once you understand the basics, you can find helpful and natural remedies for a corn right here too.

What Are Corns?

A corn is a patch of thick, rough skin, usually found in between, or on the toes. Often confused with the term callus, corns are specifically calluses on your feet area. This area of skin is formed by recurrent pressure on the foot, but can also happen when constant friction irritates the skin for a long period of time. This excess inflammation results in the destruction of the top layer of skin, leaving it to turn into a hard, solid surface on the foot.

Corns are not contagious because they do not come from a bacteria or virus. Although having a corn does not mean you have an infection, it is possible for corns to become infected without proper care. Infected corns will quickly become painful, hot, and can even leak pus, so taking care of them quickly will be for the best.

Symptoms of Corns

While a corn may not always cause symptoms immediately, they do tend to become more uncomfortable over time. A corn will usually begin as a small, circular patch of skin on the foot. While they are most often found in between the toes and on top of them, they can be found on any part of the foot that is exposed to a hard surface for a prolonged time. It is not uncommon to find them on other bony areas of the feet too.

While all corns will have a defined, hard outer layer, their internal structure can vary depending on how they were formed.

Types of Corns

There are three types of corns that can form at any given time. Before you learn how to remove corns, it is helpful to know which type is affecting you.

Hard corn: This type of corn is usually found at the top of the toes, or on the outside of the smallest toe. It will be hard on the outside like all corns, but it also has a solid core inside as well.

Soft corn: Usually found in between the toes, this type of corn has a very soft internal core. This smooth interior is usually the result of sweat becoming trapped in the corn while it was forming, and it often produces a red, sensitive, and inflamed center.

Seed corn: Typically seen on the heel or ball of the foot, this type of corn looks as if a hole has been dug straight into the skin.

What Is Not a Corn?

It is easy to confuse corns with many other similar conditions that affect the foot. If you are suffering from another type of ailment, the home remedies provided in this article may not help you. Here is a look at what corns are not:

Calluses: Calluses are very similar to corns, but are usually more widespread. A callus can develop anywhere on the body that has been exposed to friction, while corns usually only occur on the feet.

Bunions: A bunion is a bony bump that has formed inside of the foot. Usually found at the base of the big toe, a bunion will push the joint out of alignment causing the toes to crowd together.  Bunions are a problem found within the foot, but corns will only occur on the skin.

Warts: Plantar warts may look very similar to corns; however, they are caused by the HPV virus. Warts will usually produce a rough growth on the bottom of the foot, but may also have black spots, or grow over the normal lines and ridges in your skin. You can also check out our guide with 5 home remedies to get rid of toenail fungus, if you suspect you have a mixed condition on foot.If you suspect you are dealing with calluses, bunions, or warts instead of corns, reach out to your physician for specific medical advice.

What Causes Corns & How to Prevent Them

One of the most common causes of corns or calluses on feet is wearing shoes that do not fit well. This includes shoes that are too loose, too tight, or shoes that have an unnatural design such as high heels. If you feel your foot sliding around in your shoe, or can feel the shoe pushing into your skin, that is a major red flag that your shoe does not fit right.

Wearing socks that are too big, or not wearing socks at all, also puts you at risk for developing calluses at the bottom of your feet. Loose fitting socks will slide around the feet causing the exact type of friction that corns need to form. Never wear shoes without socks unless they are flip flops or sandals, as the material found within most shoes easily damages unprotected skin.

When choosing shoes and socks, always make sure you focus on styles that do not cramp your foot, and leave a little bit of extra space inside. This space should not allow your foot to move too much. Always look for a shoe that fits properly. Corn pads can be used in shoes that are causing discomfort in a specific area, and shoe inserts can help improve fit and comfort too.

Soak your feet often, and use a pumice stone on any rough skin to prevent corns from forming. If you have an area of skin that is not responding to these prevention methods, consult your local podiatrist for help.

5 Home Remedies For Corns Or Calluses On Your Feet

Now that you have all the info you need, it is time to learn how to remove corns. Although corns may not start irritating you right away, it is important to treat them as soon as possible to avoid pain and possible infection. Here is what you can try right now.

Salt Water Soak

Soaking the feet in hot water and Epsom salt is a quick and easy go to remedy for this condition. Simply fill a large bucket, basin, or tub, with hot water (but not hot enough to burn you) and pour a half cup of Epsom salt into the water. Soak your feet for approximately half an hour every day for a week. This will soften the skin and provide relief to any areas of discomfort.

Castor Oil To Soften Calluses On Feet

Soak a cotton ball or swab in castor oil and apply it directly to the corn. Using medical tape, fix the swab onto the corn and leave it in place over night. Repeat this process every night for a week to see your corn begin to heal. Do not apply castor oil if the skin is broken.

White Vinegar

Combine 1-part white vinegar to 3-parts water. Just as in the castor oil remedy, dip a cotton ball into the solution and adhere it to the foot overnight. In the morning when you remove the cotton ball, use an emery board or pumice stone to wear away the rough skin. This process can be repeated nightly until the callus on your feet heals.

Garlic For Callus

Garlic has been used for centuries for its ability to fight inflammation and bacteria. Simply you can rub half of a garlic clove on the painful corn, then allow the skin to dry.  Once dried, cover the corn with a Band-Aid and try leaving it on for up to 8 hours. This is ideal to do just before bed. Leave the Band-Aid on all night, and right in the next morning, remove it and rinse the feet in warm water.

A garlic paste can also be applied to the feet. Crush three garlic cloves and combine with 1/8 teaspoon of salt. Apply the new paste to the swollen corn and cover with a Band-Aid which can be left on the foot for up to 3 days.

Licorice Powder For Calluses On Feet

Not to be confused with the popular candy, licorice root is a powerful herb used in ancient Egyptian and Chinese practices. Combine 1 tablespoon of licorice root with mustard oil to create a thick paste and apply it to the corn. Like the methods above, wrap the corn in a bandage and leave the paste on overnight.

As you can see, a corn on the foot or corn on the toe can easily be treated at home. Now that you know what corns are, how you can prevent them, and how to treat corns, you can repair your damaged skin and get back on your feet now.

Jessie L.
Jessie is a wellness enthusiast. Her goal is to help people have a healthier life.

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