How to Safely Remove a Foot Corn


If you have foot corn on your feet, you understand how painful they can be. These hardened bumps are the size of corn kernels, as their name implies, and whether they're on the top of your feet, between your toes, or on the pads of your feet, they irritate the inside of your shoe.

Many sufferers have tried padding the region with no success, knowing that even after the pads are removed, the bothersome bumps remain. Fortunately, they may usually be safely and effectively removed immediately at home.

Here are some ways to treat and remove foot corns:

Soften the Corn

The first step in removing corn is to remove the hardened, heavy lump of dead skin. This makes it much easier to remove the elevated skin using skin files or by falling off naturally.

Soak your foot in warm water.

Fill your bathtub or small foot bath with warm (not hot) water. Some people choose to combine relaxing Epsom salts with oils or scents to help relax or soften their skin. After a 10-minute soak, your corn should be slightly softer and ready for gentle filling; however, folks with tougher, larger corn may prefer to do regular 10-minute soaks for a few days to gradually soften the bump.

Apply scent-free lotion.

Lotions are also an effective technique to soften corn and provide it with healthy hydration. This is significant because corns are dry accumulations of dead skin. Use a scent-free lotion after showering or bathing every day until the corn can be gently filed off.

File the Corn

After the corn has softened, it can be thoroughly filed down with a pumice stone or emery board (nail file). After soaking in warm water for 10 minutes or wiping with soft soap and water, lightly file your corn. Pumice stones are frequently used to treat corns on the bottoms of the feet or the tops of the toes. We propose using a fingernail file to remove corns between the toes.

When filing, only apply gentle pressure. Aggressive filing can generate microabrasions in your skin, which are sensitive to fungus and bacteria, resulting in illness. Furthermore, removing too many layers of skin might result in an exposed wound, which may rub open and worsen with walking or activity.

Try Over-the-Counter Methods

If at-home corn removal or alleviation treatments aren't working, you might want to visit your local drugstore and attempt an over-the-counter solution.

Salicylic Acid Pads

While applying acid to your feet may seem intimidating, The Journal of Foot and Ankle Research discovered that salicylic acid products helped to break down the skin cells collected in corn bumps, allowing patients to feel less pain and reduce corn size when compared to simply shaving the corn away at a podiatrist's office.

You may be shocked to hear that many exfoliating scrubs and treatments already include salicylic acid. Corn removal pads can be found in your pharmacy's foot care area and are simply applied over the corn for 48 hours or as directed on the packaging.

These products are not always the ideal solution for persons with sensitive skin, since some cause obvious redness or burning from the acid pads. If salicylic acid irritates, the American Academy of Dermatology recommends using urea or ammonium lactate to soften foot corns progressively.

Medicated Lotions

While corn removal pads include high levels of salicylic acid, ammonium lactate, or urea, combining them with over-the-counter lotions can minimize their strength and the severe side effects of acid burn.

These medicinal lotions can be put daily into the corn to break it down while also moisturizing the skin gradually. Amlactin is a fantastic fragrance-free example that uses ammonium lactate.

Professional Corn Removal & Counseling 

If you've tried the following at-home foot corn removal treatments and still can't get rid of it, we recommend seeing a podiatrist. These experienced specialists can assist in removing as much dead skin as possible and appropriately bandaging the affected region to promote healing.

Surgery is rarely required, but it may be necessary if a corn presses directly on a nerve in the foot.

One of the most common reasons that corn does not go away or resurface after treatment is due to inadequately fitted footwear or other foot issues, such as hammertoes or bunions, which generate excessive friction in your shoes. A podiatrist can also recommend appropriate footwear to avoid future aggravation or set you up with bespoke orthotics to treat a pre-existing issue.