Corns are small circles of hard, thickened skin that develop when the skin is exposed to excessive pressure or friction. Corns most often develop on the feet, especially on the tops and sides of the toes, soles of your feet and even between the toes. They can also develop on other body parts.
The most common cause of corns on the feet is walking or running in ill-fitting shoes. Even standing for very long periods of time wearing tight shoes or high heels can cause corns.
Other possible causes are walking without wearing shoes, wearing shoes without socks, and manual labor or taking part in sports activities that put pressure on the feet.
People with bunions or hammertoes, damaged sweat glands, scars or warts on their feet are more likely to get corns than others.
Also, people with diabetes or other conditions that cause poor blood flow to the feet have a higher risk of complications from corns. In such cases, getting your corn treated by a foot doctor is highly recommended.
Some of the symptoms of corns are thick and rough skin, hard raised bumps and pain when pressing on them. They can also cause great discomfort while standing or walking.
Usually, simply eliminating the source of friction or pressure allows corns to heal. If needed, there are many over-the-counter medicines as well as lotions and corn caps that can help treat them. You can also try simple natural home remedies to get rid of corns.
Here are the top 10 home remedies for corns on your feet.
1. Pumice Stone
Massaging the corn and the nearby area with a pumice stone is an effective remedy. A pumice stone will remove dead, hardened skin, in turn reducing pain and speeding up the recovery time.
- Before going to bed, soak your feet in comfortably hot water for 10 minutes to soften the hard skin.
- Gently rub a pumice stone back and forth across the affected area for three to five minutes and then pat dry your feet.
- Dip a cotton ball in castor oil and place it on the corn. Secure it with tape and leave it on overnight.
- The next morning, remove the bandage and apply castor oil several times a day.
- Repeat the treatment for several days until the corn is fully removed.
2. White Vinegar
White vinegar is another excellent tried and tested remedy for corns on the feet. The high acidity level of white vinegar helps soften the hard skin. Plus, its antifungal and antibacterial properties reduce the risk of infection.
- Before going to bed, mix one part white vinegar with three parts water.
- Dab this diluted vinegar onto the corn.
- Cover the area with an adhesive bandage and leave it on overnight.
- The next morning, exfoliate the thickened skin with a pumice stone or emery board.
- Apply some olive oil or coconut oil to keep the area moisturized.
- Use this remedy once daily until the corn comes out.
3. Baking Soda
Baking soda is a natural exfoliating agent that will help get rid of the dead skin covering the corn, which in turn helps the healing process. It also has antifungal and antibacterial properties that will help keep your skin free from infections.
- Add two to three tablespoons of baking soda to a basin of warm water. Soak your feet in this solution for 10 to 15 minutes. Rub the affected area with a pumice stone to remove the dead skin.
- Another option is to mix together one teaspoon of baking soda, a little lemon juice and water to make a paste. Apply it carefully, only on the affected area. Cover it with a bandage and leave it on overnight. The next morning, rinse off the paste with lukewarm water and then exfoliate gently with a pumice stone.
You can use either of these remedies once daily until the corn dries and flakes off.
Another good home remedy for corns on your feet is lemon. The citrus acid in lemon works to soften the hardened skin that makes up the corn, so it eventually falls out.
- Apply fresh lemon juice on the corn and allow it to air dry. Do this at least three times daily.
- Alternatively, soak two pieces of cloves in one tablespoon of fresh lemon juice for 15 minutes. Remove the cloves and rub the lemon juice on the corn. Allow it to air dry and then apply the juice again. Repeat several times a day.
- Another option is to mix one teaspoon of Brewer’s yeast with a little lemon juice to make a thick paste. Slather the paste onto the corn, cover with a bandage, and leave it on overnight.
You can use any of these three remedies daily until you are satisfied with the result.
Garlic is a natural antioxidant and hence very helpful in treating corns. Also, its antibacterial and antifungal properties will prevent infection.
- Rub half of a garlic clove on the corn. Let the skin dry, cover it with a bandage and leave it on overnight. The next morning, remove the bandage and wash your feet with warm water. Do this every night until the corn disappears.
- Alternatively, cut two to three garlic cloves into small pieces, add a pinch of salt and then make a paste of it. Apply the paste on your corn, secure it with an adhesive bandage and leave it on for three days. On the third day when you remove the bandage, the corn will also come off. If needed, repeat the process.
- Another option is to make a paste of two garlic cloves, add a little vinegar to the paste and then apply it directly on the corn. Put a cotton ball over it and secure it with tape. Leave it on for two to three hours and then remove the tape and clean the area. Repeat the process daily for several weeks.
6. Turpentine Oil
Turpentine oil is a strong antiseptic that can help treat corns. The oil penetrates into the skin quickly, so the healing time may be faster.
- Wrap ice in a thin cloth and massage the affected area with it for two minutes. Pat dry the area and rub some turpentine oil on the corn. Then, put a bandage over it and leave it on overnight. Do this daily before going to bed.
- Alternatively, melt one-fourth cup of extra-virgin coconut oil in the microwave. Mix in one tablespoon of turpentine oil and two tablespoons of camphor oil. Let the mixture cool. Next, soak your feet in warm water for a few minutes, pat dry and then apply this homemade cream on the corn. Store the rest in an air-tight jar. Repeat two or three times daily.
Use either of these remedies regularly until the corn comes out.
Papaya is another very easy and effective remedy for removing foot corns. There are several enzymes in papaya that will help slough off hard and dead skin. Plus, papaya can ease any pain or discomfort and even help the corn dry up and fall off faster. For best results, use raw papaya.
- Grate a small piece of raw papaya and extract its juice.
- Soak a cotton ball in this juice, put it on the corn and secure it with tape.
- Leave it on overnight.
- The next morning, use a pumice stone to gently exfoliate the skin.
- Repeat daily until you are satisfied with the result.
In Ayurveda, licorice is often recommended to treat corns on feet due to its amazing healing and medicinal properties.
- Mix one tablespoon of licorice powder with enough mustard oil to make a thick paste.
- Apply this paste on the affected area before going to bed.
- Put a bandage over it and leave it on overnight.
- The next morning, remove the bandage and wash the area with lukewarm water.
- Do this every night until the corn becomes soft and decreases in size.
Another good remedy to heal corns is turmeric. Due to its anti-inflammatory nature, turmeric can ease discomfort, reduce pain and speed up healing.
- Mix one teaspoon of turmeric power and a little honey to make a thick paste. Apple the paste on the corn and allow it to dry on its own. Repeat two or three times a day for at least one week or until the corn comes out.
- Another option is to mix one teaspoon of aloe vera gel with one-half teaspoon of turmeric. Apply the mixture on the corn. Cover it with a bandage and keep it on overnight. The next morning, rub the softened skin with a pumice stone and apply some moisturizer. Follow the remedy daily until you get rid of the corn completely.
You can also clear off corns with pineapple. For treating corns, pineapple peel is more effective than the flesh. The peel contains certain enzymes that help soften the corns.
- Cut a small square from a freshly removed pineapple peel.
- Put the inner part of the peel over the corn, secure it with a bandage, wear a sock and leave it on overnight.
- The next morning, remove the bandage, wash the area and then apply some coconut oil.
- Use this remedy every night for one week or until the corn comes out.
- Soak in an Epsom salt bath to get relief from the sharp pain of a corn.
- Place protective covering or pads over the corn to decrease friction and pressure on the skin.
- Apply moisturizing agents like coconut oil, olive oil or cocoa butter to dry corns to soften them.
- Wear properly fitted and comfortable shoes, with extra padding if needed.
- Avoid going barefoot and wearing flip-flop sandals.
- Keep your toenails trimmed to prevent pressure on your toes.
- Make it a point to wash your feet and hands with soap and water every evening.
- Do not cut or shave corns as it can increase the risk of infection.
These remedies and tips will help treat corns on feet easily at home. However, if you are diabetic or your corn is painful, it is best to consult a doctor first.