How to treat corns

Hard corns usually develop over bony prominences on the feet, principally over toe joints. Corns are a sort of horny callus, generally pea-sized, that can ache and be tender with pressure.


1. Apply a lotion containing cocoa butter, vitamin E or lanolin to soften the corn. This may aid in diminishing the corn’s size or eliminating it.

2. Use nonmedicated corn plasters on corns to protect painful spots on the toes when you’re wearing shoes. Always remove plasters carefully, so as not to damage surrounding tissue, and never wear the same plaster longer than one day.

3. Soak the affected foot in warm water for a while to soften the corn, then run a pumice stone or stick or an emery board across the corn. Pumice helps to abrade away the horny callus surface.

4. As another option, consider applying a keratolytic agent to remove horny corn tissue, choosing either a 17 percent salicylic acid solution in collodion or 40 percent salicylic acid plasters. Remove the agent with warm water, and blot the foot dry. Apply a 5 percent or 10 percent salicylic acid ointment, then place an adhesive bandage over the corn. Repeat this once or twice a week until the corn becomes loose enough to be dislodged easily.

5. Use a corn pad. Its oval opening forces a corn to bulge into the hole and displaces pressure in the area. Horseshoe-shaped corn pads are the most effective, as they protect against external pressure without creating new pressure.

6. Wear shoes with plenty of toe room’enough space so that you can freely wiggle your toes around inside.