How to Get Rid of Corns On Feet Quickly and Naturally
Corns vs. Calluses: What's the Difference?
Corns are irritating and sometimes painful patches of hard, dead skin that form in response to pressure, stress or friction. They usually occur on thin or glabrous skin surfaces, especially on the dorsal surface of toes or fingers.
"Calluses" refer to a diffuse, flattened area of dead skin while a "corn" typically refers to a thick, upraised area that is circular or cone-shaped. Corns can also have an unsightly red and swollen appearance.
They are frequently found:
- On the sole of the foot
- On the "ball" of the foot
- On the outside of the pinkie toe, where it rubs against the shoe
- In between the toes, where they rub up against each other.
Home remedies are typically the best bet unless you happen to be experiencing severe soreness, which may warrant surgical intervention.
How do Corns Develop?
Corns are natural defense mechanisms to protect skin against friction and pressure. Factors that can contribute to their development include:
- foot abnormalities, such as hammer toes
- bony prominences on the foot
- ill-fitting footwear (whether too tight or too loose)
- high-heeled shoes (which put pressure on the front of the foot)
- an irregular gait
- ill-fitting socks
- flat feet
- walking on hard surfaces
People over the age of 65, diabetics, and those who are frequently engaged in farming and gardening work are also at a heightened risk.
Though calluses do not necessarily pose much of a problem beyond discomfort, corns can potentially lead to tissue damage of ulceration due to their funnel-like composition.
While there are some good do-it-yourself solutions, it's always best to try and prevent corns from forming in the first place. Here are some steps to follow:
- Notice Points of Pressure and Friction. Corns and calluses come from friction and pressure. So if you notice a frequent rubbing sensation when you walk, try to identify what's causing it.
- Trim Your Toenails. The pressure from overly long nails can push the toe joint up to rub against the top of your shoe, leading to a corn or callous. So, best to keep your toenails trimmed.
- Petroleum Jelly. Moisturize areas of the feet which tend to have a lot of friction, particularly when you need to do any lots of walking.
- Buy Shoes that Fit. Always purchase shoes that fit correctly and are comfortable to walk in. It can be a good idea to go shoe searching in the later part of the afternoon as the feet tend to swell slightly at that time.
- Foot Pads. You can find pads at your local drugstore which, when applied to a sensitive area, can take the pressure off, giving it time to heal.
- Wash and Dry your Feet Daily. You can also apply some talcum powder powdered ingredients to remove moisture.
You'll find special medicated shields along with other remedies available in pharmacies which can help eliminate corns. However a number of these products contain salicylic acid solution which can cause skin discomfort.
In addition to over the counter medications, you can try these proven and effective home remedies as well.
- Pumice Stone. First, soak the foot to soften the tough skin. Then, using light pressure, rub a wet pumice stone back and forth across the corn. Pause every couple of minutes to wash away the dead skin, and repeat until it is smooth.
- Baking Soda and Hot Water. Soaking the affected feet in a solution of baking soda and also hot water is effective in removing the particular tough, dead skin. Put three tablespoons of baking soda into a bucket of warm water and then soak your feet. Alternatively, you can massage the affected area with a baking soda paste made up of three parts soda to one part water.
- Cornstarch. Sprinkle cornstarch in the affected areas to eliminate moisture. The toes need to be kept dry because moisture can potentially cause infection.
- Vinegar. Before bed, soak a cotton ball with vinegar and attach it to the affected area, leaving it on overnight. The following day, use a pumice stone to rub the corn away.
- Pineapple. The rind of a pineapple contains enzymes that can help soften corns, speeding up their removal. Attach a square of pineapple rind to the area and leave overnight. Repeat for 3-4 nights, and the corn should fall off on its own.
- Moisturize. Apply moisturizer to the affected areas in order to keep the skin soft.
- Separate the Toes. To relieve corns that develop between the toes, separate them using organic cotton or lamb's wool.
Keep in mind that the reliability of these home remedies cannot be guaranteed. Check with your doctor to develop an appropriate treatment plan for your foot problems.