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How can I Remove Corns?

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Corns are formations of skin that develop to protect the underlying structures of the foot. They most commonly form on the toes or the sides of the feet. Two types, hard corns and soft corns, exist.

Hard corns are often caused by poorly fitting shoes, or occasionally by structural malformations of the foot. Soft corns occur between the toes and are the result of the fourth or fifth toe bones, phalanges, being too wide. There are different ways to remove the different types of corns.

Switching to wide shoes can help alleviate the paid associated with corns.
Switching to wide shoes can help alleviate the paid associated with corns.

Hard corns are generally easier to treat. To remove corns of this nature, doctors suggest switching to wider, more comfortable shoes which do not apply pressure to the corn. Adding pads made of lamb’s wool can also help to remove corns. In some cases, a podiatrist can remove corns by cutting them out or burning them off with acid preparations.

Physicians may also opt for surgery to remove corns by correcting malformations of the toes. Toes that do not bend well, sometimes called hammertoes, can cause corns to form. Surgery can correct this condition and cause less corns to form in the future.

Applying papaya to corns is an herbal treatment.
Applying papaya to corns is an herbal treatment.

Over the counter medications can occasionally remove corns. One can purchase corn pads with a preparation of salicylic acid, which gradually remove corns over several days. Herbal recommendations to remove corns include applying licorice, green figs, lemon, or papaya to the affected area to gradually melt corns. Using ice may also help to remove corns.

Podiatrists deal with painful foot irritations, including corns and bunions.
Podiatrists deal with painful foot irritations, including corns and bunions.

Those with soft corns may find some benefit in switching to wider shoes, as well. Generally, though, a podiatrist must remove corns through surgery. In such cases, the surgeon scrapes off some of the widened bone of the fourth and fifth phalanges to increase the width between the toes. Though this surgery sounds dramatic, it usually takes place in an office and requires only a few stitches after the procedure. Recovery afterwards is often uncomplicated.

As diabeteics have an increased risk of infection in the feet, they should consult a doctor prior to removing corns.
As diabeteics have an increased risk of infection in the feet, they should consult a doctor prior to removing corns.

Those with diabetes have an increased risk of infection in the feet. Before trying any of the above remedies to remove corns, diabetics should consult their doctor. Simple infections can easily turn gangrenous, and some preparations to remove corns may actually do more harm than good. Those who have either suppressed autoimmune systems or diabetes should report any foot problems to a doctor.

Hard corns are generally easier to treat than soft corns.
Hard corns are generally easier to treat than soft corns.

For others, corns can be painful, but unless one has soft corns, experiments with a few home remedies to remove corns are certainly worth trying. Should corns persist, even with over the counter treatment, those afflicted should see their doctor to determine the best way to remove corns.

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Tricia has a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and has been a frequent TheHealthBoard contributor for many years. She is especially passionate about reading and writing, although her other interests include medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion. Tricia lives in Northern California and is currently working on her first novel.

Learn more...
Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Tricia has a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and has been a frequent TheHealthBoard contributor for many years. She is especially passionate about reading and writing, although her other interests include medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion. Tricia lives in Northern California and is currently working on her first novel.

Learn more...

Discussion Comments


I cut my own corn out too. It was on the side of my pinky toe. I used cuticle nippers to make a dent in it, then a tweezers to grab hold of the core and pull. It came out. It didn't hurt or bleed at all. Just stick to the hardened skin part and you'll be fine.


I had a corn on the bottom of my right foot (ball area) I tried everything for three months, then I tried duct tape and it worked, only had to apply the duct tape to the corn twice. I wish I would have tried this sooner. It’s amazing!


I had like nine corns on my foot from wearing small shoes when i was younger because I thought my foot was too big.

I tired the Scholl treatments that didn't work. About a year ago I started to use a skin bleaching oil which I got from PAK supermarket. They got lighter but the only problem was so did the skin around it. After a while, they just peeled off.


I had a corn in between two toes on my right foot, where it is very difficult to even keep the corn cap connected for a longer time. I still used it for almost a month. I kept losing layers of skin from the corn area but I could see the seed like corn still in there deep.

I almost lost my patience and thought I should have surgery and get it removed, but my doctor said that would leave a big hole which takes several months to heal and can make walking or wearing shoes very painful. Hence I continued with the corn caps.

At the end of the fourth week, I could see hair like strands closely entwined in a circular arrangement. I was so frustrated that I grabbed one hair like strand and pulled it out. I lost some blood for few seconds, then I washed it and immediately applied another corn cap and in about to or three days, the corn was dead. It was all gone, like I never had it.

So I would say if you want to avoid surgery, keep using the corn caps. It took a month for me, so I guess it may take time. If it is extremely painful and if it is taking more than say six weeks, then maybe you can show it to your doctor and see if surgery is advised.


How long does it take a foot corn to form on sole if something sharp is left untouched in the sole?


Where can I buy Altsberg lotion? I am from South Africa. I really am tired of trying all these products for corns. It does not work I am so tired of wasting my money so I want to try Altsberg lotion. I hope it works.


The following needs to be done twice a day for four to five weeks:

1. Soak your feet in warm water for five or six minutes before application.

2. Wipe the feet clean and dry.

3. Lightly rub the top of the affected area to remove the dead skin.

4. Apply two or three drops of Duofilm liquid with the applicator on the corn/wart/callus. (Do not apply it in the unaffected area).

5. Let it dry. It forms a thin coating when dry.


I'm currently trying vinegar. I too have battled with these corns for two years now. I've feel as though I've tried everything! Now on to vinegar. It's summer and I plan on just bandaging up my affected toes so hopefully with this remedy and the bandages, these corns will go away. I've read about Epsom salts, ACV and a few other remedies. If this vinegar doesn't work, I'm just going to stick with soaking my feet, and keeping them moisturized(maybe using Vaseline or a skin salve or natural shea butter).


I have been having corns (four) on the tops of my fingers where there is no rubbing. The hard core slowly works it way out (in about a month) and then they go away. I only post this because it doesn't make sense.


For some strange reason, ever since I could remember I had a lighter area on my big toe. As I grew older, I was informed that it was a corn on my big toe. As a woman, I feel very embarrassed.

I never went to a doctor since I don't feel comfortable with people looking at it and I hate wearing sandals because I hate my feet being out. Is there anything I can do to make it go away?


I have corns on both of my baby toes, and I tried those Dr. Scholls stickers for about a week. The whole time I wore them, any shoes I wore were extremely painful!


I too have corns all over both feet and, on my hands there are calluses which do not leave. I thought it might be a deficiency of some sort.

I too have tried all the remedies with no results. It is OK to trim them yourself. I do it every few days, and it keeps them from hurting at least. I've tried cutting them out but, they always come back. I started getting them in childhood. Who knows what will cure them for me? Thank you all for sharing. Now I don't feel so alone.


I had corns on both of my feet, but now they have been removed. It is a slow process of removing corns non surgically. I had surgery on my right foot, but the corn came back again. Then I left the idea of surgery and started to take care of my feet on my own.

I used to put an ointment that contained 16 percent salicylic acid on my feet at night and in the morning. I also used to keep my feet in warm water for half an hour and then scrubbed them with a pumice stone until the dead skin came off. I did it for almost one month, and both my corns were completely gone.


Help me please.

I have a corn on bottom my foot and the doctor gave me salactol acid. It didn't work, so I went back and she froze it once. That didn't work, either. The doctor is really stupid. I told her I need more than one treatment with freezing.

I've had this corn for eight months! It's very painful, I can't enjoy my walks and I've stopped going out. I'm mainly in bed.

The acid bottle has finished, and I have peeled about 20 layers of thick skin off, which has created "little holes." I tried corn plasters (three kinds) for two or three weeks each, and nothing works!

My doctor is incompetent and won't do surgery.

Help me, please! What do I do?


I have been using corn caps for two weeks but they are not working. What should I do after placing a corn cap and removing after a week as is says in the procedure?


I have had a corn keep coming back after it has been removed by a doctor. I asked if can they be prevented. The doctor suggested to use corn pads (non medicated). This is meant to relieve pressure on the foot and the friction. And he also suggested I use moisturizer. I also read to bathe the feet on a regular basis to keep the skin soft and helps remove the hard skin.


I had a corn (a hard corn) on my foot. I had a container that my feet could fit into. I filled it with warm water, and I bought a pumice stone. Every night I'd scrape a little of the dead skin off, and I'd always stop if I felt 'pain'. My corn is now gone, and I have my amazing feet back!


Most articles talk about corns on the top of your toes, but I've got ones on the soles of my feet! I've got two on my right heel, one on the side of my right foot and another at the bottom of my left toe! The last two I just discovered today, which was a horror for me.

But I've had two in the past, during my childhood, and you don't need to mash the garlic up so it's pasty. My mum used to cut a small piece of garlic so it's the same size as my corn, and she stuck it onto it with the special tape. After a few weeks (depends how big your corn is), it will shrink and you can literally peel it off your foot. The main complication for me is that I was born with sweaty hands and feet and so the tape wouldn't stick to my feet at all.

Don't use corn plasters. I saw a podiatrist last year and he said that no medical doctor would ever recommend those. I've never tried the acidic or fruit treatment before, but the garlic one works very well for me. I'm glad I'm not the only one!


i have corns on my fingers and my toes. I have cut it many times and now that portion of skin is hardened and whenever I cut that skin, it grows up.

I have been suffering from these for two to three years and now the situation is worse. Please help me out. And apart from it again corns are forming on the other hand and leg. Please tell me something!


I've got corns like on every toe now because I've tried using creams and acidic corn removers. They've just gotten worse over time. Cutting them makes things worse too.

They've gotten bigger. I don't know what to do. Help?


The acid stuff will chemically burn the healthy skin around the corn and leave you with some discoloration. Try putting a small piece of bread just enough to cover the corn in vinegar for about an hour. Bandage and tape the vinegar soaked bread on the corn for about a day or two. Repeat the process until corn starts to peel off.


For soft corns, use isopropyl alcohol, 90 percent. Swab on the corn twice daily. Buy the clear corn barriers (Dr Scholl's) to put between toes during the day to stop friction. The rubbing alcohol dries the corn up so you can peel or clip it away. Don't use the acid or corn pads on soft corns or they can get infected.


i have several corns on my fingers. what do i do?


Stop! The acid stuff does not work!

I used it and then covered it with the suggested tape/band aid and yes, it did lighten back to my color but after a couple of days, my corn came back much darker than it was originally! I don't have a root or stuff growing out of my corn. Mine is on both my middle and small toes, and it's darker than my complexion and it doesn't look good. I can't wear open toe sandals because I feel so embarrassed. It would be great to know of something that actually works permanently, not something that would make it better for a few days then it returns worse than it was.

If anyone knows of a permanent remedy please share, but this acid stuff (salicylate) is surely not the way to go!


I tried the dr.scholls acid stuff and let me tell you, it has screwed me over. I guess I used it incorrectly or something. Point is, my corns grew and now they're enormous. They cover three of my toes and now my feet are genuinely the most horrific things. I do not recommend using acid.


what is the name of the acid stuff?


The best way to get rid of corns is not to cut them, rub them or anything like that. These are the same things that causes corn in the first place! you simply cover your corn with a water proof plaster at all times when you wear shoes. Super drug Aqua safe plasters are very good for this.

Keep the plaster on your corn in the shower or bath. This is because the plaster will dampen and hold moisture which will soften the skin where the crown is. After a while, maybe two weeks, you will notice the skin around the corn getting lighter and with time the corn will flatten and get smaller. Be very patient. Corns are quick to come but slow to go. My feet were bad and i couldn't wear flip flops but now i know what to do a few months before the summer and that's wrap my toes up!


I keep hearing about people saying that their corns come off and there is a hole left behind. My corn isn't like that. I don't think that it can be pulled out. It is kind of flat, but very white. My skin is dark brown.

I have been soaking my feet every night in borax, bran, iodine and apple cider vinegar. I soak for 20 minutes and then use a pumice stone. Then I rub my feet with castor oil and then I tie a slice of lemon on my corns. Am I doing a good job? And how come it doesn't seem like I can lift my corns out?


I want to share experience about the preparation that I used.

Since the doctors told me that I have to a surgery that would remove the corn from my sole, I opposed it and tried to find another way, something that is natural, useful and helpful. I found out about Altsberglotion on the Internet forums and ordered it. The results were immediately apparent. Pain on the sole was immediately stopped after three days. I could not believe that I am able to walk and do my job without any problems. Once again thank them for their assistance because otherwise I would have to have a surgery. --Dario


Sal Acid is prescribed by your doctor. 9 percent works a treat! You just apply with a tiny gauze and plaster over it and it eats away at your skin so you can just pull out the corn. It is also prescribed for warts. I just got some and my prescription cost $3 nz.


Purchase a cuticle cutter from any beauty supply store it has sharp edges that work better than a nail clipper. Sterilize with alcohol soak foot in warm water for about 15 minutes to soften corn once corn is soft use cuticle cutter to cut dead skin. Keep cutting until root of corn is reached and use the tweezer if necessary to completely remove the corn.

For good measure, cut excessive dead skin around the corn. Clean foot with soap, pat dry then apply alcohol to disinfect area or use peroxide. Repeat cleaning method until the area heals. This method worked for me. My corn is gone with no visible scarring on foot.


I just cut out my own corn. I used nail clippers (after having disinfecting them with boiling water and alcohol.

First, cut off the dry/hard edges, and brace yourself for the deeper cut. The key is to remove the core/root. If you don't do that, you won't feel any relief.

After I pulled the core out, I had a deep well in my toe, but it was certainly worth it. I've done this before and had no problems with infection. Just clean the wound twice a day. It will heal quickly.


I have corns and I tried the corn removal [corn-free] tape that you can easily get in any medical shop nearby. And apply it for one week. You will get good relief out of it. Otherwise, go and get a good doctor to get it removed from your foot.

Ruby Veronica

i don't know when the corn on my first toe suddenly appeared. i thought the corn would be gone in a while, but it seems to grow a little bigger every day.

i tried cutting it off with nail clippers but it doesn't seem to go away. my mum bought a plaster-like corn removal and i tried it for four to five days.

And when I thought that the corn was gone for good but days later, it came back. Not only did it grow back, but my second toe grew one too!

I have no idea how to remove the corn. Any ideas please?


I cut my own corn out. It was on the outside bottom of my foot, underneath my pinky toe. This corn was large and i let it go for almost a year. It was like walking on a rock. My house has hard stone floors so that made it worse.

To cut it out, i used sand paper to sand down the surrounding area. Then i took a sharp knife and dug in, until i had the outer perimeter of the corn pulled away from the surrounding skin. Then i pulled it out using tweezers. It was painful to remove, but there was no blood -- just a hard, pointy keratin formation. Afterward, i had a hole in my foot for a few weeks where the corn was.

The pain relief was worth it. Finally i could walk without feeling like there was a stone in my shoe! I can't afford a doctor, by the way.


If you are a woman and your corn is from wearing hiking boots for an early morning walk, bear in mind that your feet are at their widest then. Your boots may have been perfect when you bought them, or for walks later in the day, but first thing in the morning they aren't.

Consider 'surgery' on your shoes instead: lots of spray-on leather softener, and a tiny slit to relieve tightness at the site of the corn.


The best way to remove a corn, and believe me I know from experience, is simply wearing comfortable fitting shoes. If you have to get a half size bigger, then do so.

I've tried everything you can think of to get rid of my corns (two of them), from Dr. Scholl's corn removal products to soaking my feet in some weird concoction, and none of it worked. If anything, Dr. Scholl's made it worse because it darkened my corns, and I was even more so embarrassed to show my feet in public. So, I went out and purchased comfortable shoes (flats mainly) that were a half a size bigger, plus I would stuff the front of my shoes with lambswool which I got from my local drugstore. The lambswool acted like a barrier and reduced, if not, eliminated friction from my shoes rubbing against my toes. And, within a few months, one of my corns completely disappeared.

By that time, it was summer so I started wearing open toe shoes/sandals to allow my feet to breathe and for me that was a big thing because I hardly showed my feet in the past. And now, almost seven months later - I'm corn free.


I have corn on both last toes and the inside of the last toes. i have tried all over the counter medicine and it never worked.

I now go to have pedicures to help remove the dead hard buildup, and the pain eases for a few hours.

Why not tell the truth about removing corns? it will benefit a lot of people.


i have corns as well. i used that sticker and after 43 hours you take it off and the corn is all white. remove the white part gently as it may hurt so be careful. the acid liquid burns it. I used it for about three weeks and i don't see any change at all. i think the stickers work better and if you are using those, wear comfortable shoes because you don't want your corn to hurt while you're getting it healed.


I have these corns also on my feet. There are two corns, one on my left foot and another one on my right. My mom bought a medicine and it's a liquid. i should apply it two times a day but it never disappeared, and then she bought another medicine (again). It's like a round sticker and you'll put it on the corn, and you will just remove it after you take a bath and apply another one after taking a bath, and it will be removed after maybe three or four days (i forgot what's the exact day).

I don't know if its effective because after, we cannot find one anymore. But it is prescribed by the doctor. I hope i can find an easy way to remove it because it is embarrassing and it is painful. Please, any ideas?


I got my corn in left feet operated on but three grew again. also after that surgery, three more corns have generated.


Does duct tape really remove a corn or does it just dry it up? I want the pain to stop and my corn turned black and once i was picking at it and a little bit of blood come out. Is this really a corn or plantar wart? What's the difference between corn and a plantar wart?


I have read the comments about corn removal and i must say i am really interested in the acid stuff. I have had these terrible corns for more than 15 years and have tried lots of things to remove them only to have them growing back again. I live in South Africa and i want to know where to get this acid stuff and how much it costs.


I have corns on my feet and basically because my feet are light skinned, the corns appear dark on my foot. I tried using makeup to cover it up but it didn't work. i need my toes to be nice again before the summer so i can wear sandals again. what should i do?


I have huge lesions on the balls of both feet. They are extremely painful. I saw a specialist and he said they will not go away until I have surgery for bunions. Well, guess what? I cannot do that because I have no health insurance.

I just wish there was a way to get some relief from these things. Anyone have any ideas?


Ah stop that acid stuff. Go to a podiatrist and have him or her shave them off. You can do yourself serious damage - infection, etc.


i have had corns on my foot for a year and I'm still suffering until now. i urge all those who are suffering from corns to never go through the surgery by yourself or by doctor.


- anon53579 where did you get the stuff??


I have tried to cut mines off with a nail clipper also but it didn't work. Then I used some stuff that indeed gets the corn off but it's like it only takes off the first top layer of your skin.

After that, and your skin grows back, the corn is still there. What can I do to remove these things for good? I had beautiful feet and I just want them back.


I'm interested in the acid stuff. Can you tell me what the name is and where I can find it?


i had a corn and i used some acid stuff.

Basically when you buy this item, it will be applied on top of your corn and should have something to hold it onto your foot. i feel that this should work for anyone.

it will sort of kill all cells the acid touches. if your corn is new, i don't think you'll feel pain, but if it's not, it will hurt, but it's normal.

when the acid wears off, you just replace. you're done when the center of the corn is disconnected from your skin. yes disconnected. you can inspect it when you need to refresh the acid stuff. you can tell. if you don't think its disconnected, don't guess, just add another strip of acid stuff.

when the center is off though, you can rip off the remaining part of corn. you'll see a hole if your corn wasn't brand new, but it's fine. heals the next day with flesh and not that corn crap. the corn stuff that was remaining will turn back to skin after a few days, as long as the center was removed.

it's weird but yeah, get those asian brands. They work


I have a corn on the bottom of my toe and i use compound W fast acting gel for 2 weeks and it doesn't seem to go away so i start picking at it, cutting bits of it with a nail clipper but it's still there and it's very disgusting. what do you think i should i do?


Don't ever cut corns off yourself - use the other treatments or have a doctor cut them off, but it can be dangerous t cut them off yourself!

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    • Switching to wide shoes can help alleviate the paid associated with corns.
      By: SimpleVision
      Switching to wide shoes can help alleviate the paid associated with corns.
    • Applying papaya to corns is an herbal treatment.
      By: tashka2000
      Applying papaya to corns is an herbal treatment.
    • Podiatrists deal with painful foot irritations, including corns and bunions.
      By: evasilchenko
      Podiatrists deal with painful foot irritations, including corns and bunions.
    • As diabeteics have an increased risk of infection in the feet, they should consult a doctor prior to removing corns.
      By: Mercedes Fittipaldi
      As diabeteics have an increased risk of infection in the feet, they should consult a doctor prior to removing corns.
    • Hard corns are generally easier to treat than soft corns.
      By: Arman Zhenikeyev
      Hard corns are generally easier to treat than soft corns.