How to get rid of corns on your feet

Corns are large patches of rough and thick skin most commonly found on your feet, toes and hands. Corns aren’t dangerous, but they are uncomfortable and can be painful. You can get rid of corns and calluses yourself at home and stop them from coming back. Here’s how to get rid of corns on your feet.

Corns develop when your skin is trying to protect itself against friction and pressure.

This happens on your feet when your skin rubs against socks and shoes as you walk.

Corns and calluses don’t often need treatment, but if they’re causing discomfort and you’re worried about the look of them, there are things you can do to eliminate them.

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What’s the difference between corns and calluses?

Corns and calluses are similar but not the same – they differ in size and occur in different locations of the body.

According to the Mayo Clinic, corns are smaller than calluses and have a hard centre around the inflamed skin.

Corns typically happen on parts of your feet that don’t bear weight, such as the tops, sides and in between your toes.

Calluses, on the other hand, normally develop on the soles of your feet. They’re very common under the heels or balls of your feet or on your palms or knees.

Calluses vary in size but are usually larger than corns, and they’re rarely painful.

Symptoms of corns

If you notice any of the following appearing on your skin, particularly on your feet and hands, you may have a corn or callus:

  • A thick, rough area of skin
  • A hardened, raised bump
  • Tenderness or pain under your skin
  • Flaky, dry or waxy skin

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How to get rid of corns on your feet

If you notice corns on your feet, you should make sure you wear appropriate footwear to avoid worsening the problem.

Wear thick, cushioned socks and wide, comfortable shoes with a low heel and soft sole.

Soft insoles and heel pads will help to make your shoes more comfortable and prevent rubbing.

You should avoid wearing high heels or tight, pointy shoes when you have corns.

Never try to cut off the corns or calluses yourself, this should be done by a specialist or podiatrist.

Try not to walk long distances or stand for long periods, and soak corns in warm water when they are sore.

Use a pumice stone or foot file to remove hard skin to prevent corns, and follow up with a moisturiser to keep skin soft.

Visit your GP to discuss treatment for corns and calluses if you keep getting them.

A GP will look at your feet to determine whether it’s a corn or callus and will give you antibiotics if it is infected.

If you need further treatment, you will be referred to a foot specialist who will cut away the corn or callus and give you patches to soften the hard skin.

You may be given soft pads or insoles to take the pressure off the affected area.

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