Corns are a type of callus that occurs on the feet, usually caused by poorly-fitted shoes. Corns can also occur when congenital deformities of the feet cause toes to rub together. You can visit a foot doctor for medical treatment of corns, but often you can treat them yourself at home.
Buy Better Shoes
The best long-term remedy for corns is to correct the underlying problem. If you have corns because of hammertoes or clawtoes, a podiatrist can help you correct the problem. However, if you're getting corns from poorly-fitted shoes, that's a problem you can correct on your own. Look for shoes that are not too tight and do not have rough seams over the toes. A roomy, boxy-toed shoe is best. The toe area should have enough room that the toes are not pressed against one another and are not pressed against the top of the shoe. Thicker-soled shoes can help relieve pressure on corns while they're healing.
Soaking and Filing
Soaking and filing is a home treatment method for corns on the feet. Soaking in warm water softens the tissue of the corn and makes it easier to file. Use a special foot file or a pumice stone. Be gentle and only file the top few layers of dead skin away.
Over-the-Counter Pads and Shoe Inserts
Over-the-counter pads can be purchased and worn over the corns. This will prevent them from becoming irritated and should help them heal more quickly. Some are plain, while others contain salicylic acid. Over-the-counter shoe inserts may also help cut down on the friction that causes corns by distributing the weight of your foot more evenly.
Over-the-Counter Salicylic Cream
A cream containing salicylic acid may be applied to the corn to soften it and slough off the dead skin cells. The cream can come in a tube or as an ingredient in adhesive pads that are worn over the calluses. These creams usually contain a lower percentage of salicylic acid than the prescription creams a doctor would prescribe for corns on the feet.
Those with diabetes or circulation problems are at a higher risk for foot problems, including corns, and should be especially careful in using home remedies. Salicylic acid treatments may be irritating or damaging to the skin in those with these underlying medical problems. Diabetics and non-diabetics alike should never cut or shave corns, but should only allow a medical profession to do so.