How to get rid of corns on toes

Written by janey lewis
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A corn on the toe is a minor health problem that can often cause an amazing amount of discomfort. Often caused by ill-fitting shoes, corns are simply layers of hard skin. If you wear shoes that are too tight or rub against your toes, your skin will produce hard layers to protect itself. Most corns appear on the top or sides of the toes. It's usually painful if you push down on the corn.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Stop your corn from getting worse by buying yourself some well-fitted shoes. Make sure the shoes have plenty of toe space. Some corns will go away once you start wearing shoes that fit. Although it may seem unimportant, choosing socks that fit your feet correctly will help prevent corns, too.

  2. 2

    Soak your corns in warm water and Epsom salts for at least five minutes. If you don't have any Epsom salts, add soap to the water. Dry the corn and apply a thick and creamy moisturiser. Then start filing down the corn with a pumice stone. Even a wet washcloth can act as an abrasive . Don't use a razor to shave away the corn. If you cut yourself, you can easily get an infection. Repeat the soaking, moisturising and pumice stone treatment over a period of several weeks, and your corn is likely to disappear, or at least get smaller.

  3. 3

    Try an over-the-counter treatment of 40 per cent salicylic acid. You can find these corn patches at drug stores. Be careful, however. These medicated patches can irritate the healthy skin near the corn causing an infection. Salicylic acid is also available in a topical form. Again, avoid getting the medication on your surrounding skin.

  4. 4

    See your primary care provider or a podiatrist if the corn persists. A podiatrist, who specialises in foot problems, has several options to get rid of your corn. He can prescribe a topical antibiotic or actually pare down the corn with office instruments. She may refer you for orthotics, or shoe inserts, if you have a foot deformity that is causing the corns. Your doctor may perform surgery for corns if there is a foot deformity, but this is rare.

Tips and warnings

  • If you have diabetes, you must pay special attention to any foot problems. Don't try to treat the corns by yourself and especially don't use over-the-counter medications. Since diabetics are prone to foot infections, it's important to avoid paring down the corn without a doctor's supervision. Inform your doctor at the first sign of a corn on the toes. Untreated foot problems for people with diabetes can become life threatening.

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