Last Modified on Jan 27, 2016
What Is a Corn?
While sometimes an annoying foot ailment, corns are one of the body’s natural defense mechanisms. Formed to protect sensitive skin, corns usually occur on the tops and sides of the toes. A foot corn is typically a small patch of thick, dead skin; however, soft corns can also form that are thin and between the toes.
A foot corn is a common foot condition and is fairly easy to identify. Common symptoms include a patch of thick, rough skin, a hardened or raised bump on the foot, site tenderness or pain, and unusual skin texture, generally flaky, dry, or waxy. Although often confused with calluses, corns and calluses are not the same. Corns are typically much smaller than calluses. Likewise, corns usually have a firm or hard center that is encircled by inflamed skin. Additionally, corns tend to form on non-weight bearing parts of the feet and are typically painful when pressed.
Relatively speaking, corns are most often caused by everyday activity and repetitive action. The pressure and friction on the feet is commonly what causes a foot corn to develop. Factors that contribute to this friction and pressure include ill-fitting shoes and wearing shoes without socks.
Natural Cures for Corns
While corns are not typically considered a great health concern, they can be very painful, requiring treatment to eradicate the pain. Many individuals have experienced success removing corns naturally using methods such as apple cider vinegar, banana peel, and white potato paste applied to the site. Additional methods include crushed aspirin, duct tape, iodine and lanolin. Proper foot care and hygiene in combination with any of the treatment regimens should offer relief from the current condition and prevent future recurrence. Continue on below for more tips from Earth Clinic readers!
Remedies for Corns
The Popularity of Corns Remedies - Full List
|Apple Cider Vinegar||2||2007-04-13|
|Apple Cider Vinegar, Aspirin, White Potato||1||2010-03-30|
|Infected Corn Remedies||0||2013-09-23|
|Liquid Soap Soak, Petroleum Jelly, Pumice Stone||1||2007-12-30|
I have used ACV to remove corns from my feet..I tried Dr Scholes corn remover,not healthy, can actually eat to bone.I read about ACV for corns and it worked. take a small piece of gauge soak with ACV place it over the corn only, use water proof bandaides and tape it aroun the toes, wear it all day and at night add more ACV. I did my own pedicure every few days, using a pumich stone rub off surface later. I start in the winter so by summer I can wear sandals. BE PATIENT and CONSISTANT.
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Posted by Lola (Chicago, IL) on 02/12/2006
I had a corn on my finger from sewing. I soaked a piece of bread in apple cider vinegar, then taped it to the corn. After doing this twice, the corn disappeared. That was three weeks ago
Posted by Kami (Brooklyn, Ny) on 03/30/2010
Yea - ACV works. Got a little impatient with the vaseline technique as I need to get scandal ready for vacation. I applied a mixture of ACV, crushed aspirin and white potato juice to my corn then covered with a water proof bandage. I would repeat treatment and replace the bandage every morning (leave on all day) and then each evening (leave on over night). A few times I would give myself a pedicure to rub off the dead skin with a pumice stone. It's only been a few days and the corn is gone. I am now treating with a mixture aloe vera and white potato juice to restore the skin color as the treatment left me with red marks where the corn used to be.
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Posted by Mark (Missoula, Mt) on 02/23/2015
Read about using a banana skin on my foot for a corn. I thought it was weird but gave it a try as I had used the medicine in the store to no avail.
It worked great. It took about a week and a half of continually changing the banana and bandaid but it totally got rid of the corn!
Posted by Suziq (Gig Harbor, Wa) on 10/24/2013
Many, many years ago I had a soft corn between the little and next toe which took something like 6 months of drug treatment through my physician to clear up. Not wanting to go through that again, or even to take prescription medication, I decided to Google the problem and see what I could find. I found the Earth Clinic website and was delighted to see the list of maladies and the natural treatments different people have tried and their results. I was literally at my witt's end with this. My foot was so sore I have skipped the gym this past week, which is a big deal to me, as I go 6 days a week and walk about 4 miles. Going out has been excruciating for me. I just want to stay home and go barefoot. After reading the various posts, I decided to try the banana peel pulp between the toes. I would first soak my foot for about 10-15 minutes in as hot a water as my feet would stand. After drying completely, I would put a small amount of pulp scraped from the inside of the banana peel between the toes, bandage up good, then leave on all day. I would repeat the soak and reapply the banana pulp for over night. The crazy thing is that the first application, I noticed that the pain had almost gone away. Someone else mentioned using lime pulp for pain, but I didn't find that as effective. After 2 days of this, my bandage fell off as I was walking around the house on the third day, and most of the soft corn had already hardened and came out with the bandage. I was truly flabberghasted! There is a little residual tenderness, but the pain is gone. I think I am just going to continue the banana peel treatment at night periodically as I think possibly this may have been caused from gym shoes. Thank you thank you for this website and all the great information!
Posted by barabara (bundaberg, qld australia) on 01/28/2008
I developed a soft corn on my toe many years ago and it was exstremely painful. none of the over the counter remedies worked. someone told me that a piece of fresh banana skin taped with the inside of the skin on the soft corn and left in place for a week would kill the virus and the corn would fall off. I did as instructed and one week later when the tape was removed the core of the corn, now black and looking like a cauliflower floret,came away with the banana skin and tape. It left a large hole that healed without a scar and there has never been a recurrence in 22 years. babs
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Bhubaneswar, Orissa, INDIA
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Bhubaneswar, Orissa, INDIA
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Byron, Georgia Usa
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Bonne Terre, Mo
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Posted by Girlinms3 (Mchenry, Ms) on 10/09/2015
I had a corn on my foot for over 3 months. I literally tried everything!! Banana peels, vinegar, aspirin paste, stick on medicated pads, compound w and many more. The ONLY thing that got rid of this monster was castor oil.
Here's how I did it and I hope this helps other people because I really understand the pain you go through now and I feel so fortunate that I found mention of this on a website somewhere and gave it a try.
I took a cotton ball tore in less then half apart, made a circle out of it with the center open so the corn could come through the hole.
Pour a small about of castor oil on the cotton, but first place the cotton circle on tape that will stick to the bottom of your foot. I used medical tape that's like cloth from the drugstore. Tape it to the bottom of your foot and wear all day and one on all night. Normally in the morning I would take it off, file the corn with an emery board (black one from Sally's) and put the castor oil patch right back on.
With in 3 days, it was almost gone. I was so happy! Here's a picture of the castor oil I bought and how my cotton donut shaped patch looks. Good luck!!
Posted by Ellen (Tampa, Fl) on 07/25/2013
Simplest solution I've found is a small piece of duct tape --leave in place for 3 to 4 days. When it's removed, the "corn" will cone off as well.
Posted by Mia (Illinois, US) on 06/12/2014
Night before last I decided to try garlic on some painful corns on the bottom outside of my foot. I cut a thin slice of a raw clove and tore off pieces about the same size as the corns. I put a slice on each corn and secured in place with band-aids.
In the morning I changed the garlic and band-aids and already the corns were softening. I also noted an analgesic effect from the cloves. In the evening I changed them again and the core of the most long-standing corn came out easily when I tugged on it leaving a small crater. Now tonight all three corns are small craters and I am not sure how much longer I should use the garlic and will it help make granulation tissue? If anyone knows please advise.
Also using garlic with good results so far for gum disease. Thanks all and Earth Clinic.
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Rustenburg, South Africa
Posted by Kyle (Maple Lake, MN) on 03/27/2008
I've found that lanolin which is found in bag balm or udder cream really helps soften corns and made my calluses less rough. Pretty good stuff.
Posted by Todayishine (America, New York) on 01/27/2016
Boots lined with faux fur got rid of my corns.
I broke my little toe about October last year. In November, I decided I would buy boots so I would not have worry about the cold air on my feet when my shoes flopped. Once I starting wearing the boots I had NO more foot pain.
The little toe that had been broken, and had been wrapped the most in the castor oil to help the broken toe heal, the corn that had been on that toe was completely gone first. About two week later the remainder of the corn on the other little toe came off. I gave my feet no extra oils or wrapping after I got the boots, because the boots were kind to my feet.
I should also say that, I did get these boots that were lined with fake fur a size bigger than my normal size. They were a no name bran. I have used castor oil and other things to remove my corns before, only to have the corn to shorty grow back. I believe the boots keeps the corns from reocurring, because they do not press on the toe. A day or two when I wanted to look cute I was able to wear fitting shoes with no kind of pain.
Posted by Hussain (islamabad, Pakistan) on 12/30/2007
i had corns underneath my foot when i used this remedy for 4 months it worked. first fill a tub with hot water put liquid soap in it that the water turns soapy. then place your foot in the tub for 20-30 min.after that apply a petrolleum jelly on the corn and wear a sock on the foot overnight.then,at morning take off the sock and rub the corn with a pumice stone. be regular.
Replied by Guru
Chennai, Tamil Nadu
Posted by Ann (Pune, India) on 12/09/2008
I had a corn on the sole of my feet just below my toe and it had become really painful for almost six months.People suggested getting it operated which i did try but to my horror the corn reappeared at the same place where the surgeon had applied a stitch.Then my family doc suggested me this medicine which requires one to be patient but works real wonders. It is Kerasol-liquid which is some kind of acid and need to be applied on the corn with a thin cotton layer for around thrice daily. You need to pedicure very often and there will be layers of skin peeling off every 7-10 days. Be patient it works.
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Posted by sunshine90804 (Long Beach, California) on 06/06/2009
I used to have what I believe was a corn on the inside of my little toe. My grandmother told me to run my finger around inside my mouth first thing in the morning before I swallowed for the first time, and rub the "spittle" on the corn. I did this several times, and in a relatively short time, (don't remember exactly how long), the corn was gone. I think it was about three weeks to a month. Sounds crazy, but it worked for me, and it never came back. Good Luck! And it costs nothing.