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Foot Corn

Last Modified on Oct 10, 2015

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!

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Most Popular Corns Remedies:

Banana Peel4

User Reviews

Apple Cider Vinegar
  User Ratings

Posted by Sondra (Rialto, CA) on 04/13/2007

[YEA]  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.

Replied by Stevie
Sydney, Australia

Did you mean gauze or gauge?
Replied by Devdutt
Rajkot, India

Hi I just want to know that how long will take to form a corn on the skin... As I had some sharp object in my shoe for 10 days, which I didn't knew, so will you please tell me how long will it take to form a corn? Thanks...
Replied by Sandals
Virginia, US

sandals actually cause MORE calluses

Posted by Lola (Chicago, IL) on 02/12/2006

[YEA]  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

Apple Cider Vinegar, Aspirin, White Potato
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Posted by Kami (Brooklyn, Ny) on 03/30/2010

[YEA]  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.

Replied by Ashley
Queens, Ny

i have a question. I tried the Apple Cider Vinegar before and it indeed removed the dead skin. But my skin was really red and raw underneath and the callous on top of my toes eventually formed again, even worse this time. Did your aloe vera treatment work to restore the skin after using the ACV? what was the exact regimen?
Replied by Kami
Brooklyn, Ny

Hi Ashley,

After the ACV/aspirin technique to remove the corn, I would make a paste of the aloe vera and white potato mix then add a small bit of vaseline. I would apply this to my red area left from the corn and cover with a bandaid. I would do this nightly until the redness disappears.

If your corns are reappearing, you may need to investigate the cause: tight shoes, toes misaligned ... Try foot massages and exercises which stretches your feet like grabbing a towel or objects off the floor with your toes. Toe stretchers are nice too but can be costly. Cover your toes with bandaids or wear socks with shoes if they rub your skin. If you believe your shoes need to be "broken-in" invest in a wooden shoe stretcher or spray them with rubbing alcohol and then stuff them with newspaper.

General skin care is must: drink water, moisturize and take vitamins for hair/skin/nails...

Hope this helps.

Banana Peel
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Posted by Mark (Missoula, Mt) on 02/23/2015

[YEA]  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

[YEA]  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

[YEA]  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

Replied by Ashley
Durham, NC

So wait, you left the banana peel on your foot for a week, you didn't change it or anything? How did that work out with bathing? I would really like to know. Thanks.
Replied by Kamal
Bhubaneswar, Orissa, INDIA

I should be grateful to Babara for this inexpensive and home treatment. I have a large and very painful corn on my left heel. I had undergone an operation but to almost no effect as the corn reappeared in a few days. I shall try the banana peel now and I think it shall cure me.
Replied by Kamal
Bhubaneswar, Orissa, INDIA

[QUESTION]   Please, specify whether the ripe or unripe banana peel should be applied?

EC: Ripe may be better... Check the feedback on the banana peel for warts page:

Replied by Joyce
Joelton, Tn

[QUESTION]   Hello Barbara, My question is did you leave the same piece of banana peel taped in place for one week or did you apply a new piece of banana peel daily? I have a couple of corns I would like to try this one on, but wonder about the ability to keep the same piece in place X one week, especially on the one that is on the bottom of the toe, just barely off the foot.
Replied by Rhonda
Cavendish, Vermont

I am trying this now, I will put a fresh banana peel on everyday...I will wear it a day for a week, I keep you posted!Plus, i will get some potassium from the nanners!
Replied by Rhonda
Cavendish, Vt

I tried the banana peel for one day, I have also tried a lemon peel for a day. The banana peel took no pain away, turned brown, and shrunk. The lemon peel seemed to take the pain away, shrunk, but stayed in place better. I will continue with the lemon peel....
Replied by Rhonda
Cavendish, Vermont

the lemon peel is taking the pain away, I don't know yet about if it will cure it. Time will tell, I have been changing it every day
Replied by Nicole
Byron, Georgia Usa

[YEA]   My daughter had a corn on her toe that had become extremely painful. She is a diabetic and I wanted to try something natural. I am so glad I found this site!! We alternated between a banana peel and lemon peel changing every night before bed. The corn completely fell off last night. This took about two weeks. AMAZING!


If your corn looked like cauliflour with black bits, then I would suggest you had a Plantars Wart not a corn. Glad it worked out for you in any case.
Replied by Brian
Bonne Terre, Mo

I don't know how long it will take for this to work, but I did the lemon peel about 5 minutes ago and it feels like instant relief. At this point I am ready to amputate my left pinky toe so it stops rubbing the other one. If this doesn't work, I still may do that. Let's hope this works.
Replied by Karen

I have a corn on my left little toe, on top. Very painful that I can not wear enclosed shoes. I have been to the doctor. you won't believe this, my options are cut the toe open and file away calcium deposits or cut the toe off!! He never mentions the corn. This is from a doctor! The corn medications over the counter don't work. Heat irritates it so I put ice on it a few times a day. This helps some. I am an ice skater and need this to go away. I will try the banana and lemon.
Replied by Anon

You might also consider soaking your foot in Epsom Salts first and then applying Iodex. Wishing you well!

Castor Oil
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Posted by Girlinms3 (Mchenry, Ms) on 10/09/2015

[YEA]  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!!

Duct Tape
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Posted by Ellen (Tampa, Fl) on 07/25/2013

[YEA]  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.

  User Ratings

Posted by Mia (Illinois, US) on 06/12/2014

[YEA]  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.

Replied by Delfina

please tell me how did you use garlic for gum disease. Thank you

Infected Corn Remedies
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Posted by Tamlovesran (Atlanta, Ga) on 09/23/2013

I had a corn on my big toe that became infected and is getting worse. Any advice on how to best treat it?

Replied by Mmsg
Somewhere, Europe

Tamlovesran, try iodine.
Replied by Louwrence
Rustenburg, South Africa

Hi Tamlovesran, Mix magsulfate & glycerine into a paste & put it on the wart with cottonwool & cover it. Firstly ensure that the magsulf( epsom salts) made very fine before you make the paste & add the glycerine very slowly to the magsulf so it is not too sloppy. This mixture will draw out the infection. Maybe the chemist will mix it for you.

  User Ratings

Posted by Kyle (Maple Lake, MN) on 03/27/2008

[YEA]  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.

Liquid Soap Soak, Petroleum Jelly, Pumice Stone
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Posted by Hussain (islamabad, Pakistan) on 12/30/2007

[YEA]  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

Can u clearly explain??

  User Ratings

Posted by Ann (Pune, India) on 12/09/2008

[YEA]  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.

Replied by Kelly
Cinti, Oh

***warning*** about using otc's with acid (brand name or not) if you are diabetic. Because of poor circulation the acid can eat hole in your toe. My mom's podiatrist chewed me out for letting her use it (I didn't know she had until it was too late). It took almost a year to get her toe healed, and a medication that cost a whopping $500 dollars/1oz. tube, no that's not a typo--$500 dollars for a little 1 oz. Tube. Thank God she had insurance. This was way before I knew about earthclinic or I would have tried some of the remedies here first. I hope this spares someone alot of excruciating pain ( she told the doc she'd rather a root canal instead of him scraping her toe) and alot of money.
Replied by Tired Of Meds.
Kennesaw, Ga

Please, what is the name of the 1 oz. tube? I have a friend who burnt a hole in her toe using the acid. ( She has insurance).

  User Ratings

Posted by sunshine90804 (Long Beach, California) on 06/06/2009

[YEA]  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.

  User Ratings

Posted by Kamilee (Brooklyn, Ny) on 12/14/2009

[YEA]  To get rid of corns, after your bath/shower simply apply vaseline and cover the corns with bandaids. Be patient, it takes a bit of time depending on the size/hardness of the corns... but it works.

Replied by Yaya
Atlanta, Georgia

Do you do this everyday?
Replied by Stephanie

Hi, I keep getting corns on both big toes underneath the side of the nail!! So hard to get to, I keep going to the foot clinic to get them cut out, and as soon as I go to the gym, they re-appear. I can't take no more, I've been going to the gym for years now, and it's started happening this last year, it costs me 32 each time I go, and now they want to remove part of the nail off both big toes?? yuk, do you think vaseline will work for me, I've tried different trainers, socks none of my footwear is tight, and is comfortable. I don't know where else to go now. My favourite gym class kills my feet, and I don't want to stop.
Replied by Joy

Hi Stephanie, I recommend you use castor oil mixed with a little coconut oil on your feet. I can't promise it will stop you getting corns but will definitely soften the skin and if you do this nightly especially around the areas where the corns form and next day scuff off the dead dry skin, hopefully this will help you. Castor oil is just wonderful for skin probs but needs thinning a bit with coconut oil as its so thick. Good luck.
Replied by Iowama

I got myself into a similar situation last summer because of my habit of wearing ballet flats without socks. As Joy states, a change in your habits will put an end to your corns. My approach was to rub the area forcefully with a damp bath rag after each bath or shower. In your case, I would put the rag over a fingertip and try to get it up under the nail as much as possible. Then dry your foot and apply coconut oil that you rub in well. Wear socks around the house until things start to look better. If you can fit a fresh bandage over those areas before your work-outs, your corns will heal more quickly. For a while, it will seem as if you aren't accomplishing anything. You are. Don't stop.