Natural Remedies for Foot Corns

| Modified on Jun 23, 2024

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.

What is a Foot Corn?

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 Remedies 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!

Apple Cider Vinegar

4 User Reviews
5 star (3) 
3 star (1) 

Posted by Rob (Kentucky) on 11/22/2021

I've used this recipe with success for my corns. The malic acid in apple cider vinegar breaks down the hard skin of calluses and corns. According to Dr. Scholl's foot care website, in order to keep your feet healthy, you need to soak your feet in warm water with 1/3 apple cider vinegar for 20 minutes. Next, Soak a cotton ball or gauze in apple cider vinegar and place it on the affected area. Secure the cotton ball with medical tape and leave it on overnight. Repeat every day until the corn disappears. The treatment may take 1 week or more depending on the severity of your condition. Another recipe I've used for sensative skin is: 4oz Apple Cider Vinegar 4oz tap water 1 teaspoon sea salt. Use this formula as your base solution and dip your gauze intoit and apply to the corn.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by ST (Eugene, OR) on 06/03/2021

ACV soothes the corn, but I plan to try some of the other suggested remedies, especially the banana peel. However, I wish people would proof-read their comments so we could understand what they're trying to say. It also looks like people are calling anything from a blister to a bunion a "corn". Sorry to be critical but it's kind of important to get clear information.

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

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

Replied by Sarah

I applied the apple cider vinegar yesterday, but today my foot is even more painful. Did you have the same experience?

Apple Cider Vinegar
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

Apple Cider Vinegar, Aspirin, Banatrol

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Betty (CA) on 12/06/2021

My husband has had a bad corn on bottom of his foot just under the pinky toe. He used a mixture of ACV, banatrol and aspirin on gauze wrapped over night for a few nights. He pulled out a tooth looking thing and now has a hole in his foot where it was with a pinpoint hole in the center of it. There are remnants of black specs that came out when the affected area was squeezed. What are those black specs?

Apple Cider Vinegar, Aspirin, White Potato

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

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.

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 and Lemon Peel, ACV Soaks

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Relieved (Louisiana) on 05/13/2018

Corn Treatment: OTC did nothing. I alternated between the banana and lemon peels, changing daily. After a few days, I added a 30-minute foot soak with hot water and 3 tablespoons of acv. During the soak, I intermittently scrubbed the corn with a pumice stone. Within a week, the corn was gone. Thank you to everyone who recommended this remedy!

Banana Peel

7 User Reviews
5 star (6) 

Posted by Jennifer (New York) on 08/10/2020

I want to add into the chorus for banana peel for corns, a remedy which I found here after going to a podiatrist who wanted to eventually recommend surgery to reshape my toes, which he said would prevent the corns in the first place - insane!

The banana peel worked in about two days on a soft corn in between my pinky and fourth toe. I also had success with peel on a rough patch of skin on my thigh that popped up overnight...raised pores and almost like sandpaper. for my part, even old saved banana peels, still work, including peels from bananas I had to freeze before they went bad because I didn't use them enough.

Banana Peel
Posted by Helen (New York, Ny) on 06/30/2017

I was skeptical at first using a banana peel for a soft corn that is almost two years old. I've been saving my banana peels after I make smoothies, haven't even been consistent and the pain (which stopped me from working out sometimes) left quickly. The corn has gotten smaller and softened, and I know with continued use (even without consistent use I haven't had a relapse or worsening of the corn). I know with continued use it will peel off easily, like harder corns have. Will never use those corn removal pads again - this is free and natural!

Replied by Cas
(Los Angeles CA)

I have tried the banana peel on the corn and find that it is torturously and unbearably painful and feel like this part of the remedy should be mentioned. Or is it just my unique experience. Very sharp and intense pain coming from the corn with banana on it I have to take it off within minutes. I am aware that points at the peel working but is there a way to better tolerate the pain. Has anyone experienced this?

Banana Peel
Posted by Robert (Vancouver, Bc, Canada) on 08/01/2016

1. What an excellent site. Thanks to you and all.

2. Idea > I have a callus "lawn mower" thingy. After trying soaks and Vaseline my soft corn was a bit soft. I very carefully ran my callus tool for a few seconds only and it helped reduce the pain a little. NOW I'm going to try the banana piece taped on which sounds so easy. Thanks to all for the great ideas. Soft corns ARE amazingly painful.

Banana Peel
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!

Banana Peel
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!

Banana Peel
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

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)

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)
495 posts

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)

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!

Replied by Susan
(Ottawa, On)

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

2 User Reviews
5 star (2) 

Posted by Roxy (Cape Town ) on 11/02/2016

I tried the castor oil on a piece of cotton ball used it for two days now I promise it works was so amazed as I have bought many different expensive treatments over the years and I paid R20 for castor oil and it's a miracle in a bottle. I read a ladies review on earth clinic the best advice ever so now I can take out all my sandals and flip flops for summer.

Castor Oil
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!!

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