Corns develop when there is constant pressure to a localized area of the foot, such as where a bone presses against the inside of your shoes, according to the American College of Foot & Ankle Orthopedics & Medicine. They are not contagious, but they may be painful, especially when they grow deep into your foot. Home remedies are sufficient to treat most cases of corns, but medical intervention may be required for corns that interfere with walking or cause severe pain.
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Change Your Shoes
Removing pressure is the first and most important step in treating corns. Because poorly fitting shoes are a common cause of corns, it is essential to have your feet measured to ensure your shoes are the right size and to replace narrow-toed shoes with shoes that are looser in the toe area. The American College of Foot & Ankle Orthopedics & Medicine recommends wearing shoes that have 1/2 inch of space between the end of the shoe and your toes.
The QuickCare.org suggests wearing double layers of socks, avoiding shoes with high heels and wearing shoes with soft upper liners and cushioned soles. If you experience discomfort when walking or standing for long periods, change your footwear, and rest your feet.
Wear Corn Pads
Pads are available in most pharmacies that are made of foam, cotton or silicone. You can also make your own, using rubber foam or dense cotton. Cut the foam into a circle that is twice the size of your corn, and then remove the middle section so that the pad fits over your corn. Tape the pad to the affected area and wear it inside your shoe to reduce pain and pressure.
Placing foam or cotton between your toes may be beneficial if your corns are caused by misshapen toes. MayoClinic.com warns against using medicated corn pads, as these can cause skin irritation and lead to infection, especially in diabetics and those with circulatory disorders.
Remove Dead Skin
Using a pumice stone on corns will remove dead, hardened skin and reduce pain. Wet the stone and your skin, and then rub the stone back and forth across the affected area for three to five minutes, once each day. Rinse the stone often during and after use to remove pumice debris and dead skin. Apply moisturizer to the corn immediately after using the pumice stone. Soaking your foot for 10 or 15 minutes before using the stone can make removal of dead skin easier.
QuickCare.org recommends applying a thin layer of petroleum jelly to the skin surrounding your corn and then using salicylic acid to speed corn removal. The petroleum jelly will protect your skin from irritation caused by the acid.