Corns are basically hardened layers of skin that form as your skin tries to protect itself against continuous friction. Ironically, it’s the excessive friction that causes these small bumps of thickened and hardened skin to develop in the first place. (1)

They mostly develop on the feet – on the tops and sides of the toes, and sometimes between the toes. Read on to know how to get rid of corns on feet.


corns on feet

Causes and Symptoms of Corns

A consequence of constant friction and pressure, corns mostly develop from walking or running in poorly fitting shoes. However, other causes that lead to corns include:

  • Standing for long periods of time in tight shoes or high heels
  • Wearing shoes without socks
  • Long hours of manual labor
  • Playing sports or other athletic activities, including workouts
  • An abnormal bone structure

While anyone can develop corns, people with hammertoes, bunions, scars or warts on their feet are more likely to have to deal with this problem. Also, people with conditions like diabetes that cause poor blood flow to the feet and those with damaged sweat glands are at a higher risk. (1)

The thick, rough and hard bumps on the skin are often painful when pressing on them. They can cause great discomfort while standing or walking and can also lead to cracked heels.


Home Treatment for Corns

Eliminating the source of pressure and friction is the most important step in treating corns. Once the source of friction is gone, you can proceed to remove the corn.

There are over-the-counter medicines and padding that you buy to deal with corns. However, it is better to use natural remedies to eliminate the corns and nourish your skin at the same time.

Here are four simple natural treatments to help you get rid of corns on feet.

Method 1: Use Apple Cider Vinegar

The high level of acidity along with incredible antibacterial and antifungal properties makes apple cider vinegar one of the most effective remedies for treating corns. It helps soften the hardened skin, while also reducing the risk of developing an infection. (2) Anecdotes suggest the effectiveness of apple cider vinegar for a number of ailments; further research is due on this topic. (3)

The piece of bread is mostly a means of applying the apple cider vinegar.

Things you’ll need:


things you'll need for using apple cider vinegar to get rid of corn

  • Apple cider vinegar (softens the corn and prevents infection) – ½ cup
  • Bread (for application) – 1 slice
  • Adhesive or medical tape

Step 1. Soak a slice of bread in apple cider vinegar

soak bread in apple cider vinegar to get rid of corn

  • Pour ½ cup of apple cider vinegar into a bowl.
  • Drop in a slice of bread and let it soak for 2 minutes.

Step 2. Place the soaked bread on the corn and secure it in place

apply acv soaked bread to get rid of corn

  • Place a small portion of the soaked bread directly on the corn.
  • Wrap and secure it with an adhesive or medical tape.
  • Leave it on overnight.
  • The next morning, remove it and rinse the area thoroughly.
  • Repeat once each day until the corn completely disappears.
  • Apple cider vinegar should give speedy relief from corns within a week or after just 3 to 4 days.

Method 2: Use a Pumice Stone

Using a pumice stone to scrub away the dead and hardened skin is one of the most effective treatments for getting rid of corn. (1) (4)


Massage the corn and the nearby area with a pumice stone to exfoliate and remove the dead skin, thus reducing pain and speeding up recovery.

Step 1. Soak your foot in hot water

soak affected foot in hot water to get rid of corn

  • Fill a tub or a basin with comfortably hot water.
  • Soak the foot with the corn in the water for 15 to 20 minutes. This will soften the corn.

Step 2. Scrub the corn with a pumice stone and pat dry

scrub the corn with pumice stone to remove it

  • Gently rub a pumice stone back and forth across the corn.
  • Do this for 5 minutes, scraping off as much of the softened corn as possible.
  • Pat your skin dry.

Step 3. Moisturize the area and put on socks

  • Massage a generous amount of moisturizing lotion all over your foot and especially on the corn.
  • Put on socks to protect your skin from further friction.
  • Repeat once every day for 1 to 2 weeks or until the corn is completely gone.

Alternatively, you can also bandage the area after moisturizing and secure it overnight.

Method 3: Use Salicylic Acid

Salicylic acid increases the amount of moisture in the skin to dissolve the substance that causes the skin cells to stick together and form corn. This allows easier shedding of the skin cells to get rid of the corn. This allows easier shedding of the skin cells to get rid of the corn. Additionally, it has been shown to be more effective than regular scalpel removal by a healthcare provider. (5)


Step 1. Soak a cotton ball in salicylic acid

soak a cotton ball in salicylic acid to get rid of corn

  • Squirt some salicylic acid on a cotton ball.

Step 2. Place it on the corn and secure with a bandage

use salicylic acid to get rid of corn

  • Place the soaked cotton ball on the corn.
  • Secure it in place with an adhesive or medical tape.
  • Leave it on overnight, then remove it the next morning.
  • Repeat once each day for 1 week to see effective results.
Note: Salicylic acid can sometimes damage the skin around corn. You can spread petroleum jelly on the skin surrounding the corn to protect it from the acid.

Method 4: Use Corn Caps

Corn caps contain salicylic acid to remove the dead and hardened skin of the corn which are effective in the removal of corns and calluses. (5)

Step 1. Soak your foot in hot water

soak the foot in hot water before using corn cap

  • Fill a tub or a basin with comfortably hot water.
  • Soak the foot with the corn in the water for 15 to 20 minutes. This will soften the corn.

Step 2. Cover the corn with a corn cap

cover the corn with corn cap

  • Place the corn cap directly over the corn.
  • Secure it in place and leave it on overnight.
  • The next morning, gently remove the softened skin of the corn without much pressure. If there is any hanging piece of skin, grab a nail cutter to remove it.
  • Repeat daily till the hard skin is completely removed. You may get relief within 1 or 2 days, but you can keep up with the remedy for up to 1 week if required.

Tips to keep in mind

  • Do not cut or shave the corns, as this can increase the chances of infection.
  • Trim your toenails periodically. Excessively long toenails cause the toe joint to push against your shoe and can result in corns.
  • If you notice a corn developing, soak your feet in an Epsom salt bath followed with a good moisturizer.
  • Keep your feet clean and dry. Apply talcum powder to keep away excess moisture.
  • If you have soft corns on the sides of your toes, place pieces of cotton between your toes to ease the irritation.
  • Apply petroleum jelly on your feet where you notice the most friction to prevent corns.
  • Always choose shoes with a perfect and comfortable fit. Also, shoes made of genuine leather that breathe and allow air to flow near the feet are good choices.
  • To decrease friction and pressure on the skin, use protective coverings or pads over the corns.


  1. Aboud AMA. Corns. StatPearls. Published October 27, 2018.
  2. Yagnik D, Serafin V, Shah AJ. Antimicrobial activity of apple cider vinegar against Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, and Candida albicans; downregulating cytokine and microbial protein expression. Scientific Reports. Published 2018.
  3. Gopal J, Anthonydhason V, Muthu M, et al. Authenticating apple cider vinegar's home remedy claims: antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral properties and cytotoxicity aspect. Natural Product Research. Published December 2017.
  4. Bernstein RK. Reducing Foot Wounds in Diabetes. Diabetes Care. Published April 2013.
  5. Farndon LJ, Vernon W, Walters SJ, et al. The effectiveness of salicylic acid plasters compared with 'usual' scalpel debridement of corns: a randomised controlled trial. Journal of Foot and Ankle Research. Published September 24, 2013.

Summary of How to Get Rid of Corns on Feet

get rid of corn

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