The skin on the feet can get hard and thick when we wear shoes that are not properly adjusted. Wearing uncomfortable shoes often results in the formation of small, circular corns on the sole of the foot or on the sides of the toes, sometimes even between them. This is a form of protection that the skin applies when it’s exposed to a lot of friction or pressure. The epidermis builds up dead skin cells in order to protect the deeper layers of the skin and over time those dead cells form a corn that may become not only uncomfortable and unattractive-looking but also very painful. Corns on feet may affect anyone, regardless of age and sex so you should take a good care of your feet in order to avoid them.
How to avoid corns on feet
Buy Comfortable Shoes
The simplest way to avoid corn on feet is to wear comfortable, well-fitted shoes. It is especially important if you walk a lot every day. Remember, however, that corns can develop on your feet even if you simply stand in ill-fitted shoes for a few hours. If possible, choose flat shoes without narrowing tips so they are adjusted to the natural anatomy of the foot. Avoid heels and wear them only on special occasions. Daily use of high heels affects not only your feet but also the spine and may result in scoliosis.
Make sure you adjust the type of shoes to your activity. Different shoes support the foot in different ways and it’s very important that you choose the right shoes depending on whether you go jogging, hiking or whether your spend all day at work on your feet. And remember that too roomy shoes are as bad as the ones that are too small. Well-fitted shoes are supposed to fit the shape and size of your feet, give your foot support and not slide when you walk.
Protect the Feet
While wearing uncomfortable shoes is bad for your feet, walking barefoot is not a good idea either. Our skin has adjusted over years to the extra protection of socks and shoes and while it’s recommendable to walk barefoot from time to time at home, on the beach or some other feet-friendly environment, you should avoid walking without shoes on the soil, stones or asphalt or prolonged barefoot walking in general. To give your feet better protection, use socks that have extra padding under the sole and on the sides.
Improve Blood Circulation
People who suffer from poor blood circulation, e.g. due to diabetes or peripheral arterial disease are more prone to developing corns. If you are generally healthy but have a poor blood circulation, you should try a foot massage or exercise more in order to pump the blood to your feet. Good blood circulation is crucial for skin regeneration and prevents the accumulation of dead skin cells. If the occurrence of corns on your feet may be related to diabetes or peripheral arterial disease, you should contact the doctor and get a special foot treatment.
Proper Foot Care
Remember to exfoliate and moisturise your feet regularly. Every day in the shower you should perform a gentle massage with a pumice stone in order to remove dead skin cells. Rinse your feet thoroughly and dry them well. Before bedtime, apply a moisturiser on your feet in order to keep the skin soft and nourished. The skin on your feet suffers more than any other skin area since throughout the whole day it’s in a constant contact with other surfaces, be it the floor or the inside of the shoe. That’s why your feet deserve an extra special care.
Home remedies for corns on feet
Corns normally heal on their own if you eliminate the problem that causes them, e.g. when you stop wearing a specific pair of uncomfortable shoes. The healing process lasts quite long, however, since multiple layers of skin need to get rebuilt. If you need fast results, you can try some of the home remedies we describe below.
Regular use of pumice stone will help you get rid of dead skin cells and keep your feet smooth and soft. If you want to target a specific area affected by a corn, massage it with a pumice stone twice a day after soaking your feet in warm water for at least 10 minutes. The softer the skin gets, the more dead skin cells will loosen up during the massage and you will see the desired results faster. In order to prevent the corns from developing, use a pumice stone every two to three days to enhance the natural exfoliation process.
Due to the high concentration of acids, vinegar is very effective in softening the skin and calluses. It also reduces the risk of bacterial or fungal infection. In order to make the most of the properties of vinegar in the treatment of your corns, prepare a mixture of two tablespoons of vinegar and two tablespoons of water and apply it with a cotton ball on the corns. Secure it with an adhesive bandage and leave it on for the night. The solution will soften the hard skin and in the morning you will be able to remove a large part of the corn with an emery board or a pumice stone. Put some olive oil on the treated area in order to keep it well moisturised. Repeat the procedure every day until the corn comes out.
The use of castor oil can give you similar results to vinegar treatment and is an alternative for those who don’t like the smell of vinegar or believe it’s too harsh on their skin. To soften the corns with castor oil, dab it onto the affected area, secure it with an adhesive bandage and leave it on overnight. In the morning remove the bandage and massage the hard skin with an emery board. Repeat the treatment for as long as necessary to remove the corn completely.
Baking soda is used in various cosmetic products and treatments due to its multiple properties. It kills bacteria and fungus, removes blemishes, boosts the healing process and exfoliates dead skin cells. To get rid of corn on feet, mix 2 litres of warm water with 3 tablespoons of baking soda in a basin. Soak your feet in the solution for 15 minutes. This will soften the skin on your entire feet and make it easier to remove the outer layer of the corn. You can do it with a pumice stone or an emery board. Alternatively, you can prepare a paste of baking soda and lemon juice, apply it on the corn and cover it with a bandage for the night. Just like in the case of vinegar or castor oil treatment, you will have to exfoliate the corn in the morning and repeat the process until the skin is completely healed and regenerated.
Thanks to the high level of acids, lemon makes a great home remedy to soften the skin, including the hardened skin that forms the corns. You can simply cut a piece of lemon and dab the corn with it or squeeze the juice from half a lemon and apply it on the affected skin with a cotton ball. Leave it on to dry and repeat several times throughout the day. There’s no need to rinse the lemon juice off the skin of your feet. Since lemon contains a lot of vitamin C, it will additionally boost the skin regeneration process.
Garlic softens the skin and has both antibacterial and antifungal properties. It may not smell like a spa cosmetic, but it gives great results when used for corn removal. Additionally, it protects the affected area from infections. Small corns will react to the treatment if you just cut a clove of garlic in half and rub it on the skin a few times a day. In the case of harder corns or callus, apply a paste of pressed garlic mixed with a pinch of salt or a few drops of vinegar. Protect it with a bandage and leave it on for the night. Rinse the paste off in the morning and moisture the affected area with olive oil. Continue the treatment daily for up to two weeks and the corn will come off entirely, leaving the skin soft and regenerated.
Turpentine oil penetrates the skin layers faster than any other oil, therefore is a very quick and efficient remedy for corns and calluses. You can either apply it directly to the corn three to four times a day or – to make it more effective – prepare a mixture of a ¼ cup melted coconut oil with two tablespoons of turpentine oil. When the mixture cools down, it will have a creamy texture that you can apply on your corns or entire feet before bedtime. If you decide to use it only for the corn, cover it with an adhesive bandage. If you feel like your feet, in general, might benefit from a skin-softening treatment, apply the cream and put on fresh, cotton socks for the night. Wash the cream off in the morning with warm water and dry the feet well. One week of regular treatment with turpentine oil should help you remove the corns.
Another way to soften the skin on the corns is soaking the feet in a solution of aspirin. Crush 4-5 tablets of uncoated aspirin, mix it with a few drops of lemon juice and water. Apply the paste on the corns, wrap it with plastic and place a hot towel over it. Leave it on for 10 minutes, then rinse the mixture off with warm water. The skin gets softened immediately and lets you sand off the top layers of the corn with a pumice stone. Repeating this procedure daily helps remove the corns very fast as the acid contained in aspirin softens the skin really effectively.