Proper Corn Care 101

Proper Corn Care 101

Corns and calluses can be painful and annoying. Yet, they’re a preventative measure your body uses to protect sensitive skin. Frequently forming on the hands and feet, corns and calluses often arise in areas that undergo repeated friction or rubbing.


In this article, we’re going to go over everything you need to know about corn and callus care and the differences between the two.

Corn vs Calluses: What’s the Difference?

Corns are a thick and rough patch of skin that has developed from pressure or friction on the skin. There are a few different types of corns, including hard corns, soft corns, and seed corns.


Hard corns are small and round thick skin on feet. Hard corns typically form on the tops of the toes, where bones rub against the skin. Soft corns have a malleable, rubbery texture and often form between the toes. Seed corns, on the other hand, are usually found on the bottom of the feet.


In contrast, calluses are larger and more irregular in shape compared to corns but have the same hardened, thick, and rough texture. You will likely find a callus in the areas where you put the most pressure and weight. Typical spots include your big toe, the bottom of the feet, and the heel. If you like to lift weights, play the guitar, or build things with your hands, you’ll likely have experienced calluses before—and you may be all too very familiar with how irritating they can be.

Corns vs Warts

Many people mistake warts for corns, but they are quite different. Warts can form anywhere on the body and result from the HPV virus. Warts can be contagious, whereas corns are not. Warts that appear like corns have one significant difference: they can have black dots around them and are grainy in appearance. It’s always a good idea to identify the difference between these two since treatments vary.

Do Corns Go Away On Their Own?

If you’re healthy and the corns and calluses on the feet are not painful, they can go away on their own. By reducing the pressure and rubbing that caused the corn or callus in the first place, over time, they will heal. Can you remove corns on your feet overnight? Not without surgery, but there are a few things you can do to speed up the process, as explored in more detail below.

Corn Care: Dos & Don’ts

So, how should you care for corns? What should you know? Check out the dos and don’ts in the following sections.

Do: Remove Skin Build-Up

How to get rid of corns on feet and treatment for callused feet starts with removing the build-up of excess skin.


Begin by soaking the affected area, typically hands or feet, in warm water until the skin softens. This usually takes about five to 10 minutes. Using a wet emery board or pumice stone, start to remove the dead tissue on the calluses or corns. Use caution: You don’t want to remove too much, as you might cause an injury that could lead to an infection.


Moisturize the area every day. Using a lotion with ingredients like ammonium lactate, salicylic acid, or urea will help soften the skin quicker.

Do: Use Corn Protection

There are some great products used as a treatment for callused feet or corn treatment. Picking up some adhesive pads that look like little doughnuts can help relieve pain and pressure and prevent further irritation. If you tend to get corns or calluses on your toes, opting for toe caps, toe protectors, or toe props can be handy.

Do: Keep Your Feet Well-Groomed

Keeping your toenails trimmed and well-groomed will help prevent your toes from pushing against your shoes. Trim your nails straight across, and don’t round the corners. By doing so, you can prevent friction between the nails and the skin, which will reduce your chance of injury.

Do: Use Ice

If your corns and calluses are becoming painful, you can use ice to reduce the pain. Using a cloth or towel, apply an ice pack for 15 to 20 minutes at a time, take a break, and repeat.

Do: Consult a Podiatrist

If you find you’re in severe pain with your corns and calluses, please consult a Podiatrist. You can get surgery to remove them if necessary. Your Podiatrist can also provide some insight and guidelines to assist with a deformity, like hammertoe or bunions, that could be causing corns.

Do: Wear Socks With Shoes

You should always wear socks with shoes to prevent rubbing and friction. Try to purchase socks that fit well and don’t slide down while wearing shoes, which can also lead to calluses and corns.

Don’t: Wear Shoes That Are Too Tight

Wearing proper footwear is a big part of corn and callus care. Ensuring your shoes fit properly and they’re not too tight or loose can help save your feet. As one of the most common causes of corns and calluses, shoes should fit properly. On top of this, high heels are a primary culprit in causing foot issues in women.


Any place where pressure and friction happen, there is an increased risk of corns and calluses. If you are very active or work a job where you’re on your feet all day, it’s even more critical to have proper footwear. If you can’t seem to find a good pair of shoes, consult a professional, like an orthopedic shoe technician, a podiatrist, or an associate at a medical supply store. Options like inserts, insoles, silicone pads, special socks, or even custom-made shoes can help immensely.

Don’t: Try to Attempt Corn Removal

Never try using a sharp object to ‘cut out’ or remove your corns and calluses. This could cause more harm than good!

Don’t: Treat Corns Alone If You Are Diabetic

If you have diabetes, please consult your doctor if you have corns or calluses, and don’t try to treat them yourself. Diabetes reduces sensation in the feet and legs, and you could seriously injure yourself if you try to treat corns at home.

Don’t: Stand for Long Periods Without Breaks

Standing, running, or walking too long without taking a break can cause issues with your feet. If you’re a very active person, you’re likely putting a lot of pressure on your feet, so proper footwear is critical. Improper posture can also put more weight on different parts of your foot, causing issues. Thus, use caution when standing or walking for long durations, as well as take breaks when you need them!

Treating Corns and Calluses

Corns and calluses can be uncomfortable. Yet, with some easy treatment and preventative measures, they don’t have to become more of a nuisance or an ongoing problem.


It’s always recommended that if your corns or calluses are causing pain, seek professional help. As a last resort, surgery is always an option for corn and foot callus removal if less invasive measures don’t work.