Corns and calluses are common foot conditions that can cause discomfort and pain. These thickened and hardened areas of skin develop due to repetitive friction or pressure on specific areas of the feet. While corns usually appear on the toes, calluses often form on the soles. Thankfully, there are several effective treatments available to alleviate the symptoms and promote healing. Here’s a rundown of the best treatment for corns and calluses so you can find the relief you deserve.

Footwear Modifications

One of the primary causes of corns and calluses is ill-fitting footwear. By making simple modifications to your shoes, you can reduce the pressure and friction that contribute to these conditions. Opt for shoes with a wide toe box, which provides ample room for your toes to move freely. Additionally, cushioned insoles or orthotic inserts can help distribute pressure evenly and reduce the risk of corns and calluses.

Regular Soaking and Exfoliation

Soaking your feet in warm water can soften the skin, making it easier to remove the thickened layers. Add Epsom salt or mild soap to the water for enhanced benefits. After soaking for 10-15 minutes, gently exfoliate the affected area with a pumice stone or a foot file. This process helps eliminate dead skin cells, reducing the size and discomfort of corns and calluses.

Moisturisation and Padding

Moisturising the affected area is crucial to keep the skin soft and supple. Apply a thick moisturiser or emollient cream daily, particularly after exfoliation or bathing. To prevent further friction, consider using protective padding, such as corn pads or moleskin, over the affected areas. These pads cushion the skin, reducing pressure and promoting healing.

Salicylic Acid Treatment

Salicylic acid is a commonly used over-the-counter treatment for corns and calluses. It softens the thickened skin, allowing for easier removal. Use salicylic acid patches or ointments as directed, following the recommended duration and frequency. It’s essential to be cautious with these treatments, as excessive use or misuse can irritate the healthy skin surrounding the corn or callus.

Professional Assistance

In some cases, seeking professional assistance from a podiatrist or foot specialist may be necessary. These experts can provide tailored treatments for your specific condition. They may employ techniques such as debridement, which involves safely removing the thickened skin using specialised tools. Podiatrists can also offer custom orthotics to correct any structural issues that contribute to corns and calluses.

Prevention Treatment For Corns And Calluses

Preventing the recurrence of corns and calluses is essential for long-term relief. Ensure you wear comfortable and well-fitting shoes, especially if you spend long periods on your feet. Regularly moisturise your feet, paying attention to areas prone to thickening. If you engage in activities that put excessive pressure on your feet, consider using protective padding or orthotic inserts to distribute the load evenly.

How a Podiatrist Can Help

When dealing with persistent or severe corns and calluses, it’s beneficial to seek the expertise of a podiatrist or foot specialist. These professionals are highly trained in diagnosing and treating foot conditions, including corns and calluses. 

A podiatrist can accurately diagnose the type and cause of your corns and calluses. They will examine your feet, assess your gait and foot structure, and ask about your footwear and lifestyle habits. This comprehensive evaluation helps determine the underlying factors contributing to the condition, enabling the development of an effective treatment plan.

Podiatrists can create personalised treatment plans tailored to your specific needs. They consider various factors, such as the severity of the corns and calluses, your foot structure, and any underlying conditions. With their expertise, podiatrists can recommend the most suitable treatments and interventions to provide relief and promote healing.

For thick and stubborn corns and calluses, a podiatrist may perform debridement. This procedure involves the safe and controlled removal of the thickened skin using specialised tools. Podiatrists have the skills and knowledge to perform debridement effectively while minimising the risk of injury or infection.

In some cases, structural issues in the feet, such as abnormal gait or biomechanics, can contribute to corns and calluses. Podiatrists can prescribe custom orthotic devices, such as shoe inserts or arch supports, to address these underlying issues. Orthotics help redistribute pressure and correct foot alignment, reducing the likelihood of corns and calluses reoccurring.

A podiatrist can educate you on proper foot care techniques and prevention strategies. They can provide guidance on choosing appropriate footwear, maintaining foot hygiene, and implementing self-care practices. By understanding how to prevent corns and calluses, you can take proactive steps to avoid their recurrence and maintain optimal foot health.

One Last Thing…

Remember, a podiatrist’s expertise and specialised treatments can significantly contribute to your journey towards healthier, pain-free feet. If you’re experiencing persistent or severe corns and calluses, don’t hesitate to seek professional assistance to receive comprehensive care and long-term solutions.

For help treating your corns and calluses get in touch or drop into our Northwich clinic. We’ve been happily helping the residents of Cheshire be rid of their corn for many years. 


What are the most effective treatments for corns on feet?

The best treatments for corns include footwear modifications, using protective padding, regular soaking and exfoliation, and applying moisturisers. For persistent corns, treatments with salicylic acid or professional debridement by a podiatrist can be highly effective.

How can I treat corns at home in the UK?

Home treatments for corns in the UK involve wearing well-fitted shoes, using over-the-counter corn pads, soaking your feet to soften the skin, and gently removing thickened skin with a pumice stone. Applying a moisturiser regularly can also prevent the skin from hardening.

Are there any new treatments for corns that I should know about?

Recent developments in corn treatment include the use of advanced moisturising products containing urea or salicylic acid, laser therapy, and cryotherapy. However, consulting with a podiatrist is recommended to determine the most suitable option based on your condition.

What is the best way to prevent corns from forming?

Preventing corns involves wearing shoes that fit correctly and provide sufficient support, using custom orthotic inserts if necessary, and maintaining good foot hygiene. Regularly inspecting your feet for any signs of pressure or friction can also help prevent corns.

Can podiatrists help with callus removal, and how?

Yes, podiatrists specialise in callus removal through safe and effective methods such as professional debridement. They can also provide customised orthotic devices to correct foot posture and distribute pressure evenly, preventing callus formation.

How often should I exfoliate my feet to prevent calluses?

Exfoliating your feet once a week is generally recommended to prevent calluses. However, those with sensitive skin or specific conditions may need to adjust the frequency. It’s important to moisturise after exfoliating to keep the skin supple.

What are the risks of untreated corns and calluses?

Untreated corns and calluses can lead to increased discomfort, pain, and the potential development of ulcers, especially in individuals with diabetes or poor circulation. Early treatment is key to preventing complications.

Are over-the-counter treatments for corns safe for everyone?

While many over-the-counter treatments are safe, individuals with diabetes, peripheral neuropathy, or poor circulation should consult a healthcare provider before using them. Salicylic acid treatments, in particular, require careful use to avoid skin irritation.

Categories: Podiatry