47. Winning Remedies for Corns and Calluses

All too often, corns and calluses are the price we pay for neglecting our feet.

Corns and calluses are very much alike – they just differ in where they occur. Corns show up on the tops or sides of the joints or on the skin between the toes. Calluses occur on the balls or heels of the feet, the big toe, the knees,­ or the hands. Both result from bad walking habits, bone deformities, or repeated rubbing from poorly fitting footwear, or activities that cause friction on the hands, knees, and feet.

Corns feel hard to the touch, are tender, and have a roundish appearance. A small, clear spot called a hen’s eye may form in the center. Don’t pick at corns or use nail clippers, a razor blade, or any other sharp tool to cut off corns. Also, don’t use strong medications – you may injure your skin or trigger an infection. Instead:

  1. Don’t wear shoes that fit poorly, especially if they squeeze your toes together.

  2. Soak your feet in warm water to soften the corn.

  3. Cover the corn with a protective, nonmedicated pad or bandage which you can get at drugstores. (A piece of foam rubber or moleskin will do in a pinch.)

  4. If the outer layers of a corn have peeled away, apply a nonprescription liquid of 5 to 10 percent salicylic acid. Gently rub the corn off with cotton gauze.

If you have continuing pain, consult a podiatrist or your family doctor who will scrape away the hardened tissue and peel away the corn with stronger solutions. (Sometimes warts lie underneath corns and need to be treated, too.)

Calluses are patches of dead skin that are thick and feel hard to the touch. Never try to get rid of a callus by cutting it with a sharp tool. Instead:

  1. Soak your feet in warm water to soften the callus and dry gently.

  2. Rub the callus gently with a pumice stone.

  3. Cover calluses with protective pads available in drugstores.

  4. Check for poorly fitting shoes or other sources of pressure that may lead to calluses. Wear gloves for a hobby or work that puts pressure on your hands and knees.

Note: Anyone with diabetes or circulatory problems should seek medical attention for foot problems of any kind. Their risk of infection is higher than average.

Chapter 1
  1. Fast Relief for Everyday Health Problems