Natural Remedies

Say Goodbye to Corns: Easy DIY Remedies that Work Wonders

We all know that wearing ill-fitting shoes often comes at corn, umm. . . cost. If left untreated, these unsightly corns can become painful and hinder day-to-day activities at the very least. This makes you look for quick solutions to get rid of corns

By definition, corn is a small painful bump that generally develops between the toes to protect sensitive skin from constant bruising, poor physical movement, tight-fitting footwear, and poor foot care routine. Plus, note that pre-existing foot conditions such as Scoliosis and Bursitis can also cause corns.

Coming to its common symptoms, these include thick and rough skin, hardened and raised bump, and flaky and dry skin that may cause pain.

Typically, there are three types of corn that people suffer from hard corns (small, compact lumps with a thick core), soft corns (whitish/grey small inflamed skin patches), and seed corns (small circles of stiff skin that occur at the foot/heels). You’ll be surprised to know that around 5% of the population suffers from foot corns.

  1. Essential Oils
  2. Foods
  3. Home remedies
  4. Supplements

Now, you must have read that corns generally goes away if the source of friction or the pain-causing agent is removed; however, in extreme scenarios, this may not be the case. That’s where a more natural, alternative intervention is required.

So, if you’re someone who experiences foot corns often and are constantly finding yourself googling about how to remove corns, it’s time to nip it in the bud. Here, we have curated a list of effective ways to get rid of foot corns naturally, sustainably, and above all, painlessly.

Table of Contents

Did You Know!

Corns and calluses are caused by friction and pressure from skin rubbing against bony areas when wearing shoes. If the first signs of soreness are ignored, corns and calluses rise up as nature’s way of protecting sensitive areas.

CURE 1: Essential Oils for Corns

If you’re someone who is always on the lookout to treat health issues via natural means, essential oils can become your best friend. While their use in aromatherapy is widely accepted today, they also help to treat corns effectively. So stop asking yourself “how to treat corns,” and stock up on these top-4 essential oils that’ll ensure you never get off the wrong foot (pun intended) when it comes to embracing an all-round foot care routine:

Important: Essential oils are found in oil or cream forms. It is recommended that you apply it topically for foot corns by mixing it with a carrier oil, such as olive, coconut, etc. Remember that under no circumstances should you ingest essential oils.

1. Turpentine oil

We’ve all heard of turpentine oil during our art class, where oil painting sessions were often done. However, turpentine oil can also be used to treat corns as they dry off the corn and ensure that it flakes off in a couple of days. Who knew, right?

Why does this work?

Rectified turpentine oil doubles up as an effective counter-irritant, weak antiseptic, expectorant, and is primarily used as a rubefacient. Simply put, it ensures better blood circulation, lowers irritation, and above all, soothes the skin.

How to use and how much to use?

To begin with, rub ice on the affected area for at least 2-3 minutes. Then, take a clean cotton cloth and soak it in rectified turpentine oil for 10-15 minutes. Finally, wrap this soaked cloth around the corn for 10-15 minutes. You can try this method 3-4 times a day.

2. Coconut oil

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil has various health benefits and has been in use since age-old times. It lowers cholesterol, aids in weight loss, moisturizes the skin and hair, and promotes better brain functioning.

Why does this work?

Coconut oil is one of the best natural skin moisturizers you can use on your skin. That said, it proves to be useful as it helps to soften the skin and make it supple. As you may have guessed, this comes in handy when removing the corn with a pumice stone (as a result of all the moisturization!).

How to use and how much to use?

Apply the oil on the corn and massage the area gently in circular motions. Repeat this 3X a day.

3. Castor oil for corns

Castor oil is one of the quickest ways to get rid of corns and reduce its size drastically. Plus, it helps to moisturize the hard and dry skin surrounding the corn.

Why does this work?

Research suggests that castor oil can soften the corn and help get rid of it for good. In fact, contrary to other options where it may take 3-4 weeks for the corn to disappear, castor oil does the job in just three to four days.

How to use and how much to use?

The first step is to soak your feet for 15 minutes in a mixture of warm water and a cup of apple cider vinegar. Once done, you need to dab the corn with castor oil. Try repeating this process nightly until you notice that the corns are starting to peel away. Ideally, you should do this for two weeks for best results.

Important: Avoid applying castor oil on broken skin, or the condition may worsen.

Also Read: Amazing Benefits of Castor Oil And it’s uses

4. Tea tree oil

If you’re someone who experiences acne regularly, you probably are used to tea tree oil and its benefits.

Why does this work?

Tea tree oil comes with antibacterial and antifungal properties, making it effective when it comes to treating corns as it flakes off dry skin naturally and easily.

How to use and how much to use?

You can add 4-5 drops of tea tree oil on a cotton ball and gently massage the affected area. Then, place the cotton ball over it with the help of a medicated tape and leave it as is for a couple of hours.

Once it has rested enough, remove the cotton ball afterwards and wash the area with mild soap and water. Finally, pat dry with a towel. Repeat this every day for about 1-2 weeks.

CURE 2: Foods

If you’re wondering about how to get rid of calluses/corns, certain foods – when applied topically – can work like a charm. Let’s look at the top-7 foods that can speed up the healing process and treat the issue at hand effectively:

1. Lemon


In the natural skincare circle, lemon juice is a big deal. From acting as a natural bleaching agent to lightening scars and blemishes, lemon juice addresses all kinds of skincare issues.

Why does it work?

Lemon contains citric acid which helps to remove any discomfort around the corn, softens the hard upper layer of corns, and gradually shrinks within a few days.

How to use and how much to use?

This is one of the easiest home remedies you can try. Simply, apply a slice of lemon on the corn and seal it with a bandage. Ideally, you should leave it on overnight. Repeat this till the corn disappears.

2. Onion

You may dislike the smell of raw onion, but it helps to reduce soreness, pain, and discomfort that corns may cause if left untreated for long.

Why does it work?

Onion comes with antioxidant and antibacterial properties(1), making it an effective food for treating corns. It ensures a speedy recovery, breaks down the dry and hard skin, keeps the risk of infections in check, and helps to remove any blemishes/scars once the corn has healed completely.

How to use and how much to use?

All you have to do is cut a slice of onion and place it in a bowl. Then, add vinegar to it and keep it in a warm place throughout the day. At night, place the onion slice on the corn and cover the area with a gauze. Ideally, you should leave it overnight and throw away the slice the next morning. Within a week, the corn will disappear if you are consistent.

3. White vinegar and bread

Bread is for making gourmet sandwiches, yes, but guess what? Bread can also help to get rid of corns effectively if infused in white vinegar. Confused? Keep reading.

Why does it work?

The vinegar-soaked bread(2) softens the corn and eventually helps to get rid of it by shrinking it.

How to use and how much to use?

You need to soak a piece of bread in white vinegar and place it on the corn. Seal the area with a gauze. Leave it on overnight and simply rub off the bread parts the following morning. You can repeat this for 1-2 days or as required.

4. Baking soda

Baking soda
Image: ShutterStock

It’s a common fact that baking soda can effectively treat dandruff issues you may have; however, it also comes in handy when treating corns and calluses.

Why does this work?

In essence, baking soda acts as a natural exfoliator which helps to scrub and remove hard layers of dead skin cells. Naturally, this promotes better and faster healing. Plus, its antibacterial, antiseptic, and antifungal properties also help keep skin infections at bay.

How to use and how much to use?

Add three tablespoons of baking soda in warm water and soak your foot in it for 15 minutes. Then, rub the corns gently using a pumice stone. Alternatively, you can use a paste of baking soda and lemon juice, and apply it on the affected area. Cover it gently with a bandage before sleeping and remove it the following morning. Repeat this for 5-7 days till the corn dries up.

Handy tip: If the corns are placed between your toes, you can use cotton to separate the toes and create a healing space (quite literally in this case). Also, ensure that you apply this paste on the affected area and not on any part of the healthy skin as it may dry up the latter as well.

5. Turmeric

Turmeric has been dubbed as the golden powder with therapeutic benefits and rightly so. It offers anti-inflammatory benefits which come in handy when treating corns/calluses.

Why does this work?

It speeds up the healing process and can remove any discomfort that the corn is causing.

How to use and how much to use?

You need to heat 1/2 teaspoon of mustard oil and add 1 to 2 teaspoon of turmeric paste to it. The end-goal is to form a thick paste. Then, you need to keep stirring this mixture for a couple of minutes. Remove from heat and apply on the affected area when the heat is tolerable. Finally, wrap the area with a bandage and leave it on overnight. The following morning, clean the area with warm water. Repeat as necessary.

Handy tip: If you have an old bed sheet lying around, use that because turmeric can stain bed sheets and the color may be difficult to remove.

6. Ripe Papaya

Ask any beauty expert, and they’ll tell you that facial masks are incomplete without the use of ripe papayas. The same holds true for corns as well.

Why does this work?

Studies(3) suggest that the active enzymes present in raw papaya provide multi-functional benefits such as removing dead skin from the corn, drying up the skin for a speedy recovery, and eliminating any discomfort/pain that the corn may be causing.

How to use and how much to use?

You can use a small piece of raw papaya. Extract its juice and apply it on the head of the corn. Next, cover it with a cotton ball and medicated tape. It is best to leave it overnight. The next morning, use a pumice stone to scrub the corn and get rid of any dead skin. Repeat it daily for best results.

Also Read: Amazing Health Benefits of Papaya

7. Licorice


Sweet-tasting licorice offers medicinal and healing properties that have been used in Ayurvedic preparations since time immemorial.

Why does this work?

Licorice is therapeutic by nature and comes with antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Plus, it contains estrogen-like substances that soften hard skin and ensure it falls off to pieces easily. As you may have guessed, this functionality helps to treat corns effectively.

How to use and how much to use?

You’ll need around 3-4 licorice sticks and grind it to a powder. Add around ½ teaspoon of mustard oil to make a paste. Then, apply this mixture on the affected area before going to bed. Finally, wash off the area with lukewarm water the next morning. You can do this for a couple of nights or as necessary.

“Women are 4X more likely than men to have foot problems. ”

CURE 3: Home remedies for corns

Home remedies and removing corns go hand-in-hand. While you may be reading this part suspiciously, let us assure you that when it comes to how to remove calluses, these remedies actually work. But perhaps, the best part is that all the ingredients mentioned below are easily available in your kitchen and beauty cabinet, and take only a handful of minutes to get the work done. So let’s get the ball rolling:

1. ACV and tea tree oil

Why does it work?

Apple cider vinegar comes with antibacterial properties, which help exfoliate dead skin cells and soften the corn. Most importantly, it can kill any bacteria that may further worsen the condition or cause a serious infection.

How should you do it, and how often should you do it?

Soak your feet in a warm water bath for one minute. Then, dab one tablespoon of ACV on the corn using a cotton ball. Ideally, you should press the cotton ball firmly for about 5 minutes against the corn.

Once the vinegar has dried off, you can apply 1-2 drops of diluted tea tree oil (tea tree mixed with coconut oil) on the affected area. Remember not to rinse the area for best results. Try this process for three days at the very least and see visible results in no time.

2. Epsom salt, chamomile tea, and warm water

Why does it work?

Epsom salt’s middle name is exfoliant. Plus, it helps to soothe the skin, comes with anti-bacterial properties, and acts as an effective pain-relieving agent.

How to do it, and how often should you do it?

Mix Epsom salt to a bucket of warm water, add some chamomile tea to it and soak your feet in it for 10-15 minutes. Then, you need to remove the dead skin layers by using a callus file/pumice stone. Please remember to do so gently. It is recommended you try this every day, preferably after having a bath.

3. Salicylic acid and pumice stone

Why does it work?

Salicylic acid works overtime to moisturize the skin and dissolve the skin cells around the corn/callus; whereas pumice stone – a piece of rough volcanic mineral – forms a perfect tool to remove any dead skin or by definition. Additionally, it helps to alleviate the pain that arises due to the pressure that the corns put on the nerves.

How to do it, and how often should you do it?

Begin by soaking the affected area in lukewarm water for about 5-7 minutes. Then, pat dry with a towel. The next step requires you to be gentle as you need to rub a pumice stone over the corn/callus. This helps to remove dead skin layers as is commonly seen in pedicures.

Then, you have to apply salicylic acid liquid only on the affected area. Make sure to leave it on for no more than five minutes. Finally, wash off with clean water. It is recommended that you do this 1-2x a week, for about two weeks.

4. Garlic and crepe bandage

Why does it work?

Garlic is effective in treating the three Cs effectively: cold, cough, and corns. In fact, data(4) suggests that garlic can effectively treat skin issues such as psoriasis, alopecia areata, keloid scar, wounds, cutaneous corn, viral and fungal infections, leishmaniasis, among others when applied topically. Plus, it delays ageing and speeds up skin rejuvenation.

How to do it, and how often should you do it?

First off, you need to cut a clove of garlic in half. Then, take one half of the garlic and rub it in the affected area for about 1-2 minutes. Next, you need to place the other half on the corn and cover it gently and lightly with a crepe bandage. The next morning, clean the area with plain water. Repeat this process every night for best results.

Corns along with foot infections and toe-nail issues are one of the top-three foot problems people face in the United States.

CURE 4: Supplements

When it comes to treating corns, you’ll be surprised to know that supplements can work wonders. The trick lies in choosing the correct supplement, understanding the right dosage, and not “overdoing” it to accelerate the healing process. Below, we have listed two supplements that are safe-to-use and readily available:

Important: Please consult your doctor before consuming these supplements just as a safety measure.

1. Vitamin E

Vitamin E Supplement

Every kindergartner knows today that vitamin E is essential for glowing skin and healthy hair.

Why does it work?

Studies(5) suggest that Vitamin E effectively moisturizes and helps to soften the hard skin that forms on the corns. Plus, they come power-packed with antioxidants that ensure a speedy recovery and holistic healing.

How to use and how much to use?

Vitamin E is available in the capsule oil form. Here’s the process to use it: Start by cutting a vitamin E oil capsule and apply it directly on the corn. Let it soak for a few minutes.   Next, wear clean socks before you go to bed. If you repeat this routine every night, the corn will vanish in no time.

2. Vitamin A

Vitamin A is a God-send for treating skin issues such as: protecting against UV damage, delaying ageing, boosting healthy skin cell production, preventing skin infections, among other things. So if it’s been weeks and you’re still suffering from corns, give vitamin A a fighting chance.

Why does it work?

When it comes to treating skin issues, Vitamin A can have ever-lasting and significant healing effects with corns being one of them.

How to use and how much to use?

Start by carefully pricking a vitamin A capsule with a needle and rub the oil on the corn in soft circular motions. Next, you need to cover the area with a bandage/cotton sock and leave it on overnight. You can repeat this process for about two weeks.


1. What to do for calluses on feet?

If you have corns or calluses on your feet that refuse to go away, you can try multiple lifestyles and home remedies such as: soaking your hands and feet in soapy, warm water for around 10 minutes; gently rubbing the affected with a pumice stone, nail file, emery board, or washcloth; moisturizing your skin at all times, and finally wearing comfortable footwear to prevent corns/calluses.

2. What to do for calluses in general?

Apart from the other healing measures mentioned above, Harvard Health(6) suggests that you “Cushion the affected area with moleskin, cotton, or lamb’s wool to relieve pressure. ” Additionally, you can use custom shoe inserts that help to distribute your weight and reduce pressure – one of the primary reasons for corn –  of the affected areas.

3. What is the difference between a corn and callus?

Calluses typically occur at the body-weight bearing areas of the feet – that is the soles. They are much larger in area than corns; whereas corns are small bumps with a hardened centre that typically occur between the toes or at the side of the toes.

4. How long does it take for the corn to go away?

Corns and calluses take about 1-4 weeks to go away with the right mix of home remedies and preventive measures (wearing the right shoes, avoiding too much pressure on the legs, etc. ) in place.

5. When is it advisable to go visit a doctor?

If the corn/callus is causing too much pain and discomfort, it may have been infected so it’s recommended that you go see a doctor at this point as you may have to remove it surgically.

Dos & Don’ts for Corns

Dos Don’ts
Do go to a Chiropodist to understand the best treatment options available. Don’t wait until the pain gets worse or delay the treatment or the condition may worsen over time.
Do opt for home remedies with the help of a foot care specialist. You don’t need to always choose the allopathic medicine route. Don’t go for over-the-counter treatments such as corn plasters, chemical peels, acid disks, etc. as it doesn’t treat the underlying issue and may worsen the infection or cause further irritation.
For those with diabetes and numb feet, take extra care to ensure that no corns go unnoticed over time. Never get rid of the corn yourself or else it could get infected. Also, remember that the corn may take weeks, even months to go away naturally. So don’t hurry the healing.
Invest in a good foot routine to ensure that the corns stay at bay. Trimming toe-nails often is recommended. Plus, always sit with your feet up to ensure that the blood circulates freely. Don’t buy ill-fitting shoes because when it comes to buying shoes, comfort triumphs style any day. Shoes should allow airflow to your feet and ideally, should be made of natural materials such as leather.

To prevent infections, you should ensure that your feet are always clean and moisture-free. Giving extra attention to the area between your toes helps.

Don’t Let Corn Be Your Achilles’ Heel

Self-treating corn is like giving yourself a haircut – it’s a bad idea. In short, no matter the severity and intensity of the corn, it is always advisable to get an expert opinion before proceeding further. That said, corn on the feet is a common problem and can affect different people at different times.

In fact, board-certified dermatologist Nada Elbuluk claims “Calluses/corns can develop anywhere on the body where there is repeated friction, such as a guitar player’s fingertips or a mechanic’s palms. ” So the ability to treat it effectively, that too, with tried-and-tested home remedies such as the ones suggested above is like the icing on the cake.

Just a friendly reminder: Be extra cautious and invest in a dedicated foot care routine so that those corns can’t bind you by hand or foot (pun intended). Try these natural remedies and see the difference for yourself.

In the off chance that none of the above mentioned natural treatments is working in your favor, please consult a doctor for understanding the next steps you should take.

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