It is summertime and you’d like to wear those cute sandals you saw in the store yesterday. Unfortunately, your toes are not ready for their summer debut because of the corns on them. How can you get rid of those corns? How did they get there?
There are two categories of corns: hard and soft. Corns are the result of continuous pressure or friction on an area of the foot. This repeated pressure on the same area causes the skin to protect that area by developing a hard surface. A soft corn grows the same way, but when sweat is trapped where the corn has developed, the hard core of the corn softens. The causes of repeated pressure and friction that develops into corns include:
• Pressure from ill-fitting footwear (too loose, too tight)
• Wearing shoes without socks, causing friction on your feet
• An abnormal gait (an odd way of walking)
• Bone structure, such as flat feet, hammer toes, and bone spurs
Natural Treatments for Corn Removal
Two remedies often used together are:
Foot soaks and Pumice Stones
• Soak your feet in comfortably hot, soapy water for 15-30 minutes to soften the hard skin. Next, gently rub a pumice stone back and forth across the corn for up to five minutes, and then pat your foot dry. Pumice stone has an abrasive surface that gently removes dead skin without scratching. Dip a cotton ball into castor oil, place the cotton ball on the corn and tape it in place overnight. In the morning, remove the cotton ball. Several times during the day, apply more castor oil to the area. Repeat this treatment until the corn is completely removed.
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• Soak the affected foot for about 20 minutes, in warm water with ½ cup of Epsom salts added. Epsom salts are a natural mineral combination of magnesium and sulfate. Epsom salt baths or soaks help exfoliate (remove) dead skin. Then apply moisturizing cream and wrap the foot in a plastic bag for a couple of hours, while you’re sitting down relaxing. When you remove the bag, gently rub the corn with a pumice stone to remove the layers of dead skin.
• Baking soda is also a natural exfoliating agent. For 10 to 15 minutes, soak your feet in warm water that has two or three tablespoons of baking soda added. Then, rub the corn(s) with a pumice stone to remove the dead skin. Continue this procedure daily until the corn flakes off.
• Place your feet in comfortably hot, soapy water with a cup of apple cider vinegar, for 15 minutes or more. Then, apply castor oil. Repeating this procedure for about ten days should successfully peel away your corns.
Two more treatments include:
Food and Spice Remedies
• The citric acid in lemon softens corns so that they eventually fall off. Apply fresh lemon juice to the corn and let it air dry. Do this at least three times a day. Another option is to mix lemon juice with a teaspoon of yeast to make a thick paste and place it on the corn. Then, cover the mixture with a bandage and leave it on overnight, removing it in the morning. It will take a couple of weeks but will gently exfoliate the skin, removing the corn.
• Rub a garlic clove on the corn and let it air dry. Cover the corn with a bandage overnight. The following morning, take the bandage off and wash your feet with warm water. Continue this process until the corn disappears. It may take a couple of weeks but the corn will gradually “dissolve”.
Natural Treatments to Prevent Corns from Returning
Choose the appropriate shoes.
• When buying shoes, put on both shoes, and walk in them to make sure that they fit well and are comfortable. Avoid buying shoes that feel too tight, thinking they will stretch.
• Wear shoes that fit comfortably in the heel part of the shoe.
• Be sure your foot fits snugly in the widest part of the shoe.
• Buy shoes that have soft and pliable material.
• Alternate your shoes instead of wearing the same pair every day.
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There are numerous ways to treat the corns on your feet. Once you have discovered the method that works best for you, keep them from returning by stopping the cause. If your gait is the cause, think about seeing a physical therapist to correct your gait or have custom orthotic shoes made for you.