foot corns

How To Remove Foot Corns

Corns on the feet are a common occurrence, especially in the older population. Although usually harmless, they can cause pain and irritation, requiring input from a Chiropodist. In this article, we explain how to remove a corn from your foot, but first we need to understand what a corn is and why they occur.

  1. What Is a Foot Corn?

  2. What Causes a Corn on the foot?

  3. What Are the Symptoms?

  4. Foot Corn Treatments

What Is a Foot Corn?

A corn is a thick area of skin that appears with increased friction and pressure on a specific area of your foot. They are different from warts because, unlike a wart which is infected and can occur anywhere on the foot, corns only appear in the weight bearing and pressured areas such as the balls of your feet, the side of your feet, and in between your toes.

remove foot corn

Similar to a verruca, corns grow both outwards and deep into your skin, which is why most will need to be treated and removed by a professional Chiropodist.

In extreme cases when left untreated, the pressure built up under the corn can cause bleeding and ulcers, which can then become infected.

What Causes a Corn on the Foot?


Footwear often causes corns because they can apply extra pressure to certain places on your foot e.g. high heels or narrow shoes, which causes the skin in that area to react and get thicker and harden as a barrier.

Gait (The Way You Walk)

Some people walk with an uneven gait, which means that their weight is distributed unevenly when walking e.g. people who walk on their tip toes or overly heel strike. This can cause the skin to become thicker in areas of the feet which take the most weight or impact.

corn on foot

What Are the Symptoms?

Common symptoms of a corn include:

  • Visibly thickened skin in one area of the foot that might protrude
  • White or yellowing skin in a circular shape
  • Discomfort in one specific area of the foot – that can feel like you’re walking on a small stone
  • Sensitivity when touching the corn
  • Swelling and redness if there is underlying bleeding or infected ulceration

This is not an exhaustive list so always check with a Chiropodist if you’re unsure.

Foot Corn Treatments:

Once we have established whether you have a corn instead of a wart, we can look into treatments:

Home Treatments:


An effective way to treat mild corns on your feet is to wear padded, supportive footwear. By changing your shoes to better cushion your feet, including inside the house, then the skin will not react as dramatically and the corns will subside. You should avoid high heels and tight footwear where possible.

Bathing and Exfoliation

We recommend bathing your feet at least once a week in warm water for 15-20 minutes and then gently using a pumice stone to exfoliate the dead skin away.

Chiropodist Treatments:

If the issue still persists after the above treatments then it’s time to come in and speak with a professional Chiropodist to discuss in more detail your footwear, your walking habits and the best treatment for removal

foot corn removal

This is the most effective way to remove a corn. A professional Chiropodist gently uses a scalpel to shave away the dead skin both on top and deep into the foot. This is not a surgical procedure and is pain free.

Offloading with Pads

Another method is to build up the area around the corn with soft pads to help offload the pressure directly on the corn. This allows the skin to heal itself.

Offloading with Orthotics

If your walking pattern and biomechanics is the issue, we can use orthotic inserts in your shoes to help support your foot and offload the pressure on the affected area. This will allow time for the skin to heal.


There are multiple ways to treat and remove a foot corn (once you are certain that it is not a wart). If you’re experiencing any discomfort or symptoms, feel free to contact us and we can help you get back on your feet asap.

If you want advice on foot corns, our expert Chiropodists can help to get you back on your feet!

Book an Appointment today or give us a call on 01273 711 399 for some free advice.

DISCLAIMER: All content within this column is provided for general information only and should not substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other health care professional. S57 Health & Wellbeing Clinic is not responsible or liable for any diagnosis made by a user based on the content of this site.