Treatment for corns and calluses usually involves avoiding the repetitive actions that cause them to develop. Wearing properly fitting shoes, using protective pads and other self-care measures can help resolve them.
If a corn or callus persists or becomes painful despite your self-care efforts, medical treatments can provide relief:
Apr. 05, 2011
- Trimming. Your doctor can pare down thickened skin or trim a large corn with a scalpel, usually during an office visit. Don't try trimming yourself because it could lead to an infection.
- Salicylic acid. Additionally, your doctor may apply a patch containing 40 percent salicylic acid (Curad Mediplast, Dr. Scholl's Corn Removers, others), which is available without a prescription. He or she will let you know how often you need to replace this patch, and may recommend that you use a pumice stone or a metal nail file to smooth away the dead skin before applying a new patch. Salicylic acid is also available in a topical form by prescription for large areas.
- Antibiotic medication. Your doctor may also suggest applying an antibiotic ointment to reduce the risk of infection.
- Shoe inserts. If you have an underlying foot deformity, your doctor may prescribe custom-made padded shoe inserts (orthotics) to prevent recurring corns or calluses.
- Surgery. In rare instances, your doctor may recommend surgery to correct the alignment of the bone causing the friction.
- Goldstein BG, et al. Overview of benign lesions of the skin. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Dec. 13, 2010.
- Smith BW, et al. Disorders of the lesser toes. Sports Medicine and Arthroscopy Review. 2009;17:167.
- Calluses and corns. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merck.com/mmpe/print/sec10/ch113/ch113b.html. Accessed Dec. 19, 2010.
- Corns & calluses. American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society. http://www.aofas.org/Scripts/4Disapi.dll/4DCGI/cms/review.html?Action=CMS_Document&DocID=34&Time=1594904778&SessionID=7971732q9hp5yh5dy37bavztg8mbo8b8n5pm0obw17xtxh089e25es8586jcdqv3&MenuKey=123. Accessed Dec. 19, 2010.