Corns are thick hardened layers of skin that develop when your skin tries to protect itself against friction and pressure. You may have a corn if you notice a thick rough area of skin, a hardened raised bump, tenderness or pain under your skin.
Corns and calluses are often confused but they're not the same thing. Corns are smaller than calluses and have a hard center surrounded by inflamed skin. Corns tend to develop on parts of your feet that don't bear weight, such as the tops and sides of your toes, though they can also be found in weight-bearing areas. Corns can even develop between your toes. Corns can be painful when pushed and can be unsightly.
If you're healthy, you only need treatment for corns if they cause discomfort. For most people, simply eliminating the source of friction or pressure makes corns disappear. If a corn becomes very painful or inflamed, see your doctor. Also, if you have diabetes or another condition that causes poor circulation to your feet, you're at greater risk of complications from corns. Seek your doctor's advice on proper care for corns if you have one of these conditions.
If you have no underlying health problems, these suggestions may help clear up corns:
-Use over-the-counter pads. Apply pads to protect areas where corns develop. Be careful using over-the-counter liquid corn removers or medicated corn pads. These contain salicylic acid which can irritate healthy skin and lead to infection, especially in people with diabetes and poor circulation.
-Soak your hands or feet. Soaking your hands or feet in warm soapy water softens corns. This can make it easier to remove the thickened skin.
-Thin your thickened skin. During or after bathing, rub corns with a pumice stone or washcloth to help remove a layer of toughened skin. Don't use a pumice stone if you have diabetes because your risk of infection is higher. Whether or not you have diabetes, don't cut or shave corns. Doing so could lead to an infection.
-Moisturize your skin. Apply moisturizer to hands and feet to help keep your skin soft.
-Wear comfortable shoes and socks.