How to use corn cap or paint to get rid of corn: Dermatologist advice

Written By Dr Surbhi, MD Skin

Last updated: 19/09/18

Is your foot corn painful? Did you try corn caps many times already?


Corns, especially foot corns are recurrent because you might be using corn cap in the WRONG WAY and NOT removing the underlying cause of your corn or callus. Read further to know how to use corn cap in the right way to get rid of corn from our dermatologist!


In this article, I have discussed:

 

How to use corn caps?

Corn caps work by removing the hard and dead skin of corn or callus with the help of salicylic acid. It is important to use the corn cap in the right way as given below:

  • Step 1 Soak your feet in warm water for 5-10 minutes: This will soften the skin of corn and enhance the absorption of salicylic acid present in the corn cap. 

  • Step 2 Rub with pumice stone: Gently rub the corn or callus with pumice stone; the pressure should be gentle so that you don’t feel any pain.

KINDLY NOTE: You can skip step 1 and 2 when the skin of corn is already softened.

  • Step 3 Completely dry your corn: This is essential step to avoid trapping moisture under the corn cap that can lead to maceration of your skin.

  • Step 4 Put corn cap:  Make sure that you put the corn cap exactly over the corn and secure it if needed with micropore so that it does not come out until next 24 hours.

  • Step 5 Remove softened skin: It is very crucial to understand how to remove corn after putting corn cap. You should not peel off the soft skin by putting undue pressure. Instead, use scissors or nail cutter to remove the hanging piece of skin, if needed, 

  • Step 6 Repeat: Repeat the above steps until you do not feel the thick skin and if you can see the fingerprint on the corn.

  • Step 7 Pad the corn: To prevent recurrence, use the protective corn pads or cotton padding to avoid pressure or friction in the area of corn. 

 

What is dermatologist recommended alternatives to corn caps?

As a dermatologist, I prefer corn paints instead of corn cap because they can be applied exactly over the corn without spillage. Corn paints are collodion mixture of salicylic acid and lactic acid. This can be bought by prescription or otherwise. Dr. Scholl's Corn/Callus Remover Liquid is one such product that is available easily on amazon.in, amazon.com and amazon.co.uk. The steps of using corn paint are similar to corn cap with few differences as listed below:

  • Step 1 Soak your feet in warm water for 5-10 minutes: This will soften the skin of corn and enhance the absorption of corn paint.

  • Step 2 Rub with pumice stone: This step is optional and is recommended before first few applications. 

KINDLY NOTE: You can skip step 1 and 2 when the skin of corn is already softened.

  • Step 3 Apply a thick coat of Vaseline jelly to the skin surrounding the corn: This step is very important because the surrounding normal skin might peel and get sore if the spillage occurs repeatedly.

  • Step 4 Apply corn paint exactly over the corn or callus and wait until dry. This liquid is made of the colloidal base that is thick enough to stay in the area applied and it dries very fast reducing the chances of spillage to surrounding skin.

  • Step 5 Remove softened skin: It is very crucial to understand how to remove corn after putting corn cap. You should not peel off the soft skin by putting undue pressure. Instead, use scissors or nail cutter to remove the hanging piece of skin, if needed, 

  • Step 6 Repeat: Repeat the above steps until you do not feel the thick skin and if you can see the fingerprint on the corn.

  • Step 7 Pad the corn: To prevent recurrence, use the protective corn pads or cotton padding to avoid pressure or friction in the area of corn. 

 

What causes corn?

The major reason for recurrence of corn is either the faulty use of corn cap/paints or unaddressed cause. The cause might be in the shoe or your feet as stated below:

  • Faulty shoes: Corns are due to constant friction on a small area of feet due to either faulty foot mechanism or ill-fitted shoes. Ensure that you wear a right-sized shoe. If needed, please go to the shoe store to verify the size on a scale. Both loose fitting and tight shoes can cause corns because your feet keep on moving against loosely-fitted shoes while it gets compressed at certain points in the tight shoes. Similarly, any nail, stitch, buckle or for that matter any pointed area in shoe might be the cause of your corn. Ensure to determine the exact cause and correct it.
  • Foot abnormalities: Look and feel your feet for the deformities like out-turned, in-turned, curled or deformed toes. Many times, an overgrowth of bone is present beneath your corn. If needed, compare it with someone around you. Seek doctor’s consultation, if you notice anything unusual.

 

How to prevent recurrences?

Many times, it is difficult to totally remove the cause of corn like an underlying bony abnormality. In such cases, you should do take following 2 precautions:

  • Pad the corn: Pad the carn with corn pads, cotton or foam so that the skin does not get compressed between the bony abnormality or your shoe.
  • Remove thickened skin: Dip your feet in warm water for 15 minutes to soften any thickened skin as soon as it becomes visible followed by gentle rubbing it with a pumice stone every night. 

 

When to see a dermatologist?

You should consult a dermatologist if your corn is painful, recurrent and not responding to corn cap/paint. They may suggest you take an X-ray of your feet to find out underlying bony abnormality.

The doctor might also do pairing is the procedure to remove dead skin of corn. It gives is an instant pain relief. This procedure is painless and bleeding does not occur during this procedure.


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