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Corn I How to use corn cap/paint I Dermatologist Guide

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Corn I How to use corn cap/paint I Dermatologist Guide

“Doctor, How to use corn cap? How to remove the skin after using a corn cap?”

Most patients use corn caps at home before reaching a dermatologist. However, the method of using corn caps is often incorrect. In this article, I have explained the correct way of using corn caps and corn paint, along with tips to prevent corn.

Corns are areas of hard skin seen mainly on pressure points of feet. They occur because of friction or pressure exerted on that particular skin area. Corns are caused by faulty footwear or protrusion of underlying bone.

How to use a corn cap?

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

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

Gently rub the corn or callus with a pumice stone. The pressure should be gentle. You should not feel any pain.

Step 3 Dry

Completely dry your corn. This is an essential step to avoid trapping moisture under the corn cap.

Step 4 Corn cap

Make sure that you put the corn cap exactly over the corn. Secure it if needed with micropore so that it does not come out until the next 24 hours.

Step 5 Remove softened skin.

 It is crucial to understand how to remove corn after putting on a corn cap. You should remove hanging and softened pieces of skin without putting undue pressure with the help of scissors or a nail cutter. Avoid removing skin that is still intact.

Step 6 Repeat

Repeat the above steps until you do not feel the thick skin. Your corn is healed for good if you can see the fingerprints.

Step 7 Pad 

Pad the corn to prevent recurrences. Use protective corn pads or cotton padding to avoid pressure or friction in the area of corn.

Recommended brand: 

Dr. Scholl’s Corn Remover available at and

 As a dermatologist, I prefer corn paints instead of corn cap because they can be applied exactly over the corn without spillage.

How to use corn paint?

Corn paints are collodion mixture of salicylic acid and lactic acid. The steps of using corn paint are similar to corn cap with few differences. After step 3,  apply a thick coat of Vaseline jelly to the skin surrounding the corn.  This  protect the surrounding normal skin,  if the spillage occurs.

Now,  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.

Recommended brand: 

Dr. Scholl’s Corn/Callus Remover Liquid is available on

Why does corn keep coming back?

The major reason for recurrence of corn is either the faulty use of corn cap/paints or unaddressed causeThe 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. You can use corn cushions for padding the pressure points. This has 2 benefits: Reduces pain and prevents recurrences.
Recommended brand: 

Dr. Scholl’s Corn Cushions is available on and


How can I prevent corn to come gain?

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 should I 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 can do pairing, a procedure to remove dead skin of corn. It gives is an instant pain relief.


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