The best method for removing a painful corn is to visit a podiatrist, who gradually pares the corn down with a scalpel, reports Everyday Health. People should not attempt removing corns themselves, as improper techniques can result in infection, especially in diabetics.
Corns differ from calluses in that a corn is a build-up of skin tissue ,whereas a callus is usually composed of a small portion of dead skin, according to Everyday Health. Corns are caused by continual pressure, either from wearing overly tight shoes or from having a neighboring bent toe, or hammertoe, repeatedly rubbing against and irritating the skin. One way to both prevent developing corns and reduce further irritation of existing corns is to receive physical therapy or surgery to correct a hammertoe that is causing the corns. Other recommended solutions include using over-the-counter corn pads to reduce pressure and friction, and wearing wider shoes, notes Everyday Health.
Corns may resolve on their own once the source of the irritation is corrected, states WebMD. Some cases require having a doctor or podiatrist decrease a corn's thickness before the corn can disappear. Podiatrists discourage patients from using over-the-counter corn removal treatments such as plasters containing salicylic acid, moisturizing corn creams or exfoliating treatments, because these treatments can result in chemical burns or infections, particularly in people with reduced circulation to their feet. A conservative approach to corn removal is best, and those with particularly painful corns or other concerns should consult a physician prior to attempting home treatment.