Medicated products treat corns at home, according to MedicineNet. This includes topical treatments that are available over the counter and have salicylic acid as the active ingredient.
Salicylic acid helps to dissolve the protein in a corn as well as the thick layer of skin on top of it, says MedicineNet. This is why it is an active ingredient in the majority of the topical treatments for corns. Most people don't have a bad reaction to products that use this ingredient since it is safe and gentle; however, people with frail skin on the feet or people with diabetes should not use it as they may develop ulcers. Products for removing corns with salicylic acid include creams and lotions, applicators, drops and pads.
A physician can provide a prescription-strength product to treat corns, notes MedicineNet. This is necessary if the corn treatment at home is not effective or if the corn is painful. Orthotics are also available to help relieve pressure and discomfort before removing the corn.
Corns occur most often on the top and sides of the feet, and they feel like firm bumps covered by thick, dead skin, according to WebMD. There are also softer corns that occur between the toes. People sometimes confuse corns with calluses, which occur from repeated friction. If the growth is on the bottom of the foot, it is most likely a plantar callus, not a corn.