According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, corns are a type of callus that forms as a result of the bones in the toes putting pressure on the skin. Corns can be located on the bottom, side or top of the toe. The extra pressure while standing or walking can make the corns quite painful and you will want to remove them as quickly as possible.
Depending on the severity of the corn, a podiatrist may be able to trim some of the excess skin to provide you with relief from the discomfort caused by the callus. The corn is removed by shaving off the dead skin cells with the use of a scalpel. After removal, your doctor may recommend applying an antibiotic cream to the area to reduce your chance of infection. You should not attempt to cut or shave off a corn at home.
Salicylic acid is available in over-the-counter and prescription medications for corns. A doctor may give you a patch to place on the corn that contains 40 percent concentration of salicylic acid, according to the Mayo Clinic. It is available in topical form as well to apply to larger areas of the foot. You may need to reapply as needed until the corn has been removed. Only use over-the-counter salicylic acid pads if your doctor gives his approval. The pads may cause irritation and promote infection on the feet. They are not usually recommended for diabetic patients or individuals with circulation problems.
By soaking your feet on a regular basis, you can soften the corn on the foot. Leave the feet in warm water for ten to fifteen minute intervals. After soaking the feet, use a pumice stone to sand down the corn. If a pumice stone is not available, a washcloth can be rubbed against the corn to remove some of the thickened skin.