Corns, like calluses, are a thickening and hardening of the skin in reaction to continual pressure or friction. Corns typically appear on or around the toes, and some, called "seed corns," may form on the sole of the foot. Though they are a defensive measure against blistering and usually pose no medical danger, corns are a cosmetic concern and can cause considerable discomfort or pain. Corns generally go away once the source of pressure or friction is removed, but using a pumice stone to remove corns provides a quicker remedy.
Clean your pumice stone thoroughly with warm water and an antibacterial agent. If it's not sterile, there is risk of infection with use.
Bathe or shower prior to using a pumice stone. Alternatively, fill the bathtub or a bucket with enough warm, soapy water to fully submerge the foot with the corn. Opt for a liquid soap with moisturizing ingredients. This helps soften the tough skin on the corn in preparation for using the pumice stone.
Wet the pumice stone and rub it back and forth over the corn, applying light pressure.
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Stop rubbing the corn after a minute or two. Rinse your foot off quickly to remove flakes of skin and small particles from the pumice stone. Continue rubbing the corn again, repeating this process until the corn is almost fully worn down. Be sure to stop before you get down to healthy, normal skin.
Wash your foot again with warm water and soap when finished. This will clean off any remaining skin and small pieces of pumice stone and help guard against infection in the event of any breaks in the skin.
Rub a moisturizing salicylic acid cream or lotion on the foot to help keep the skin hydrated and soft, and to help prevent the development of new corns.
Don't use a pumice stone if you have sores or blisters in the area of the corn, or if you have diabetes, any condition causing circulatory problems or neuropathy. In these instances, using a pumice stone can result in infection or injury, so see your doctor for other corn treatment options.
If you experience pain or bleeding when using a pumice stone, stop immediately.
The Cleveland Clinic cautions that corns should never be cut or pulled off. This can lead to injuries including blisters and infection.
Eric Mohrman is a food and drink, lifestyle, and travel writer. He spent 10 years working front- and back-of-house in a few casual and upscale restaurants, adding professional experience to his love of eating and cooking. He lives with his family in Orlando, Florida. His stories on food and beverage topics have appeared in numerous print and web publications, including Visit Florida, Orlando Style Magazine, CrushBrew Magazine, Agent Magazine, Dollar Stretcher Magazine, The 863 Magazine and others.