Salicylic Acid for Calluses and Corns
||Dr. Scholl's Corn/Callus Remover, Duofilm, Keralyt, Mediplast
Mild salicylic acid preparations are available as nonprescription
liquids, foams, gels, and plaster patches for home treatment of
calluses and corns. Liquids and gels usually contain
6% to 17% salicylic acid, foams contain 6% salicylic acid, and plasters contain 40% salicylic acid.
How It Works
Salicylic acid softens the dead skin so that a callus or corn can
be rubbed off.
Why It Is Used
Salicylic acid is used to treat calluses and corns. Nonprescription
preparations are inexpensive and cause minimal or no pain.
Salicylic acid should not be used
- You are not certain that the skin condition is
a callus or corn.
- You have
peripheral arterial disease,
peripheral neuropathy, or other conditions that cause
circulatory problems or numbness. If you have any of these conditions, talk
with your doctor before you start any treatment.
callus or corn is cracked.
How Well It Works
Using nonprescription salicylic acid is effective but is also a
relatively slow process.
Salicylic acid can irritate, damage, or burn healthy skin surrounding the
callus or corn. As a preventive measure, cover the surrounding skin with a
doughnut-shaped pad or bandage when applying salicylic acid. If you experience
discomfort with salicylic acid treatment, try applying it less often.
In rare cases, salicylic acid treatment causes scarring.
See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference
is not available in all systems.)
What To Think About
- Some doctors advise against using
salicylic acid, because it can damage surrounding skin. If you use salicylic
acid, be sure to apply it only to the callus or corn and not to surrounding
- How to apply and how often to use salicylic acid products
varies with the product. Always read the manufacturer's
- If treatment causes the area to become too tender,
stop using the medicine for 2 to 3 days.
- If your callus or corn is painful and does not improve after 2
weeks, talk with your doctor.
Complete the new medication information form (PDF)(What is a PDF document?) to help you understand this medication.
Primary Medical Reviewer
||William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer
||Barry L. Scurran, DPM - Podiatry and Podiatric Surgery
Current as of
||March 12, 2014