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Home > Wellness > Health Library > Salicylic Acid for Calluses and Corns
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.
Salicylic acid softens the dead skin so that a callus or corn can
be rubbed off.
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
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.)
Complete the new medication information form (PDF)(What is a PDF document?) to help you understand this medication.
November 21, 2011
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & Barry L. Scurran, DPM - Podiatry and Podiatric Surgery
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