What Is the Difference Between a Corn and a Callus?

What Is the Difference Between a Corn and a Callus?

Corns and calluses are very similar, in that they are both the body’s response to friction on the skin. The area where a corn or a callus forms is characterized by a hardening or thickening of the skin. It is a form of protection from the friction caused by pressure or constant rubbing on the area. Neither of these are particularly harmful to your overall health. Also, they are not contagious so you cannot pass these onto your friends or loved ones.

Some people are more prone to developing corns are calluses—such as construction workers and laborers who carry and handle tools, play sports such as tennis, weight lifting, or gymnastics, and even those who play guitar.

Below, our NYC podiatrist, Dr. Robinson, explains the differences between corns and calluses. Read on to learn more!

Explaining Corns versus Calluses

Corns will usually have a very portion of skin in the center where it has developed, which is referred to as the “core.” This is the area that has received the brunt of the friction. Soft corns typically develop between the toes and hard corns are often found on the top of the feet most of the time. More than likely, they develop due to tight-fitting shoes that mash the toes together and don’t allow enough room for them to breathe or move around freely.

Calluses, on the other hand, can be found on the feet but might also form on the hands as well. These do not have a core, as corns do. If calluses have formed on the toes, they have often formed on or near the base of the toes. Calluses on the feet are also caused by poorly fitted shoes, but can also occur due to the way the person walks, uneven weight distribution, or from playing sports.

Treatment Options for Corns and Calluses

Conservative treatments for corns and calluses can be effective to remove the dead skin that has formed. This might include: soaking the feet in warm water for 10 to 15 minutes and using a pumice stone or file to scrub away the dead skin. However, medical intervention from an NYC foot doctor who specializes in corn and callus care might be necessary. This is especially true if the skin has hardened to the point where it has become painful for the patient, making it difficult to carry out his or her day-to-day functions.

Corn or callus removal might also be necessary in cases where they are caused by serious medical conditions that affect the foot, such as bunions and hammertoes. Whatever the case may be, New York Foot Center and our NYC foot doctor who specializes in corn and callus treatment can discuss a care plan with you to help you find relief.

To schedule an appointment with New York Foot Center to manage the health of your feet, contact us today! We are happy to help you in every way we can.

Author
Terry Robertson, DPM