You could be unsure whether a bulge or growth on your foot is a corn or a wart.

On the feet, both can grow. Even medical professionals struggle to distinguish between them due to their similar appearances.

Contrary to popular belief, warts and corns are not the same.

Here are some tips on how to distinguish between them, as well as how to treat and avoid both.


✅ Even though they often look alike, warts and corns are two separate kinds of skin growths.

Knowing the distinctions between these two growths not only helps you evaluate whether you have HPV but also offers hints on how to treat them.

 If so, you can take action to control your symptoms and stop the spread of the disease.


Corn versus wart

So how do you distinguish between them? The differences between these skin growths are found in their appearance, location, and root cause.


What is a Wart?

The foot is one location where warts can develop, but they can also appear elsewhere. On the body, they can appear everywhere. According to Mayo Clinic, the hands and fingers are the most frequently affected parts.

Warts are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). It is a contagious virus that spreads through both direct and indirect contact between people. It’s interesting to note that not all warts appear right away after a virus encounter. One may not show up for as long as six months following exposure. Additionally, not everyone who contracts the virus grows a wart. The virus may be able to be defeated by your body if you have a robust immune system.

In that they are small, flesh-colored, and rough to the touch, certain warts can resemble corn. Warts, however, stand out in that they also have a grainy appearance and are surrounded by a scattering of black spots or pinpoints.

Warts can be uncomfortable and appear in groups, but they are harmless and eventually go away on their own.


What is a Corn?

A corn is a thick layer of skin that grows as a result of continuous pressure and friction. They frequently appear on the feet and toes as a result. Corns resemble a high, hard lump surrounded by dry, flaky skin, as opposed to warts, which have a grainy, fleshy appearance with black pinpoints. The fact that corns are not communicable nor produced by a virus is another significant distinction.

Too-tight shoes can lead to corns because they put too much pressure on your feet. Wearing shoes that are excessively loose might also result in corns since your feet will slide about within the shoe on a regular basis.


Differences and similarities

A similarity between warts and corns is that both:

  • manifest as tiny, scaly skin growths
  • may show up on the hands and feet.
  • feel tender and uncomfortable to the touch.

The following are some distinctions between warts and corns.

While corns only grow on the feet, warts can appear everywhere on the body. Corns are hard, high, and flaky, whereas warts have grainy lumps with black pinpoints. Warts are brought on by a virus, while corns are brought on by pressure and friction.


How to handle warts

Warts typically disappear on their own and don’t need any medical attention. However, it can take up to 2 years, often longer, for one to go, just as it can take up to 6 months for one to appear.

You can use an over-the-counter wart removal product to get rid of a painful wart more quickly. These come in the form of an ointment, liquid, or patch. They assist in wart liquefaction and softening.

Your doctor might suggest a wart remover with prescription strength if these items don’t work. They might also recommend other treatments, like:

  • using liquid nitrogen to freeze the wart off
  • Laser therapy to remove the wart
  • a quick operation to remove the wart

Duct tape removal is a common DIY wart removal procedure, although there are conflicting reports on how effective it is. Cover a wart with duct tape for about a week to test this procedure. After removing the duct tape, place the wart in water and carefully file away the dead tissue with a pumice stone.


How to handle corns

Stopping the source of ongoing friction and pressure is the first step in treating a corn. Start putting on properly fitting shoes. To add more comfort and lessen irritation, try putting shoe inserts or pads inside your shoes.

You may also take care of yourself by soaking your feet in water to soften the corns and then using a pumice stone to gently exfoliate the skin. Additionally, you can moisturize your feet to reduce flakiness or dryness surrounding corns. Painful corns may be surgically removed by your doctor if home remedies are unsuccessful in alleviating the condition.


Who is susceptible to warts or corns?

Although everyone can have a wart or corn, certain people seem to be more susceptible. Warts are caused by a virus, thus having a weakened immune system can make you more prone to developing these growths. Those who are at risk are:

  • children
  • Young people
  • people suffering from immune-suppressing chronic illnesses like HIV

Wearing uncomfortable shoes or having a bone deformity in your foot, such as a bunion or hammer toe, are risk factors for developing corns. Your toes may chafe against one another or the sides of your shoes as a result of this.


How can warts and corns be avoided?

Preventing warts

Avoid coming into direct contact with the virus to prevent warts. With those who have warts, avoid shaking hands or holding hands. Never use pumice stones, nail files, or nail clippers that have been used on someone with a wart.

Avoid picking at warts or biting your fingernails if you have them. The infection may then spread to different areas of your body as a result.

Preventing corns

Make sure your shoes fit properly to avoid getting a corn. Your shoes ought to allow you to move your toes. Otherwise, the shoes are too small. You need to get a smaller pair of shoes if your feet slide around in them.



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