What is the difference between corn and callus?

What Is Corn?

Corn is a type of callus comprising dead skin cells. This problem forms on any smooth and hairless area of your skin. These usually are small circles of skin that appear to be waxy, dry, and discolored. This skin debris occurs on the top, between, or side of your toes. The center of a corn is either hard or soft.

Hard corns are usually small in size that occur in the hard areas of the skin. The hard skin is where the skin has thickened or where there are calluses. These also occur in the bony areas of the foot. On the other hand, soft corns possess a rubber-like texture and are somewhat white. The soft corns usually occur in the soft, moist areas of one’s skin. Soft corns may develop in parts of the body that sweat a lot. These are painful. Another type of corn that can develop in your skin is seed corn. These develop on the soles of one’s feet in bundles but are not painful.

What Is A Callus?

A callus is that portion of the skin that becomes thick due to factors like repetitive stress or friction. These usually occur on the feet but can also manifest on elbows and hands. A callus is hard and flat. Though callus on the feet may not be painful, you can experience pain when you apply pressure by walking while wearing shoes.

A callus is usually pale or yellow, and they are lumpy to the touch. That is why foot callus treatment is required.

Differences Between A Corn And A Callus

Many people know how difficult walking is when a hard, crust-like area starts appearing on your skin. It causes extreme discomfort and irritation, making the person feel deep pain if they are walking while wearing shoes. If you are facing this problem, you have developed corns and calluses on your skin. Though these two may seem to be the same, they are entirely different. That is why foot callus treatment is important.

1. In Terms Of Size

Corns are usually small and circular, with a properly-defined center that is either hard or soft. While hard corns are small in size, soft corns have a rubber-like texture. These are usually small and hard areas of skin that occur in thickened parts of the skin.

Calluses are comparatively bigger than corns. They have a wide shape with less defined edges. They appear to be lumpy to touch and are sensitive too.

2. In Terms Of Colour

Corns are generally beige-yellow. If the corns irritate for long, they may turn either red, black, or brown.

Calluses are usually pale or yellowish. The part of the skin which is affected by calluses usually turns discolored. Then the color will vary from White to Grey-yellow before finally turning Brown. The yellowness of the calluses is because of the oxygenated blood which passes through the capillaries and arteries.

3. Where do these occur? 

Corns usually occur in areas of hard, firm, and solid skin where the skin has become thick. Also, these occur where there are calluses present, as well as in the bony areas of one’s foot. On the other hand, soft corns commonly occur in moist and sweaty areas, like between the toes.

Calluses are commonly found on the foot, while they can also be found on the elbows, hands, or knees. Usually, when your skin often rubs against something constantly, a sort of friction is caused. This friction gives rise to calluses. You will notice that calluses form over the bony area just under your toes.

There is another type of callus known as the Plantar callus, which occurs on the bottom part or soles of the heel. This condition usually develops when one of the bones of the foot is longer than the other one. It will cause you to hit the ground with pressure, resulting in friction.

Steps To Prevent Corns And Calluses

Keep track of your foot condition every once in a while to make sure corns or calluses are not developing. A few things to keep in mind are:

  1. Avoid walking barefoot.  
  2. To keep your feet healthy, always make sure that your shoes fit you perfectly and comfortably. 
  3. Never wear socks or stockings which cause your shoes to bunch up.
  4. Do not put too much pressure on your foot while performing any activities. 

The Bottom Line

Maintain proper health of your foot by checking for anything unusual occurring there. Though both corns and calluses are not life-threatening, they may cause a lot of irritation and discomfort. So, take necessary steps to prevent them from occurring.

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