Corn vs Wart on Foot

Corn vs Wart on Foot: How to Tell the Difference and Get Treatment

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Corn and wart are two of the most common lesions on the foot. While they can be effectively treated, the problem is telling them apart – giving a correct diagnosis can sometimes be difficult due to numerous similarities between the two. So, when it comes to corn vs. wart on foot, what are the similarities, and what are the differences? Keep reading to find out – we’ve gathered all the necessary information for you. 

Corn vs. Wart on Foot – What Is What?

When you spot a change on the skin of your foot, the first thing that comes to mind is a corn or a wart. At first glance, corns and warts seem nearly identical – if you’re not a medical professional, no one could blame you for not telling them apart. Not only do these conditions look similar, but they often present with the same symptoms and are located on the same spots on the foot. 

Both of these skin growths are small and rough, and they are painful when pressure is put on them – for example, when weight-bearing. However, even with all the similarities, corns and warts require different treatments, which is why it’s of utmost importance to tell them apart. How can we do that? Luckily, there are some slight differences between the two, so a careful examination can tell the doctor what they are dealing with. Before we get into the differences, let’s take a closer look at what corns and warts actually are.

What Is a Wart?

Wart is a type of benign skin lesion caused by an HPV – the human papillomavirus. This is a skin infection in the form of rough, flat growth. It can be skin-colored, but it can also present as a brown, black, or gray bump. Warts are contagious and can spread from one person to another, but also from one part of the body to another – they are often found on hands (especially around nails), face, or even genitals. The virus spreads by direct contact or indirectly by touching contaminated objects or surfaces (such as towels or bathroom floors).

HPV can enter the skin through a cut – due to the fact that they often get hurt, children are more prone to catching this virus. However, the infection can occur at any age. The interesting thing about warts is that they don’t appear immediately after you’re exposed to the virus. The growth can present itself even six months after the exposure. Sometimes, they won’t appear at all even if you’ve caught the virus – this depends on the strength of your immune system. Warts often grow in clusters. Apart from the pain they cause, they are essentially harmless and can sometimes go away on their own. 

What Is a Corn?

corn on the little toe

Corn is a thickened and hardened layer of skin formed on the part of the foot that’s exposed to pressure and friction. While it can be located on the weight-bearing parts of the foot, it is often found on the side of the foot, on top of the toes, or between them. Corn has a hard center, and it’s shaped like a cone – there is a root that goes deep into the skin. The soft tissue around it is inflamed and red. Corns cause pain on pressure, which means they can be a severe issue when standing or walking, depending on the area of the foot they are located on. 

Corns aren’t caused by a virus, like warts. The most common reason for their occurrence is wearing shoes that don’t fit properly – the pressure and friction lead to a corn. The lesion is raised and flaky, and it’s not to be confused with a callus, although they are both buildups of hardened skin. Calluses are larger and more spread out compared to corns, and they usually have an irregular shape.

What Are Their Similarities, and What Are the Differences?

As you’ve figured out by now, the appearance of both of these conditions is quite similar. Both corns and warts are small growths of rough, hard skin. They both cause pain on pressure and can affect your everyday life due to this – these conditions often make walking or standing painful, which is why most patients seek treatment in the first place. 

When it comes to differences, it’s important to remember that warts are an HPV infection, while corns are just thickened skin in the areas exposed to excessive pressure and friction. To tell them apart, keep in mind that warts have black pinpoints and corns don’t. Warts can also be darker than the normal skin that surrounds them.

How to Treat a Wart?

Warts can go away on their own, but why wait for that when you can treat them? Salicylic acid is quite effective in getting rid of warts, and potassium hydroxide crystal works great as well. If these remedies don’t bring results, you can try cryotherapy with liquid nitrogen to freeze off the lesion. Laser treatments and surgery to remove the wart are other options as well. 

How Do You Treat Corn?

The first thing you need to do is start wearing comfortable shoes that won’t cause any more friction or pressure on the corn. The simplest option for corn removal is soaking the foot and peeling down the corn with a pumice stone. Patches with salicylic acid can remove corn as well, but they can often leave a white spot after corn removal. If these methods don’t work, the surgeon can trim the corn with a scalpel. There is also corn removal surgery, which is the best way to guarantee that the entire lesion is taken out. 

Schedule a Consultation and Get Treatment From the Best Miami Surgeons

If you’re struggling with a foot condition and are not sure what it is, reach out to a skilled surgeon to get a diagnosis and proper treatment. Our doctors at Luxe Foot Surgery clinic can help you out and answer all of your questions. Contact us to schedule your appointment – you can call our office or fill out an inquiry form on our website. 


Do Corns Have a Hole in the Middle?

Corns don’t have a hole in the middle, but after removing them, there can be a hole left in the tissue. This procedure is called enucleation. 

Does Salicylic Acid Dissolve Corns?

Yes, salicylic acid can dissolve corns, but it won’t always be an effective treatment method – some cases will require surgical removal. Salicylic acid is available without a prescription. 


  1. Healthline. What’s the Difference Between a Wart and a Corn?
  2. Sole Podiatry. What’s the Difference Between a Plantar Corn and Plantar Wart?


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