Self-diagnosis can be a dangerous game to play. One unfortunate side effect of websites like WebMD is that people may incorrectly assume they have a certain condition based on the description of their symptoms. In terms of foot ailments, a number of different issues can cause bumps, lumps, and general pain. Some can even be dangerous or debilitating, while others are less harmful. With that in mind, today we’ll compare two common foot-related issues. Consider this your guide to the differences between bunions vs corns.
What are Bunions?
Bunions are bony bumps that typically form along the side of the big toe by the joint. Note, bunions may also occur on the other side of the foot by the “little” toe; these bunions are typically smaller and are often referred to as “tailor’s bunions” or “bunionettes.”
Bunions also tend to worsen over time. So large bunions may appear red, swollen, and they may be painful to the touch. Individuals with bunions may also experience pain during physical activity (like walking) or wearing certain kinds of shoes.
Bunions are caused by a misalignment in the foot. They may occur for a variety of reasons, such as the way that a person walks, the shape of their foot, or even certain genetic dispositions toward bunions. In addition, the type of shoes you wear could increase your likelihood of developing a bunion. Tight-fitting shoes, like high heels, for instance, place pressure on the foot and may exacerbate the misalignment of the joints.
Left untreated, bunions will likely grow, become more painful, and may even cause other debilitating issues like hammertoes or foot joint pain.
What are Corns?
Corns and calluses are small, hard patches of dried skin. They can occur anywhere on the body, but most often, they develop on the feet and hands. More specifically, corns and calluses show up on the sides or bottom of toes, in addition to the sole and heel.
The cosmetic differences between corns and calluses are negligible. (Corns are smaller and rounder, while calluses are large, less defined, and tend to have a yellowish color.)
Corns and calluses develop because of friction on the foot. They are a natural reaction to prevent blisters from forming on the skin. A whole host of factors can cause corns, including:
- Tight or ill-fitting shoes.
- Lots of physical activity like walking, running, or playing sports frequently.
- Walking barefoot.
- Wearing ill-fitting socks.
- Manual labor.
In addition, bunions themselves can make a person more likely to develop corns and calluses. Because bunions throw off the symmetry of the foot, extra pressure can be placed on the toes, sole, or heel, causing corns or calluses to form.
In most instances, neither corns nor calluses are dangerous, but they can become infected and painful. And people with diabetes should inform their doctor if they notice corns or calluses on their feet.
Contact the Professionals
Foot pain and discomfort is a serious problem for millions of people. Don’t ignore what your body is trying to tell you. Instead, contact the professionals at Northwest Surgery Center. Our expert team has extensive experience working with foot-related issues, and we can help you find a solution that will alleviate painful problems like bunions, hammertoes, corns, calluses, and heel spurs. Remember, the sooner you take action, the sooner you can get treated and be back on your feet again!