What is the difference between bunion and corn?

In this brief article, we are going to answer the question,”What is the difference between bunion and corn?,” and discuss what bunion is. We will also discuss the causes, symptoms and treatment of bunions along with what corn is, the causes, symptoms and treatment of corn.

What is the difference between bunion and corn?

The difference between bunion and corn is that a bunion is a bump that is bony and is formed on the big toe joint whereas a corn forms as the skin thickens on the top of toe or foot.

What is a bunion?

Bunion is a bony bump, medically known as Hallux Valgus, that forms when the joints are pushed out of alignment, and this can occur by wearing shoes that do not fit properly. Bunions can also be formed on the other side of the foot besides the little toe. 

Bunions are basically a skin and bone overgrowth, mainly of the big toe, resulting in deformities and irritation of the skin. 

These bony bumps if enlarged become red, swollen and painful to the touch. Pain also occurs when a person is doing some sort of physical activity or when wearing shoes.

What are the causes of bunion formation?

Causes of bunion formation includes the way a person walks, the shape of the foot of a person, non fitting shoes, or some genetic disposition, high heels etc.

What are the symptoms of bunions?

Symptoms of bunions include:

  1. Pain and tenderness on the bumpy bone area
  2. Redness due to inflammation
  3. Skin hardens on the top of foot
  4. Formation of corn
  5. Stiffness
  6. Motion restricted in the big toe – leading to difficulty in walking.

What is the treatment of bunions

Bunions are mostly treated surgically removing the outgrowth of skin and bones. The toe bone is broken and the deformed tendon and bone is cut and the rest is reset by the use of a small screw. 

Over the counter bunion pads which are usually non medicated are often used as a cushion acting as a buffer between the foot and shoe to ease pain.

Medicines such as Acetaminophen, ibuprofen, naproxen are also advised by doctors to reduce pain. These medicines should only be used under the advice of a doctor.  

What is corn?

Corn is a small and hard patch or patches of dried skin. This usually happens when the skin tries to protect itself from friction and pressure.  

They can form on any part of the body but are mostly formed on the feet or hands, bottom of the toes, sole or heel. Corn can also be described as skin lesions on top and/or bottom of the feet. 

Corns tend to have a centre that is hard and the surrounding area is inflamed. It develops on those areas of the feet which are non bearing of weight such as the tops and sides of toes or in between toes. Pain is felt when the corn is pressed.

What are the causes of corn formation?

Causes of corn formation include; friction of foot, ill fitting or tight shoes, intense and frequent physical activity, walking barefoot, ill fitting socks, manual labour, and the formation of bunions. 

Wearing shoes without socks, or the repeated pressure on hands when constantly playing instruments can also cause the formation of corns. 

Standing, walking and running for long periods of times, and giving socks or shoe lining that can slip or bunch under the feet and structural foot deformities such as hammertoes, or deformities from birth are some of the other causes.

What are the symptoms of a corn

  1. The part of the skin becomes thick and rough
  2. A hard raised bump occurs on the skin
  3. Pain and tenderness on the specific area
  4. Dry, flaky and waxy skin’

How to treat corn?

Corn is treated by soaking the corn area in warm water for 5-10 minutes and a wet pumice stone or emery board is moved against the area where the corn is formed to remove dead tissue and applying a moisturising lotion. The process is repeated every day. 

Other treatments include surrounding the corn with donot style adhesive pads to protect the area from irritation or friction and to alleviate pain and pressure.


In this brief article, we answered the question,”What is the difference between bunion and corn?,” and discussed what bunion is. We have also discussed the causes, symptoms and treatment of bunions along with what corn is, the causes, symptoms and treatment of corn..



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