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4 Differences Between a Corn vs Wart


corn vs wart

A new painful area on the sole of the foot can leave you with many questions. One of the most common questions that may come up is, "Is this a corn or a wart?" Corns and warts at times can look very similar to the untrained eye. For example, both corns and warts can be covered by a callus, and both can be extremely painful but several features distinguish them from one another. If you would love to learn the differences between that painful bump on your foot, then continue to read below.



4 Differences Between a Corns Vs Warts


1. A corn is caused by pressure or rubbing vs a wart which is caused by a virus.

corn vs wart
An example of multiple seed corns

A corn is a type of skin growth that has a central core. If this corn is on the bottom of your foot, this can be known as a special kind of corn called a seed corn.


Corns usually are caused by excess pressure or rubbing on certain areas of your foot. Common areas where corn can appear include over the joints of your toes, especially if these joints are rubbing constantly inside of your shoes.


A wart on the other hand is caused by the human papillomavirus or HPV. This virus can live on surfaces for several years. A foot coming in contact with the HPV virus, and then the immune system not being able to fight off this infection creates a plantar wart.



2. Warts are contagious vs corns that aren't

Because a wart is caused by a virus, it can be very contagious, meaning it can spread from person to person, or spread to other areas of your foot. For this reason, if you have a wart on your foot, it is important to have it treated by a foot doctor or podiatrist as soon as possible.


A corn is caused by pressure or rubbing, so for this reason it is not contagious. A corn can appear on different areas of your foot at the same time. This may seem like the corns are spreading, but in actuality, just different parts of your foot are under increased pressure.



3. Warts usually will have black dots inside them vs a corn that does not

corn vs wart
An example of the black dots within a plantar wart caused by broken blood vessels

One of the biggest tell-tale signs between a corn vs a wart is the black dots seen inside a wart only. These dots are broken blood vessels damaged by HPV that cause a wart.


A corn does not damage blood vessels so usually no black dots will be seen inside of a corn.



4. Warts can bleed when trimmed vs a corn that won't

Because a wart invades tiny blood vessels in your skin known as capillaries, many times once a wart is shaved down, it can bleed.


A corn, because it does not invade surrounding blood vessels does not bleed when trimmed.



Key Takeaways

Knowing the difference between a corn vs wart takes a trained eye. Hopefully, this post helps to clear up some questions on both corns and plantar warts. Again, both can cause pain, and both have treatment options available. If you are dealing with either, it's best to see your local podiatrist or foot doctor for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.



Schedule Your Appointment At Direct Podiatry Arizona Today

Looking for a foot doctor in the Phoenix area? My name is Dr. Tarr, and I am the owner of Direct Podiatry Arizona in Tempe. To view my available appointment times, click here.

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