Do you have something odd growing on your foot? Is it a Verruca or Corn?

If you see your GP they will probably say “There’s nothing to worry about. It’s just Corn or Verruca”. But what’s the difference between a Verruca and a Corn?

A Verruca is a name commonly used to describe a Wart on the foot.

Corns and Warts are two of the most common foot complaints we see in the clinic. Warts and Corns are also foot conditions that can easily be mistreated at home.

What’s the difference between a Verruca and a Corn? How are they often mistaken for each other?

It’s very easy to tell the difference between a Verruca and a Corn.

  • Verrucae appear on the feet and are caused by the Human Papillomavirus (HPV). Don’t panic, it’s a Wart that grows on the foot, normally on the soles of your feet. It’s a viral infection so they are contagious and can easily spread on your skin and to other members of the family. Therefore, it needs to be treated as soon as possible. If you squeeze the skin from either side of the Wart and it’s more painful than pressing it from above, then it is more likely to be a Verruca than a Corn.
  • Corns, however, are different; they aren’t contagious and are just compacted dead skin cells that have been caused by rubbing and pressure. Nonetheless, they can be very painful to walk on. These are generally found on pressure points of the foot or where the skin has rubbed within footwear. If you press a Corn from the surface, it is usually more painful than if you pinch it – unlike a Verruca.

How can Verrucas and Warts be treated?

An example of a verrucaVerruca or Warts tend to be small lumps and can display small black spots within them. These spots are normally blood capillaries that are visible through the lesion. Warts and Verrucas tend to be flat as they are compressed into the skin on standing. However, sometimes they may have a cauliflower-like appearance or when several Verrucas clump together to what is described as a Mosaic Verruca.

For a comparison of treatments available, please see below:

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What is a Corn on the foot?

An example of a CornCorns are not contagious. A Corn is often a cone or sphere-shaped lump of hard skin that is often formed in areas of pressure. These are formed from pressure and friction (rubbing). Corns are often formed when toes rub together or are under pressure within shoes. Thickened skin is formed to protect your foot from the resulting pressure or friction. This thickened skin gets compacted and dries, forming hard skin (callus) and Corns. They are further compacted by standing or just the motion of walking and can be very painful if they are pressing onto nerves.

They often present themselves as a roundish bump, and a thick patch of hard skin, or even an area of flaky, dry skin.

To determine if it is a Corn, simply apply pressure directly to the area. If it is painful under this pressure, then the lesion is likely to be a Corn.

How can Corns be treated?

Corns are treated with the simple process of shaving away the compacted surface area and then carefully removing the compacted core of hard skin that has formed the Corn. This can be achieved in our routine foot care treatment ​and is a painless process, as the build-up of excess skin cells being removed is already dead.

If you are in any doubt about what your foot lesion could be, we recommend you have it assessed. Book an initial consultation at one of our clinics in Beeston, Nottingham, or Ilkeston, Derby.