When dealing with an unknown foot ailment, self-diagnosis can be tricky. There are numerous things that could cause uncomfortable bumps and lumps in the foot and cause you to be in pain, and some are more serious than others. Two common issues, bunions and corns, can be tricky to tell apart. Here are some of the ways you can spot bunions vs. corns. 

What is a Bunion?

A bunion is a large bump that appears on the inside of the foot and causes the big toe to angle toward other toes at the joint.  Bunions are often caused by a misalignment in the foot, as a result of the way a person walks, the type of shoes they wear, or their particular foot shape. In some cases, bunions are also genetic. When left untreated, bunions are likely to worsen and cause severe pain over time. Large bunions that are left untreated often become red, swollen, and are painful to the touch. Untreated bunions can also cause severe limitations to the amount of physical activity a person can do and the types of shoes they can wear. 

Bunion vs. Corn

Corns are small patches of dried skin that can look somewhat similar to calluses. They often appear on the hands and feet as a result of movement or straining activity. When appearing on the feet, corns often show up on the top or sides of all ten toes. In some cases on the sole or heel then they are often referred to as a callus. Corns are the body’s natural way of preventing blisters and can be caused by tight-fitting shoes, walking barefoot, and walking or running. People who participate in sports or other frequent physical activities are more at risk for corns or calluses. 

Corns can be caused as a result of bunions, as bunions often cause pressure to be placed on the side of the foot, creating friction. If left untreated, corns are not harmful but will cause continued pain and possible blistering over time. The main difference between bunions vs. corns is the severity of pain over time.

Treating Bunions vs Corn

Corns can be treated relatively easily at home, with over-the-counter treatments or pads, like callus-removing medication and shoe inserts. Most often, corns can be treated by wearing comfortable well-fitting shoes. But if the corn treatment is stopped the corn will reappear.  If permanent treatment is wanted, surgically correcting the underlying cause of the corn is needed.

Bunions, on the other hand, can cause serious issues if left untreated and need to be treated by a physician. Luckily, bunion removal procedures (called bunionectomy) are simple, virtually painless outpatient procedures that can be taken care of in just one afternoon. Modern minimally invasive bunionectomy procedures take less than 2 hours to complete and require low-maintenance post-operative care. Patients can remain awake for the procedure, and can even go to work after since they will be in minimal to no pain!

If you are living with foot pain, stop letting it interfere with your daily tasks. Contact the professionals at Northwest Surgery Center, who have extensive experience in diagnosing and treating sources of foot pain including bunions, corns, and more. Take back your life by scheduling a free consultation with us today!