Verrucas and corns are the most commonly misdiagnosed foot conditions at home, and most people see a podiatrist when they can’t figure out the problem themselves. Unfortunately, this is a recipe for disaster because self-diagnosis often results in wrong diagnoses and treatments. This can have serious consequences.
So, what is the difference between a verruca and a corn?
A verruca is caused by the Human Papilloma Virus, and it’s highly contagious. It’s usually passed on through person-to-person contact and mostly found on the soles of the feet — but if it’s scratched or knocked, a verruca can spread to other parts of the body. They thrive in moist areas like swimming pools, communal changing rooms, and showers. Children and young adults have a higher incidence of verrucas, but anyone can get one. Someone who has severe immunosuppression — the inability to fight against infections and diseases — is more susceptible to large, persistent verrucas.
A verruca can take more than a year to incubate, but they can also clear on their own without any treatment. Some people experience no pain, while others experience large amounts of pain for the entire time the virus is with them.
The easiest way to differentiate between a verruca and a corn is by looking closely at the skin. The verruca disrupts the normal line patterns of the skin, with lines becoming broken or interrupted. You can also see small black dots and blood vessels in verruca tissue. If you squeeze the skin around the lesion on either side and you experience any amount of pain, there is a good chance the lesion is a verruca.
On the other hand (or foot), corns are a form of hard skin that often develops on an area of pressure, such as prominent joints. They usually develop slowly and become yellow in colour from constant pressure from shoes or socks. A corn usually develops gradually, starting as hard, dead skin and will gradually become a lump; it forms to protect itself from friction or the constant pressure.
A study has shown that corns are most often found in people with drier skin. It’s not clear why this is the case, but it doesn’t seem to make a difference whether you’re young or old. A corn can be painful to pressure and will become red, hot, and swollen if left untreated.
It’s natural to feel unsure about what medical condition you could be dealing with. Don’t be afraid to ask your physician or podiatrist for help. They are qualified and there to help you with all of your foot care needs! If you are suffering with a corn or a verruca, a podiatrist is the best possible option to help you treat the issue. You can book an appointment with us to receive expert care and treatment for your corn or verruca.
*This blog contains general information about medical conditions and is not advice. You must not rely upon the information in this blog as medical advice. Medical advice should always be sought from an appropriately qualified podiatrist such as ourselves.