a Corn vs a Bunion: Difference and Comparison

Several bodily reactions take due to which a person feels irritation and itchiness along with other symptoms. It is important to treat these reactions correctly to make sure they don’t turn into something extremely serious.


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While some of them are easy to identify and treat, others look similar due to similar or the same symptoms and physical appearance.

Examples of such reactions can be corn and bunion. Both of them are similar in more than one way.

They can be pretty serious if not treated well, but for that, it is important to understand their difference and other information. Below are details on both of these reactions.

Key Takeaways

  1. Corns are small, circular areas of thickened skin caused by pressure or friction, while bunions are bony deformities of the joint at the base of the big toe.
  2. Bunions develop due to genetic factors, wearing ill-fitting shoes, or arthritis, whereas corns result from wearing tight shoes or repetitive actions.
  3. Treatment for a corn involves removing the pressure source and applying protective padding, while bunions may require orthotics, splints, or surgery in severe cases.

Corn vs Bunion

The difference between a Corn and a Bunion as both of them are caused by different circumstances. Corn can never be genetic as a result of deformity, while bunion can be caused due to defects in genes and due to some medical conditions. They also have different symptoms and treatments. Corn can be treated at home, but bunion, if not healed easily, can lead to surgeries. Corn is not severe and does not cause much problem when compared with a more complex reaction bunion that can cause deformity.

Corn vs Bunion

Corn is referred to as a reaction caused by inflation. It is caused if you are wearing tight shoes, and it causes friction on the ankle or tightening in the fingers of the feet.

But they don’t only occur at the feet but also on other parts of the body, including the hands. They can be treated at home by applying ointment or sometimes can cure by themselves.

Bunions are a reaction that can be caused by deformity or can be genetic, but sometimes unhealthy conditions such as arthritis can also be the reason behind them.

They are only found at the feet. They can be recognized easily if your toe is bedding towards your fingers due to deformity or any other reason.

Sometimes they cannot be treated at home but require surgeries as they lead to deformities.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonCornBunion
Another nameCallusHallux valgus
Affected partMostly entire bodyOnly feet
TreatmentSimple (at home)Complex (surgical)
SymptomsInflamed skinBended toe
SeverityLess severeMore severe

What is a Corn?

This is a skin condition caused due to friction, mainly on feet or hands. They are annoying and painful. The following are symptoms of it:

  • Thick or patch skin: if you have corn, the area where it is will get hard or patchy thick.
  • You will notice bumps on the surface of the skin.
  • The skin around it will get excessively dry and flaky.
  • You will feel pain or irritation in the affected area.

They can be treated by ointment for pain relief or by chemically paring down the hard or thickened skin. Salicylic acid is the ingredient that is most helpful in treating corn.

They can also be treated by reducing friction or pressure on the affected area. People with soft skin are more likely to suffer from this.

Other things that may lead to the cause of corn are if you are wearing heels for a longer duration or if the shoes are tighter from the toes of fingers if you are holding something with the pressure that is causing friction.

Some people might get severe conditions such as diabetes due to corn; therefore, they should consult their doctor immediately. 

What is a Bunion?

It is a bump formed outside the toe. It is more common in older people, especially women.

It is differentiated into three types:

  1. Congenital hallux valgus: these are genetic, present from birth.
  2. Juvenile or adolescent hallux valgus: this is common in teenagers.
  3. Tailor’s bunion: this type is not formed on the big toe but on the picky little toe.

It can be caused due to many reasons, genetic, pressure on the foot, also have gradually over time. Risk factors of bunions are:

  • Family history of the same: if any of the ancestors has bunions, the child is likely to have inherited from them.
  • Foot injuries: some major injuries can also be a reason behind this.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis: This is a deformity that can lead to bunions.

It can be prevented by several methods, by wearing specially designed pads to provide a correct position to the foot, changing the normal footwear, wearing shoes specially designed for this, taking pain relievers, getting steroids in the form of injections, and last but not least by getting the surgery done.


Main Differences Between a Corn and a Bunion

  1. Both of them have different names in the medical field. For corn, the name callus is used, whereas, for Bunion, the term Hallux Valgus is used.
  2. They affect different body parts, while corn can affect more body parts that, include hands and feet, including other body parts, but bunion does not affect any part of the body but only the feet.
  3. Different treatment methods are used for both of the reactions. For corn, simple treatment can be used that includes pain-relieving ointment and home remedies, too, while treatment for a bunion is quite complex, which includes wearing loose shoes and resting but can also end up in surgeries.
  4. They also differ in terms of symptoms. If you are suffering from corn, there will be inflammation skin on the affected area, whereas in the case of the bunion, the big toe bend to the other one due to deformity or irritation.
  5. They have different severity levels in comparison, corn is much less severe in comparison as it can be treated easily and also they do not cause many problems, whereas bunion is relatively more complex and severe in nature, as they can lead to surgeries and, if not treated can lead to bigger problems.
  6. Both of them also have different reasons behind their cause. A bunion is caused due to deformity or tight shoes or medical conditions such as arthritis, while corn is caused by friction of tight shoes or pressure on the skin.
Difference Between a Corn and a Bunion
  1. https://www.nejm.org/doi/pdf/10.1056/NEJM187306260882601
  2. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00325481.1991.11700901
  3. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=NftZAAAAcAAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PR5&dq=corn+and+bunion&ots=YYJxDwdGiy&sig=yMg6cLXMWA0KfAAwtzTVrPV-y4U

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