What is the difference between a corn and a callus?
Q: What's the difference between a corn and a callus?
A: A corn and a callus both are an area of thickened, dead skin corresponding to areas of pressure on the foot. While they are composed of the same material, they are indeed two different things.
A callus is found on the bottom of the foot. It is generally superficial and doesn't often cause pain. It occurs from the twisting, shear forces of the foot on the ground. The skin thickens with callus to add protection to these forces. You may feel some numbness in the area of the callus. Occasionally a callus is painful, feeling like there are pebbles embedded in it. This happens if callus tissue fills up pores and sweat glands on the sole of the foot.
A corn is caused by a more direct source of pressure. It is smaller in breadth but often goes deeper, which causes a corn to be particularly painful. Corns are often found on top of the toes. They also can occur between the toes, where they're known as soft corns. A corn can also be found beneath the foot, usually in instances where the natural fat pad has worn away. This is quite painful and should be taken care of by a podiatrist.