Corn and callus are both types of thickened, hardened areas of skin that develop in response to friction or pressure. While they may look similar, there are some differences between the two.
A corn is a small, round area of thickened skin that typically develops on the tops or sides of toes, or on the sole of the foot. Corns can be painful and have a hard, center core. They may be caused by ill-fitting shoes or deformities of the foot, such as hammertoes.
A callus, on the other hand, is a broader area of thickened skin that develops on the hands or feet, often on areas that are subject to repeated friction or pressure. Calluses are usually not painful, but they can become uncomfortable if they become too thick. They often form on the balls of the feet or the heels, and can be caused by activities such as running or walking long distances.
Both corns and calluses can be treated with over-the-counter remedies such as pads or cushions to relieve pressure. In more severe cases, a podiatrist may need to remove the thickened skin or recommend custom orthotics to alleviate pressure on the affected area.