Calluses, Corns, Bunions & Warts: How They Differ, How They're Treated

Posted by Orthotics Direct on 2021 Aug 16th

There are a wide variety of bad things that can happen to your feet, with a host of unpleasant conditions such as calluses, corns, bunions, and warts. We tend not to want to think of such things at all if we can help it. However, maintaining good support for your feet, such as through custom orthotics, can go a long way towards preventing or even treating these kinds of conditions. So if you have a strange bump on your foot and don’t know what it is or how to get rid of it - we’ll explain all the key differences here.


A callus is an area of thickened skin that can develop on various parts of your foot - most commonly the heel or toe. Despite the thickness of the skin that develops, calluses are often marked by discomfort - either sharp pain or aching.

Calluses are generally formed by your shoes (or the ground, if you’re going barefoot), rubbing against a bone spur located under the skin. Your skin will thicken in response to this pressure - if untreated a callus can create severe blisters or sores. Calluses are generally caused by an uneven or improper distribution of weight, with bony areas of your foot taking on more weight than they should.

One part of treating calluses is removing the excess skin - you can find callus removers or pumice stones to reduce the size of the callus. In order to get better weight distribution, so the callus hurts less, and new calluses are less likely to form, you’ll need orthotics for calluses. These orthotics for calluses will make sure that you have a better distribution of weight, and that your shoe isn’t rubbing excessively against your skin.


Many people believe that corns and calluses are the same things, but they are somewhat different conditions, with different effects. Corns are generally smaller than calluses and are made up of a hard yellowish center surrounded by inflamed and sensitive skins. Corns will be painful if pressed and tend to make wearing shoes uncomfortable.

Unlike calluses, corns will develop on the parts of your foot that aren’t weight-bearing, such as between your toes. Corns tend to be mainly caused by excessive friction, especially if your too-tight shoes are pushing your toes together.

Corns have many of the same remedies as calluses. You can get special topical medication for them, or file them off after a warm bath. Getting orthotics for corns can help prevent them from developing at all in the first place. The main cause of corns is ill-fitting shoes, which causes the toes of the foot to rub against each other excessively. Making sure you are wearing a shoe of the proper size is the best way to prevent them. However, orthotics for corns can also help prevent unnecessary friction.

What Are Bunions?

bunion is a foot condition that affects a very specific area. Bunions are easy to recognize, being a large bony bump that forms on your big toe. Bunions are caused when badly fitting shoes actually cause the bones in your big toe to move out of place, causing stress and pain. Bunions can actually then further cause corns, as they force your toes to rub against each other.

As mentioned, bunions are mainly caused by badly fitting shoes pushing your toes into uncomfortable positions. However, they can also be caused by injuries, or simply by certain inherited foot types.

Orthotics for bunions are key to preventing bunions from emerging, especially if you have a hereditary inclination for bunions. Good custom orthotics for bunions will make sure that your foot aligns in the proper position, and your big toe can begin to adjust to this normal orientation.

What are Plantar Warts?

Foot wars, or “plantar warts” are somewhat different from the other foot conditions that we have discussed here. Plantar warts are small grainy lesions that you’ll find at the bottom of your foot, often including small clotted blood vessels. These are often painful to stand on or touch.

Plantar warts are actually caused by a virus getting into your foot. However, this virus can gain access to your foot through the same mechanisms that cause these other conditions - excess friction harming the skin of your foot. Cuts on your foot can also allow the virus access.

Orthotics for plantar warts work like the other orthotic solutions mentioned here. By avoiding friction, you don’t give the plantar wart virus a way into your body. Orthotics for plantar warts can give you the right support so no single area of your foot needs to take more friction than another. They’ll also provide a comfortable cushioning layer that protects your foot against damage.

Get Custom Orthotics Today

As you can see, good foot care is a vital concern. Too much friction on your feet can lead to highly damaging and painful conditions. By getting custom orthotics, you can give your feet the care and protection they deserve. Visit our shop now to view all of our orthotic solutions.