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Foot injuries or deformities that are either not recognized or improperly addressed may lead to considerable functional disability, with a negative impact on quality of life and your ability to perform everyday tasks. Bunions and corns are two common, albeit painful problems affecting the foot. They’re quite different, so it’s essential to understand their exact symptoms in order to make sure you get proper treatment.

Bunions

Bunions are deformities of the big toe joints, when the bursa (the fluid-filled sac providing a cushion between tendons and bones) in the joint becomes inflamed and thickened. When the skin over the big toe joint is subjected to repeated and prolonged stress, it becomes tender and swollen, while the big toe may become displaced and the joint enlarged. Bunions may be caused by wearing shoes that fit poorly, by various degenerative joint diseases such as arthritis and osteoarthritis or may even be inherited. Treatment for bunions includes wearing shoes which conform to the specific shape of your foot and cause no pressure areas on your skin.

But bunions can be properly corrected only by a surgical procedure performed by a specialized podiatrist. Surgery is typical recommended when you experience extreme pain or if they are causing additional problems with the other toes.

Corns

Caused by excessive pressure on the outer layer of the skin, corns occur when two bones of the foot press together or when bones press against the shoe for a prolonged period of time. The most common sites for corns include the fifth toe and the big toe, but soft corns can also occur between the toes. Proper treatment for corns may involve the use of special pads carefully positioned over the corns, altering shoes in order to relieve pressure on the skin or a surgical procedure to remove visible bony prominences causing the corns. Your podiatrist can devise the best treatment to eliminate corns effectively and safely.