What Is The Difference Between Callus And Wart? Solve The Dilemma


The condition of developing hard skin at the bottom of your foot is very common. These dense areas on our skin are often painful when you exert too much pressure on them due to walking or standing for too long. And both calluses and warts have the same physical appearance, even though they are two different conditions.

In fact, the difference between callus and wart is pretty huge but they still somehow manage to look identical and confuse a lot of people.

The hard skin on your foot can either be a callus or a wart, right? But how do you which one is it? This article will clear the confusion.

But before I begin, let me tell you that both calluses and warts are round-shaped patches of hardened and thickened skin found on the underside of your foot. And both are the outcomes of hyperkeratosis. This is a condition where our skin’s outermost layer gets hard and thick.

What are Plantar Warts?


Plantar warts are nothing but round-shaped masses found on top of the skin. They mainly develop on top of the foot or hand. Plantar warts are also known as verrucas.

They have a very rough texture that is primarily caused by a terribly contagious virus. Such type of a virus is commonly found in public spaces such as public showers, swimming pools, and locker rooms.

You may have developed a single hard patch or a group of hard patches on the underside of your foot. Plantar warts can be very painful for some people. And that’s because they are located on the bottom of your foot, so it’s unavoidable for them to be subjected to momentary or constant pressure.

In fact, these rough and hard, pebble-shaped masses can be very painful when you’re walking or standing for too long. (More about warts)

How to Treat Warts​?

What are Calluses?


For you to better understand the difference between callus and wart, it is important for me to talk about both the conditions. Once you know what each one looks and feels like, you’ll immediately be able to tell the difference between to them.

Calluses also develop on the underside of your foot. But they are caused due to pressure and friction. And they come with a purpose. The reason a callus develops is that it offers your foot protection against offending surfaces like a poorly fitted sock or shoe. Calluses may not be dangerous, but they are certainly very uncomfortable. (More about calluses)

Corns and calluses​

Difference Between Callus and Wart

Now the thing about warts and calluses is that they infect the foot in various ways. They may appear as a single mass or a group of hardened spots. Some people have calluses or warts spread all over an entire foot. They can be small or large in size. They can be depression points, tiny spots, or completely flat in shape and evenly spread out.

Even though they look identical, many factors differentiate them. Let’s study them all, shall we?

1. Appearance

When it comes to appearance, I am going to talk about both skin line and surface appearance of a callus and wart. You all what skin lines are, right? The skin lines in your feet are similar to the skin lines found in your hands.

They are nothing but naturally formed tension grooves on the surface of the skin. A wart has the ability to build a disruption in your skin lines while a callus doesn’t. This is one of the most compelling differentiators in the wart vs callus battle.

As far as surface appearance is concerned, the tissues of callus appear very hard but are very smooth. Calluses have the capacity to form some cracks along with coarse contours on the surface of your skin.

And one last thing you should know about calluses in this regard is that they contain dry blood below the surface. But that’s only when there is excessive pressure found on your foot.


On the other hand, warts have the ability to form a bumpy and irregular surface that may appear to be rippled and ridged. It may look like a cauliflower. Unlike a callus, a wart has the tendency to stick out from the surface of your skin. And it does so in a very bumpy manner. Warts contain loose and moist tissues, as opposed to calluses that often have a pretty hard top.


2. Bleeding

When you’re trimming down the topmost layer, and you see some pinpoint bleeding, then what you have on your foot is a wart.

3. Location

In the discussion of wart vs callus, it is important for you to know that plantar warts have the contagious quality. And you know what or wart this means, right? That the chances of the infection spreading to the rest of your foot are highly likely if you have a wart. And calluses are not contagious, so there’s no reason to worry about the infection spreading at all.


4. Pain

When it comes to pain, it’s pretty simple to understand the difference between callus and wart. When you apply some side pressure and the infected spot hurts, then it’s a wart. On the other hand, when you apply direct pressure and the infected spot hurts, then it’s a callus. But this too can get confusing sometimes, isn’t it? So let me elaborate.

When you apply some pressure on a callus, it will undoubtedly hurt. But, at the same time, if you squeeze the tissue, it won’t cause pain. On the other hand, when you apply some pressure on a wart, it won’t hurt. But it will cause severe discomfort if you squeeze the tissue.

5. Age

The chances of calluses developing are more in adults than in children. While warts are more commonly found in young adults and children.

6. Growth Rate

Since we know that warts grow due to a certain contagious virus, they have the ability to develop overnight. They may grow pretty slowly or expand rapidly, but the way they shape up and spread is comparatively quicker than calluses.

Since a callus is nothing but your body’s natural reaction to excessive pressure on your foot, it grows at a very slow pace. The growth rate of a callus depends on how bad the pressure falling on your foot is due to excessive walking or a poorly fitted shoe. (Learn all about the callus behavior)


So now you can easily make out the difference between callus and wart based on some factors. Appearance, location, level of pain, and growth rate are some of the factors that help in dealing with the condition. I would advise you to just keep one thing in mind.

If it’s a callus, then the problem will present itself more often. And that’s only because calluses are formed due to excessive or repeated friction in your foot.

Did I help solve your confusion? Or are you still confused about what is a callus and what is a wart?

Have you tried talking to a medical professional about your condition? I would suggest you do so if you can’t figure it out on your own.

You might also like:


1. http://ezinearticles.com/?A-Guide-To-Understanding-the-Difference-Between-a-Wart-and-A-Callus&id=6302649

2. http://www.wisegeek.com/how-do-i-recognize-a-wart-or-callus.htm

3. http://www.footsmart.com/page.aspx?pageid=345

Lamont Ly

My name is Lamont Ly and I have spent the countless number of hours researching and studying the best solutions for foot care related problems. My goal is to save your time as well as money by offering all the assistance backed by relevant and reliable information so that the health of your feet is not compromised in any way.

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