Common foot problems - Sunderland - Chiropody
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Foot health and care are extremely important.
Below shows the most common foot problems and how I, as a Podiatrist, can treat them:
Corns are small circles of hard, thick skin which tend to develop on the side or top of our toes, otherwise on the sole of the foot. They tend to have a hard centre.
Corns generally build on high pressure parts of the foot, where friction may be present.
Treatment for Corns
You have nothing to worry about! Treatment is pain free, quick and easy. The aim is to reduce the corn using a scalpel blade, thus reducing the pain and pressure immediately. Reasons for the formation will be considered and addressed, along with the treatment. Advice can be given around footwear and re a suitable insole, where this is required.
Calluses are thickened, hard areas of skin which you may notice look yellowish in colour. They can develop on various areas of the foot, particularly around the heel area or ball of your foot. Calluses can differ in shape and size, often being larger than corns. They may cause you discomfort and if painful then it's worthwhile having them treated.
Treatment for Calluses
You have nothing to worry about! Treatment is pain free, using a scalpel blade to reduce any associated discomfort or pain. Reasons for the formation will be considered and addressed, along with treatment of the callus.
Verrucas (verrucae / plantar warts)
Verrucas can be thought of as warts that develop on the feet. They can vary in shape and size. Close inspection of a plantar wart may reveal small black dots (which are blocked blood vessels), with the outer skin being white.
Verrucas can be painful due to where they are on the foot, e.g., the heel or ball.
Treatment for Verrucas
Various types of treatment exist for verrucas, including use of chemicals. Additionally, to provide relief from the discomfort, the hard skin can be removed. Advice can be given around future treatment.
Ingrowing (ingrown) Toenails
An ingrowing toenail is where the side of the nail digs into the skin at the edge of the nail. Generally, the big toe is most commonly affected, although it must be pointed out that any nail can become ingrown.
Ingrowing toenails can be painful, which may be due to inflammation and infection of the skin.
Poor nail cutting can be a cause for ingrowing toenails, otherwise shoes that are too narrow around the toes or an abnormal shaped nail with naturally curved edges.
Treatment for Ingrowing Toenails
Reasons for the ingrowing toenail will need to be ascertained as well as a future treatment plan devised, to prevent re-occurrence. If the problem is severe then nail surgery may be required. But don’t worry, as this is generally a straightforward procedure.
Athlete’s foot is a fungal condition which usually will affect between the toes or the bottom of the feet.
The good news is, athlete’s foot is not generally serious but it can be very uncomfortable as it can make us itchy and it can be very irritating. Now for the bad news! - It is very contagious, easily spread to other people.
So, how can you recognise athlete’s foot? Well, the skin may appear red, raw and it may feel itchy. Between the toes you may notice cracking or peeling of the skin. You may notice the skin is soggy and white between the toes. Small blisters may appear and your feet may feel sore.
Treatment for Athlete's Foot
Athlete’s foot generally needs to be treated, it rarely gets better on its own. Treatment can vary depending on how severe the problem is and the nature.
Antifungal treatments can be used, but check first which ones can be used for yourself. It is important to apply treatment directly to the skin affected by the problem as well as the surrounding area. Before using the treatment you should ensure that you wash and dry the skin, always making sure you wash your hands afterwards. It’s important to keep applying the treatment even after the rash has gone to ensure the fungus has totally cleared. If in doubt, refer to the medicine information leaflet, otherwise contact me.
Prevention of Athlete's Foot
I would recommend prevention-wise to ensure you keep your feet clean and that you dry them well, especially between the toes - refer to my ‘Top Tips’ page. Avoid walking without shoes or socks on in communal areas such as changing rooms. If you do go to communal areas, avoid sharing towels, wearing other peoples shoes or socks. Be aware of footwear, don’t wear shoes which make your feet feel sweaty, maybe try sandals so the air can circulate better, try to alternate shoes to allow them to dry. Change socks daily.
A bunion is generally where the big toe leans sideways towards the second toe, leading to a bony lump on the side of the foot. Bunions can most certainly be painful and can cause problems with finding suitable footwear. For many people, they may run in the family and they can get gradually worse with age.
With a bunion you may experience swelling and/or pain over the big toe joint. The area may be inflamed, sore and red.
No single cause can be found for the development of a bunion. They can develop due to an inherited structural foot defect, trauma or a health problem such as arthritis. High heels and pointy shoes can make a bunion worse.
Treatment for Bunions
Treatment will generally focus upon relieving the associated pain and preventing the bunion getting worse.
You could look at purchasing wide-fit shoes with a low heel and soft sole. Avoid high heels and those with pointy toes.
Certain treatments may help to relieve the pain but they will not correct the deformity, for example insoles (orthotics) may be provided, or night splints which keep the toes straight whilst you are sleeping.
If the deformity is severe and surgery is possible, then I can assess and refer onto a Podiatric surgeon who can provide tailored surgery to prevent re-occurrence.
Importance of looking after our feet
Our feet put up with a lot and it is vital we look after them! I have put together a few tips for good foot health - head here.
Also, particularly if you are diabetic, head here for some 'Top tips to protect your feet if you have diabetes'.
Diabetes prevention is a good way forward obviously - see here.
Click the links below for further info:
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For further information or to make an appointment:
Contact Lynn on 07935039600.
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