Common Foot Conditions
Below are a list of common conditions that can easily be treated by a Podiatrist. There is no need to be embarrassed as they are seen regularly. They can be treated effectively and with advice and support, can be resolved or managed.
A callous, or callosity, is an extended area of thickened skin on the soles of the feet, and occurs on areas of pressure. It is the body's reaction to pressure or friction, and can appear anywhere the skin rubs against a bone, a shoe, or the ground.
These are tiny corns that tend to occur either singly or in clusters on the bottom of the foot. They are usually painless.
A verruca is simply a wart that is usually found on the soles of feet, though they can also appear around the toes. In the early stages, a verruca looks like a small, dark, puncture mark but later turns grey or brown. It may become rough and bumpy with a cauliflower-like appearance and may develop a black spot in the middle, which is caused by bleeding. A verruca can grow to half an inch in diameter and may spread into a cluster of small warts.
These are the most common and appear as small, concentrated areas of hard skin up to the size of a small pea, usually within a wider area of thickened skin or callous, often this can be a symptom of feet or toes not functioning properly.
Thick & Mishaped Nails
Nails can change shaped as we get older, this can be caused through certain medical conditions or trauma. They can thicken making them harder to care for, and curl in at the sides causing pain when walking or wearing certain styles of footwear.
Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection. It can lead to intense itching, cracked, blistered or peeling areas of skin, redness and scaling. It can occur on moist, waterlogged skin especially between the fourth and fifth toes, or on dry, flaky skin around the heels or elsewhere on the foot.
These develop in a similar way to hard corns. They are whitish and rubbery in texture and appear between toes, where the skin is moist from sweat, or from inadequate drying. A registered podiatrist/chiropodist will be able to reduce the bulk of the corn, and apply astringents to cut down on sweat retention between the toes.
An ingrowing toenail is one that pierces the flesh of the toe. It can feel as if you have a splinter, and can be extremely painful. In more severe cases, it can cause pus and bleeding. Ingrowing toenails most commonly affect the big toenail, but can affect the other toes too.
Chilblains are small itchy, red swellings on the skin, which can become increasingly painful, can swell and then dry out leaving cracks in the skin which expose the foot to the risk of infection.
Chilblains are caused by the skin's abnormal reaction to cold. Damp or draughty conditions, dietary factors and hormonal imbalance can be contributory factors. If the skin is chilled, and is then followed by too rapid warming next to a fire or hot water bottle, chilblains may result.