PODIATRY (SKIN & NAIL)
Podiatrists assess, diagnose and treat conditions of the foot. When the foot hurts, ordinary day to day moving around can become really tiresome.
Pain can range from annoying discomfort to very debilitating. Overtime this can have a huge impact on both physical and mental well being.
A Podiatrist treating skin and nail problems can make a dramatic improvement to pain straight away by removing pressure caused by a nail, corn or hard skin. They will be able to offer advice on how to manage or in some cases prevent problems re-occurring.
Other common foot problems which may need treatment and advice are; verrucae, athletes foot, blisters, chilblains, hammer toes and regular nail cutting.
Underlying medical conditions such as Diabetes, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Osteoarthritis and increasing age mean the foot is more susceptible to developing problems and need extra care.
Common foot problems
Callus and corns
Callus is an area of hard skin that can form anywhere on the foot where there is a lot of pressure. It can be caused by friction and more commonly by ill-fitting footwear. Sometimes underneath the callus there may be a corn. This is a hard lump and can feel like a stone. This occurs in the area where you get the most amount of pressure. Changing footwear will help to reduce the callus. A podiatrist would be able to remove the corn and callus and advise you on ways to prevent them returning and provide padding.
Blisters are painful fluid filled lesions produced by friction and pressure. They can be caused by ill-fitting shoes, foot deformities, wrinkled socks, stiff shoes or hot feet. They can be serious if you are a diabetic. Do not pop a blister, keep it covered and make sure your footwear is comfortable and it should heal. If you are concerned see a Podiatrist for advice.
Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection of the skin. It leads to intense itching, redness and peeling of the skin. It is contagious and needs to be treated otherwise it can spread to other toes and the nails. It usually occurs in between the toes and is caused by moisture. It’s important to dry your toes thoroughly. Over the counter treatments are available, but if you are concerned you should see your Podiatrist.
An ingrowing toenail is where a piece of nail pierced the flesh of the toe. It can be extremely painful and become inflamed and infected. It can be caused by not cutting the nail properly and cutting it too short. You will need to see a Podiatrist, especially if it becomes infected. Sometimes the nail spike can be removed and the toe will heal. In more severe cases all or part of the nail would need to be removed. The Podiatrist would go through the options available
They are caused by a virus infection which is contagious through direct person to person contact. They are most commonly seen in children, teenagers and young adults. The most common appearance is tiny black dots under hard skin. They can go on their own or you they may require treatment if they hurt or start to spread.