There’s no need to suffer in silence or be embarrassed about foot problems.
Trust me, we all get them at some stage in our lives. The best thing you can do is book an appointment with a qualified podiatrist sooner rather than later – and forget about those old houswives’ remedies! These are the most common foot problems that I treat:
Everyone who is active gets athlete’s foot at one time or another. This condition is caused by fungus and appears as itchiness, redness or peeling of the skin between toes. If you have athlete’s foot I will give you an anti-fungal cream to clear the problem and let you know how you can prevent it from coming back.
Painful blisters (actually any blister) pop up when you wear the wrong sized footwear or socks, which promote perspiration. If you are plagued by blisters I am happy to assess your shoes as part of a general consultation. Gehwol Sports Cream is also an excellent form of blister prevention.
Calluses, which are caused by friction in high pressure areas of the foot, can be very painful. Left untreated they can actually interrupt the blood supply and lead to ulceration. If you have calluses I promise to remove them as gently as possible and then smooth off the affected area.
Corns are caused by intense pressure on the heel, shoes that rub or pinch your feet or bio mechanic issues. If you have corns I will find out the reason why and carefully remove each one. (Note: This is not a DIY job – do not try to cut corns out with a knife or scissors! And don’t go near corn plasters as the acid in these can harm your skin.)
Cracked, dry heels are the curse of the summer months. Left unattended, unsightly cracks become painful and are open to infection. After I’ve removed all the hard skin (which contributes to the cracking), your heels will be smooth and easily maintained with home care.
A high blood glucose level over long periods of time can lead to serious damage of the blood vessels and nerve endings in the feet. If you live with diabetes, it pays to get your feet checked every year to make sure the circulation and sensation is still intact.
Ingrown toenails grow into the skin at the sides of the nail. These often cause pain, redness or swelling and can become infected. If your ingrown toenail is minor, I will trim or file this to remove pressure from the side of the nail, and, possibly prescribe an antibiotic cream or oral antibiotic.
Toenail surgery is sometimes necessary if an ingrown nail causes ongoing pain or infection. Let me remove the nail spike under local anesthetic then spend the day with your foot up on the couch. Small localised verrucae can also be removed under local anesthetic. Neither treatment requires a GP referral.
Thickened toenails are common among older patients. They can prove difficult to cut with normal nail clippers, and, increase the pressure on the toe (causing pain when wearing shoes) and lead to corns. If you suffer from thickened toenails I will trim and file these down at using nail files and electric burrs.
Warts…verrucae…plantar warts are all very common. The acid based treatment I use may cause slight momentary discomfort but it does have a great success rate. Warts can be frustratingly stubborn so you will likely need multiple treatments at regular intervals.