CONDITIONS & TREATMENTS
Below is an outline of some of the most common foot & toenail conditions, and how they are treated
Callus (hard skin) forms as a natural protection to the skin, where there is intermittent friction from shoes, the ground or from a bony prominence such as a toe joint.
If too much is allowed to build up this can become uncomfortable and painful, and can lead on to corn formation. In those with diabetes or have neuropathy (reduced touch sensation) callus build up needs to be kept in check. Complications could lead onto corns and ulcers, which are serious conditions.
Preventation is better than cure, but needs to be done correctly. Over filing of hard skin, will only increase more to develope. A foot health practitioner can safely reduce this build up with careful scalpel procedures, filing with special instruments and advise on a treatment plan to include the use of urea based hydrating creams
Corns form when there is a concentrated build up of callus, often found on the balls of the feet, under toe joints and on the top of the toes. Typically where footware rubs from badly fitting shoes, or when someone has hammer toes, which causes an increase in pressure. They can be found inbetween the toes and where toes overlap so causes constant friction.
Corns are extremely painful and if left untreated can lead on to infection and in worse cases, foot ulcers.
Over the counter corn pads can help relieve the pressure, but the medicated corn plasters are not advisable to use at all. The medication in the plaster is acid based, which will damage and destroy healthy skin around the corn, which could lead to serious infection and ulcers.
It's best to leave removal of corns to a professional, who can safely, painlessly and effectively remove the corn, with a scalpel and where needed, apply custom dressings, to offload the pressure to help prevent the corn reforming again.
This troublesome problem is often seen during the summer months, when the wearing of sandals is common. The pressure from such footware and over drying of the skin, leads to rough and cracked heels, which not only are painful and unsightly, but the cracks can lead to infection.
A foot health practitioner, can safely reduce this build up with the correct instruments, and apply urea based hydrating creams, leaving the feet feeling supple and comfortable once again
If you have discoloured, thickened, possibly crumbly and lifting toenails, it could be you have a fungal infection. Apart from being very unsightly, if left, the infection can spread to other toes and skin. The fungus thrives on moist, warm conditions, hence why the feet are often affected.
Typically stubborn to treat, as the fungus lives on the skin under the nail, gradually working its way further back. For effective treatment to work, a foot health practitioner, is able to cut the nail cut back so exposing the area, so that topical treatments can be applied.
Thickened & long Toenails
As we age it is normal for toenails to become thicker, making them much harder to cut, especially for those with mobility problems. Home nail trimmers, never do a good job and risk nicking the skin around the nail.
Thickened, ridged and curved nails, are often the result of trauma or injury, from dropping something on the toe, to badly fitting footware. Once the nail bed is damaged, the nail, will unfortunately always grow back malformed.
A foot health practitioner, has the correct instruments for cutting and filing toenails and can check for any other potential problems while doing so. Finishing up with a relaxing foot massage is always a nice treat at the end too!