Common Podiatry & Chiropody Conditions
Corns & Callous
Callous is another name for hard skin that your body creates when is exposed to repeated pressure or friction. This is commonly due to shoes that don’t fit properly.
The hard skin (Callous) is commonly yellow in colour, it can be hard and rough in feel (Heels, ball of the foot and the joints of your toes) and also can be soft and wet (in-between your toes). The repetitive pressure or friction causes the skin to die and form a hard protective surface.
Corns are similar and they are cone-shaped in structure with a point facing in the skin that can press on a nerve causing pain. They normally form on the sides, tops and tips of the toes (hard corns) and can form in between the toes (Soft corns). Usually caused by a bone rubbing on skin or tight shoes rubbing.
Any corns and callous can cause pain and discomfort and can be reduced by booking an appointment with a podiatrist. Paul can see you in one of his Dunfermline and Fife clinics.
Plantar Fasciitis (Plantar Heel Pain)
If your first few steps out of bed in the morning cause severe heel pain, you may have plantar fasciitis, an overuse injury that affects the sole of the foot. A diagnosis of plantar fasciitis means you have aggravated the tough, fibrous band of tissue connecting your heel bone to the base of your toes (usually felt around the heel area).
You're more likely to develop the condition if you're female, overweight or have a job that requires a lot of walking or standing on hard surfaces. You're also at risk if you walk or run for exercise, especially if you have tight calf muscles that limit how far you can flex your ankles. People with very flat feet or very high arches also are more prone to plantar fasciitis.
If you don't treat plantar fasciitis, it may become a chronic condition. You may not be able to keep up your level of activity, and you may develop symptoms of foot, knee, hip and back problems because plantar fasciitis can change the way you walk. Treatments include:
- Stretching exercise
- Arch support (insoles, supportive trainers)
- Anti-inflammatory medications
A fungal nail infection (Onychomycosis) affects the hard material (keratin) of the nails, and can affect part or the entire nail, including the nail plate, nail bed and root of the nail.
The infection progresses slowly and triggers the nail to become discolored, thickened and distorted. The toenails are more frequently affected than the fingernails.
Most fungal nail infections are caused by dermatophyte fungi, which also cause athletes foot. Athlete's foot is a fungal skin infection that affects the skin between the toes. It can easily spread to the toenails.
Several factors increase the risk of a fungal nail infection developing. For example:
- Wearing shoes that cause your feet to get hot and sweaty
- Being in a humid environment
- Regular damage to the nail or skin
Poor health or certain health conditions, such as diabetes or psoriasis
Shin splints, the catch-all term for lower leg pain that occurs below the knee either on the front outside part of the leg (anterior shin splints) or the inside of the leg (medial shin splints), are the bane of many athletes, runners, tennis players, even dancers. They often plague beginning runners who do not build their mileage gradually enough or seasoned runners who abruptly change their workout regimen, suddenly adding too much mileage, for example, or switching from running on flat surfaces to hills.
There can be a number of reasons for getting shin splints, such as overpronation, insufficient stretching, worn shoes, or excessive stress placed on one leg or one hip from running on cambered roads or always running in the same direction on a track. Typically, one leg is involved and it is almost always the runner's dominant one. If you're right-handed, you're usually right-footed as well, and that's the leg that's going to hurt
Verrucae are also called plantar warts that frequently occur on the soles of the feet or around the toes. They are triggered by the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), which is highly transmittable through direct person-to-person contact. There are various forms of HPV which all relate to various parts of the human body.
Verrucae are harmless but can be uncomfortable and painful if they develop on a weight bearing part of the foot. In addition, hard skin (callus) can form over the top of the verruca increasing the pain in this area.
The most common appearance is that of a small cauliflower type growth on the soles of your feet with tiny black dots. If when you pinch the area (like when you squeeze a spot) it is painful, you are likely to have a verruca. They can grow to half an inch in diameter and may spread into a cluster of small warts. If you are unsure, book an appointment with Paul.
Appointments will be available in June at the Keavil House Health Spa, Crossford, Fife!