General Foot Care

Callus and Corns

Corns and calluses are both simply an excessive build-up of dead skin. A callus is an area of dead skin production usually under the soles of the feet. Corns are very similar to calluses in that they are made up of the same material – keratin. Corns are formed when the pressure causing a callus is very localised. A corresponding dense core of dead skin forms in the centre of the callus as a result of very specific localised pressure. Corns generally occur on parts of the skin subjected to excessive pressure or irritation. Consequently, corns and callous may be seen with poor fitting footwear including narrow or tight shoes. However, they may also be seen between toes, on top surface of toes or on the soles of the feet as a result of poor alignment of the bones of the feet.

Corns and calluses are removed, pain free, using a debridement technique. You should never attempt to remove them yourself! Corn pads, solutions, plasters or paints containing acid can be dangerous especially if you suffer with diabetes, peripheral vascular disease or circulation disorders. For this reason corn removal pads are not recommended.

Fungal Nails

Onychomycosis is a fungal infection of the nail which often causes thickening and discoloration of the nail plate. Often callus (dead skin) is broken down and builds up beneath the nail plate. Sometimes the nail will even change shape. Of all fungal infections that occur on the body, nail infections are one of the most difficult to prevent and treat.

Conservative treatment often involves a visit to the podiatrist for cutting and thinning of the nails followed by an anti-fungal topical treatment which is prescribed and applied. It’s applied very much like nail polish. This treatment will occasionally help to prevent spreading of the infection to nearby nails and helps to cure the infected nail.

Wart treatment

Plantar warts are lesions which occur on the soles of the feet. They are generally well circumscribed lesions which can occur as singular or multiple lesions. Unlike corns or calluses which tend to look quite similar, warts have no skin lines running through them, are painful to squeeze and often have small black dots in their centre which represent the blood vessels within the wart tissue. Warts are caused by a virus. There are many different types of wart viruses, some more resistant than others. The wart virus can be picked up in public showers, swimming centres and walking barefoot over infected areas. Warts tend to be very contagious so family members with warts should take care to prevent spread of the infection. There are several different treatments for warts. It depends on the number and size of lesions. It is best to consult the podiatrist to discuss the best treatment for you.

Diabetic assessment

Because diabetes is a systemic disease affecting many different parts of the body, ideal case management requires a team approach. The podiatric physician, as an integral part of the treatment team, has documented success in the prevention of amputations, one of the most serious conditions that they treat. The two main foot problems that diabetics can encounter is reduced circulation and sensation in the feet. It is important that diabetics obtain regular neurovascular assessments. These assessments allow you to keep track of these issues, as well as helping diagnose any secondary issues caused by high blood sugar levels.

Toenail treatment

The trimming, cutting, clipping, or debriding of nails; and other hygienic and preventive maintenance care, such as cleaning the feet, the use of skin creams to maintain skin tone, and any other service performed in the absence of localized illness, injury, or symptoms involving the foot.





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