CALLUSES AND CORNS
The body may respond to this extra pressure by producing thickenings in the surface layer of the skin. These hard patches of skin are called calluses and are part of the body’s defence system to protect the underlying tissues. If the pressure gets concentrated in a small area, a ‘hard’ corn may develop. ‘Soft’ corns may also form between toes where the skin is moist from sweat or inadequate drying. These appear white and rubbery and are also the result of excessive friction. Sometimes the pressure of the callus or corn may produce inflammation which can result in pain, swelling and redness. Skin can become hard and thick and if untreated can sometimes crack, which can lead to infections.
Cracked heels can range in severity from a cosmetic issue to a painful problem. Some of the causes of cracked heels are dry air, lack of moisture, improper foot care, an unhealthy diet, aging, prolonged standing on hard floors and wearing the wrong shoe types.
When the skin around the heel becomes dry, it loses its suppleness and elasticity, and often begins to split. Cracks typically occur in conjunction with calluses, which are a build-up of dead skin. Thick calluses can produce deep and painful cracks, and is often the result of excessive force and pressure through the heels. Alongside the cracking and splitting in your heels, you may also experience discomfort, pain while standing, itchiness, bleeding if the cracks are deep, and a white, dry appearance at the heels.
WARTS / PLANTAR WARTS
A wart is a growth of skin that develops when the skin is infected by the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) and can develop anywhere on the foot but most commonly appear on the bottom (plantar aspect) of the foot. Warts on the toes or soles of the foot can cause pain and discomfort, which can make walking, running and exercise uncomfortable, as the thick wart presses inwards on the sensitive nerves of the skin. The tenderness can make us change the way we walk to avoid the pain, and cause strain elsewhere in the body.
INGROWN TOE NAILS
Ingrown toenails are a common condition that impacts people of all ages. An ingrown toenail occurs when the corner or side of a toenail grows into the soft flesh of the toe, making the area tender, sore, and often cause redness and bleeding. The pain can begin as moderate and progress to severe if the affected toenail becomes infected. If this is the case then nail surgery (nail wedge resection) may be required to remove the section of the toenail that is growing incorrectly. At Kingsford Foot Clinic we can perform most surgery under local anaesthetic in clinic. In very severe cases, you may be referred onto one of our Podiatric Surgeons to perform surgery in a hospital under general anaesthetic.
Nail fungus is a common condition that eats away at Keratin – which your nail is made of. The fungus begins as a white or yellow spot under the tip of your toenail and as the fungal infection goes deeper, nail fungus may cause your nail to discolour, thicken and crumble at the edge. Nail fungus are often a cosmetic concern as they can be unsightly and can sometimes cause pain. Destroying fungus and it’s spores won’t reverse the damage it has created which is why you still need to keep cutting the damaged nail as it grows out. There is also the risk of reinfection if any of the fungus on the infected nail is still active. This is why treatment needs to be effective or it can turn into a continuous losing battle.