Here’s how you can easily fix six common foot problems
Statistics show that millions of women suffer problems with their feet. One in five men suffer foot pain most days. Here’s the low-down on the most common foot problems and how to beat them.
#1 Corns and Calluses
What are Corns and Calluses? Corns and Calluses are thick, hardened layers of skin. They usually develop on bony areas of the feet caused by ill-fitting shoes that rub and can be painful.
Prevent it: Avoid shoes that are too tight or have very high heels, which compress areas or those that are too loose, as your foot will slide and rub. Remove hardened skin with a pumice stone or foot file. Never use anything that resembles a metal “cheese grater”! Moisturising your feet with a quality foot cream can help prevent corns and calluses.
Treat it: If the corn is very painful, see a foot health professional. They can remove the corns or, in more serious cases, may fit you for orthotic insoles that sit in your shoes and will correct any imbalance in the way you walk.
What are Bunions? Bunions are painful, bony swellings at the base of the big toe. They can be a result of shoes that cramp the feet. Bunions can run in families, so check-out your parents or grand-parents feet. This is what your future may hold in store!
Prevent it: Make sure your shoes don’t squash your toes together there should be space between the tip of your toes and the end of the shoe. Avoid heels higher than two inches for long periods.
Treat it: You can buy gel pads that ease pressure on the big toe joint, along with orthotic insoles that help the feet work properly. In severe cases, surgery can remove swollen tissue and part of the bone.
What are Verrucae? A Verruca is a Plantar Wart. It is caused by a viral infection and verruca can be found anywhere on the soles of the feet. Some can start as a small pink area with a few black dots, which develops into a larger, brown area with hardened skin, forming a mosaic verruca.
Prevent it: The virus thrives in areas such as swimming pools and communal showers, so it pays to always wear flip-flops until you’re in the water.
Treat it: If it is large or painful, a foot health professional can treat the area to eradicate the verruca. We believe Swift Microwave Therapy for Warts and Verruca is the most effective treatment! Treatments may also include paring the wart to thin it and then carefully treating with caustics, acids and cryosurgery to freeze and kill the verrucae. These methods have been shown to be less effective than Swift Microwave Therapy, but still better than some "home remedies". Your foot health professional will normally have access to a wide range of professional products and treatment options that you may not be able to purchase from your local pharmacy.
#4 Fungal Skin & Nail Infection
What is Fungal Nail or Fungal Skin Infection? A fungal infection that causes sore, itchy patches of skin between the toes, which then crack and flake. It may have an unpleasant smell and toenails can become infected, thick and brown.
Prevent it: Change your socks or hosiery daily, and don’t wear the same shoes two days in a row, so they can dry out. Wash all socks and hosiery at 50 degrees centigrade or above to kill fungal spores. Sandals also help as they allow air to circulate between the toes and allow sunlight to your skin and nails.
Treat it: Anti-fungal creams and powders are very effective for Athlete’s Foot. Occasionally dosing shoes and trainers with athletes foot powder will help kill any fungal spores living in your footwear. If the toenail is infected, see a foot health professional so they can file down the nail and prescribe a topical solution to fight the infection. PACT treatment can be highly effective.
#5 Fallen Arches
So, what are Fallen Arches? This common complaint happens as the arch of the foot collapses and becomes flat when bearing weight. It can cause painful, achy feet and calves.
Prevent it: Avoid high heels for long periods. Because heels cause your tendons to tighten, your ankle can’t bend properly, and so the tendons in your foot arch try to compensate and can break or collapse.
Treat it: Pain relief and special orthotic insoles. In severe cases, surgery may be required.
#6 Ingrown Toenails
What are they? When growing nails become painfully embedded in the skin at the sides.
Prevent it: Don’t cut your toenails too short and follow the outline of your toe and file away any sharp edges. Wear wide fitting shoes that don’t pinch your toes.
Treat it: Soaking feet in salt water can prevent infection and reduce swelling. Wearing shoes with a wide toe-box will help prevent the toes being pinched and any ingrowing nail spike being pushed further into the skin. Visit your foot health professional for safe and effective removal of any ingrowing nail spike. A course of antibiotics may be required from your GP, but this will only treat the infection, not the cause – the nail spike which must be removed to avoid recurrence of the problem.
Nail surgery to remove part or total nail under local anaesthetic may be an option which should be discussed with your foot care professional for a permanent solution to recurring ingrown and infected toenails.
Here at We Fix Feet, we're your local Foot Care Experts, in Ilkeston, Derby and Beeston, Nottingham. We’re always here to help with our professional advice and treatments for these common foot conditions.