Common Foot Problems

A bunion is an enlargement of bone or tissue around the joint at the base of the big toe. The big toe may turn in toward the second toe and the tissues surrounding the joint may be swollen and tender. If the bunion has been present for a long period of time no pain or discomfort may be experienced. Bunions most commonly affect women, some studies report that bunions occur nearly 10 times more frequently in women then men. It has been suggested that tight-fitting shoes, especially high-heel and narrow-toed, might increase the risk for bunion formation. There also seem to be inherited (genetic) factors that predispose to the development of bunions, especially when they occur in younger individuals.

Bunions may be treated conservatively with changes in shoe, accommodative padding, rest or ice. These sorts of treatments address symptoms more than they correct the actual deformity. Surgery, by an orthopedic surgeon or a podiatrist, may be necessary if discomfort is severe enough.
Corns only occur on the feet, usually where a bony prominence presses against the inside of your shoe. Pressure causes your skin to thicken at that point, creating the hard surface and ‘core’ of the corn. Once formed the corn becomes cone-shaped with the point facing inward creating a ‘splinter’ of very hard skin. This hard splinter/core sometimes presses on the nerves deep in your skin.
Corns can be painlessly removed by your Chiropodist. Regularly applying moisturising cream to the feet will improve skins condition, padding or orthotics can also help alleviate pressure.
Athletes Foot (Tinea Pedis)
Athlete’s foot is caused by a superficial fungal infection on the feet known as a dermatophyte. The most common symptom is cracked, flaking, peeling skin between the toes. The affected area is usually red and itchy. Over-the-counter antifungal powders/creams can help control the infection. I recommend using antifungal powders/creams for 4 weeks after the infection has cleared from your feet to prevent the infection from returning.
Additionally, ensure you wash your feet thoroughly with soap and water, when drying your feet pay particular attention between you toes to help prevent a reoccurrence of the infection.
If the fungus spreads to your nails, they can become discoloured, thick, and even crumble.
Verruca is a highly contagious virus known as the human papilloma virus (HPV). Commonly contracted by using communal changing rooms, public swimming pools and hotel rooms. Verruca are self limiting (they will resolve with no intervention). In children they resolve more quickly than adults, where can can persist for many years.
Treatment is recommended if the verruca is painful or it is causing psychological distress. There are several treatment methods including highly dry needling technique.

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