Our feet are obviously extremely important and sadly, many people take their feet for granted, putting them through a punishing ordeal on a daily basis, assuming all will be fine. There are many reasons why you might have problems with your feet, it could be due to poorly fitting shoes, or simply that you are putting your feet under excessive pressure, and with that in mind, here are a few common foot problems that a podiatrist can effectively treat.
- Tinea (Athlete’s Foot) – This condition is common with people of all ages and walks of life, and is not limited to athletes, although they often suffer with it. Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection that manifests itself with pinkish skin and red or brown spots, which can become very itchy. If you suffer from athlete’s foot, you are advised to locate an established podiatrist in Central Coast, who can prescribe ointment that will relieve the itchiness. The specialist would recommend that you keep your feet dry and clean, particularly between the toes, where the fungus can thrive.
- Calluses & Corns – These are a build-up of dead skin that has become hard over a period of time, and typically manifest in areas where excessive stress or weight is put on the feet, while the foot specialist can carry our debridement, which usually brings instant pain relief. Unless the overall cause of the callus is addressed, it is likely that the build-up will reappear over time, and with a close examination, the podiatrist can usually bring about a solution.
- Ingrown Toenails – Ingrown toenails can be very painful, which is usually caused by pressure on the edge of the nail, perhaps by ill-fitting shoes, causing the nail edge to grow into the flesh at the side of the nail. If unaddressed, an ingrown toenail will normally worsen and become so painful, you have little choice but to visit your local podiatrist.
- Heel Fissures – Sometimes called cracked heels, this condition is very common and is caused by the very hard skin on the heel that lacks the elasticity to stretch, and with constant weight bearing down, the skin can split, which is quite painful. These openings can allow infections to enter the bloodstream, so prompt treatment is advised. Apart from debriding the callus, the podiatrist can recommend strategies to reduce the risk of further outbreaks.
- Fungal Nail Infections – A fungal nail infection can happen to anyone at any time, and is most certainly not an indication of unhygienic practices, as it is possible for an infection to find its way into a nail from almost any source. Symptoms include the nail turning yellow and might seem thicker than normal, and while this condition is not normally painful, the infection can spread to other nails, so you are advised to see your local podiatrist, who can treat the condition.
Your feet should be fine providing you wear footwear that fits properly, plus you regularly clean your feet, especially between the toes, and should you encounter any issues, it is best to let the expert examine you.