General foot care in a podiatry practice is one of the most sought after treatments. General foot care covers a range of problems, ranging from nail cutting to removal of warts. It is typically ongoing and requires regular maintenance visits. General foot care may be required simply when you can’t bend over far enough to reach your feet to cut your toe nails, or due to a condition such as diabetes where it is inadvisable to cut your own toenails. On the other hand, many people just enjoy their getting their feet tended to by a qualified professional.
Our podiatrists routinely provide general nail cutting for a variety of patients of varying ages, including:
- Those with an inability to reach the feet to cut the nails
- Those who require assistance due to thickened and/or ingrowing toenails
- Individuals with diabetes, fragile skin or poor healing
- Individuals who just enjoy a qualified and trained podiatrist tending to their feet
Fungal infections of the foot can occur on the skin, known as Tinea Pedis or Athlete’s Foot, and the nails, known as onychomycosis. Fungal nails are typically thickened, brittle, crumbly, distorted in shape and discoloured. Athlete’s Foot causes scaling, flaking and itching on the soles of the feet and in the web spaces. Athlete’s Foot can often be mistaken for other skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis, however your podiatrist will be able to distinguish between these. Both fungal nail infections and Athlete’s Foot are easily spread and thrive in warm, moist environments.
The mainstay of treatment for both conditions is the use of topical antifungal agents, as well as reduction of the fungal load. Your podiatrist will recommend the most suitable treatment for your fungal infection, as well as perform regular reduction of thickened, fungal nails.
Corns, callouses and cracked heels
Corns and callouses are areas of thick skin that result from excessive pressure or friction, usually over a boney prominence. Callouses are thickened areas of skin dispersed over an area, whereas corns tend to have a discrete core. They are both commonly signs of an underlying biomechanical issue. Cracked heels may develop when the callous on the heel splits. These can be painful and give way to infection. Our podiatrists are able to offer regular debridement of your corns and callouses, as well as address any underlying biomechanical issues that may be causing them. Treatment for this may be in the way of in-shoe padding, toe props or orthoses.
A plantar wart is caused by the human papillomavirus and occurs on the sole and/or toes of the feet. The virus is able to enter the skin through tiny cuts or abrasions in the outermost layer of skin. Treatment is often sought due to the appearance or pain caused by the wart. Plantar warts can often be mistaken for corns or callouses, however our experienced podiatrists will be able to distinguish between these.
A number of treatments are available for plantar warts at our clinic. These include the use of keratolytic agents such as silver nitrate, salicylic acid and monochloroacetic acid, and excision of the wart tissue under local anaesthesia. The best option for you will be determined by you and your podiatrist and will be based on the location, size and duration of the wart as well as your lifestyle.