Diabetic Foot Care
Patients with diabetes are at an increased risk for developing problems with their feet. This is often a result of nerve or blood vessel damage, which can lead to unknowing injuries. Diabetes also slows healing and weakens the immune system, turning even minor foot and ankle injuries into more serious conditions if not treated properly.The most effective treatment method for diabetic foot conditions is prevention. It is important for our patients to take special care of their feet. Patients with diabetes should have their feet examined on a regular basis by our fully trained and experienced staff to detect any abnormalities at their earliest stages.
Athlete’s foot is a very common skin infection of the foot caused by the ringworm fungus, and is exacerbated by warm, moist conditions. Symptoms typically include various degrees of itching, burning, cracking, and possibly bleeding.Treatments include keeping the area around the foot clean/dry, wearing breathable shoes, using powders and anti-fungal medications.
Bunions, Calluses & Corns
A callus is an especially toughened area of skin which has become relatively thick and hard in response to repeated friction, pressure, or other irritation usually found on the bottom of the foot. Calluses are generally harmless, and treated by a stone to grind it down and reduce irritation. Corns are specially-shaped calluses of dead skin that usually occur on thin skin surfaces and form when the pressure point rubs in an elliptical or semi-elliptical path. The treatments for corns are similar to that of calluses.
Typically, foot infections are brought on by contamination by foreign materials and/or colonization by bacteria following a traumatic event or tissue loss. Foot infections range from simple to complex and are categorized into 3 groups: soft tissue, bone, and those associated with diabetes. Treatment for this conditions varies from a simple antibiotic to requiring surgery.
Fungal infections are common in toenails. Symptoms range from mild to severe. In more severe conditions, the affected nails can have a yellowish or brownish discoloration, thicken or become brittle and painful over time.Some precautions one can take to prevent toenail fungus including not sharing towels with others and wearing clean breathable shoes.
Heel pain is generally the result of faulty biomechanics (walking gait abnormalities) that place too much stress on the heel bone and the soft tissues that attach to it. The stress may also result from injury, or a bruise incurred while walking, running, or jumping on hard surfaces; wearing poorly constructed footwear.
An ingrown toenail can be a very painful nail condition that can cause deterioration to a patients quality of life. Ingrown toenails most commonly occur on the big toe, however they can also affect the little toes. Ingrown toenails can be genetic, caused by poor footwear or trauma. Although as podiatrists we regularly see ingrown toenails due to poor nail cutting techniques. Seeing a podiatrist will help minimise the pain because they will remove the piece of nail causing the problems then the toe will be dressed with an antiseptic dressing. This is done by careful precision. The podiatrist will lift the skin around the nail then trim the nail back, this will allow clearing out any debris that may have caused the nail to grow inwards.
Plantar fasciopathy is one of the most common musculoskeletal problems that podiatrists see. It is pain at the insertion of the plantar fascia at the heel. The plantar fascia is a fibrous band that extends from the heel bone to the toes it acts as shock absorber supporting the arch in your foot. The collagen fibres are organised so that movement in the foot such as going onto your toes is enabled. One of the most common complaints patients will experience pain in their heel when waking up in the morning and stepping out of bed. You may also find that standing for long periods of time may be very uncomfortable.
Dry and Cracked Skin
Dry skin on the sole of the foot is very common particularly on the sole of the foot. A skin that is dry is one that is lacking in moisture, this means that the skin is no longer supple, is prone to cracks. When skin is very dry it is prone to infection. Fungus and bacteria often utilise these cracks as a portal of entry to the body. Dry skin occurs when the outer layer of the epidermis (this is the top layer of the skin) becomes dehydrated. Dehydrated skin loses elasticity and is therefore prone to split and crack. Dry skin can occur for a number of reasons, including: Medication, Athletes foot, Too aggressive washing, Soap and Detergents, Ageing, Lack of drinking water, Cold Weather, Certain medical conditions.