Worcester Podiatrist treatment clinic, set in a unique rural environment

Common Skin Conditions of the Foot

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Verruca

What is a verruca? 

Verrucas and warts are small lumps on the skin that most people have at some point of their life. They usually go away on their own, but dependent on a patients individual immune system and the infection levels this can take months if not years. Occasionally intervention in the form of treatment is required as they can cause significant discomfort and pain.

Cracked Heels and Fissures

What are cracked heals and dry skin on feet ? 

Cracks and fissures are breaks in your skin. They may be the result of skin that is too dry to too moist. When skin is too dry, it can become rough and flaky. A large fissure often forms at the base of the heel. When skin is too moist, you may get a bacterial or fungal infection. This can cause cracks between the toes. People who often walk barefoot or wear open shoes are at risk for dry skin. People who wear shoes without socks or shoes and socks that don’t breathe well are at risk for moist skin problems. Your Podiatrist can treat your cracks and fissures.

Hard Corns and Calluses

What are corns and calluses? 

Corns and calluses are caused by pressure and friction which makes the skin thicken. They do not always hurt and may not be harmful.

If you have corns and calluses wearing correctly fitting shoes may improve or cure the problem. Poor footwear is the most common cause of such problems.

Use a moisturising dermatological bath oil to keep skin soft. Before bathing use a pumice stone or foot-file to remove rough patches of skin.

Apply a moisturising cream to your feet daily, however, do not apply this cream between the toes.

Do not cut your own corns or calluses or use corn plasters or paints which contain acids and could be dangerous.

Common Foot Pain Symptoms

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Plantar fasciitis

What is Plantar Fasciitis? 

Plantar-fasciitis is a condition sometimes also called heel pain and “policeman’s heel” among other titles.
It is a sharp, intense pain felt in the foot, usually just in front in front of the heel but sometimes in the heel as well and usually occurs first thing after getting out of bed or when the patient has been sitting still for a period such as watching tv in the evening.

It is caused by constant stretching of a long band of cartilage called the plantar fascia, which holds the structure of the foot together.

There can be a number of causes, such as obesity, long periods of overuse (such as jobs that involve standing and walking for most of the day) or tight leg muscles.
It is the strain exerted on the cartilage which cause the fibres of the plantar fascia to break, leading to inflammation and pain after a period of rest.
It most commonly seen in women aged around 40-60, but almost anyone can develop it.

It usually improves after a few steps have been taken, but the period of pain can be extremely uncomfortable.

The good news is that it can be easily treated and will usually get better, but the cause needs to be investigated.
Sometimes (but by no means always) orthotic insoles may be required to help the foot to function better and relieve the stress on the plantar fascia. Sometimes exercises to reduce muscle tension may be all that is needed.

Misaligned Toes - Hammer, Claw and Mallet

What are hammer, claw, and mallet toes?

Hammer, Claw and Mallet toes are toes that are bent into an odd position causing ball of foot pain. They may look strange or may hurt, or both. These toe problems almost always happen in the four smaller toes, not the big toe.

· A hammer toe bends down toward the floor at the middle toe joint. This causes the middle toe joint to rise up. It usually affects the second toe. Hammer toes often occur with bunions.

· Claw toe often affects the four smaller toes at the same time. The toes bend up at the joint where the toes and the foot meet. They bend down at the middle joints and at the joints nearest the tip of the toes. This causes the toes to curl down toward the floor.

· A mallet toe bends down at the joint closest to the tip of the toe. It often affects the second toe, but it may happen in the other toes too.

If you notice that your toe looks odd or hurts, talk to your Podiatrist. You may be able to fix your toe with home treatment. If you don't treat the problem right away, you are more likely to need surgery.

Common Toenail Problems

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Ingrowing toenail

What is an ingrowing toenail?

An ingrowing toenail is where a piece of nail pierces the flesh of the toe. It can feel as if you have a splinter, be extremely painful and inflamed or infected. In more severe cases, it can cause pus and bleeding. Ingrowing toenails most commonly affect the big toenail, but can affect the other toes too. A nail that is curling (involuted or convoluted) into the flesh, but isn’t actually piercing the skin, isn't an ingrowing toenail but can feel very painful and can also appear red and inflamed.

Fungal nail infection

A fungal nail infection occurs from the overgrowth of fungi in, under, or on the nail.Fungi thrive in warm, moist environments, so this type of environment can cause them to naturally overpopulate. The same fungi that cause jock itch, athlete's foot, and ringworm can cause nail infections. 

Sports Related Injuries

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'left sided ankle pain, following an inversion injury and a fall'

Case Study

 ‘A 40-year-old woman with a 5-month history of moderate pain located specifically at the level of the dorsum of the left mid foot.’ 

Bilateral Achilles rupture repair

‘A 48-year-old cyclist with previous bilateral Achilles rupture repair presented in clinic with painful right gastrocnemius muscle and cramp for the last 3 months

Dorsiflexion injury to the left foot

A 23-year-old male fell runner with a maximally forced dorsiflexion injury to the left foot, resulting in pain to the posterior compartment of the left lower leg. 

pain located specifically at the level of the dorsum of the left mid foot

  

‘A 40-year-old woman with a 5-month history of moderate pain located specifically at the level of the dorsum of the left mid foot.’

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