Podiatrists see many feet coming through their doors every day - all are unique and require individualised treatments. A general podiatry treatment involves the assessment and treatment of skin and nail conditions.
Corns and calluses (hyperkeratosis) describes the build-up of hard, dead skin in areas of pressure or friction. A corn is a concentrated plug of dead skin cells that often causes pain when pressure is placed on them - common areas include the ball of the foot and the tops of the little toes. Soft corns often occur in between the 4th and 5th toes and can be a result of moisture and friction.
A callus is a flatter area of hard, dead skin cells - often found on the ball of the feet and the heels. When the pressure becomes too much on the callus, especially at the heels, painful cracks (known as heel fissures) can form.
Corns and calluses often require debridement (scraping off) to reduce the thickness and allow moisturisers to soak in properly. Often heel balms will not be as effective if the hard skin is too thick. We recommend that you don't use medicated corn pads or foot scrapers, as they can often cause damage to the good skin if not used correctly.
Fungal Toenails are one of the most commonly seen nail conditions. Discoloured, speckled, crumbly or thickened nails are a typical signs that you may have a fungal nail infection. Topical over-the-counter treatments can sometimes seem ineffective as may have difficulty penetrating the nail plate if it is too thick.
If you have any of these signs in your nails, seek early advice and treatment from one our podiatrists - the longer you leave it, the more stubborn it can be to get rid of.
Tinea (commonly known as Athlete's Foot) describes a fungal infection of the skin. Signs are often itchy feet, peeling skin and small blisters on the skin - appearing and drying out rapidly. Secondary bacterial infection can occur if cracks appear in the skin. Commonly seen in between the toes (interdigital) and around the borders of the foot (moccasin appearance). Tinea can often occur in combination with fungal toenails.
Plantar warts (verruca plantaris) are often confused with corns. A plantar wart is a viral lesion (human papiloma virus) - it is usually painful to squeeze and can spread quickly into a cluster of verrucae over the foot and to other parts of the body. It usually is spread by coming into contact with a small skin abrasion or cut - commonly arising in moist pools of water. Typically, it looks like a small hard spot, with skin lines going around the lesion and small black spots in the centre. Plantar warts can be difficult to resolve, so early diagnosis and treatment by a podiatrist is important.
Ingrown toenails are usually the result of poor nail cutting technique or trauma to the nail. When a small spike of nail is left down the side of the nail or if the nail plate is too wide for the toe, a painful ingrown toenail can occur. If you do feel any pain in the toenails, it is best to have them properly treated to prevent painful, inflamed or infected ingrown toenails from occurring. Our podiatrists also offer a long-term solution to chronic ingrown toenails - by means of a minor nail surgery called a Partial Nail Avulsion (PNA). These are performed in the clinic with local anaesthetic and involves permanently removing the offending portion of nail and the underlying nail bed.