Callus – Callus is a yellow plaque of thickened hard skin that can develop on the feet in response to pressure and friction. This pressure can come from a number of sources including footwear or pressure caused by an uneven distribution of weight due to our gait pattern. If callus is left untreated it is uncomfortable and a corn can develop underneath the callus.
Corns - Both corns and callus are the result of mechanically induced hyperkeratosis. A corn begins as a callus however if the callus is left untreated and the skin continues to thicken this can lead to a corn. A corn is a more localized and concentrated point of hard thickened skin that is usually located at an area of peak pressure. Many people suffering with corns will often feel as if there is a stone in their shoe.
Both corns and callus are removed by a process known as ‘debridement’. Podiatrists are one of the very few healthcare professionals that are skillfully trained in using a blade. Thickened skin is reduced and the corns are removed.
Ingrown Toe Nails – The medical term for this is known as onychocryptosis and refers to a condition in which a spike or serrated edge of nail has pierced the epidermis of the skin and can penetrate further into the dermal layer of the skin. This process causes inflammation and the skin becomes red and shiny, the toe usually appears swollen. If left untreated the continued penetration of the nail into the skin can cause infection. Ingrown toe nails can occur due to a number of reasons such as trauma, poorly fitting footwear and improper nail cutting.
The spicule of nail which is penetrating the dermis of the skin is carefully removed. This is generally a quick pain free process. The area will then be dressed to prevent infection or if infection is present a dressing will be chosen to clear the infection.
If surgical removal of the nail is necessary this procedure can also be performed in clinic.
Cracked Heels – This is when the skin around the heels splits apart. If left untreated these splits can widen and develop
into fissures. Dehydrated skin and lack of moisture is the main
cause of cracked heels.
These fissures are smoothed out and closed over. Depending on the severity of these fissures I use a variety of different methods to do this. Again this is a pain free process, it will also prevent these fissures from opening and developing into an open wound or more serious issue.
Fugal Nail Infection – Thickening of the nail plate accompanied by discoloration is a very common problem affecting up to 5% of the population. There is a possible spread of infection via towels, hosiery and shoes and careful consideration should be taken if you suffer with fungal nail infection.
It is important with fungal nails to electronically file down the thickened nail- this can be done in clinic and is painless. A reason for many topical treatments not working in fungal nails is the inability of the treatment to properly penetrate the nail bed when it is thickened. Filing down the nail will not only aesthetically improve the appearance of the nail but also allow for topical treatment to better penetrate the bed of the nail.
Dermatology – A number of various skin conditions can affect the feet. Dermatological issues which I regularly see are excema, hyperkeratosis, lichen planus and athletes foot.
Each of these conditions present differently, are caused by different agents and therefore require different treatments. Please have such skin conditions examined before you begin any over the counter creams. Often people can misdiagnose these as their presentations are similar.
Regular Check Ups
During these consultations Aisling will also check your medical history and medication and offer advice on how systemic complications maybe affect your foot and leg health. The above issues are ones which reoccur and require a regular visit to a Podiatrist.
After your first visit we will be able to tell you when it may be necessary to make a return appointment.