Podiatrists regularly treat skin conditions that affect the feet. These skin problems on the feet include callus, corns, warts, ulcerations, fungal foot infections and fungal nail infections.
Calluses are a skin condition that presents as lesions of hard skin that form over an area as a result of friction or high pressure. Callus is very common on feet and is the skins natural protective defence to increased or abnormal pressure and normally presents as hard, thickened, dry skin. Calluses are often painless however in certain people it can become a problem as these areas of built up hard skin can cause pain and discomfort. In many cases regular podiatry will be required to manage these skin conditions.
Treatment of Callous involves your Podiatrist reducing or debriding back the built up areas to reduce the pressure on the underlying healthy tissue. Your Podiatrist will also assess the contributing factors such as tight or ill fitting footwear, and may implement customised padding to redistribute pressure or orthoses to offer long term pressure relief.
Corns are similar to callous in that they are a skin condition characterised as a lesion of hard skin that forms as a result of excess pressure however they form over a small area and have a glassy centre or core. Like callus, your body forms a corn as a protective mechanism to try and reduce further damage to the skin overlying that area. There are 2 main types of corns, hard corns which generally form on the tops and bottoms of your feet, commonly over bony prominences, and soft corns which form in between your toes. Corns can cause many problems if not treated appropriately and can be very painful.
Podiatry treatment of corns involves your Podiatrist enucleating/removing the corns hard centre ( which is generally painless)and usually full and immediate relief is achieved at the time of treatment.
As pressure is the cause of a corn developing it is important to determine the contributing factors such as tight or ill fitting footwear, and may implement customised padding or toe dividers to redistribute pressure or orthoses to offer long term pressure relief.
Warts (Pappiloma or Verruca)
Warts are a skin condition caused by a virus that is commonly picked up in communal areas such as public showers or swimming pools. They commonly present as a raised lesion with a rough surface and can often look like callus or a corn and so it is important you have your Podiatrist diagnose the wart and advise the best treatment.
Plantar warts can resolve without treatment with your immune system responding to the virus. however, treatment can minimise the risk of the virus spreading from person to person so it is encouraged. Treatments vary from topical solutions to chemically break down the lesion, cryotherapy ( freezing) or surgical removal
Podiatry treatment involves topical treatments such as formalin or Salicylic Acid and persistent warts may require Liquid Nitrogen or a surgery called curettage to excise the lesion out of the skin. Plantar Warts can be very stubborn and treatment may take many months.
A foot ulcer can develop in the skin with trauma and poor healing ability.If you have diabetes, a foot deformity or poor circulation you have an increased chance of developing foot sores, or ulcers. Foot ulceration can lead to hospitalisation without early detection and management. A foot ulcer is a wound can present as a shallow red hole that involves only the surface skin or can be very deep and may involve tendons, bones and other deep structures.
Diabetes is the most common cause of peripheral neuropathy. Peripheral neuropathy is nerve damage to the nerves that supply your feet and legs. When your nerves are damaged your body can no longer warn you about pain and an ulcer may appear as a result of excess pressure on a part of the foot that has become numb. Any illness that reduces blood flow to the feet can cause foot ulcers. When you have decreased blood flow, less blood reaches the feet, which deprives the skin of oxygen. This makes the skin more vulnerable to injury and reduces your body’s ability to heal ulcers quickly making them more susceptible to infection.
Any condition that distorts the normal morphology of the foot can lead to foot ulcers due to abnormal pressure distribution on the feet whilst in shoes and whilst walking. This is particularly true if the foot is forced into shoes that don’t fit the foot’s shape. It is important if you have shoes that fit your feet appropriately and orthoses may need to be made to deflect pressure away from high pressure areas to prevent ulceration.
At Peninsula Foot clinic we have Podiatrists to assist in the management and prevention of foot ulcerations.