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Most common foot problems

Here are some of the most common feet issues, as well as the appropriate treatment for each of them.

Most common foot problems

Here are some of the most common feet issues, as well as the appropriate treatment for each of them.

CORN AND CALLOSITIES

CORN AND CALLOSITIES

Corn consists of a localised thickening of the skin cornea, which forms a core in the shape of a cone, and is often painful. They can be found on the articulations of hammertoes (hard corn), between the toes (soft corn), or on the foot sole.

 

Callosities are a diffuse thickening of the skin of variable sizes, typically observed under the foot’s forepart or the heel.

 

Both these foot issues are often caused by shoes that are not adjusted adequately; they can also be the result of a mechanical instability of the foot that creates a friction or a repeated overload of pressure on the affected area. Dry skin is also a common initial factor.

 

TREATMENT OF CORN AND CALLOSITIES

The podiatrist is the professional who has the knowledge to treat corn and callosities in a safe and sterile fashion, using scissors, a burr, or a scalpel. Podiatrists may also use and prescribe unguents and lotions. They may also make some suggestions related to the selection of proper shoes.

 

If necessary, the podiatrist assesses the mechanical function of the foot and inferior limbs to identify the origin of the problem.

 

It’s not recommended for people to try to remove corn and callosities on their own using scissors or razor blades. The use of limestone should be limited to once or twice a week, solely on the heel, because using it on the forepart or the toes may cause the skin to become irritated.

 

Using commercial chemical products to alleviate corn and callosities is not recommended for people with diabetes and people suffering from peripheral vascular diseases. Using moisturizing lotion and applying a pad may bring some relief.

 

Feel free to request a consultation.

 

Source : Ordre des podiatres du Québec

PLANTAR WARTS

PLANTAR WARTS

Plantar warts are rugged lesions that are well circumscribed, generally raised up, localized on the sole of the foot. They are caused by the human papilloma virus, which penetrates the skin directly either at pressure points or wherever there is a foot injury. They are contagious lesions that appear alone or in a mosaic, that is, in small clusters

 

TREATMENT OF PLANTAR WARTS

Podiatrists may use one of several methods to treat warts: application of acid, liquid nitrogen, or another antiwart product; injection of medication; laser cauterization.

 

When plantar warts are rebellious and resist the usual forms of treatment, a surgical removal may be necessary.

 

Feel free to request a consultation.

 

Source : Ordre des podiatres du Québec

INGROWN NAIL

INGROWN NAIL

The ingrown nail is a very common problem that consists of one side of the nail, generally the big toenail, penetrating the skin and provoking a painful inflammation. If this issue is neglected, the skin on the side of the nail might get infected; this infection might spread to the tissues, sometimes even to the bone.

 

The causes of ingrown nail are numerous: the curve of the nail might be too pronounced, the nail might not have been cut properly, there might be an underlying bone-related issue, it might be hereditary, etc.

 

In any case, the podiatrist is there to make the appropriate diagnosis.

 

TREATMENT OF INGROWN NAILS

The treatment of an ingrown nail depends on the diagnosis that is made by the podiatrist. It sometimes consists of cutting part of the nail (bevel-cut) and prescribing topical antibiotics. In certain cases, a minor surgery under local anaesthetics, aimed at removing the nail in parts or in its entirety, might be necessary.

 

To prevent ingrown nail, it’s important to carry out a straight cut in order to avoid leaving pointy parts, also called spurs, in the corners that are likely to penetrate skin. It’s also important to maintain good foot hygiene and to avoid wearing shoes that are too tight.

 

Feel free to request a consultation.

 

Source : Ordre des podiatres du Québec

NAIL FUNGUS

NAIL FUNGUS

Nail fungus consists of an infectious mushroom. It generally yellows, thickens, and deforms the nail. It’s an infection that manifests itself slowly and damages the nail progressively.

 

All nails that have yellowed or thickened are not necessarily caused by nail fungus. A thick or yellow nail may be caused by an injury that affects its growth, deforms it, or thickens it. Nail fungus must not be confused with other nail diseases, such as psoriasis, lichen planus, melanoma, or cardio-pulmonary diseases.

 

TREATMENT OF NAIL FUNGUS

It’s preferable to treat the nail as soon as the infection is noticed. The basic treatment consists of a mechanical debridement of the infected site. In certain cases, medication that is only available upon prescription might be necessary. In other more severe cases, the podiatrist might have to conduct an excision of the part of the nail or the tissue that is infected.

 

Untreated or mistreated nail fungus may cause ulcers or under-nail abscesses that may lead to more serious complications, such as bacterial infection.

 

Feel free to request a consultation.

 

Source : Ordre des podiatres du Québec

ATHLETE’S FOOT

ATHLETE’S FOOT

The athlete’s foot, also called mycosis or tinea pedis, is an infection that is caused by mushrooms that usually touch the skin between the toes. The athlete’s foot often appears in the form of little red pimples (vesicles). The skin becomes cracked, white, and humid. It starts to detach, and then peels off. These macerated and ill-smelling lesions cause itchiness.

 

Those mushrooms are microscopic and live off the dead tissues of the skin and nail cornea. They can easily be transmitted from one person to the next, namely in public places such as communal gyms, showers, and swimming pools, as well as any humid or warm environment.

 

TREATMENT OF ATHLETE’S FOOT

The podiatrist must first assess if the problem is indeed an athlete’s foot or another dermatological issue such as erythrasma, psoriasis, or eczema.

 

The treatment of an athlete’s foot is performed by applying a topical antifungal product, prescribed by the podiatrist, in the form of a lotion, a gel, an unguent, etc. This treatment must be combined with proper foot hygiene: keeping feet dry and clean, making sure the skin between the toes is dried after a shower or a bath, and wearing shoes.

 

In the cases where there is a strong resistance, antifungal capsules may be prescribed by a doctor.

 

Feel free to request a consultation.

 

Source : Ordre des podiatres du Québec

FOOT BUNION

FOOT BUNION

A bunion is an outward bone deviation of the foot’s 1st metatarsus, accompanied with a deviation of the big toe (Hallux) towards the other toes. As time goes by, calcium may start to accumulate, thus accentuating the bunion. Bunions are often hereditary. Wearing shoes that are too tight, too short, or not offering enough support aggravates them. More women than men tend to be affected.

 

TREATMENT OF FOOT BUNIONS

The forms of treatment that are the most frequently used by podiatrists for bunions are:

• An exercising and stretching program designed to keep the big toe moving.
• The prescription of anti-inflammatory medication, or the injection of cortisone to reduce the inflammation in the big toe articulation (if such an inflammation is present).
• The prescription of plantar orthoses that provide support for the arch of the foot and the big toe to slow down the increase of the deviation.

 

Wearing shoes that are sufficiently wide is also important to avoid any inflammation or pain.

 

With time, the deformation might become more pronounced and a surgical intervention may be necessary to correct the deviation permanently. Certain podiatrists or orthopaedists can carry out such interventions.

 

Feel free to request a consultation.

 

Source : Ordre des podiatres du Québec

HAMMERTOE

HAMMERTOE

The hammertoe is a deformity characterized by the contraction (flexion) of the toe’s articulations. This deformity is the result of a muscular imbalance of the foot.

 

While this issue is sometimes hereditary, it’s generally due to shoes that are maladapted to the foot and force the smaller toes to bend. The articulations might then become permanently contracted. The hammertoe might become painful if corn or some irritation develops.

 

TREATMENT OF HAMMERTOE

A good way to alleviate the discomfort caused by hammertoes is to wear shoes of adequate width and length, with an ample and deep vamp (top of shoe), in order to avoid constant friction of the toes against the top part of the shoes.

 

The podiatrist, after assessing and examining the mechanical function of the foot, may prescribe plantar orthoses, to stabilize the foot’s muscles, or digital orthoses, which protect the pressure points on the toe. These orthoses are always custom-made.

 

If discomfort and pain persist, a surgical intervention will be necessary, which may be carried out by certain podiatrists.

 

Feel free to request a consultation.

 

Source : Ordre des podiatres du Québec

FLAT FOOT

FLAT FOOT

We call “flat foot” a foot whose arch is slumped and touches the ground. This condition may affect the foot’s function when it’s stationary (and the person is standing up) or during the process of walking.

 

The causes of flat feet are numerous, but generally have to do with heredity. The diagnosis of flat foot can only be given after the age of 3, because a young child’s feet are too “wrapped up” to allow it beforehand.

Flat foot increases the risk of developing foot, leg, and knee pain, and sometimes causes spine problems.

 

TREATMENT OF FLAT FOOT

To treat flat foot, the podiatrist generally prescribes plantar orthoses. For children above 3, the orthosis is used for corrective purposes, whereas in the case of an adult, the orthosis is used to relieve pain and discomfort.

Feel free to request a consultation.

 

Source : Ordre des podiatres du Québec

PLANTAR FASCIITIS

PLANTAR FASCIITIS

Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the plantar fascia, also called aponeurosis, the fibrous membrane that links the heel bone to the toes. The fascia’s role is to attach the arch of the foot to the bone and to provide support for it. Fasciitis usually causes pain to the heel and sometimes in the arch of the foot itself.

 

An intense leisure or work-related activity, excess weight, or an imbalance of the function of the foot may cause the fascia to stretch, thus provoking an inflammation at the point of insertion (plantar fasciitis).

 

Plantar fasciitis is also called “Lenoir’s thorn syndrome,” Lenoir’s thorn being a calcification of the plantar fascia that is only visible through radiography.

 

TREATMENT OF PLANTAR FASCIITIS

An assessment of the mechanical function of the foot and the inferior limbs by the podiatrist may help to identify the origin of plantar fasciitis.

 

To treat plantar fasciitis, the podiatrist may recommend:
• Suspending or adjusting physical activities temporarily;
• Applying ice on the heel several times a day;
• Regular stretching and relaxing exercises;
• Manual therapy, ultra-sound or laser treatments;
• Pads for the heels;
• Plantar orthoses;
• Medication, anti-inflammatory capsules;
• Cortisone injections in the heel.

 

In most cases, plantar orthoses are necessary in the treatment.

 

Feel free to request a consultation.

 

Source : Ordre des podiatres du Québec