Foot Conditions

Bunion

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 These are structural deformities caused by a deviation at the 1st MPJ joint of the foot. There are many causes including congenital, familial, due to tight, high or poorly fitting footwear, or due to the structure or function of the foot when walking.The main problem is that you may suffer from areas of callous or pain either on the sole of the foot or the side of the joint that is protruding which may develop a bursa which is a very deep fluid filled sack in the area. It is important to seek advice from your Podiatrist for the management of this and any associated conditions. Extreme cases may require surgery. 

Corn & Callouses

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 These are caused by friction and pressure. A callus is an area of thickened skin due to either friction from footwear or underlying structural problems in the foot causing friction when walking. They are usually hard and yellowish in colour. It is important that they are managed or that the underlying cause it treated to prevent pain and pressure on underlying structures which could cause further complications. They are common on the forefeet, tops of toes and around the heels. 
Corns are more localised areas of pressure usually caused by footwear or continual friction. They are usually hardened but can also be soft if found between the toes. They may be painful especially if combined with nerves or scar tissue. They usually have a conical centre. Both conditions are easily managed and where possible prevented with regular Podiatric care.  

Ingrown Toe nails

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This can be a very painful and repetitive problem for lots of people. Its main causes are due to foot wear & hoisery, poor cutting of the toes nails, hereditory or due to an overly curved nail plate.
It is important to check your nails for this condition which may be present on any of the ten nails as it could lead to very painful infections requiring antibiotics.  Nails that suffer from this can be managed easily by being cut by professionals especially if they are associated with a particularly curved nail. Other treatments and devices may be necessary to ensure that the problem is prevented as much as possible. In extreme cases  ingrown and infected nails may require full or partial removal under local anaesthetic, your Podiatrist will be able to advise you further. 

Verrucae

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 These are also known as plantar warts and are in fact a viral infection of the skin. Due to the thickness of the skin this type of infection may be difficult to cure as the body simply does not realize it is present. It is usually picked up from communal areas especially if they are damp. They may appear as a single lesion or multiple ones and can be small or spread to quite a large area. They usually have a two year life span before they disappear on their own. You can get further information from a podiatrist who will confirm the diagnosis and provide you with appropriate treatment and advice. 

Athletes Foot

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This is caused by a fungal infection of the skin. It is spread from damp communal areas such as swimming pools.
It may have many different appearances especially when presenting on the soles of the feet where the area could range from open blisters, to red itchy skin especially in the arches of the feet or a powdery very dry like appearance. The most important thing is to have the condition diagnosed and have the correct advise for treating it to ensure it does not spread to other areas of the body, or the nails. It is important to treat before any complications arise such as secondary infections 

Fungal Nails

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This condition is caused by a fungal infection penetrating into the nail. It may be caused by a Tinea infection of the skin or due to nail overlays or poor hygiene. It can be superficial i.e on the top surface of the nail where it may present as just a small area of white or yellow discolouration or it may be a deeper infection into the matrix of the nail (area where nail grows from) and be more severe in presentation. It may be thickened, yellowy, white or even black in colour, and crumbly. It can be unsightly and difficult to treat. It is important to seek advice for treatment from your Podiatrist to stop the infection spreading and prevent further infections 

Nail Conditions

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There are numerous nail conditions that cause thickening, deviation or over curvature of the nail plate, most of these are harmless but some may be indicative of underlying health issues. Generally these nails will be unsightly and hard to self-treat. A Podiatrist will be able to diagnose your condition and manage the nails so that they do not become problematic and look as visually pleasing as possible. regular cutting and the reduction of any thickening will ensure that the nails remain comfortable and do not put any excessive pressure on any underlying structures 

Blisters

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 These are caused by footwear or hoisery rubbing on the surface and causing these fluid filled sacks which are painful due to the fluid putting pressure on underlying sensory receptors.
They are easy to treat and prevent.  It is important not to burst these yourself should you suffer from one as they can easily develop secondary infection.
Your Podiatrist will be able to provide you with treatment and devices or products for prevention. 

Fissures

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These occur mainly on the heels due to very dry skin that has lost its elasticity and therefore splits. As the outer edges harden they cannot close and are at risk of secondary infection. They can be very painful and are common in the summer when wearing open backed shoes. It is also possible to get these between the toes due to either moist skin or a fungal condition.
A Podiatrist will be able to manage this condition and in most cases repair the splits by debriding the edges and allowing them to heal, also advising on suitable preventative measures and emollients. 

Gout

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This is an accutely painful inflammatory condition affecting the joints especially the 1st MPJ joint of the foot. It is caused by an excess of uric crystals in the area. Medical intervention is usually required to reduce the pain and swelling and prevent further attacks 

Toe Deformities

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Many structural toe deformities can have several causes the most common being hereditory, congenital, due to foot wear or the way that the foot functions when walking.
The most common problems associated with these type of toes is lesions on the joints as they gain pressure from foot wear they can form callous, corns or even bursas.
A Podiatrist will be able to mange any lesions that are a result of these deformities and may be able to provide a variety of chair side appliances or devices to prevent them being problematic, straighten them if not in a fixed position and provide everyday comfort when walking 

Melanoma

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 The most common sign of melanoma is the appearance of a new mole or a change in an existing mole. This can occur anywhere on the body, but the most commonly affected areas are the back in men and the legs in women. Melanomas are uncommon in areas which are protected from sun exposure, such as the buttocks and the scalp.

In most cases, melanomas have an irregular shape and are more than one colour. The mole may also be larger than normal and can sometimes be itchy or bleed. Look out for a mole which changes progressively in shape, size and/or colour.