Athletes Foot

Athletes Foot is a very common skin infection caused by fungus. Signs and Symptoms of athlete’s foot could involve itching, redness, or peeling flaky skin. It can infect any part of the foot but most commonly grows in between the toes and or around the sole of the foot.

The fungal infection thrives in warm and moist environments for example tight fitting shoes or trainers and can spread by direct contact such as a towel that has come into contact with the fungus and/or gym flooring.

It is unlikely that athletes foot will resolve itself without any medication, however topical treatments are extremely effective in treating athletes foot.

Athletes foot can be easily diagnosed and treatments can be very effective. If you think you may be experiencing symptoms of athlete’s foot arrange an appointment today to put your mind at ease.

Chillblains

Chillblains are small, itchy, red swellings on the foot that occur as a reaction to cold temperatures therefore they tend to be most common in the winter months.

Chilblains can be quite uncomfortable but rarely cause any permanent damage.

Typically, chilblains cause an itchy, burning sensation and are normally present several hours after exposure to cold temperatures which become more prominent when you enter a warm environment. The skin often swells and adjusts colour to red or blue. It is really important not to itch or scratch the skin as this could lead to a break in the skin and an increased risk of  infection.

Chilblains are most common with people who smoke as nicotine constricts the blood vessels, have poor circulation or have been diagnosed with raynaud’s.

To find out further information on how to treat chilblains and avoid exposure please book an appointment with one of our podiatrists.

Bunions

Bunions are created due to a change in the joint structure as the joint becomes more prominent at the base of the big toe, this is usually due to the 1st toe changing direction leaning more towards the 2nd toe.

Bunions are most common for women due to footwear choices such as high heels this exerts further pressure on the big toe joint due to the constricted movement in the high heel and causes the joint to lean further towards the 2nd toe.

However, it is actually a person’s genetics that plays the biggest role in determining whether or not a bunion will develop as it is the way that the bone structures are developed at birth.

If your bunions are extremely painful a podiatrist could refer you to a surgeon such as Lee Murphy to discuss your options.  If we are able to catch a bunion at its earliest stage it is possible to try and limit the affects by providing a range of exercises to ensure the intrinsic muscles are being used.

Bursitis

A bursitis is an inflamed sac of fluid which unlike a blister lies deep within the skin. Bursa’s can occur at multiple sites all over the foot. For example anywhere where footwear tends to rub, such as the big toe joint, tops of the toes or the back of the heel. Treatment of bursa’s usually requires specific advice regarding footwear and in some instances patients may benefit from a full biomechanical assessment where insoles may be needed to treat and prevent recurrence.

Achilles Tendinitis

Achilles Tendinitis is an inflammation or arguably a degeneration of the Achilles tendon. It can manifest with no apparent trigger but typically this condition requires musculoskeletal examination, prescription exercises as well as prescription insoles and footwear advice.

Corns and Callus

The main reason that a lot of people seek treatment is for the removal of corns or calluses as they can be quite painful and can make walking quite difficult.

Callus (or callosity) is an extended area of thickened, hard skin on the soles of the feet. It is usually symptomatic of an underlying problem such as a bony deformity, a particular style of walking or inappropriate footwear. Some people have a natural tendency to form callus because of their skin type. Elderly people have less fatty tissue in their skin and this can lead to callus forming on the ball of the foot.

Corns are the most painful culprits of pain. They are conical shaped area of hard skin with the point of the cone deep within the tissue this may cause pain if it is pressed against a nerve. . Corns can develop either on the base of the foot, on or in-between the toes.

You should be careful about using corn plasters, as they contain acids than can burn the healthy skin around the corn and this can lead to serious problems such as infection

Corns are usually developed by wearing shoes that are fitted poorly which can allow the foot to slide and rub within the footwear causing a pressure build up of callus. Also shoes such as high heels exert excessive pressure due to the toes being squeezed together which can also cause corns to form. A podiatrist is able to remove the corns, look at preventative measures such as padding and overloading a particular area of pressure build up. Preventative measures may also prescription insoles/orthotics to be placed within your shoes.

Flat Feet

Having flat feet or fallen arches means that your feet have low arches or potentially no arches at all which means your feet are almost completely flat on the ground.

Flat feet can be associated with pain in the foot, knee, hip or lower back. Orthotics/ Insoles can be custom made or bought to alleviate such pain and also correct the foot posture to mimic the natural arch of the foot.

If you have any concerns or would like one of our podiatrists to have a look at your feet to assess for any biomechanical or gait issues please book an appointment and the podiatrist will advise you further on suitable footwear choices, orthotic/insole provisions and prescription exercises to help alleviate foot pain symptoms and strengthen the foot.

Fungal Nails

Fungal nail infections occur when spores of a fungus make their way between your toenail and the skin underneath (the nail-bed), and feed off of the skin or the keratin in the nail. In case you acquire a fungal nail infection you might notice that your nails seem thicker, or that they change colour slightly, or that they even start to separate from the nail bed.  There are quite a few different treatment options available at Gold Standard Foot Care for fungal nails depending on the level that the fungal toe nail may be at.

Hammer Toe

A hammer toe is a deformity that causes a toe to bend or curl under instead of pointing forward. Most often than not affecting the 2nd or 3rd toe. A hammer toe can be present at birth or develop over time due to arthritis.

Depending on the stage of the hammer toe will depend on the treatment options available. Severe hammer toes that cause pain can be treated surgically however if a hammer toe is in its infancy it is recommendable to visit one of our branches.

Heel Pain

Heel pain is extremely common, most heel pain is caused by plantar fasciitis. However it can also be caused by a stress fracture, tendonitis or arthritis.

 Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the band of tissue (the plantar fascia) that extends from the heel to the toes. In this condition, the fascia first becomes irritated and then inflamed, resulting in heel pain.

The most common cause of plantar fasciitis is over excursion. Plantar Fasciitis can also become prominent due to an underlying biomechanical issue such as somebody who has a high arched foot profile, flat feet or who is pronating. Unsupportive footwear can also be a contributing factor.

Plantar Fasciitis treatment is very effective, to find out more information please contact any of our branches.

Ingrown Toenail

Ingrowing toe nails occur when the edge of the toenail grows into the surrounding nail tissue. The skin becomes very red, swollen and tender and can sometimes become quite infected. Other symptoms may include pain if pressure is placed on the toe, inflammation of the toe, an overgrowth of skin surrounding the toe known as hypo granulation, bleeding or pus.

It is very important to ensure an Ingrowing toe nail is treated as soon as possible if you are a diabetic.

Ingrowing toe nails can occur for a number of different reasons such as cutting the toe nail incorrectly, wearing tight fitting shoes, through injury or due to the natural shape of the toe nail.

Ingrowing toe nails can be treated at Gold Standard Foot Care, if the ingrowing toe nail isn’t too severe it can be conservatively managed by a podiatrist who will be able to remove the spike of nail that is ingrowing.

If it is quite a severe ingrowing toe nail you may require a surgical procedure to remove either part of the nail, or the whole to prevent the ingrowing toe nail from reoccurring. This procedure can be performed at any of our clinics.

Metatarsalgia

Metatarsalgia is the name for pain in the ball of the foot. It affects the metatarsal heads which are the bones connecting the toes to the ankle bone. Metetarsalgia pain can either be felt as burning, shooting sensation or tingling or numbness.

Metatarsalgia can be caused by wearing unsupportive footwear, performing high impact sport, having a narrow, high arched or flat foot or even linked to conditions such as gout or morton’s neuroma.

In extreme conditions metatarsalgia may indicate a stress fracture. A simple cause of this type of pain could be a painful corn, a bursa, foot strain or even a foreign body.

Mortons Neuroma

Mortons Neuroma is a painful foot condition which is caused by thickening of the tissue around the nerve between the bases of the toes.

You may initially experience a tingling sensation in the space between your toes, which gets worse over time, typically between the 3rd and 4th toe.  This eventually develops into a sharp shooting or burning pain in the ball of your foot or at the base of your toes. There may also be some numbness in your toes.

The pain is often worse when walking or wearing shoes that squash the feet. Some people describe walking with Morton’s neuroma as feeling like there’s a small stone stuck under your foot.

Arthritis

Arthritic changes in the foot are common in both young and elderly. In younger patients biomechanical assessments, intervention with orthosis and footwear choices can make significant improvements.

Arthritic pain in the foot may be improved with a number of treatments such as; wax foot baths, strapping, footwear advice and insoles.

Thickened Nails

Changes in your toenails may be a sign of an underlying condition. Toenails that have grown thicker over time sometimes indicate a fungal infection, also known as onychomycosis. Left untreated, thick toenails can become painful.

Thickened nails can occur as a result of major trauma such as dropping something on the nail or also multiple minor trauma as observed by runners or active people such as cyclists.

Verrucae

Verrucae are plantar warts that commonly occur on the soles of the feet or around the toe area.  They are caused by the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) which is highly contagious through direct person to person contact.

In the first instance, avoid touching or scratching it as it may spread.   In many cases, evidence suggests that verrucae will disappear of their own accord within six months for children but longer for adults (up to two years or more). This is because the body’s immune system recognises the presence of the virus and fights the infection naturally but it can take many months for this to happen.

If you are worried about your verrucae and/or self-treatment is not working and/or the verrucae appears to be getting larger or more painful, please visit one of our branches.  Additionally, if you have diabetes, poor circulation, are pregnant or any other condition affecting your feet (or your immune system), it is important if you have any concerns to visit one of our clinics so that the podiatrist can assess the verrucae and recommend a suitable treatment plan. There is a few treatment plans available depending on the location, size and severity of pain of the verrucae. All treatments will depend on a full assessment of your general health and well-being.

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