General Foot and Nail Care

foot and nail care

A Helping Hand...For Your Feet

Most people need some help with their feet at some point in their lives.  This ranges from the elderly who cannot reach their feet, younger people who have in-growing toe nails, or sports people who are getting a build up of hard skin or corns on the bottom of the foot.

Don't be embarrassed

If you are embarrassed about not being able to reach your feet to cut your toe nails, I compare it to trying to check your oil level in your car from behind the steering wheel!  Remember - you never take a clean car to the car wash!  Most podiatrists will probably admit it's easier to cut the nails of patients than their own!

 

Call the Footman

Some nails can be difficult to cut due to them being curved or thickened and need that specialist help.

Using a Nail Drill / Sander to reduce thickened nails

Using a Nail Drill / Sander to reduce thickened nails

Corns, Callus & Hard Skin

Corns and callus (hard skin) are common foot complaints dealt with every day in the podiatry clinic, and it's not just the older population either.  With each new year comes new gym memberships, resolutions to take up more exercise and plans about getting in shape for the summer holidays!

Hard skin occurs on areas of high pressure.  Excessive pressure (or as podiatrists call it - Ground Reaction Force) causes the skin to lay down extra layers to protect the structures underneath.  So what can cause excessive pressure in the foot?  A number of factors will influence the pressure on your feet.

  1. Footwear or a lack of it.
  2. Deformities within the foot.
  3. Flooring (links in with a lack of footwear).
  4. A persons weight.

How do I Treat Hard Skin?

Hard skin can be treated in a number of ways.  The most common way to treat hard skin is to reduce it using either a foot-file  or one of the many devices on the market at the moment (home treatments) or professionally reduced by a Podiatrist, who will use a scalpel to carefully shave off layers of hard skin until soft pliable skin remains.  NEVER try this at home.  Contact me for friendly advice and prompt, efficient treatment.  Timely removal of hard skin can prevent discomfort and the possibility of corns.

What causes corns?

Corns are simply very concentrated areas of hard skin / callus forming a small lump or mound on the outer surface of the skin.  Just like callus, they are caused by pressure, but usually appear on areas of extra pressure, such as bony prominence of the foot.

Footman Podiatist

Seed corn

The seed corn is very similar to the hard corn for locations it occurs on the foot, except it is much smaller.  They are extremely small in size, and can look like small 'millet' seed that you see in a bird cage!  These are often described as a feeling of 'having a small stone or fragment of glass' in the foot.  These occur mainly on the bottom of the foot, and between areas of pressure.

Hard corns

Hard corns more often than not appear under the joint of the greater toe and the small toe, as these are common areas of increased pressure in unbalanced feet.

Interdigital or Soft Corn

An interdigital corn occurs between toes, usually on areas where the toes are pressing against each other.  This can be as a result of ill-fitting footwear or foot-deformities.

Can I Treat Corns Myself?

Corns, like callus, need to be reduced and cut out from the skin, along with any hard skin surrounding them.  Corn plasters can contain a mild acid, which softens but may damage the surrounding skin until the central skin will drop off, or can be 'pulled off'. It's always best to get an expert opinion before trying any treatment yourself, especially if you are diabetic.

For more information read my blog on 'Corns and Callus'.