COMMON FOOT CONDITIONS
We thought we'd show you some photos & details of the many (but by no means all) types of foot problems we can deal with at Bebington Podiatry.
INGROWN TOENAIL (ONYCHOCRYPTOSIS)
A common & painful condition that occurs when a spike of nail begins to grow into the skin at the side of the toe. Caused by incorrect toenail trimming, trauma to the nail from shoes that are too narrow or not deep enough in the toe box area, sports injury such as football or running, picking of nails etc.
The toe becomes very sore and inflamed and may develop a lump of red tissue at the affected side that bleeds easily (hypergranulation tissue). Infection can develop and spread back down the toe towards the cuticle, an escalation which is of great concern if you have for example diabetes or issues with immunity.
Treatment is removal of the spike or the condition will worsen - this problem will not go away on its own. Your podiatrist may be able to remove the spike painlessly with ingrown toenail clippers in the early stages. If too painful or longstanding, you will require a local anaesthetic - two injections either side near the base of your toe which will allow your podiatrist to remove the spike painlessly. If you have recurrent ingrown toenails, your podiatrist will recommend surgery - a relatively simple procedure performed here at Bebington Podiatry under aseptic conditions which takes about 45 minutes.. A local anaesthetic is administered to your to the base of your toe by two injections, then the entire side/s of the ingrown nail are removed and a chemical applied to the nail bed to prevent this portion of nail growing again, thus eliminating the problem.
You will then return for weekly dressings until your toe has healed - anywhere between one & twelve weeks, during which time you will be able to perform your usual activities. The remaining nail will continue to grow as usual, it may appear thinner at first but gradually the skin at the side of the toe will roll in to fill in any gaps and eventually be unnoticeable.
Your podiatrist can also remove the entire toenail if necessary, you will then not have a toenail at all but, here at Bebington Podiatry, Ann offers toenail reconstruction that will last four to six weeks in 'natural' effect or gel polish to a colour of your choice.
Verrucae are warts (on the foot) caused by human papillomavirus. They are not harmful and in most cases not painful unless they are very large. Most will spontaneously resolve, in children within a couple of years so NICE guidelines are not to treat as children could be upset. In adults, treatment can take a long time, requires diligence and patience and is based on initiating an immune response, recommended treatments are:
1. At home, yourself, using a salicylic acid-based product such as Bazooka which will only affect the top dead layer of skin (epidermis) where the verrucae are.
2. Needling - a podiatrist administers a full foot local anaesthetic (tibial block) and repeatedly administers a sterile needle to the
verruca. We can refer you for this treatment.
3. Swift - using microwave technology which directly affects the virus, the podiatrist administers a probe to the verruca. Not entirely painless but we can refer you for this treatment.
THICK TOENAILS (ONYCHOGRYPHOSIS)
One of the commonest issues we see at Bebington Podiatry and the easiest to deal with! Your podiatrist will thin & smooth your nails with an electric file and trim! Simple as that so don't be embarrassed or nervous, we see nails like this every day.
FLAT FEET (PES PLANUS)
Another common issue that does not always cause symptoms but if you have hot sweaty feet, lower back, knee or hip pain it could be due to flat feet. Laura, our specialist musculoskeletal podiatrist will give you a full biomechanical examination and gait analysis and develop a treatment plan to your exact requirements -this could involve exercises and orthotics (shoe insoles).
FUNGAL NAIL INFECTION (ONYCHOMYCOSIS)
Everyone has fungi on their skin called dermatophytes. If you have an injury to your toenail, these dermatophytes can migrate under the nail to the nail bed and cause thickening, discolouration, crumbliness, fracture of the nail plate and in severe cases total destruction of the nail. Your treatment options are:
1. Lacuna method - Ann drills microholes through the damaged nail plate every 6 weeks for 4 appointments. You will be given an anti-fungal spray to apply twice daily and the nail is monitored until it grows clear.
2. Terbinafine tablets - available only on prescription after a confirmatory test. You will need to take the tablets for 9 months minimum and require liver function tests during treatment.
3. Terbinafine paint - available on prescription or over the counter, you paint your nail with the lacquer twice a week. However, the mycosis is under the nail so may not penetrate deep enough to cure.