Common Foot Conditions and their treatment Routine Elderly Foot Care
As the average person walks around 110,000 miles in their lifetime, our feet age just like our whole body. Tendons, ligaments and bones can lose strength and elasticity over time which can increase the risk of trauma and aches. Following regular, moderate exercise routines you are able to maintain mobility and prevent further or future injury.
The wear and tear arthritis is called Osteoarthritis and is a common occurrence in the feet. The symptoms can worsen over time and can result in bunions, hammer toes and trapped nerves. Wearing supportive shoes while walking can help feet in their daily wear and tear (running shoes are great for pavement pounding in city life). Overtime the nails tend to thicken, especially if they have been lively in sport or a physical job, and the protecting fibro fatty padding on the sole of the feet tends to disperse, thin and lead to calluses.
If you don't have perfect eyesight and you struggle bending, foot care can become a real issue. As well as age related medical conditions, diabetes and cardiovascular disease can lead to circulation problems within your feet and encourage foot problems. Simply make a routine appointment, every couple of months and let our team maintain your feet, ski and nails to avoid foot issues before they become more serious.
Warm Wax Therapy
Used since Roman times warm wax therapy improves blood flow, reduces pain from inflammatory conditions (such as arthritis and muscle strain) and increases hydration in the skin, leaving the feet more comfortable, and the skin softened with increased elasticity.
A relaxing and pleasant experience carried out under safe and hygienic treatment protocols, it is therapeutic and safe for almost everyone and ideal for tired, sore or dry feet.
If you haven t been to us before a short medical history will be taken and your needs discussed. After cleansing an emollient suitable for your skin type is massaged into your feet, then 4-5 layers of warm wax containing citrus oils are brushed onto the skin using a disposable brush and bowl for hygiene. Your feet will be wrapped in plastic bootees for hygiene then in heated bootees, leaving you to unwind to a gentle relaxation soundtrack. 10-15 minutes later the wax will be massaged off using scented almond oil.
Warm wax therapy can be booked as a stand alone appointment, or added to a standard podiatry appointment for the ultimate foot spa experience.
Corns and Calluses
A corn or callus is the thickened and hardened area of skin that develops when skin is exposed to excessive friction and pressure.
Corns A small circle of thick skin with a centre pointing to the body are normally found in boney prominences and can be highly tender. Occurring on boney areas because of the lack of natural cushioning, they are often the result of an underlying foot problem, foot deformity or biomechanical issue.
Calluses A rough area of skin, they are often yellow in colour and can develop anywhere on the foot. The most common place is in the heel area or under the ball of the foot. Being both painful and producing a burning feeling, calluses develop when the skin comes into contact and friction on something, shoes or the ground. Seed Corns The tiny multiple corns that congregate in large numbers appear under a patch of callus and occur because of heavy friction and dry skin.
Excessive pressure on any part of the foot from ill-fitting shoes, high heels, long hours on your feet or dry skin can all result in corns and calluses occurring. These can be painlessly removed in a normal routine in order to smooth the skin and get your feet back to pain free. We can also prevent the formation again through silicon inserts, padding, insoles and the proper footwear. Although most lesions react to treatments, some can affect the blood and nerve supplies. These stubborn lesions can be painful where the only possible outcome if routine debridement and surgical solutions. Our radio surgical desiccation and excision using local anaesthetic provides the client with long term solutions and the removal of painful corns and calluses.
Dry Cracked Heels
The skin on the heels of a foot is designed to withstand heavy impact and is thicker than any other skin on the body. Due to the thickness, it is more prone to calluses and a build-up of flaky skin as well as cracking. This is both unsightly to the eye and also painful, when left untreated can develop into further issues and bleed on occasion. To prevent risk of infection and the risk of cracked heels (especially for diabetics where ulceration can occur) we advise a regular use of a 25% urea cream, foot filing and maintain your feet properly. If thickened skin has already occurred, then a chiropodist can remove the build-up safely and treat other problems. This will have an instant effect on your feet and leave you feeling better about yourself overall.
Ingrown or Involute Toenails
An ingrown toenail commonly develops at the side of the toe as the nail grows into the surrounding skins. The nail then punctures the skin and results in pain, swelling and infections. The extra tissue around the nail is called hypergranulation tissue and forms around the nail to protect itself.
Involuted nails result in thicker nails being damaged. The damage can occur over time or as a one off episode but they can be painful, difficult to cut and can develop corns and calluses on the surrounding edge of the nail. Most people are prone to them due to their natural nail shape, the positioning of their foot or from having moist skin which can then be encouraged by bad nail cutting, poor fitting shoes and blunt traumas.
The treatment of ingrown toenails involves the removal of the edge of the nail and reducing the added pressure on the soft tissues. Following with a dressing, the edge of the nail is padded for care at home. We provide all clients with advice as to how to avoid the same experience occurring but major ingrown nails may require surgical procedures to remove the poorly shaped edge of nail. With minimal down time after surgery and local anaesthetic you can be on your feet again in no time.
The surgery for an ingrown toe nail starts with a sterile procedure that is carried out under local anaesthetic. The recurrent and severe ingrown toenails that need surgery are those that have not reacted to the initial treatments. The treatment starts with a local anaesthetic on either side of the toe to numb it and the ingrown portion of nail is loosened and remove. Using either chemical or radiosurgery probes to cauterise the nail bed the whole procedure can take up to an hour. Once the procedure is complete we dress your toe accordingly and you can go home, we recommend 2-3 days off work. We then keep in touch for your dressing appointments until fully healed, expected around 3-4 weeks. The final result of the surgery is that the nail is slightly narrower than normal but pain free and hard to notice from your untreated nails.
If you are experiencing pain in your foot it can be from a number of reasons including neuroma, tendonitis, osteoarthritis, bursitis, plantar fasciitis, seasmoiditits and stress fractures. After ann examination of the foot and a full history of each individual problem we are able to offer guidance and treatment solutions. Wearing comfortable footwear and following the PRICE principle of protection, rest, ice, compression and elevation, we may be able to settle down the minor problems with minimal intervention. Some foot pain can be the result of underlying structural problems, in which case we can offer a biomechanical assessment, please see our Biomechanics and 3D scanning page.
Heel Pain and Bunions
Pain under your heel is the common case of plantar fasciitis and inflammation of the plantar fascia (the fibrous structure that supports the arch) as it connects into the heel bone. The appearance of mild, early on-set plantar fasciitis responds well to anti-inflammatory medication, the proper supportive footwear and following the PRICE principle again. You can also gently roll a plastic drink bottle filled with frozen water under the arch of your foot to gain more relief.
If you are still experiencing pain after 2 weeks of this method there could well be an underlying cause such as instability within your foot. With intervention from a chiropodist heel pain can be a thing of the past and far from the chronic pains you were going through.
A bunion refers to the wide range of conditions effecting the big toe and is most commonly used to describe a deformity and bending of the bigger toe towards the little ones. The bunion itself is formed from an underlying instability issue in the foot itself, encourage by poor footwear and wear and tear. With no actual way to reverse a bunion being formed, there needs to be surgical intervention. The procedures can come with a number of problems but our chiropodists can advise on the right footwear, padding and treatment for the complications before a surgical referral is needed.
If you have red, itchy and peeling skin on your feet and under your toes it is commonly caused by fungal skin infections. Due to modern day life and being highly active with shoes and socks, we are providing the warm, damp environment where fungi love to grow. The mild infections can be treated within a short period using an antifungal cream like Lamisil, the proven fast acting cream. If your symptoms are recurring, severe and have not responded in a few days then further intervention may be needed. Common mistakes for athlete's foot are eczema, psoriasis and bacterial infections which all need their own treatment regime.
Fungal Nail Infections
A fungal toenail infection occurs when the organisms that cause athlete's foot get into the distal (end of damaged nail). Another way of it entering the toe is through already damaged, thickened nails that will become crumbly, chalk like and discoloured. Fungal nail infections are not great to look at but generally do not cause the body much harm or pain Home treatmentcan be effective for milder cases, but must be carried out over a period of months with the nail is thinned down as far as possible, encouraging treatment penetration into the lower nail layers. If the infection has spread to the base of the nail, or throughout several nails, then surgical treatment may be an option, the affected nails are painlessly removed under local anasthetic, then allowed to regrow whilst treating the nail bed with an antifungal spray. The procedure has a 90% sucess rate. and £150 for one nail, o up tor £300 for four nails.Fungal nail infections are easy to improve but can be hard to get rid of forever. You may need ongoing toe nail maintenance and foot care treatments to keep the fungi at bay.
A verruca is the formation of a wart on the foot caused by the Human Papilloma Virus and can be commonly found on the areas of the foot where skin has been previously damaged. They are traditionally associated with swimming pools and communal showers, where skin is softened by prolonged water contact. Although associated with children, the wart virus can effect anyone of any age.
The wart is typically seen as a cauliflower looking hard lump, appearing under calluses where they can be easily misdiagnosed as corns. Verrucae's are not harmful as they do not invade the body. They can spread and become very painful over time but there are many treatment options available with a solution for everyone not being the same. Home treatments are the best for small, pain free verrucae and younger children. If not carried out properly the effect of the treatment can just simply be a placebo and not actually remove the wart itself.
Kennington Chiropody Surgery offer a range of treatments including cryotherapy which creates a localised cold burn to encourage an immune response. Faulkner's needling needling is carried out under local anaesthetic and is suitable for the more stubborn verrucae, and multiple lesions. Using radio surgical excisions under local anaesthetic, we are able to remove deeper lesions, particularly those causing pain on weight bearing areas. Simply make a general appointment with your podiatrists and take the opportunity to make the right choice of treatment for your verrucae.