As we age, our feet seem to get further away. This may happen for many reasons but injury, surgery and reduced flexibility are common. Even if you can reach your feet, the nails may be difficult to cut or your vision may be compromised. Clients with diabetes are recommended to have their feet professionally cared for.'
Appointments may vary but are generally 4-8 weeks apart.
Corns and Calluses
Careful and skilled use of a surgical instruments by a chiropodist will, in most cases, provide almost immediate relief of painful corns and calluses. It is very important that any pairing or skin lesions is done by a skilled and qualified chiropodist or podiatrist to minimize risk of infections and a satisfactory outcome. Once a corn or callus is trimmed down, it may not return if good footwear is used and any biomechanical issues are addressed.
So what are they?
Corns are areas of thick skin with a “core” usually with a focal point which can make them very painful. They commonly occur in areas of high pressure or friction such as on the top of the toes or on the bottom of the foot particularly if you have a foot deformity such as hammered toes. Softer corns sometimes form in between the toes. These are softer because of the sweaty skin between the toes. Corns press into the deeper layers of skin and can be painful causing inflammation.
Calluses are larger and broader than corns, and have less well-defined edges. These are commonly found on the sole of the foot or top of the toes.
The small bones of the toes and feet are broader and more lumpy near to the small joints of the toes. If there is extra rubbing or pressure on the skin overlying a small rough area of bone, this can cause the skin to thicken. The common reasons for this to happen are tight or poor fitting shoes as well as structural or biomechanical foot problems. If a thickened area of skin forms, this will cause even further pressure and rubbing if footwear is not fitted correctly. This may also lead to corns or calluses formation.
The nail becomes ‘ingrown’ when the side of the nail cuts into the skin next to the nail. This is termed onychocryptosis. Typically this is a painful condition that does not resolve without careful intervention. The skin next to the nail may also become infected or inflamed. Any toe can be affected, but the big toes are affected most often. It is a common problem but should be dealt with quickly to avoid the risk of infection and spreading further into the foot.
What causes ingrown toenails?
Tight fitting shoes may be a cause in some cases. It is also more seen in people who cut their toenails very short or have a very curved nail plate. Trauma such as stubbing the toe can also lead to problems.
What is the treatment for an ingrown toenail?
If caught early, and the ‘ingrown’ part of the nail is small, it may be prevented from becoming worse by the following:
Soak the toe in warm water for 10 minutes to soften the folds of skin around the affected nail.
Then, using a cotton wool bud, push the skin fold over the ingrown nail down and away from the nail. Do this starting at the root of the nail and move the cotton wool bud towards the end of the nail.
If the nail can be trimmed in such a way to “release” the splinter , then it may well resolve the problem, however this can be quite challenging and painful.
It is recommended that if the ingrown nail cannot be safely managed, then a visit to our facility will almost certainly resolve the issue.
For persistent ingrown toenails, it may be necessary to remove either part of the nail, or completely remove it after using a local anesthetic. For more information, please see our section about Toenail Surgery.