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This skin infection caused by fungus produces itchy, dry, scaling skin, commonly on the soles of the feet and in between the toes. In advanced cases, inflammation, cracks and blisters may form, and a bacterial infection may result. Your foot and ankle specialist will recommend the best treatment for you.
Also known as metatarsalgia, ball of foot pain can be caused by intense physical activity, foot deformities, an inflamed nerve, stress fractures or ill-fitting shoes. Ice and rest often relieve symptoms, but see your podiatric professional if your ball of foot pain lasts more than a few days.
A black toenail can be caused by a fungal infection, melanoma (skin cancer), an injury or trauma, or an underlying medical condition such as diabetes. Any black toenail that doesn’t get better should be medically evaluated to determine and treat the underlying cause.
Calluses are thick, hardened layers of skin that develop when your skin tries to protect itself against friction and pressure. They often come about due to other conditions, such as bunions or hammertoe. If a corn or callus becomes painful or inflamed, see your podiatric professional.
This circular, thickened lesion in the skin of the foot differs from a callus in that it has a central core of hard material, typically caused by repeated pressure on the skin. Podiatric care is needed to determine and remove the underlying cause of the corn. Do not attempt to remove a corn yourself or treat it with medicated pads, as serious infection can occur.
Diabetic individuals are prone to foot problems because of two of the disease’s complications: nerve damage (neuropathy) and poor circulation. Poor circulation reduces your ability to heal, so even a minor condition such as a corn or callus can have serious complications. Routine check-ups and care by a podiatric professional are essential to maintaining foot and ankle health for diabetic patients.
Hammer toe is a muscle imbalance around the toe joints that causes the toe(s) to curl upward. It is a progressive condition that will worsen over time without treatment. If you are experiencing hammer toe, seek podiatric care immediately. Hammer toes in their earlier stages are flexible, and they can be managed non-invasively; as they harden, surgical intervention may be necessary.
Persistent heel pain is most often caused by plantar fasciitis, but it can also be due to other causes such as fractures, tendonitis, arthritis or nerve irritation. Because there are several potential causes, it is important to have your heel pain properly diagnosed by a podiatrist to ensure that your treatment is correct and effective.
This common condition is caused when the side of the nail digs into the skin, creating pain, redness and swelling; a bacterial infection may also develop. Causes include improper nail trimming (cutting the nails too short), improperly sized footwear, heredity or trauma. Treatments vary widely, depending upon the severity of the condition. Consult a podiatric professional, and don’t rely on ineffective, over-the-counter medications.
Nerve damage causes neuropathy, a condition that is often, but not always, associated with diabetes. Neuropathy causes symptoms such as tingling, numbness, cramping, burning or shooting pain, and lack of sensation in your feet. Treatments include orthotics, medications, physical therapy and TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation). Symptoms will worsen as the nerves degenerate, so seek podiatric care as soon as possible.
Plantar warts are small growths, caused by a virus, that appear on the heels or other weight-bearing areas of your feet. If your warts are painful or spreading, a podiatric consult is recommended to determine the optimal treatment. Options include prescription strength wart medications, cryotherapy or minor surgery.
Bunions are a progressive disorder that begins with a leaning of the big toe toward the second toe. They appear as a bump on the side of the big toe, but actually reflect inner changes to the bony part of the foot. Bunions can cause pain, inflammation and redness, burning and even numbness. Treatments include padding, orthotic devices and more. Surgery may be required in extreme cases.