Corns and Callus form when the foot is subjected to abnormal levels of pressure during the walking cycle. This may be due to poor fitting footwear or abnormal mechanics in the foot.
Corns most frequently appear over a boney prominence such as joint. There are 5 different types of corns. The 2 most common are hard corns and soft corns.
Hard corns are the most common and appear as small concentrated areas of hard skin surrounded by a ring of callus.
Verrucae are the result of a viral infection in the skin. The virus thrives in damp conditions so is therefore commonly picked up in places like communal changing areas at swimming pools and gyms.
At Natural Therapies verrucae are treated in a number of different ways, such as applying lotions or ointments that contain a strong acid to eradicate the virus. Freezing using liquid nitrogen is available (this much colder than the freezing treatments available over the counter). If you require freezing treatment at Natural Therapies please let the reception staff know, so we can make sure it will be available the day of your appointment. We also have range of gentle treatments suitable for young children or diabetic patients. These are in the form of herbal or homeopathic treatments.
An ingrowing toenail occurs when a piece of nail pierces the flesh at the side of the nail. This condition occurs most commonly in the big toe. It may feel as if you have a splinter at the side of the toe, and can be very painful. In severe cases the toe may become infected and form a bloody tissue at the side of the nail called hypergranulation.
At Natural Therapies our podiatrist will remove the painful spike of nail using local anaesthetic if necessary. If the condition is very severe it may be necessary to remove part or all of the nail permanently by obliterating the nail bed using phenol. (insert picture from old website of ingrown toenail)
Thickened nails can be due to a sudden trauma to the nail bed or a continual trauma from poor foot mechanics. Thickened nails may also be due to skin condition such as psoriasis or may be caused by a fungal infection in the nail.
At Natural Therapies our podiatrists will cut the nail easily using the correct form of nail clippers. After the nail is cut it may be necessary to thin the nail down using a small drill. If a fungal infection is suspected a nail sample will be taken for you to give to your GP for further investigation.
What most people call a bunion is actually known as hallux valgus. It is a condition when the big toe is angled excessively to the second toe. Sometimes the toes will cross over each other. A fluid sac may form over the big toe joint this is called a bursa, it may become inflamed and painful. Often corns and callus may form as a result of the bunion these can be treated easily by a podiatrist.
Bunions are most commonly seen in women. They are not always caused by poor footwear, although this maybe a predisposing factor as to how painful it may become. Some people have a genetic predisposition to developing a bunion, caused by the way we walk.
Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection. It can lead to intense itching, cracked, blister or peeling areas of the skin, redness and scaling. It can occur on moist waterlogged skin especially between the fourth and fifth toes. Many people are unaware that the condition can occur on any part of the foot and may account for the dry flaking skin round heels and on the soles of the feet.
At Natural Therapies our podiatrists will be able to advise you the best treatment for your athletes foot refer you to your GP if necessary. We will also be able to advice on how to prevent reinfecting yourself with the fungus.
This is often caused by a condition known as plantarfascitis. It is commonly characterised by pain on the inside of the heel (medial side) and mid foot pain, it is worst on rising first thing in the morning. Patients may often complain of a pain feeling like a “stone bruise”.
The plantarfascia is a dense fibrous structure that lies below the fat pad of the foot. It spans the entire length of the sole of the foot. If a patient is flat footed (pronated) this causes excess strain at the insertion if the plantarfascia and can led to pain and inflammation at that point. Extremely flat shoe such as pumps will exacerbate the problem.
At Natural Therapies we will examine the cause of the heel pain. It may be necessary to follow a strict stretching routine. We will also examine to foot to see if there are any biomechanical problems and prescribe orthotics to correct the mechanics of the foot if necessary.
If you have been diagnosed with diabetes then it is possible that you may develop complications with your feet. For example, you are 15 times more likely to have a limb amputated.
The risks are greatly reduced by good diabetic control. They are also reduced if blood pressure and cholesterol levels are monitored and controlled by medication if necessary. Smoking is also not a good idea as it has adverse effect upon the blood supply to your feet (see www.givingupsmoking.co.uk for help).
As well as our basic range of services we also offer several specialist services. These currently include:
Footwork at Natural Therapy operates two practices - one in Edinburgh and one in Linlithgow