Treatment

A range of treatments is offered for corns, calluses, toe nail problems including in-growing nails, verrucae as well as general foot care.

Treatments are provided in our surgery and we also visit patients in their own homes.

Some common ailments are described briefly below. More details about these and other conditions can be found at http://www.scpod.org/foot-health/common-foot-problems/.

http://www.scpod.org is the official web site for The College of Podiatry (formerly known as The Society of chiropodists and Podiatrists).

Calluses and corns

A callus is an especially toughened area of skin that has become relatively thick and hard as a response to repeated contact or pressure. Since repeated contact is required, calluses are most often found on the feet. Shoes that fit tightly can often produce calluses on the feet.

A corn is a hardened or thickened area of skin formed on the toes and feet and caused by undue pressure or friction. Corns can be treated by shaving down, padding or sometimes by using an orthotic device.

Athlete's foot and fungal nails

Athlete's foot is a fungal infection. It can lead to intense itching, cracked, blistered or peeling areas of skin, redness and scaling. Creams that contain Terbafine Hydrochloride have been found to be effective for the treatment of athlete's foot; for example, Lamisil cream which can be bought over the counter without a prescription. If you are unable to get rid of athlete's foot yourself a podiatrist can advise and help find the most suitable treatment for your condition. It is recommended that your consult a podiatrist if the fungal infection has spread to your nails as this requires more specialised treatment.

Verrucae

A verruca is a viral infection of the skin most often found on the soles of the feet but may sometimes occur around the toes. The virus is the same as the one that causes warts elsewhere on the body. Owing to pressure on the soles of the feet, a layer of hard skin forms over the verruca. Many verrucae resolve themselves thanks to the patient's immune system. Treatment should be sought if a verruca causes pain. Common treatments favoured by podiatrists are cryosurgery, in which a verruca is frozen off with liquid nitrogen or nitrous oxide; and chemical cauterisation where strong acids are applied carefully to the verruca in order to destroy the viral tissue.

Ingrowing toenails

An ingrowing toenail occurs when a spike of nail cuts into the flesh at the side of the toe. The area then becomes extremely painful and inflamed, and often becomes infected. A podiatrist can remove the painful spikes of nail during treatment. Under extreme circumstances, a small section of nail may be removed under local anaesthetic (partial nail avulsion) to offer a more permanent solution to severe or chronic problems.

The aim is to reduce stresses on the muscles, ligaments and joints of the foot and ankle, and also the knees, hips and back.

Bunions

A bunion is technically known as a ‘Hallux Valgus’. This is a condition where the big toe is angled excessively towards the lesser toes. A bunion is the bony prominence that results on the inside of the foot and is a symptom of a Hallux Valgus deformity. Sometimes a fluid filled sac (Bursa) can form over the prominent bone and this can become very inflamed and sore (Bursitis). A common feature of this condition is secondary Osteoarthrosis (arthritis) of the big toe joint. Once they have developed the Hallux Valgus tends to get more significant over time but they are not necessarily painful.

There can be several causes of Hallux valgus, amongst them being: the wearing of tight shoes, as a result of and underlying biomechanical problem (i.e the way that you walk) or as a result of an inflammatory joint disease eg. Rheumatoid Arthritis. However it is known that Women get this condition more often then men and that it occurs in societies where shoes are not worn.

A visit to Finchley Feet can aid in the long term management of this condition as we are able to advise on appropriate footwear, treat any corns and callouses and if appropriate prescribe orthotics in order to improve the biomechanical function of the feet with the aim of preventing the problem from getting worse.