COMMON FOOT TREATMENTS

Common Foot Treatments

Below is a list of common foot treatments. If you have a concern that is not listed here, feel free to contact us for more information or make an appointment to discuss with the doctor.

Bunions

Bunions are visible “bumps” on the side of the big toe that reflect an actual change in the bony structure of the foot. Bunions begin when the big toe starts to lean in towards the second toe. Over time, the leaning of the big toe changes the angle of the bones, causing the characteristic “bump.” People with certain foot types are prone to developing bunions. Symptoms that may occur at the bunion site:

  • Pain or soreness
  • Inflammation
  • Burning sensation

Hammertoes

A hammertoe can develop when one or both joints of the little toes bend or contract. Most often caused by a muscle/tendon imbalance, hammertoes are progressive and should be treated at an early stage. If left untreated, hammertoes may not respond to non-surgical treatment. Symptoms of hammertoes:

  • Toe pain while wearing shoes
  • Corns on the toe
  • Calluses on the bottom of the foot or the ball of the foot

Heel pain

Heel pain is usually caused by plantar fasciitis — the inflammation of the plantar fascia, the band of tissue that extends from the heel to the toes. Stress fractures, arthritis and tendonitis can also cause heel pain. People with overly flat feet or high-arched feet are prone to developing heel pain.  Symptoms of plantar fasciitis:

  • Pain at the bottom of the heel and into the arch
  • Heel pain upon rising
  • Heel pain that increases over time

Ingrown toenails

A toenail that is curved downward and grows into the sides of the nail is an ingrown toenail. Ingrown toenails can cause pain, redness and swelling. In a progressed stage, an ingrown toenail can break the skin and cause infection. The most common causes of ingrown toenails include cutting the nail incorrectly and wearing shoes that are too tight.

Corns

A corn is a small circular thickened lesion in the skin of the foot. It usually forms due to repeated pressure on the skin, such as the rubbing of a shoe. The name “corn” comes from its resemblance to a kernel of corn. A corn is different from a callus in that it has a central core of hard material. People with foot deformities, such as hammertoes, often suffer from corns because the tops of the bent toes rub against the tops of shoes. There are a number of treatment options for corns. However, if the underlying cause of the corn is not treated or removed, the corn may return. It is important to avoid trying to remove a corn at home or using medicated corn pads, as serious infection may occur.

Warts (Plantar Warts)

Warts are harmless but a painful foot problem. They are caused by a virus that invades the skin through small or invisible cuts or abrasions. Warts that appear on the sole of the foot are called plantar warts and they are contracted by walking barefoot on dirty surfaces or ground where the virus is present. Plantar warts tend to be hard and flat, with a rough surface and a defined boundary and warts are generally raised and fleshy-like when they appear on the top of the foot or on the toes. If left untreated, they can grow and spread into several warts. Also warts can be very resistant to treatment and have a tendency to reoccur. We can help you manage the growth and the pain of the wart and ideally watch it disappear over time.  Like corns, it’s inadvisable to try to remove a wart at home using over the counter products or bathroom surgery.

Athlete’s Foot and Fungal Infections

Athlete’s foot is a skin disease caused by a foot fungus. Although athlete’s foot commonly occurs between the toes, it can spread by scratching the infected area and then touching other parts of the body such as the groin and underarm areas. Athlete’s foot is commonly contracted by walking barefoot in areas where fungus is present such as public dressing rooms and swimming pool locker rooms. It is also important to note that the same fungi that cause athlete’s foot cause toe nail infections. Symptoms of athlete’s foot:

  • Dry, itchy skin
  • Scaling skin
  • Blisters

Orthotics

Orthopedic devices that treat or adjust various foot disorders, including arch defects, toe-in or toe-out walking and chronically inflamed toes. Cushioned heel cups and insoles for shoes are examples of commercially made orthotics. However, the best orthotics are custom designed by a podiatrist to meet a patient’s specific needs.