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Five Common Foot Ailments

foot ailmentsWe are often asked what are the most common foot ailments you see.  So we thought we would give you the top 5 foot conditions ( in alphabetic order):

1. Athlete’s Foot

This is a skin disease that usually starts between the toes and can spread to other parts of the foot and body.  It is caused by a fungus which most commonly attacks the feet because the warm, dark humidity of shoes fosters fungus growth.  The signs of athlete’s foot are drying skin, itching, scaling, inflammation, and blisters.  You can prevent infection by washing your feet daily with soap and warm water; drying carefully, especially between the toes; and changing shoes and socks regularly to decrease moisture.

2. Blisters

This is caused by skin friction and moisture.  Don’t pop them.  Apply moleskin or a Band-aid over a bliser, and leave it on until if falls off naturally in the bath or shower.  Keep your feet dry and wear a layer of socks as a cushion between your feet and shoes.  If a blister breaks on its own, wash the area, apply an antiseptic, and cover with a sterile bandage.

3. Bunions

These are misaligned big-toe joints which become swollen and tender.  The deformity causes the first joint to slant outward, and the second joint to angle toward the toes.  Bunions tend to be inherited, but the tendency can be aggravated by shoes that are too narrow in the forefoot and toe.  There are conservative and preventative steps which can minimize the discomfort of a bunion, but surgery is sometimes recommended to correct the problem.

4. Corns and Calluses

These are protective layers of compacted, dead skin cells.  They are caused by repeated friction and pressure from skin rubbing against bony areas or against an irregularity in a shoe.  Corns normally form on the toes and calluses on the soles of the feet, but both occur on either surface.  Corns have a small nucleus in the centre of the corn, whereas calluses are just thickened hard skin, that is why corns are often more painful than calluses. The friction and pressure can burn or otherwise be painful and may be relieved by applying moleskin on the affected areas.  Never cut corns or calluses with any instrument, and never apply home remedies, see a Podiatrist to treat this condition.

5. Ingrown Toenails

These are nails whose corners or sided dig painfully into the skin.  They are frequently caused by improper nail trimming, but also by shoe pressure, injury, fungus infection, poor foot structure, and heredity.  Toenails should be trimmed straight across with toenail clippers.  Don’t try and treat this yourself, as this often makes the problem worse.  See a Podiatrist to have this seen to immediately.


We have HICAPS available in our clinic, which means that our patients can claim from their private health fund straight away

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Shop 2/17-19 East Parade
Sutherland, NSW 2232

Tel: 02 9542 3491