Take 5 minutes out from your busy schedule and read these 7 common foot problems that you might be experiencing:
Fungal nail infection: This infection occurs when tiny fungi enter your nail through a crack and makes the nails thick, discoloured and brittle. Since fungus thrives in warm, wet places, it can spread to people who swim or have sweaty feet. Antifungal pills or surgery to remove the nail can clear up severe infection.
Corns and calluses: These thick, hard, dead areas of skin are caused by friction or pressure. Corns are cone-shaped and point into the skin and usually form on pressure points from ill-fitted shoes or a bone spur. Calluses spread out more and appear when something rubs on the skin. Moleskin pads and patches with medication can remove corns and calluses respectively.
Gout: This causes sudden pain, redness, swelling and stiffness as it is a form of arthritis. It can flare in the foot, ankle, knees or the big toe. Attacks can last days or even weeks. It can be treated with drugs that fight inflammation or medication that lowers uric acid.
Plantar warts: These growths form on the soles of the feet and you get them when a virus enters your body through broken skin. They spread through direct contact with skin or with surfaces in places like public pools and showers. Even though they are harmless, they can sometimes be too painful. They can be removed by burning, freezing, laser therapy and surgery in severe cases.
Athlete’s foot: It is a type of fungal infection and can cause peeling, redness, itching, burning, blisters or sores. It can be contagious and spread by direct contact or walking barefoot. The fungi also grow in shoes, especially tight ones. Fungus-fighting lotions or pills can be used for treatment.
Hammertoe: They are caused when toe muscles around the joints get out of balance. It makes the 2nd, 3rd or 4th toes bend downward at the middle joint. This condition sometimes runs in the family. Well-fitted shoes with correct amount of space, shoe supports and surgery can give one relief.
Ingrown toenail: This problem causes pain, redness, infection and swelling. You can get them from cutting your nails too short, injuring a toenail and wearing tight shoes. In mild cases, you can seek relief by soaking your feet in warm water and keeping it clean and wedging a small piece of cotton under the corner of the ingrown nail to lift it off the skin. Minor surgery is recommended for severe cases