Although we use our legs and feet almost all day to move about, to drive, to exercise, and so on, most of the time we are hardly aware of them. It’s only when foot problems occur that they suddenly come to our notice.
Our feet do get subjected to a lot of wear and tear all day. The skin on the feet is prone to infection and skin diseases. Merely because the feet bears our weight, it can result in many of the common problems that occur. As a matter of fact, there are more than three hundred types of problems related to the feet. While some of these may be due to genetics, most of them stem from usage and lack of basic foot care.
Calluses and Corns
These occur due to pressure and friction when the bone areas of the feet get chafed against the shoes. In case calluses and corns do occur, it’s best to get them treated by a doctor, since treating them by yourself could be harmful, particularly if your circulation is poor or you have diabetes. Sometimes, just wearing better fitting shoes can solve these common foot problems. Although the tissues can be destroyed by the acids that are in over-the-counter medicines. However, the underlying problem that result in calluses and corns is not treated by these. Nevertheless, these medications do reduce the requirement for surgical intervention, but before using them, it is necessary to consult with your doctor.
Bacterial and Fungal Conditions
These conditions, the most common of which is athlete’s foot, occur mainly due to the feet being confined for long hours in shoes, which means long hours of the feet being in humid, warm, and dark conditions, which are ideal for the growth of fungus and bacteria. Bacterial and fungal conditions can result in itching, blisters forming, redness, and peeling of the skin. These infections can become difficult to cure in case they are not treated immediately. Plus, the infection usually reoccurs if the treatment is not thorough. In order to prevent them, the feet should be kept dry and clean, particularly between the toes. Socks should be changed daily, and a foot powder should be used daily, especially when the weather is warm and humid.
These are growths on the skin which are caused by certain viruses. They can be quite painful sometimes, and if not treated, can also spread. In case you get warts, you will need to consult a doctor to get it treated, because over-the-counter medications usually are not effective in curing them. A doctor will use various approaches of treating warts, such as the application of medicines, freezing or burning off the wart, or removing it via surgery.
The Achilles tendon runs from the heel to the calf, and when this tendon becomes inflamed or there is degeneration, it is known as Achilles Tendonitis. When this occurs it can cause piercing, burning, or shooting pain in the area. Sometimes, a small sac filled with fluid may also occur on the tendon. Another sign of Achilles Tendonitis is if the heels or soles of shoes get worn out frequently. This is a common foot problem that usually occurs in sportspeople, runners, and athletes whose feet are subject to highly strenuous activity. It also occurs in women who habitually wear high heels and also take up running. The reason being, the Achilles tendon gets shortened when high heels are worn constantly, and then when flat shoes are worn for running, it causes the tendon to be stretched and thereby inflamed. Over-pronation or over-supination of the foot, stretching inadequately before exercising, excessive weight, strenuous physical activity carried out for a long period, arthritis, gout, and diabetes are some of the other causes of this common foot problem.
This occurs when the corners of the toenails grow into the fleshy tissue nearby, which is often caused by improper cutting of the nails. This usually occurs in the big toe. It is best to get treated by a doctor, who will remove a portion of the nail by surgically cutting into the tissue, which enables the area to heal. You can avoid the occurrence of ingrown toenails by cutting the nail straight at the same level as the top of the toe.
These are caused by growths of calcium developing on the bones of the feet, and are caused due to muscles in the feet being strained. Being overweight, wearing ill-fitting shoes, and standing for long hours at a stretch can worsen the condition. While they may be painless at times, they can become quite painful at other times. Using heel pads, heel cups, and foot supports are some of the ways to treat this condition. Surgery may have to be resorted to sometimes.
This is a painful condition caused because of the bursa of the first joint of the big toe becoming swollen. This condition has a tendency of running in families. If the condition is not severe, wearing pads to cushion the affected area, taping the affected foot, or wearing shoes that cut at the toes and instep may be helpful in alleviating the pain. Some other ways to treat this condition is to wear shoe inserts or orthotic devices, and physical therapy. Anti-inflammatory medications and cortisone injections may also be prescribed by the doctor in order to manage the pain. Surgery may be resorted to, to repair the affected toe joint and relieve the pressure.