Common Foot Problems – Causes and Treatments
Ok, so how well do we know our foot? Not much. A human foot is made of 42 muscles, 26 bones, 33 joints, and at least 50 ligaments and tendons. Our foot’s myriad parts, including the toes, heel, and ball, work together to get us from point a to point b. However, sometimes, the stress of carrying around our weight put our feet at a high risk of developing injuries.
Since our feet take our whole weight of our body, it is imperative to take extreme good care of them. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the most common foot problems and the various ways in which you can treat these problems.
Read further to know the causes of various foot problems and their respective treatments.
1. Athlete’s Foot
Athlete’s foot will inflame the skin and cause a white, scaly rash with a red base. Moreover, an athlete’s foot will also cause itching, burning, peeling, and a mild bad odour.
Generally athlete’s foot occurs when the tinea fungus grows on the feet. It is possible to catch this fungus through a direct contact with an infected person or by coming in direct contact with contaminated surfaces. This fungus is known to thrive in moist environments such as locker room floors, shower rooms, and swimming pools.
Most often athlete’s foot is treated with over-the-counter topical anti-fungal medications. You may have to visit a doctor who may prescribe topical or oral anti-fungal medicines. Also, you may be recommended to try some home-based treatments in order to clear up the infection.
2. Planter Wart
Planter warts are small growths on heels or other weight-bearing areas of the feet. When the pressure is high, plantar wart may also grow inward beneath a hard and thick layer of the skin.
Planter warts are caused due to a virus called HPV. When this virus enters your body through tiny cuts or breaks on the bottom of your feet.
Although most planter warts aren’t a serious health concern and usually go away with undergoing any treatment, it is better to try self-care treatments in order to have the warts removed. Talk with your doctor about freezing medicine and stronger peeling medicine. If these two medicines fail to work, then you may require a laser treatment or a minor surgery.
If you round circles of thickened skin on your toes or on the sole of your foot, then it could be corns. Corns can appear on the sides and top of your toes as well as between the toes. Corns are usually not painful in the beginning, but can become irritated later on.
It is very easy to develop corns from wearing shoes that are too tight or too snug on your feet. Also, if you walk or stand for too long, due to the weight of your body and the constant friction can cause corns on the bottom of your feet.
If you are sure about your corn, then you can use various over-the-counter wart removal products. Ensure that an active ingredient called salicylic acid is used in these products. Also, ensure that these products are safe. It is generally advised to avoid using salicylic acid by people with diabetes.
4. Fungal Toenail Infection
Toenail fungal infection is a very common foot problem. It begins as a white or yellow spot under the tip of your toenail. And as the fungal infection goes deeper, nail fungus may cause the nail to discolour, thicken, and crumble at the edge. You are more susceptible to developing a toenail infection if you walk through wet areas such as locker and shower rooms.
Some of the main causes for developing a fungal toenail infection are medical conditions such as diabetes, frequent use of public spaces like a swimming pool or a locker room, or exposure to contaminated nail instruments.
Fungal toenail infection is difficult to treat. Treatment often depends on the severity of the condition and the type of fungus causing it. Your doctor may prescribe oral anti-fungal drugs or medicated nail polish or medicated nail cream for treating the infection. If required, your doctor might suggest a temporary or permanent nail removal.
Gout is a common form of arthritis that can affect anyone at any time of their lives. However, it is most commonly found in men between 40 and 50 years and in postmenopausal women. Gout happens when the body is unable to keep uric acid levels in check. In a gout attack, the toe will get warm, red, and swollen and will be painful to even a slight touch.
When urate crystals accumulate in the joints, gout occurs. Urate crystals are formed when there is a high level of uric acid found in the blood. Our body produces uric acid when it breaks down purines. Purines are a substance found naturally in the body.
Gout is developed when there is a high level of uric acid in the body. Factors that increase the uric acid level in our body are:
c. Medical conditions
d. Certain medicines
Sometimes our body produces too much uric acid or our kidneys excrete too little uric acid. Whenever this happens, it causes inflammation and swelling.
Your doctor will prescribe you certain gout medications, which will help you treat acute gout attacks and also prevent future attacks. Medications to treat gout attacks include Colchicine, Corticosteroids, and Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
As they say, ‘prevention is always better than cure’. Ensure that you take very good care of your feet by keeping them clean, free from harmful bacteria. Wearing a good footwear can be a great start to keeping your feet healthy.
Foot conditions are highly subjective and can vary in type, symptoms, and severity. It is advisable to see a doctor if your foot condition worsens and if home-based treatments don’t seem to be working.
About the Author
Harvey lives with his wife, daughter, and two golden retrievers in one of the many stone houses in Stamford, UK. He is a freelance writer and a content strategist with many top health and beauty product companies likeTagBand UK
: makers one of the most popular skin tag removal devices in UK. When he is not working he can be found sipping coffee in one of the cafe's overlooking river Welland