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Skin conditions

Corns & Callous

Hard skin (known as callous or hyperkeratosis) can develop on areas of the feet exposed to chronic rubbing. This can be caused by the way you walk, poorly fitting orthotics, tight shoes as well as some medical condition.

A corn is a tender, cone shaped area of very dense, hard skin that forms at specific pressure points on the foot.

Treatment for corns and callous is usually completely painless and involves removal of the hard skin using sterile instruments. Often this hard skin will build up again over time and therefore it is best to have your feet treated on a regular basis in order to remain comfortable and pain free.

Cracked heels

Cracked Heels (Fissures) Fissures is the medical term used to describe cracked heels and initially manifests as thick callus around the heels. It is not the callus alone that causes the cracks to appear though. Cracks appear when the skin becomes excessively dry because the skin looses its suppleness. Other factors may be if you are carrying a bit too much weight, as increased weight places the feet under a lot of stress, wearing thongs or walking barefoot, Some cracks may bleed and become painful unless treated by a podiatrist.

Veruccae/Planter warts

Plantar warts or verrucae are benign skin growths caused by the human papillomavirus. They occur on the bottom of the feet and around the toes and are highly contagious. Occurring more commonly in children, warts generally will resolve by themselves but may take many months or years. Depending on the location of the wart it can be painful, especially on weight-bearing areas.

Plantar warts are usually transmitted via moist walking surfaces such as showers, swimming pools, change rooms etc. The virus usually enters the skin through small cuts or abrasions and due to pressure on the sole of the foot a layer of hard skin or callous forms over the top.

In many cases they are not painful and can be left to regress (your own immunity will get rid of them). But when painful, intervention is required, which can consist of simple of the shelf home treatment, or stronger topical treatments. At Podiatry Illawarra we will assess the lesion and give you the most relevant treatment regime.

Tinea/Athletes foot

Athlete’s foot is a skin infection caused by fungus. A fungal infection may occur on any part of the body; on the foot it is called athlete’s foot, or tinea pedis. Fungus commonly attacks the feet because it thrives in a dark, moist, warm environment such as a shoe.

Fungal infections are more common in warm weather when feet tend to sweat more. Fungus thrives in damp areas such as swimming pools, showers, and locker rooms. Athletes commonly have sweaty feet and use the facilities where fungus is commonly found, thus the term “athlete’s foot.”

Athlete’s foot usually produces itchy, dry, scaling skin. It is commonly seen on the soles of the feet and in between the toes. In advanced cases, inflammation, cracks, and blisters may form; an infection caused by bacteria can also result. The fungus can spread to other areas of the body, including toenails.

At Podiatry Illawarra we can diagnose any fungal infection and advise you relevant treatment.

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