WARNING: Diabetics should not self treat any conditions of the feet, it is important to bring any problems you have with your feet to the attention of your doctor or chiropodist.
We often neglect our feet, after all they are the part of our body that we hide in shoes and socks and they are the furthest point from our faces however the problems that do arise are easily treated to bring rapid relief and a quick return of comfort.
The common conditions that affect our feet are:
VerrucaeVerrucas are hard, raised areas of skin usually on the base of the foot. They are caused by a virus which enters the skin when it is moist or damaged. Since they are caused by a virus they are usually located on areas of the sole of the foot that contact the floor, and they are often caught in changing rooms of leisure centres.
There is often a number of visible black spots in the centre of verrucae. This is blood that is collecting in the verrucae which is fighting the viral infection.
They can be painful because of the pressure the growing areas of hard skin puts of the nerves under the skin. This can be aggravated by the fact that the body weight will often be placed on the area of the foot bearing the verrucae. Treatment is the same as for corns and is very simple.
CornsCorns are almost identical to verrucas except that there is no viral involvement. Corns are caused by friction between the foot and either other areas of the foot or footwear. Treatment is the same as for verrucas and is very simple.
CallusesThese are areas of hardened skin on areas of the feet that would rub on footwear. The cause is similar to corns however the outcome is a larger area of hard skin without the obvious centre which corns possess.
Treatment is similar to that for bunions, however more can be done for calluses than bunions.
BunionsA bunion is caused by continuous use of ill fitting footwear and slowly produces a displaced joint in the foot. This usually affects the big toe due to pointed shoes. The constant pressure on the joint in the foot pushes it out of position and causes the body to produce a sack of fluid over the joint to protect it from further damage. However, this defence mechanism only makes matters worse as further pressure on this fluid causes pain when it becomes inflamed.
Treatment is used to provide relief from the pain involved and is similar to some treatments for calluses. There is no treatment which cures bunions apart from surgery.
Verrucae and Corn TreatmentThe aim of these treatments is to remove the area of hard skin from the foot by applying a corrosive material only to the affected area. This is often Salicylic Acid. There are several products on the market which contain this acid as the active ingredient, they should be applied only to the corn or verrucae, and if required the surrounding skin should be protected with vasoline for example. Some of these products will require the use of plasters to keep the Salicylic Acid in place while the newer products come in a self sealing gel. The latter are easier to use but are of course more expensive.
It is also helpful to use abrasive items like foot files or pumice stones which help remove the hardened outer layers of skin. This allows the corrosive products to work more quickly as they can penetrate further.
Callus and Bunion TreatmentThe primary goal of the treatment of these conditions is to remove the aggravating factors by changing footwear or adding padding to existing footwear to reduce or remove the pressure and friction that cause these conditions.
This is all that can be done for bunions apart from undergoing and operation to correct the joint problem.
Calluses can be further treated to remove the hard skin by application of Salicylic Acid. This acts by removing the outer layers of hardened skin from the foot. This can also be accomplished by use of foot files and other abrasive products.
If you suffer from hard skin on the soles of your feet, then why not try the MICRO Pedi. The revolutionary device works with rollers - not blades - and helps you achieve soft, smooth feet in no time.
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