There are many foot conditions that can influence your standing and walking. Talking proper care of you feet including properly fitting shoes will ensure better foot and body health.
- Fungal and Bacterial Conditions - including athlete's foot, occur because our feet spend a lot of time in shoes - a warm, dark, humid place that is perfect for fungus to grow. Fungal and bacterial conditions can cause dry skin, redness, blisters, itching, and peeling. If not treated right away, an infection may be hard to cure. If not treated properly, the infection may reoccur. To prevent infections, keep your feet - especially the area between your toes - clean and dry. Change your shoes and socks or stockings often to help keep your feet dry. Try dusting your feet daily with foot powder. If your foot condition does not get better within 2 weeks, talk to your doctor.
- Corns and Calluses - are caused by friction and pressure when the bony parts of your feet rub against your shoes. If you have corns or calluses, see your doctor. Sometimes wearing shoes that fit better or using special pads solves the problem. Treating corns and calluses yourself may be harmful, especially if you have diabetes or poor circulation. Over-the-counter medicines contain acids that destroy the tissue but do not treat the cause. Sometimes these medicines reduce the need for surgery, but check with your doctor before using them.
- Bunions - develop when the joints in your big toe no longer fit together as they should and become swollen and tender. Bunions tend to run in families. If a bunion is not severe, wearing shoes cut wide at the instep and toes, taping the foot, or wearing pads that cushion the bunion may help the pain. Other treatments include physical therapy and wearing orthotic devices or shoe inserts. A doctor can also prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs and cortisone injections for pain. Sometimes surgery is needed to relieve the pressure and repair the toe joint.
- Bunionette - is an abnormal bony bump, on the outer side of the fifth toe. This problem can start out as small and painless, but then become larger and more painful over time. The condition is sometimes called a tailor's bunion.
- Ingrown Toenails - occur when a piece of the nail breaks the skin - which can happen if you don't cut your nails properly. Ingrown toenails are very common in the large toes. A doctor can remove the part of the nail that is cutting into the skin. This allows the area to heal. Ingrown toenails can often be avoided by cutting the toenail straight across and level with the top of the toe.
- Hammer Toe - is caused by a shortening of the tendons that control toe movements. The toe knuckle is usually enlarged, drawing the toe back. Over time, the joint enlarges and stiffens as it rubs against shoes. Your balance may be affected. Wearing shoes and stockings with plenty of toe room is a treatment for hammertoe. In very serious cases, surgery may be needed.
- Spurs - are calcium growths that develop on bones of your feet. They are caused by muscle strain in the feet. Standing for long periods of time, wearing badly fitting shoes, or being overweight can make spurs worse. Sometimes spurs are completely painless - at other times they can be very painful. Treatments for spurs include using foot supports, heel pads, and heel cups. Sometimes surgery is needed.
- Plantar Fasciitis - is a common painful disorder affecting the heel and underside of the foot. It is a disorder of the insertion site of tendon on the bone and is characterized by scarring, inflammation, or structural breakdown of the foot's plantar fascia. It is often caused by overuse injury of the plantar fascia, increases in exercise, weight or age.
- Morton's Neuroma - is the thickening of nerve tissue between the third and fourth toes. The thickening, or enlargement, of the nerve that defines a neuroma is the result of compression and irritation of the nerve. This compression creates enlargement of the nerve, eventually leading to permanent nerve damage.