Once the summer weather hits, everyone can’t wait to get out of their closed in shoes and get back into open toe shoes. But sometimes there are pathologies present on your feet which makes you self conscious to have them out for the world to see. Here are some common problems and how we can help!
Dry, cracked heels
Dry and cracked heels are a very common issue we see in the clinic. Sometimes these cracks can split and cause pain and discomfort when walking. Many of you have tried lots of different creams to no avail, but did you know that usually the skin won’t absorb the cream properly until the thick calloused skin is reduced?
In the clinic we are able to reduce this hard skin, reduced the depth of the cracks, and sand back the dry flaky skin. This not only appears much healthier immediately, it will also increase your comfort. It is also then a good starting point for self management at home to be using a foot cream regularly. We also encourage regular exfoliation of the feet at home to keep the feet comfortable for longer. Every foot is different. Some people require their heels done every 4 to 6 weeks, while others may only need an appointment once a year. Your podiatrist can give you advice on what treatment will be best for you
Another common issue we see in the clinic are thick or discoloured nails. There are many reasons why your nails may look like this. We recommend coming into the clinic to have the nails assessed by a podiatrist so you are able to find the appropriate treatment.
Fungal nails – Sometimes we see patients who have caught a fungal infection in their toenail. We can’t always determine where they have caught it, but common places include nail salons, swimming pools, gyms, hotel showers and even other family members. Unfortunately fungal infections can be difficult to get rid of, and if left untreated can spread to other toenails and into the skin. We recommend beginning treatment as soon as a diagnosis is confirmed. Treatment methods include topical ointments, laser therapy or oral antifungals. Discuss with your podiatrist which option is best for you. We can also assist with cutting and thinning out the nails so they can respond to treatment better, and will look better as well.
Damaged nails – Sometimes nails are just thickened or discoloured due to trauma to the nail and nail bed. These can be a one off trauma, such as kicking your toe or dropping an object on your foot. Other trauma can happen over a long period of time, for example, wearing tight shoes all the time causing pressure on the nail bed. Sometimes the loss of a nail means the new nail will grow back damaged due to permanent damage to the nail bed. Your podiatrist can help you in managing these nails so they do not become uncomfortable and also do our best to make them as visually appealing as possible.
Laser Therapy for fungal nails is a very common treatment option these days. It is clinically more effective than topical treatments, and means you don’t have to remember to apply it daily! It involves usually 2-4 sessions in the clinic where the laser is applied to the nail, where it heats up the nail bed to kill the fungus living under the nail. While this may cause minor discomfort at the time, there is no discomfort post treatment. We speak more about fungal infections here. We recommend speaking to your podiatrist and confirming the diagnosis to ensure this is the right treatment option for you.
Keryflex is a nail restoration product that is applied over a damaged nail. The nail will then appear to be of normal shape and length again. It is a very popular product in the summer as many patients want to wear open toe shoes but are embarrassed about their nails. Keryflex can also be painted with nail polish! As the nail grows, the Keryflex will start to grow out, so we recommend a refill every 6-8 weeks based on the speed of your nail growth. Please talk to your podiatrist if this could be an option for you.
We look forward to seeing you in clinic. Signing out, Aleisha 26/11/2019