Verruca

A verruca is simply a wart that is usually found on the soles of feet, though they can also appear around the toes. In the early stages, a verruca looks like a small, dark, puncture mark but later turns grey or brown. It may become rough and bumpy with a cauliflower-like appearance and may develop a black spot in the middle, which is caused by bleeding. A verruca can grow to half an inch in diameter and may spread into a cluster of small warts.

Verrucae are caused by the human papiloma virus (HPV). This virus is very contagious, but can only be caught by direct contact. It thrives in warm, moist environments such as swimming pools, changing room floors and bathrooms. So if an infected bare foot walks across the poolside, it may release virus-infected cells onto the floor. If you then walk on the same floor, you can pick the virus up, especially if you have any small or invisible cuts and abrasions that make it even easier for the virus to penetrate. You could also catch the virus from an infected towel.

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Heel Pain

When walking, your heels repeatedly hit the ground with considerable force. They have to be able to absorb the impact and provide a firm support for the weight of the body.

When pain develops in the heel, it can be very disabling, making every step a problem, affecting your posture.

There are various types of heel pain. Some of the most common are: Plantar fasciitis; heel bursitis and heel bumps.

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Ingrowing Toenail

An ingrowing toenail is one that pierces the flesh of the toe. It can feel as if you have a splinter, be extremely painful and inflamed or infected. In more severe cases, it can cause pus and bleeding. Ingrowing toenails most commonly affect the big toenail, but can affect the other toes too. Whereas a nail that is curling (involuted or convoluted) into the flesh, but isn’t actually piercing the skin, isn't an ingrowing toenail but can feel very painful and also appear red and inflamed as well.

There are many genetic factors that can make you prone to ingrowing toenails including your posture (the way you stand), your gait (the way you walk) and any foot deformity such as a bunion, hammer toes or excessive pronation of the feet (when your foot rolls inward excessively). Your nails may also have a natural tendency to splay or curl out instead of growing straight, encouraging your nail to grow outwards or inwards into the flesh.

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What We Do!

Do you know what a Podiatrist can do? And how we can help you?

A Podiatrist/ Chiropodist is a state registered professional offering treatments in the lower limb and foot. All of the Podiatrists at Newcastle Foot Clinic are qualified at degree level with honours, registered with the Health and Care Professions Council and members of the Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrist. At Newcastle Foot Clinic the Podiatrists/ Chiropodists offer a range of treatment options for lower limb and foot complaints.

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Planter Fasciitis

Planter Fasciitis: A Quick Explanation. . .

When pain develops in the heel, it can be very disabling, making every step a problem. Planter fasciitis is caused by inflammation of the connective tissue that stretches from the base of the toes, across the arch of the foot, to the point at which it inserts into the heel bone. If you don't treat plantar fasciitis, it may become a chronic condition. You may not be able to keep up your level of activity, and you may develop symptoms of foot, knee, hip and back problems because plantar fasciitis can alter the way you walk.

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Corns & Callus

When we walk or stand, our body weight is carried first on the heel and then on the ball of the foot, where the skin is thicker to withstand the pressure. When this pressure becomes excessive, some areas of skin thicken in the form of corns and callus, as a protective response to the body’s reaction to the friction of skin rubbing against a bone, shoe or the ground.

Callus (or callosity) is an extended area of thickened, hard skin on the soles of the feet. It is usually symptomatic of an underlying problem such as a bony deformity, a particular style of walking or inappropriate footwear. Some people have a natural tendency to form callus because of their skin type. Elderly people have less fatty tissue in their skin and this can lead to callus forming on the ball of the foot.

 

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Chilblains

Chilblains (also called pernio) are small itchy, red (and sometimes purple) swellings on the skin, which can become increasingly painful, can swell and then dry out leaving cracks in the skin which expose the foot to the risk of infection.

Chilblains develop when the tiny blood vessels under the skin constrict under cold conditions reducing the flow of blood until the area warms up again and causes some leakage of fluid into the surrounding tissue. They are caused by the skin’s abnormal reaction to cold but not everyone develops them as this depends to a large extent on the efficiency of your circulation. People with poor circulation and other health problems involving their blood vessels are likely to be more prone to developing chilblains. In addition, damp or draughty conditions, dietary factors and hormonal imbalance can also be contributory factors. It is thought that rapid temperature change from cold to hot can also be a cause. If the skin is chilled and is then followed by too rapid warming next to a fire or through using a hot water bottle, this may result in chilblains.

 

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Bunions

More than 15% of women in the UK suffer from bunions, but what is a bunion? A bunion, also known as ‘hallux valgus’ is a deformity of the big toe in which the big toe excessively angles towards the second toe and leads to a bony lump on the side of the foot. This can also form a large sac of fluid, known as a bursa, which can then become inflamed and sore.

There is no one cause of having a bunion and contrary to popular opinion, bunions are not generally caused by shoes. They are most often caused by a defective mechanical structure of the foot which is genetic and these certain foot types make a person prone to development of a bunion.

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Athletes Foot

Athlete’s foot is a skin fungal infection. It can lead to intense itching, cracked, blistered or peeling areas of skin, redness and scaling. It can occur on moist, waterlogged skin usually between the fourth and fifth toes initially, or on dry, flaky skin around the heels or elsewhere on the foot. Large painful fissures can also develop and the condition can also spread along all five toes and sometimes to the soles of the feet if left untreated.

It’s caused by a number of fungal species which you can pick up from someone else shedding affected skin (typically in communal areas such as pools, showers and changing rooms) or where you may walk around barefoot. Athlete’s foot can also be passed on directly from person to person contact, although people who sweat more are much more prone to infection.

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Ageing Feet

As we age our feet age with us and we naturally develop problem areas due to wear and tear over the years, but also because the skin starts to become thin and loses its elasticity, as well as being dry and much more fragile.

Foot pain can be debilitating. As we only have one pair of feet, its important to take good care of them. Foot pain can also lead to issues with walking and exercising which are an important part of health and wellbeing as we age. Additionally, if we have trouble with mobility, this can impact on getting out and about and involvement in social activities which become ever more important as we get older. As long as we take routine care of our feet, serious problems can usually be avoided, however, ageing can also mean that we develop other conditions, such as diabetes and arthritis, which in some cases can affect the foot and lead to requiring treatment. Healing may also take longer.

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Blisters

Blisters are painful, fluid-filled lesions produced by friction and pressure.

It is important to act immediately if you feel any friction or discomfort as blisters can form very quickly. Stop walking or running and examine your feet and if nothing has developed, consider applying some material or padding to cushion the area or even a breathable waterproof plaster.

Blisters can become a more serious concern if you have diabetes and may not heal so easily. Please refer to your podiatrist for further advice.

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