Verruca's or Plantar Warts
Verruca’s are common in both adults and children and can be very painful. Verruca’s can be found anywhere on the foot but commonly occur on the soles of the feet. They can even be found around the edges of nails. Verruca’s are caused by the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) which generally invades the skin through small or invisible cuts and abrasions and are passed from person to person by direct contact. The virus is thought to thrive in moist, damp environments such as swimming pools, changing room floors and communal shower areas.
Corns and Callus
Corns and calluses are areas of hard, thickened skin that develop when the skin is exposed to excessive pressure or friction. They commonly occur on the feet and can cause pain and discomfort when you walk.
Having worked within lower limb amputation clinics, we have witnessed the devastating effects that diabetes can have. We both feel very strongly that the correct assessment, diagnosis and care of the diabetic foot can reduce the chances of developing complications associated with amputations and long term ulcers.
Diabetes can affect your feet in a variety of ways. One of the early changes is a condition known as peripheral neuropathy, this condition develops when high blood glucose levels cause damage to the nervous system which may lead to altered sensations in your feet. Some people will experience pain or burning in their feet, although the most common symptom is a loss of sensation, this can be particularly problematic as injuries can go unnoticed and people may believe a painless injury to be insignificant. Nerve damage can also cause your toes to claw and the bones to become more predisposed to fractures.
Another change in the diabetic foot is a reduced blood flow, this can have a detrimental effect on your ability to heal therefore simple injuries such as scratches and blisters and areas of hard skin (callus) have the potential to become long term wounds (ulcers).
As well as routine nail care and callus/corn care, at SW Podiatry we adhere to National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines relating to diabetes by ensuring that all our diabetic clients have regular reviews where the nerves and vascular status are assessed, this enables us to identify and address potential risk factors. We also provide information and guidance on simple self-care measures enabling our clients to manage any conditions safely and limit possible complications.
Ingrown Toe-Nails and Toe-Nail Surgery
ingrown toe-nails are a common problem. Typically caused by a sharp spike of nail that pierces the adjacent skin, the toe may become inflamed or even infected. this may occur due to: they way you walk/stand, any foot deformities, poor fitting footwear, the shape of your toe-nail or the way they have been cut. At SW Podiatry Clinic we will asses and treat the nail or if needed we will carry out a small surgical procedure (using local anaesthetic) which removes the offending part of the nail, this treatment includes a follow up, dressing changes and additional dressings to take home.
Padding and Strapping
Padding and strapping are used to relieve pressure, made bespoke to you, alleviate discomfort and providing protection over vulnerable areas. Padding is primarily used to deflect pressure from the lesion e.g. away from corns and painful callus, while also cushioning the area. Strapping exerts pressure and hold a structure in place, this is used in treatments such as strains and sprains.
There are many reasons for seeking a podiatrist for nail care and these can include;
Thickened unmanageable nails due to fungal infection or damaged nail beds
Unable to reach due to back injury, hip problems, general stiffness, pregnancy etc
Loss of or impaired eyesight
Arthritis or weakness in the hands
Diabetics with impaired circulation and or loss of sensation
Sufferers of Rheumatoid Arthritis
At SW Podiatry Clinic we are able to manage nail care safely and professionally.
Our equipment and skill enables us to deal with the most awkward and unruly nail conditions with minimum discomfort to our patients.
The majority of people are not symmetrical and some may have an abnormal foot shape, this can affect the way you walk or stand. Whilst most people will adapt and suffer no consequences, occasionally, due to extra stress being placed on the joints, muscles, tendons and ligaments, problems can arise causing pain in the foot, ankle, knees and back. A biomechanical assessment will check for any abnormalities and identify possible causes of pain, treatment could then include exercises to improve flexibility and strength and/or an orthotic devise which will aim to provide cushioning, support and stability, off load injured areas, compensate or correct foot deformities and reduce the risk of additional injuries.
Neurological and Vascular Assessment
At SW Podiatry, all new clients receive a neurological and vascular assessment of the feet as part of their primary treatment, regular reviews will be carried out according to any risk factors identified.
Neurological assessments are carried out using a monofilament and tuning fork, these are pain free evaluations that help identify potential nerve damage. Although diabetes is the most common cause of nerve damage in the feet (peripheral neuropathy), it can occur for a variety of reasons including low levels of vitamins such as B12, physical damage to the nerves through injury or surgery, some medications, and alcohol/drug abuse.
Vascular assessment is carried out by examining the colour, temp and condition of the skin, noting patterns of leg and foot pains and by using doppler ultrasound. This non-invasive method is an invaluable screening tool for the signs and symptoms of peripheral arterial disease (PAD)