Most foot problems are caused by neglect, wrong shoes, and wear-and-tear. Feet problems can also be an early alarm of a serious health problem. Some diseases like gout start by attacking the foot joints.
You cannot attain wholesome health without observing foot health. Below are some of the most common foot problems and their potential causes:
1. Athlete’s Foot
This common foot problem is caused by fungi that thrive in dimly-lit, moist and warm environments. The area of concentration includes the bottom of the feet and in between the toes.
Athlete’s foot inflames the skin, causing a red-based white, scaly rash. This fungus causes burning, itching, peeling, and an unpleasant odour. You need to deal with the infection before it migrates to other body parts.
A sure way of avoiding an athlete’s foot is observing feet and toes hygiene. Change your socks regularly and keep the feet and toes dry. If attacked already, get some over-the-counter antifungal creams that are most effective.
If after applying these remedies the athlete’s foot does not heal, you need to visit a podiatrist for prescription-strength medication.
Are any of your toes crossed, bent in the middle of the joint, or points at an odd angle? You may have a common foot problem known as a hammertoe. This problem is brought about by ill-fitting shoes. When the problem is in its early stage, you can mitigate it by wearing inserts or foot pads. Surgical interventions may be necessary for severe cases.
Blisters are painful soft pockets of raised skin filled with a clear fluid. Like the hammertoes, blisters are caused by ill-fitting shoes. They make walking quite painful. You can keep them off by cleaning the affected area thoroughly, then open the blister by pricking it using a sterilized sewing needle.
Open the part nearest the foot’s underside. After draining the blister, apply antibiotic ointment then cover it with a clean bandage. Use the same procedure in case the blister breaks by itself.
This is a big-toe crooked joint, which sticks out at the toe’s base to force the big toe to turn in. Causes of bunions include arthritis, heredity, congenital deformities and trauma.
This common foot problem becomes aggravated if confined in a shoe. It can be caused by shoes that are too narrow at the toe area. Over the counter pain relievers and change of footwear can work for you in the short term, but surgery is the recommended remedy for bunions.
5. Corns and Calluses
Corns and calluses are caused by repeated rubbing of the foot, which is usually against a boney area or against the shoe. They are evident on the tops and sides of your toes. Calluses on their part form at the bottom of the foot. You will find them under your heels and on the toes.
These common foot problems are hard and painful. Placing moleskin over corns and calluses can relieve pain. Do not attempt to cut corns and calluses. Instead, see a podiatrist for treatment and recommendations of orthotic shoes.
6. Plantar Fasciitis and Heel Spurs
Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the tissues connecting the fascia to the heel. Plantar fasciitis is a piece of bone growing at the base of the heel bone. It is often misdiagnosed as heel spurs since 70% of patients with plantar fasciitis also suffer from heel spurs; but the two are different. Heel spurs are not painful.
What actually causes the painful inflammation and irritation is plantar fasciitis. Heel spurs are also found in patients who do not have any pain on their heels. A podiatrist is trained to treat plantar fasciitis and heel spurs.
7. Claw Toes and Mallet Toes
This is a condition caused by tight shoes and feet nerve damage. Arthritis and injuries are also responsible for mallet toes problem. Other diseases such as diabetes, which damage nerves, can cause claw toes. The condition is characterized by curled toes at the middle of the joints, except the big toe. Claw toes may also result in calluses and corns.
Gout is caused by a buildup of Uric acid in the joints. This is caused by the inability of the body to keep the uric acid at the right levels. The big toe is usually the first to be affected. It gets inflamed, swells and is extremely painful. To prevent gout, identify the triggers and avoid them. These include red meat, alcohol and seafood. For pain relief, apply ice, take enough water and get enough bed rest.
9. Ingrown Toenails
This is a common foot problem caused by improper cutting of toenails. It can also be caused by shoe pressure, fungus and foot structure. Cut your toenails properly by using large toenail clippers. It will prevent the corners from growing in the wrong way and cause pain.
The foot is a vital part of your body. Its health plays a significant role in improving your well-being. The problems mentioned above highlight the major foot problems. Prevention is your best bet. If you have any of the issues, observe the suggested remedies.