Skin problems are one of the most common things we deal with here at Lane Ends Podiatry. When you think about how much time we spend on our feet and how much we put them through every day, it’s not surprising really that so many of our patients have skin related problems.
Different Skin Problems
Here are some examples of skin problems we have seen in the practice recently. We can treat most of them quickly and painlessly, sending our patients on their way with a spring in their step.
Cracked Dry Heels & Dry Skin
I love this one, I really do! Every summer, without fail we get tons of these, when people ring saying “I cant wear my sandals with the ugly, dry, hard skin on my heels”, or, “they are laddering my tights”, or, “they are really sore and they bleed”.
This is the problem where I try to make myself redundant. I have a strategy that works brilliantly for this and if you get into a regular routine of doing it (just like you brush your teeth twice a day because the dentist says so), you can make a MASSIVE impact on improving this.
Are you up for that challenge?
As part of our bodies defence mechanism our skin becomes thick (also known as callous) when it is put under repeated pressure, this helps by protecting the structures underneath, but when we develop patches of hard skin, they can become uncomfortable or painful to walk on. Which is not good.
Corns are skin problems that develop when a lot of pressure is applied to a very small area of skin repeatedly over a period of time. What they actually are are very small plugs of extremely hard skin that are cone shaped with the sharp end pointing into your foot. This is why they are so blooming painful when you catch them or stand on something small. It’s like a pin sticking into your foot.
They are most common on the top or ends of toes and on the balls of feet.
This is a corn on top of 2nd toe (next to the big one)
This lady came in with a sore “thing” on her second toe, you can see in the top picture that the toe is bent upwards at the toe joint, so that means that her shoe will press and rub that part of her toe more than the ones next to it.
She has an office job which requires her to wear smart business clothes and court shoes. Unfortunately court shoes are notoriously ‘shallow’ in the front, so prone to pressing and rubbing on toes.
To help this patient I reduced the thickened skin and made her a ‘custom made’ silicone toe cover to deflect some of the shoe pressure and friction away from the toe joint in the future. This will slow down the build up of the corn again and may even prevent it coming back altogether.
I find these much better than felt padding as they last for several months, can be washed easily and removed when not walking about in the shallow footwear.
If you think you have a corn and are thinking about using a corn plaster to treat it at home, PLEASE read my blog post before you do.
Mystery Skin Problems
Remember I said I love a challenge? Well sometimes our patients present with mystery skin problems, it isn’t immediately obvious what the problem is without further investigation. This example shows one such case.
Is it a verruca?
This lady came in not knowing what this flaky discoloured patch of skin was on the side of her toe, and frankly, initially I was unsure myself. However the clue came when she told me that she had worn a pair of sandals that had rubbed on it 2-3 weeks beforehand, then this ‘thing’ came up and she thought it was a verruca so she started using ‘Bazooka gel’ on it.
It was encrusted on the top, quite spongy to the touch and seemed filled with fluid, I decided to remove the plug of hard skin and see what was beneath, which revealed a blood blister and small area of skin breakdown (or ulceration if you want to use fancier terms). Happily it was clean and free from infection, I put a sterile dressing on it and followed up a few days later by phone to ensure it was healing (which it was)..good news for the lady concerned as she was going on holiday the following week.
Remember we’ve seen it all before so no need to be shy
If you think we’re the Podiatrists for you
Just give us a call
We’re waiting to help you