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Foot Hygiene

 

FOOT HYGIENE

  • Cut and File toe nails

A podiatrist will use sterile, purpose designed nail clippers and other tools to care for your toe nails. Balanced Podiatry use double action barrel spring clippers that are maintained well to ensure maximal comfort for the patient. A drill with a small burr – similar to a dremmell or dentists drill – can be used to thin down thickened nails. There are many reasons that you might need a podiatrist to cut your toe nails for you including:

Not being able to reach them, too tough, problems with hands, vision impairment or risk of injury such as diabetes, stroke or other medical concerns that make self care difficult.

Nail care is an integral part of general podiatry and we are pleased to be able to help make your life easier and more comfortable. If you are happy for us to do so you will also receive a short foot massage at the end.

  • Ingrown toe nails

We can help manage and provide guidance on ingrown toe nails. If left too long ingrown toe nails just get worse. Most often the offending piece of nail can be removed easily and with little discomfort in the clinic. If it is too painful or proud flesh has started to grow over the nail, referral for surgery may be required.

  • Fungal infections

Fungal spores are everywhere. Fungal infections are especially common in the feet because shoes and socks provide a warm, moist, dark environment that fungus loves.

Healthy toe nails have a cuticle which is a layer of skin connecting the nail to the toe and helping to prevent dirt from penetrating the nail bed. If the cuticle is damaged or removed infection can enter the nail bed. Alternatively fungus can penetrate when the nail is traumatised or exposed to too much moisture – such as wet areas or excessive sweating. Most often we see infections develop in an unhealthy toenail – when something has been dropped on the toenail or the cuticle has been damaged through pedicure or poor skin integrity.

Reduced immunity or exposure via family or a foreign environment (i.e. hotel or caravan park) can increase risk of developing infection.

A podiatrist will assess your nails, provide accurate diagnosis by visual assessment and may request tests be done to confirm the fungus. Treatment options can include ointments, managing the thickness of the nail and other pharmaceuticals.

  • Skin care

Skin conditions including infection and irritation, remove corns, callus, blisters, cracked heels. Some wound care including ulcers (in close liaison with GP and specialists).

Corns and Callus are caused by pressure and friction over a particular point – often a prominent bone or an area of skin that receives excessive pressure. Corns develop when the callus forms a small, hard lump at a particular pressure point – often a joint such as on top of a claw toe. Soft corns are corns in between the toes.

Because corns and callus are due to pressure, treatment is based around removing the lesion with a scalpel (this is painless) and then investigating shoes, walking pattern or joint abnormalities that are causing the problem. Long term treatments are then offered to prevent or reduce future problems.

Blisters are caused by friction with moisture and are most common with prolonged time on your feet or ill fitting shoes. Prevention is the best management of blisters.

We especially like to see you if you are planning a big walk or run to help provide strategies for preventing blisters. Socks and shoes are crucial to preventing blisters.

Preventative cushioned dressings such as ‘Compeed’ are quite effective and for long journeys or running. We suggest further adhering any padding with loosely applied elastic sports tape.