FOOT AILMENTS are many and foot care is vital for overall well-being.
The human foot consists of 26 bones bound together by ligaments, supported by muscles and supplied with blood vessels and nerves. It is subject to considerable strain and injury, and any of the components of the foot can be a potential cause of pain.
Ailments that affect the foot include: weak arches / hammertoes / ulcers / neuritis / foot imbalance / heel spurs / weak ankles / ankle sprains / bursitis / fractures / skin diseases / arthritis / tumours / warts / congenital deformities and acquired deformities (most often due to improper footwear).
CORNS are caused by friction and pressure. They don't have roots and are often due to bone deformity and lack of fatty pads.
CALLUSES / CALLOUSES are a symptom, not a disease, and the cause must be corrected before they can be cured. Chronic corns and calluses require periodic and professional care. In some instances, surgical or orthopedic measures may be required to effect a cure.
On no account should one indulge in home treatments. Foot infection is dangerous.
EXCESSIVE PERSPIRATION causes foot odour. Daily bathing and regular application of a medicated foot powder can help in many cases. When these fail, you should seek the professional advice of a chiropodist.
BUNIONS are caused by a weakness of the ligaments and muscular structures of the foot and leg. The tendency for them to form may be hereditary, but factors such as stress, strain and interference from shoes can also bring about this deformity.
When the toe joints are red, swollen or tender, see a chiropodist. These signs may indicate the formation of a bunion, arthritis, gout or infection.
A bunion on the joint of the little toe is known as a tailor's bunion. It could also be a sign of foot structural problem.
are often mistaken for corns and callouses.
Awart has a blood and nerve supply of its own. Usually, warts are extremely painful and tend to spread if left untreated.
ATHLETE'S FOOT is a skin disease caused by fungus. The fungus commonly attacks the feet where it thrives best because of the warm, dark and moist environment it finds inside the shoes.
The main cause of Athlete's foot is a lowering of the skin's resistence to infection.
Practice good foot hygiene!
The skin must be bathed daily using a mild fungicidal soap and it should be kept dry changing shoes and/or socks frequently.
It helps also to apply fungicidal spray or powder on the feet and shoes.
IN-GROWN TOE NAILS are generally caused by improper trimming.
However, contributing factors include: congenital incurvation / injury / ill-fitting shows and stockings / fungus and orthopedic conditions.
Nails should be trimmed straight across, without rounding the corners. If this cannot be accomplished, seek the aid of your chiropodist.