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Need to See a Foot Specialist

Learn some of the common reasons that send people to this health care professional.

Bunions

A bump located at the base of your big toe is known as a bunion. Bunions occur from bone or tissue at this joint moving out of place. This movement forces the toe to bend in an unnatural angle. As bunions progress, they can cause significant pain. The growing bump can also make it difficult to wear shoes. Some people also develop bunions on the outsides of their feet, known as “tailor’s bunions.” A foot specialist can provide you with non-surgical treatment options such as wearing bunion pads, icing to reduce swelling, and anti-inflammatory medications. Eventually, you may need to consider a bunionectomy to surgically remove the bunions.

Skin Irritations

A number of skin irritations can occur. You may notice dry and cracked skin on your heels. If the cracks become deep, they may even bleed. A physician can examine the cracking skin to ensure that an underlying health issue isn’t causing the irritation. You can apply an ointment to moisturize the skin. You might also notice variations in skin color or swelling, which could indicate vein problems or decreased blood supply.

Changes in Foot Shape

Over time, changes in the shape of your feet can occur. This may manifest itself as flattened arches, which could occur with ruptured tendons that are no longer functioning correctly. When this occurs, arthritis in joints can begin, which often changes their shape.

Plantar Warts

Sometimes a virus can cause warts to develop on the bottoms of feet, known as plantar warts. It’s typical for these warts to remain unresponsive to typical wart remedies. Plantar warts may cause significant pain on the bottoms of feet, often because they appear in clusters. Stubborn plantar warts may need to be surgically removed. This treatment option usually causes scarring.

Athlete’s Foot

Athlete’s foot is caused by a fungal infection. With this type of infection, you will usually have symptoms that include redness, scaling, itching, blistering, peeling, and cracking of the skin. If skin remains wet or moist for a prolonged period, this issue can occur. You might also pick up the fungus in community shower rooms or pool areas where many people spend time in bare feet. Once you contract this fungus, you can spread it to the insides of your shoes, especially if you wear shoes without socks. Every time you wear infected shoes, you will re-infect your skin.

With care every day, you can avoid many problems. It’s important to wash feet daily with soap, also drying them carefully between each toe to prevent moisture from lingering on the skin. As you care for your feet, look for changes or issues that could be occurring. Prompt attention to potential problems by a foot specialist may help avoid more serious health issues.