There are several common foot problems that can cause much discomfort. These include:
Corns and callus (hardened skin) - This is caused by excess pressure and friction which causes areas of thickened skin. Corns are different from callus as they have a cone shaped hard centre which can cause much pain and discomfort. There are many different types of corn, the most common are hard and soft corns.
Verruca (Verruca plantaris) - These are caused by an infection on the surface layer of the skin with the human papilloma virus (HPV). Verruca are very contagious and are passed on through contact. Most verruca will resolve and go away within 2 years which is the best choice, but there are also treatment options open if they are causing discomfort.
Fungal and Bacterial Infections - As the feet are often warm, damp and in dark shoes it makes them an ideal environment for infection. Athletes Foot, can be caused by a fungal infection which can also pass onto the nails themselves (Onychomycosis) causing them to become discoloured, crumbly and loose.
Thickened Nails - quite often as we get older our nails thicken, this can however also be due to a number of health reasons. Thickened nails (Onchycauxis) is a condition that develops when the nail matrix becomes damaged. This may be due to a knock or ill fitting shoes, or down to a fungal infection or skin disorder such as psoriasis or eczema. Additionally, Onchycauxis can also be caused by a poor circulation and should be monitored and referred back to your GP if required.
Ingrown Nails - A common and very painful problem. Ingrown nails (Onychocryptosis) are typically found on the big toe (hallux), the nail grows into the side of the toe often breaking the skin. This can cause infection which will need clearing prior to any treatment. Onychocryptosis is most commonly caused through poor nail cutting or ill fitting shoes.