YOUR FEET - INDICATORS OF HEALTH
Because they are so far away from our heart, problems with our feet are often the first indication that something is wrong with our circulation.
The condition of our toenails can also signal the presence of several diseases. For example, toenails that are thin, curve upwards, or have raised ridges on the surface can indicate iron deficiency or anemia (a shortage of iron carried by the blood). Increased nail thickness; or bumps on the nail; may be manifestations of psoriasis, an inherited skin condition.
The podiatrists at The Hunter Foot Clinic will check the condition of your toenails and help you understand the health implications of their appearance, as well as providing a range of treatments for any toenail problems.
A common toenail problem. They may be caused by improperly trimmed toenails, very curved nail edges, shoe pressure, or repeated trauma to the feet from daily activities. A predisposition for ingrown toenails may also be inherited. Pain in the sulcus (the groove between the toenail and skin) can also be caused by a corn or callus under the nail edge.
Most cases will require conservative treatment, but some may require minor surgical correction that can be conducted very easily at The Hunter Foot Clinic using a local anaesthetic.
Also a common condition. A single thickened nail is usually the result of injury to the nail bed, such as dropping something heavy on your toes, or fungal infection. They can be easily and painlessly
thinned down by your podiatrist.
Among the most troublesome of nail conditions to treat. They are often characterised by thickening, discolouration and separation of the nail from the nail bed. In some cases, the nail crumbles. These infections tend to stay in the nail if they are not treated and can infect the nail bed.
There are a range of anti-fungal medications available for treatment. The podiatrists at The Hunter Foot Clinic can assist with the trimming and care of unhealthy nails.
Any sudden changes in colour or shape of the toenail, signs of infection, development of a freckle under the nail, or unexplained pain should be discussed with your podiatrist immediately. Your podiatrist can diagnose the problem and arrange appropriate treatment.
Taking care of your nails
- Trim toenails straight across to a length just below the end of the toe.
- Use a strong pair of nail clippers.
- After clipping, smooth nails with a file or emery board using downward strokes.
- Wear only properly fitted shoes, not short or narrow ones.
- Wash feet regularly, especially between the toes, and dry thoroughly.
- Wear socks or stocking that are not too restrictive (unless prescribed).
Information sourced from the Australian Podiatry Association.