In today’s digital era, it is common practice for us to automatically reach for Google when researching for answers to healthcare issues, but today, to save you from reaching for Dr Google, we have asked our expert Podiatrists to answer your foot-related questions.
What is the reason for my persistently cold feet?
Cold feet can be attributed to the feet’s proximity to the heart, as they tend to have the lowest temperature compared to other body parts. In some cases, cold feet may indicate the presence of certain disorders such as circulatory, autoimmune, endocrine/hormonal, or nervous system disorders. The primary causes are typically related to circulation, smoking and certain medications that directly affect circulation risk factors for cold feet.
What is the reason behind the swelling in my feet?
In senior individuals, the primary factor leading to swollen feet is usually incompetent veins. If there is swelling in only one foot or leg, it is likely caused by either vein blockage (deep vein thrombosis) or lymphatic blockage. Conversely, if both feet or legs are swollen, it could be associated with various conditions such as liver disease, kidney disease, infection, pregnancy, or medication side effects.
What causes the itching in my feet?
Itchy feet are often linked to a fungal skin infection. This type of infection can manifest as dry skin and typically appears scaly or blistered. If there is no fungal infection present, it is likely due to dry skin. Insufficient moisturising of the feet can result in microscopic cracks on the skin’s surface, leading to irritation and itchiness.
What causes excessive sweating in my feet?
Sweaty feet are typically a result of overactive sweat glands, which can be hereditary. In addition, certain medical conditions like diabetes, stroke, heart conditions, and cancer can contribute to excessive foot sweating. Lifestyle factors such as stress, anxiety, smoking, and alcohol consumption can also worsen the condition.
What causes sensitivity in my feet?
Sensitivity in the feet can be attributed to trauma caused by wearing improper footwear. The foot’s bottom contains a fatty pad that aids in shock absorption, but it can lead to increased sensitivity when subjected to abnormal pressure. While foot sensitivity can occur naturally, hypersensitivity may be linked to neurological disorders. This can result in an exaggerated sense of feeling, particularly pain and/or discomfort.
The four common types of foot complaints and how to treat them:
Ingrown Toenail: Ingrown toenails occur when nails penetrate the surrounding skin, resulting in discomfort, swelling, and potentially leading to skin cuts and open wounds in the nail folds.
Athlete’s foot: A fungal skin infection, caused by a fungus, usually manifests as dry and scaly skin with the possibility of developing blisters. It is characterised by itching and/or pain, primarily affecting the skin around the bottom of the toes.
Foot corn: is a dense, round formation of hardened skin that typically develops in areas subject to chronic friction, pressure, or excessive load, particularly in high-pressure zones.
Fungal infections: Fungal infections are skin infections caused by a fungus and are regarded as opportunistic infections as they usually infect people with diminished immune systems. Some people are prone to fungal infections due to genetics.
Fungal infections can be picked up by walking barefoot on the floor of communal areas.
How can I treat these common foot complaints?
Ingrown toenails can be prevented by correctly cutting your toenails , this includes cutting your nails straight across and avoiding cutting down into the corners . If the nail irritates the adjacent skin then rather use a nail file to file down the sharp
Foot fungal infections of the skin can usually be treated with topical antifungal creams that can be bought over the counter such as terbinafine or canesten . Wash your feet daily, thoroughly dry the area in between the toes with a clean towel and apply the antifungal cream in between your toes once everyday until the infection clears. Some people are prone to fungal infections of the skin and so this means the fungal infection is more likely to return after being treated. In this case use the antifungal cream 2-3 times a week to prevent reinfection .
Gentle stretching and massages are the safest way to treat your foot cramps , if that is unsuccessful then a multivitamin supplement containing magnesium and iron could help with your foot cramps
Most foot pain can be treated by wearing sensible shoes, the shoes have to provide sufficient support and cushioning on the insole , have a comfortable heel cup and a wide and high enough toe box to avoid rubbing. Over the counter insoles can assist in providing support and cushion for the feet .
Foot warts or Verrucas:
There are a range of over the counter verruca treatments available such as bazooka . These products should be used religiously as instructed on the packaging .
How can I treat a corn?
You can use a pumice stone or a foot file to file down all the hard skin overlying the corn which will provide temporary relief
How can I treat cracked heels?
Cracked skin is usually caused by excessively dry skin on the heel area. File down as much hard skin as possible and apply an emollient-based cream daily.
Have we answered your foot-related questions in today’s blog? If not, why not contact our team to discuss your foot health?