Corns and Callus
A callus on the foot is caused from repeated pressure and friction, leading to the build up of thickened skin. The callus, which be may hard, dry or cracked, acts to protect the area underneath it. A corn is similar to a callus but is smaller and appears on toes rather than on the sole of the foot.
While treatment for calluses and corns is not always necessary, it may provide you with more comfort. Larger calluses can cause significant pain. In some patients, especially when they become cracked, calluses can lead to wounds that can lead to serious problems, especially in people with diabetes
An ingrown toenail (also known as onychocryptosis) occurs when the nail grows sideways into the toe, and not outward. The result is pain in the side of the toe. The big toe is most commonly affected. It can be caused by any situation that interferes with the proper outward growth of the nail, such as improper trimming of the nail or incorrect footwear.
The nail may continue to grow into the side of the toe. This can lead to progressive pain or recurring infection. It is most serious in people with underlying medical problems such as diabetes or peripheral vascular disease.
Warts that occur on the bottom of your feet are called plantar warts. Often they occur on the areas of the foot that experience the most pressure, such as the ball of your foot or the heel. Because of the increased pressure to those areas from walking and physical activity, plantar warts in these areas often penetrate deep into the tissue and can be very painful. Warts are caused by a virus known as human papilloma virus, or HPV. They can be spread in moist environments such as public showers, locker rooms and swimming areas, but not everyone who comes in contact with a plantar wart will develop one.
Sometimes plantar warts go away on their own if left untreated. However, many warts can become increasingly larger and more painful and can begin to multiply into clusters of warts called mosaic warts. Walking and running will become difficult in these situations. Over time, some plantar warts can lead to a type of skin cancer.
Fungal Nails and Thickened Toenails
Nail fungus, also known as onychomycosis, is a condition in which one or more of the nails of the fingers or toes become infected with fungal organisms. This causes a yellowing or other discoloration of the nail as the fungus moves deeper into the tissue. Nail fungus can be painful and may eventually lead to the separating of the nail and nail bed, a condition known as onycholysis. Nail fungus, or onychomycosis, is an ailment that plagues 10% of the world’s population.
If not treated, will cause them to become brittle and thick and separate from the nail bed over time.
While toenail fungal infections can be stubborn, they are treatable. Left untreated, however, the infection will only get worse over time.
More than half the population will at one time or another develop athlete’s foot, a fungal infection on the skin of the feet. It causes itching, burning or scaling of the skin, especially between the toes or on the soles. Also known as tinea pedis, it affects men more than women, and it becomes more common with older age. Excessive moisture and lack of airflow around the feet predispose people to infection with the fungus. To decrease your chances of contracting athlete’s foot, avoid walking barefoot in public locker rooms and showers, and keep feet clean, dry and in shoes that allow the feet to get air.
Although uncommon, athlete’s foot can lead to cellulitis, a more serious bacterial skin infection of the foot that can spread up the leg.