What happens during a Podiatry consultation and treatment?
Veronica will welcome you into the clinic room, the patient will be asked to fill out a medical history form and any prior treatment history will be discussed. Podiatrists are bound by a strict code of ethics and any details that are disclose in the consultation will be kept strictly confidential.
All information pertaining to each patient is stored on an electronic practice programme which can only be accessed by Veronica using a password and finger print access to abide by the GDPR regulations.
You will be asked to remove your foot wear and hosiery. The patients feet and lower limbs will be examined thoroughly, thereafter a diagnosis and the treatment options will discussed. The patient will then be treated as per discussion, on the agreed treatment plan. Foot care and footwear advice is given, where necessary, to keep your feet healthy in the future.
What are corns and callus?
When we walk or stand, our body weight is carried first on the heel and then on the ball of the foot, where the skin is thicker to withstand the pressure from the body onto the floor. When this pressure becomes excessive, some areas of skin thicken in the form of corns and callus and corns, as a protective response to the body’s reaction to the friction of skin rubbing against a bone, footwear or the ground.
Callus (or callosity) is an extended area of thickened, hard skin on the soles of the feet. It is usually symptomatic of an underlying problem such as a bony deformity, a particular style of walking or inappropriate footwear. Some people have a natural tendency to form callus because of their skin type. Elderly people have less fatty tissue in their skin and this can lead to callus forming on the ball of the foot.
Corns are caused by pressure or friction over bony areas, such as a joint, and they have a central core which may cause pain if it presses on a nerve. There are five different types of corns, the most common of which are ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ corns:
How do I prevent it?
There are many causes of pressure that ultimately result in corns and callus, footwear being the main one, ill-fitting shoes that are either too narrow, short or have limited depth will exert pressure. Biomechanical issues (abnormal foot function) will also cause hotspots resulting in both corns and callus. Reduced fatty padding over the metatarsal heads (knuckle joints of the feet) will leave the joints exposed to increased pressure.
What are the treatments?
Always consult a HCPC registered Podiatrist who will be able to remove corns painlessly, apply padding or insoles to relieve pressure or fit corrective appliances for long-term relief. For callus, a Podiatrist will also be able to remove hard skin, relieve pain and redistribute pressure with soft padding, strapping or corrective appliances/insoles which fit easily into your shoes.
The skin should then return to its normal state.
Podiatrists do not recommend using corn plasters, as they contain acids than can burn the healthy skin around the corn and this can lead to serious problems such as infection. Home remedies, like lambswool around toes, are potentially dangerous. Commercially available ‘cures’ should be used only following professional advice.
Emollient creams delay callus building up and help improve the skin’s natural elasticity. A Podiatrist will be able to advise on the most appropriate skin preparations for your needs.
What is a Verruca?
A verruca is a viral infection of the superficial layers of skin, it is similar to a wart however it is commonly found on the sole of the foot. These can be of varying size and number and can occur anywhere on the foot. Classically, they are well defined and have little black dots on the surface of the skin which are blood vessels that have been pushed towards the surface.
Verrucas may or may not be painful. An early stage verruca can look like a small, discoloured blemish on the skin, and can be easily mistaken for a corn. Sometimes a verruca can quickly spread into a cluster made up of many tiny verrucae. Verrucas that grow together in a cluster are known as mosaic warts. The pressure from normal standing and walking tends to force the verruca into the skin. Like all warts, they are harmless and may go away even without treatment, but in many cases, they are too painful to ignore.
They are caused by the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) and are passed from person to person by direct contact. The virus is thought to thrive in moist, damp environments such as swimming pools, changing room floors and communal shower areas.
What is Verruca needling?
Verruca needling stimulates the body’s immune system to heal warts and verrucas. Treatments involve minimal discomfort, speedy recoveries, are often effective with one procedure.
Verruca needling is a procedure where the verruca/wart is punctured with a small needle to cause bleeding and stimulate the body’s immune system to resolve the problem.
What are the treatments?
There are many treatments for a verruca / wart although the results are mixed and the treatments are often painful. In addition, they often require several consultations.
Verruca needling is an effective treatment, often working following the first treatment. Patients can remove the dressing the within 1-3 days and continue life as normal.