Your feet work hard to support you and get you where you need to go. If heavy use or other health issues are causing problems, a Chattanooga foot specialist can help. Learn about some common reasons that lead people to this specialist.
A lump at the base of the big toe is called a bunion. A bunion occurs when the bone or tissue in that joint moves out of place. This movement causes the toe to bend at an unnatural angle. As the condition progresses, the bunion can cause severe pain.
The growing bump can also make it difficult to wear shoes. Some people also develop a valgus on the outside of the foot, called a “tailor’s valgus.” A Chattanooga foot specialist may suggest non-surgical treatments such as wearing orthotics to treat the bunion, using ice to reduce swelling and anti-inflammatory medications. As a last resort, bunionectomy, which involves surgical removal of the condition, may be necessary.
A number of skin irritations may occur. You may notice dryness and cracked heels. If the cracks become deep, they may even bleed. Your doctor may examine the cracked skin to make sure the cause of the irritation is not due to a medical condition. You may apply an ointment to moisturize the skin. You may also notice changes in skin color or swelling, which may indicate vein problems or decreased blood supply.
Changes in the shape of the foot
Over time, you may experience changes in the shape of your foot. This may manifest as flattening of the arches, which can be caused by torn tendons that no longer function properly. When this happens, arthritis can occur, which often changes the shape of the joints.
Sometimes a virus can cause warts on the soles of the feet, known as plantar warts. These warts usually do not respond to commonly used wart medications. Plantar warts can cause severe pain on the soles of the feet, often because they appear in clusters. Persistent sole warts may require surgical removal. This procedure usually results in scarring.
An athlete’s foot is caused by a fungal infection. With this type of infection, symptoms such as redness, flaking, itching, blistering, peeling, and cracking of the skin are common. If the skin remains wet or moist for a long period of time, this problem can occur.
Ringworm can also be caught in public showers or pools where many people spend time in sandals. Once you have contracted the fungus, you can spread it to the inside of your shoes, especially if you wear shoes without socks. Every time you wear infected shoes, you re-infect your skin.
With daily care, you can avoid many problems. It is important to wash your feet with soap and water every day, wiping them thoroughly between your toes so that moisture does not remain on your skin. When taking care of your feet, pay attention to any changes or problems. Seeing a Chattanooga foot specialists in a timely manner can help you avoid more serious health problems.