‘Love your feet’ month
Feet need love too this month.
Those of us who have kept to our New Year’s resolutions might have been walking or running more than we are used to. Please do not ignore any consequence pain that you might be feeling in your feet and legs. Ongoing consistent pain is not a natural consequence of exercise, it is a sign that something is not right. Pop in to see your podiatrist for a discussion on how to keep healthy without trading off on lower limb pain. Heel pain can be a particular problem in new runners or when increasing your distance. Shockwave therapy is available in our Dulwich Podiatry clinic for more extreme cases of plantar fasciitis (pain to the arch of your foot).
For a simple and effective remedy for foot pain you can try at home, use a pediroller or roll a tennis ball under the arch of your foot.
We have not all been braving the cold weather in sporty lycra, however. Some of us have been hiding our feet (and in some cases, our shame) in warm woollen socks for the last couple of months. An excellent choice! Just don’t neglect to wash both feet and socks daily to stave off odour and fungal infections. Skin needs to breathe, so also discard your shoes and socks of an evening if able.
If you have warts or a fungal infection you want gone in time for summer, now is the time to start thinking about starting treatment for it. Over the counter remedies for verruca are readily available but not as effective as cryotherapy (freezing) and other treatment options available from your podiatrist.
There are a variety of effective topical treatments for fungal infections available, particularly when used in combination with routine podiatry visits to thin down the nail in order to aid penetration to the source of infection.
If you are concerned with the appearance of your toenails due to discolouration or from damage, Wilde Pedique may be an option for you.
Pedique is a gel system made which conceals and protects the nail. The gel is cured under a UV light. It can also cover up any nails that are missing.
The gel adheres better to a surface but can also be applied and made as a removable prosthetic nail if there is no nail available.
This is a pain free option and can last around three months. The gel gradually grows out and will need to be reapplied in clinic.
At Dulwich Podiatry we are often asked by new patients if we provide pedicures.
We do provide treatments in which rough, dry, thick skin and overgrown toenails can be treated and trimmed. We do not paint or polish nails.
There is a big difference between having a pedicure and going to see a podiatrist for a nail treatment. One is focussed on making your nails look cosmetically pleasing and one is making sure the nails are healthy and reduce the risk of them causing problems and complications in the future.
Podiatrists have a professional duty of care to provide high hygiene standards to patients and use specialist sterilised medical equipment that they have been trained to handle which is not readily available to nail technicians and beauty therapists. Nail technicians/ beauty therapists focus on the cosmetic appearance of the nails and do not typically deal with nail conditions or nail complications.
As well as being able to handle specialist equipment, podiatrists are able to prescribe antibiotics when required to treat infections.
One example of different treatments between a podiatrist and a nail technician/ beauty therapist is that on the top of your nails you have a clear bit of skin called a cuticle. This piece of skin protects new nail growing from the nail bed coming into contact with bacteria which can cause infection. As a podiatrist we do not touch or interfere with the cuticle so as to not increase the chance of bacteria coming into contact with the new nail.
If you have your cuticle pushed back it makes your nails look longer so this is a very common procedure performed by a beauty therapist, however this can leave your nails open to infection.
When to see a podiatrist over a beauty therapist:
- When you are getting pain from your nails and aren’t sure how to cut them/ relieve the pain
- If you have suddenly got a new pain anywhere in your foot
- If you are concerned about the appearance of your nail (excluding shape, more how it is growing; thickness etc)