Corns and Calluses
These are the areas of thickened skin due to abnormal pressure. Corns are concentrated spots of excessive pressure on top of the foot. Calluses are diffused to areas of excessive pressure on the bottom of the foot.
Symptoms: Pain when wearing closed shoes
Cause: Tight shoes, toe deformity
Treatment: Proper footwear, corn or callus file; in extreme cases, see a podiatrist
The side of the toenail grows into the skin.
Symptoms: Pain, tenderness, redness, swelling, pus
Cause: Tight shoes, poor nail cutting, naturally curved toenails
Treatment: Loose socks and proper shoes, cut nail straight across; in extreme cases, see a podiatrist
A bunion is a bump at the base of the big toe.
Symptoms: Bumps, redness, swelling, pain, big toe pushing against second toe
Cause: Narrow high heeled shoes, flat feet, genetics
Treatment: Proper footwear, custom made prescription orthotics; in extreme cases, see a podiatrist
This is a bump found at the base of the fifth toe. It is also known as a bunionette.
Symptoms: Pain, redness after wearing closed shoes
Cause: Narrow fitting shoes, injury to that side of the foot
Treatment: Shoes with extra width and rounder toe box, custom made prescription foot orthotics; if pain persists, see a podiatrist
This is a toe deformity with a bend in the middle of the joint.
Symptoms: Pain while wearing closed shoes
Cause: Improper footwear, muscular or bone injury to the toe
Treatment: Change footwear; if problem persists, see a podiatrist
Plantar warts are a viral infection of the foot. They are often confused with corns or calluses.
Symptoms: Feeling like a small pebble is on the bottom of the foot, dark spots at the centre of a wart (which is the blood supply to the wart)
Cause: Walking barefoot on moist surfaces such as the pool or public changing rooms, sharing shoes or socks with someone with plantar warts
Treatment: Topical medication, cryotherapy; seek the advice of a podiatrist
This is a fungal infection of the skin between the toes and sole of the feet.
Symptoms: Itchiness, redness, cracking skin, blisters
Cause: Sweaty feet, going barefoot at swimming pools or locker rooms
Treatment: Keep feet clean and dry, apply antifungal cream and powder; if infection persists, see a podiatrist
This is a fungal infection found at the nail plate and the nail bed of the toes.
Symptoms: Discoloured nails, thickened nails, nail plate falling apart
Cause: Dark, damp conditions inside shoes which cause naturally present fungi in the air to collect inside the shoes and invade toenails
Treatment: Topical antifungal medication, oral antifungal medication; if infection persists, see a podiatrist
Plantar Fasciitis/Heel Spur
Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the tissues that form the arch of the foot. Heel spurs are overgrowths of the bone on the bottom or back of the heel bone.
Symptoms: Sharp pain, aching, inflammation
Cause: Improper footwear, misalignment of the foot, flat or high arched feet, arthritis, gout
Treatment: Stop or reduce activities causing pain, ice the heel/foot, massage, padded shoes and heel cushions; seek the advice of a podiatrist for cortisone injections or prescription foot orthotics
High Arched Feet
With this issue, the gap between the ground and the inner side of your weight bearing foot becomes too great.
Symptoms: No pain, mild pain, sharp pain, wearing out the outside of the soles of your shoes
Cause: Genetics, injury, muscular diseases
Treatment: Proper footwear; if pain persists, seek the advice of a podiatrist for custom made prescription foot orthotics
Children’s Foot Problems
Since foot bones in children are soft and pliable, foot deformities can result due to abnormal pressure.
Common problems: Pigeon toe (Metatarsus Adductus), in-toeing, flat feet
Symptoms: Tripping while walking or running, getting tired of walking or running sooner than children of same age
Treatment: Exercise, proper footwear, custom made prescription foot orthotics from a podiatrist, surgery as a last resort
These are cracks found on the skin at the heels.
Symptoms: Pain while walking, redness, bleeding, infection
Cause: Dry skin, prolonged standing, excessive body weight, opened back shoes
Treatment: Apply oil-based moisturizers, avoid opened back footwear; consult a podiatrist for severe cases
These are common injuries that can occur during sports or daily activities.
Symptoms: Swelling/bruising, pain, difficulty bearing weight, stiffness at the joint
Cause: Sports, inappropriate shoes, walking or running on uneven surfaces, inversion injuries
Treatment: Rest, ice, compression, elevation; consult with a podiatrist for extreme cases
This is a condition resulting in inflammation of the large tendon on the back of the heel or leg.
Symptoms: Pain when touched or moved
Cause: Trauma, overuse, sudden increase of speed while running, change in footwear, change in exercise training schedule
Treatment: Ice, minimizing activities that cause pain; consult a podiatrist
The term arthritis means inflammation of the joint. There are many different types of arthritis that can affect the feet. The two most common types of arthritis we hear about are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Symptoms: Inflammation of the joint, joint stiffness, limited function, fever, fatigue, weight loss, swollen lymph nodes
Cause: Injury, metabolic disease (e.g. gout), hereditary factors, bacterial and viral infections, misdirected immune system with autoimmunity
Treatment: Prescription and non-prescription medication, joint injections, weight redirection, gentle exercise, avoiding activities that increase stress on the joints, hot/cold compresses, dietary supplements
Gout is a medical condition in which there is an overabundance of uric acid/urate in the body.
Symptoms: Hot, red, swollen joints, pain at the joint, sudden onset of pain
Cause: Meat consumption, alcoholic beverages, certain medications, IV contrast dyes, psoriasis, chemotherapy, starvation, dehydration
Treatment: Restriction of certain foods from diet, taking or eliminating certain medications as directed by your doctor, drinking more water
This is a bump found on the back of the heel. This deformity used to be referred to as “pump bump.”
Symptoms: Redness or pain on the back of the heel, inability to bend the ankle
Cause: Rigid back footwear, tight Achilles tendons, hereditary structure making this deformity easier to occur
Treatment: Anti-inflammatory medication, icing to reduce swelling, heel lifts on bottom of shoes, heel pads applied to back of heel, custom made prescription foot orthotics from a podiatrist, surgery as a last resort
Talk to a Doctor
This information is for general viewing only. Please contact us at the Edmonton Foot Health Centre for professional consultation and treatment.