Podiatry treatment and foot care

Walking is the best medicine and regular podiatry treatment from our friendly podiatrists at our Melbourne foot clinic is essential to treating and preventing foot problems. Your feet are vitally important to your overall health and well being. With age it becomes harder to look after your own feet, cutting the nails is often a challenge, and you will most likely encounter some sort of foot problem along the journey. Small problems like corn and calluses can often turn into big problems like ulcers and infections if neglected. The ageing and senior population is at higher risk as circulation and healing decreases with age.

Our podiatrists specialise in general foot care. We can diagnose, treat and prevent common foot problems affecting seniors, adults and children. Good quality foot care from our podiatrists will help keep you on your feet and help you maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Melbourne podiatrist

Skin problems treated at Melbourne Podiatrists

There are many skin conditions that can affect the feet. These include calluses and corns which can cause pain when walking. Tinea or “athlete’s foot” is another common skin condition of the foot that often gets overlooked. Below is list of some common skin problems affecting the feet seen by our podiatrists at our Melbourne foot clinic. If you are suffering from a skin problem affecting the feet it is important to seek early consultation with a podiatrist for correct diagnosis and treatment.

Callus Melbourne podiatristA callus is a thickening of skin caused through pressure and friction. It is the body’s way of protecting the skin being traumatised. When callus builds up it causes pain. If neglected the callus and pressure will continue to build and this could lead to corns, ulcers and scarring. Callus is most common on the top of the toes, bottom of the feet and around the heels. Callus areas are caused through excess pressure and this can be the result from poor fitting footwear, poor foot mechanics or may even be due to the genetic structure of your feet. For this reason some foot types will be more prone to callus than others.

Treatment for callus by our podiatrists at our Melbourne clinic involves carefully reducing the callus with a scalpel. This procedure is painless and produces instant foot relief, making your skin soft once again. For chronic painful calluses our podiatrists can check your gait and prescribe orthotics if required. Orthotics can help improve foot function and will redistribute pressure more evenly across the feet.

Corn Melbourne podiatristCorns are similar to callus in that they form to excess pressure but they are deeper and more focal skin lesions. A Corn forms under callus and appears as a small dot or lesion. It is a similar discomfort to having a small stone stuck in your foot.  Corns are very painful because they are deeper in the skin they often push on nerve endings. If neglected the ongoing pressure can breakdown the lower layer of skin and lead to an ulcer, which may then lead to infection. Corns are caused by focal and intense pressure. They are most common on bony areas of the feet like on top of toes, in between toes, or under the forefoot (metatarsal heads).

Treatment for corns by our podiatrists involves enucleating or excising the corn carefully with a scalpel. This procedure is painless and gives immediate pain relief. It is a short delicate procedure that should only be undertaken by a skilled and experienced podiatrist. Corns don’t have a root and will return if the cause of the pressure is not addressed. For chronic painful corns that keep returning our podiatrists can manufacture padded insoles and orthotics. These help redistribute pressure away from the corn area and can help delay or prevent its return.

Ulcer Melbourne podiatristAn ulcer is breakdown of the bottom layer of the skin (dermis). It provides a direct route into your bloodstream and other deeper structures like bone. Ulcers are very painful and very dangerous. If neglected an ulcer will lead to infection and this infection may spread to the bone and other parts of the body.

Ulcers on the feet can be caused by excess pressure, poor blood supply (arterial) or poor blood flow in veins (venous). Neuropathic ulcers are pressure ulcers caused in patients who have neuropathy (no feeling in their feet) and can be common in diabetic patients. Pressure ulcers, which result from large ongoing forces, are most commonly seen by our podiatrists at our Melbourne clinic. They are most common over bony and high pressure areas, such as on top of the toes, between the toes and under the forefoot.

Ulcers often form under callus and corns and thus are often missed by patients. They are usually only exposed following podiatry treatment. Ulcer treatment by our podiatrists involves reducing any overlying callus, cleaning the ulcer and dressing it with an antiseptic. Specific padding is then applied to the foot to offload the affected area and to allow for healing. In some cases special splints, insoles or orthotics may be needed to help an ulcer to heal and to help prevent it form returning.

Tinea Melbourne podiatristTinea, also commonly referred to as “athlete’s foot” is a common skin condition found on the foot, caused by a fungus. Tinea is often asymptomatic in its early form and may present as scaling or flaking skin. If allowed to progress to a chronic stage tinea can lead to inflammation, itchy skin and sometimes even infection.

Tinea is caused by a fungal infection and it thrives in dark, moist, warm conditions. For this reason tinea is most common between the toes and on the soles of the feet. Those patients that suffer from sweaty feet are more prone to tinea infections. Being enclosed in socks or nylon stockings for long periods also provides a perfect breeding ground for tinea.

Treatment for tinea by our Melbourne podiatrists involves treating the cause. Generally this involves addressing the environmental factors that cause tinea. Our podiatrists can also recommend the best anti-fungal treatments to help treat and prevent tinea infection of the feet.

warts children's podiatrist MelbourneWarts, also referred to as plantar warts, verrucae and papilloma, are a growth on the foot caused by the Human Papillomavirus (HPV). Warts can appear to have a “cauliflower” like appearance and because they contain blood vessels you may notice some black spots within the lesion. Warts on the feet can present as single round lesions or multiple mosaic lesions. Warts are very common in children and those patients with suppressed immune systems are more prone to warts. When warts occur in a weight bearing area of the foot a wart will grow into the superficial layers of the skin. These warts often cause pain as they can press on nerve endings.

Warts are caused by a virus and this virus can be easily picked up when the foot is wet as this breaks down the foot’s natural skin barrier. For this reason swimming pools are often associated with wart infections as are patients who have excess sweaty feet and poor hygiene. Warts can spontaneously disappear once the body’s immune system reaches a level which overcomes the virus. If left untreated warts can sometimes grow bigger and spread to other parts of the feet making treatment more difficult.

Treatment for warts at our Melbourne clinic can range from simple home remedies to more aggressive treatments like liquid nitrogen and highly concentrated acids. Our podiatrists are experienced in treating warts on children’s feet and adult feet.  Children’s wart treatment at our Melbourne clinic is often painless and parents should not be concerned about bringing their children in for wart treatment. Warts can be frustrating to treat for patients so it is important to seek early intervention with a podiatrist for best treatment advice and results.

Smelly feet Melbourne podiatristSmelly feet or foot odour is a common foot condition that often is a source of embarrassment for the patient. It is caused by excess bacteria associated with excess perspiration or sweat. Bacteria thrive in dark, moist warm environments therefore feet that perspire excessively and feet that are trapped in closed environments for long periods are more prone to foot odour.

Treatment for smelly feet or foot dour at our Melbourne clinic focuses on eliminating the causative factors. This generally involves preventing perspiration and bacteria build up on the feet. Our podiatrists can assess your smelly or perspiring feet and advise you on the best treatments to help combat foot odour.

Cracked heels Melbourne podiatristCracked heels or heel fissures are a common foot problem resulting in dry and cracked skin around the heels. Quite often there will also be thick callus surrounding he heels.

There are numerous causes of heel fissures or cracked heel on the feet. Some common causes include hormonal changes, infection, medication or dry skin. Biomechanical factors can also lead to cracked heels and this includes excess weight or forces on the heel pad and continual flattening of the heel pad structure, leading to callus and fissures. Heel fissures are often painful and if deep can be a source of infection so they should not be dismissed.

Treatment of cracked heels or fissures at our Melbourne clinic involves careful reduction of the excess callus and fissure. This podiatry treatment is painless and produces immediate results making your heels soft and beautiful once again. Our podiatrists can also advise you on the best skin products for your heels to help prevent dry skin and cracking. Orthotics and footwear advice can also be of assistance if cracked heels are due to biomechanical causes.

Seniors foot care Melbourne podiatrist

Nail problems treated at Melbourne podiatrists

There are many nail conditions that can affect the feet. These include thickened nails, ingrown nails and fungal nails. Some are the result of trauma whilst others are the result of poor nail cutting and poor foot hygiene. Below is list of some common nail problems affecting the feet seen by our podiatrists at our Melbourne foot clinic. If you are suffering from a nail problem affecting the feet it is important to see a podiatrist for correct diagnosis and treatment. Early podiatry intervention can often help prevent more serious nail problems developing.

Long nails Melbourne podiatristToenails are made of a protein called keratin, the same protein that is found in hair. Toenails are slow growing and grow twice as slow as fingernails. Toenails should be trimmed regularly, if nails are left too long they can cause problems. Long nails can cut into adjoining toes and this can lead to infection. Long nails are also more prone to pushing against footwear and this can cause trauma to the nail plate and lead to thickened toenails. Excess pressure on toenails can also lead to corns and callus developing underneath the nail plate, causing pain.

Elderly patients often find it hard to get down to their feet and cut their own toenails, leaving them more at risk of nail problems. Our podiatrists at our Melbourne clinic are more than happy to cut your nails and look after your feet if you can’t attend to them yourself. Unlike other nail salons all of our podiatry instruments and nail clippers are sterilised according to Australian Health standards to minimise the risk of cross infection.

We estimate that most patients who can’t attend to their feet require their nails to be cut every 6-8 weeks at our Melbourne podiatry clinic. As well as toenail cutting our podiatrists can treat other foot problems at the same time such as corns and calluses. Regular podiatry treatments with our friendly podiatrists can help prevent more serious foot problems and can help keep you mobile for longer.

Thickened nails Melbourne podiatristThickened toenails result in a thickened nail plate making cutting and management difficult. Thickened nails are often yellow in appearance and can cause pain if they receive trauma from footwear. This can lead to callus and corns developing underneath the nail plate or in the sulcus.

The most common cause of thickened toenails is trauma and this is why they are more common in older patients (they have done more kilometres on their feet!). Trauma such as stubbing your toe or ill-fitting footwear may be the cause of thickened nails. Biomechanical factors can also cause thickened toenails. Clawed toes receive more pressure on the ends of the toe and nail plate. Feet that function poorly may squash together toes during walking and this can lead to more forces on the nail plate. Certain dermatological conditions, such as psoriasis, fungal infections, circulation or nutrition may also lead to thickened nails.

Treatment of thickened nails at our Melbourne foot clinic involves cutting the nails and reducing the thickness with a special file. Our podiatrists have special tools that can also help remove callus from underneath the nail plate or sulcus. If you suffer from thickened toenails then our podiatrists can help diagnose the cause and help manage your nails.

Ingrown toenail Melbourne podiatristAn ingrown toenail is a nail which grows into the flesh or sulcus, on the side of the nail. Ingrown toenails are very painful and result in inflammation of the surrounding tissues. If left untreated an ingrown toenail can lead to infection.

Ingrown toenails are caused by a nail spike or sharp corner of nail. This can be the result of trauma or poor nail cutting technique. Your gait and the way your walk may also make you more prone to ingrown toenails. Feet that push off the side of the big toe will generally result in nails which curve inward more and this can increase the risk of an ingrown.

Ingrown toenail treatment at our Melbourne clinic by our podiatrists is aimed at treating the cause of the ingrown nail. This involves careful removal of the nail spike by a podiatrist. Treatment is usually simple and effective if treated early. Chronic or long standing ingrown toenails may require ingrown toenail surgery.

Fungal nails Melbourne podiatristNail fungus or fungal toenails are a common nail condition caused by a fungus infection. It results in a nail that is often yellow or white, thickened, flaky or brittle. It is caused by a fungus either penetrating through the nail plate itself or infecting the skin underneath the nail plate (nail bed).

Trauma is often a common factor involved in fungal toenail infections as it can cause lifting of the nail plate form the bed, allowing entry for fungal spores. Other factors such as poor foot hygiene and sweaty feet can make your toenails more prone to a nail fungus infection.

Nail fungus treatment at our Melbourne Podiatry clinic can involve recommendation of topical anti-fungal solutions or photodynamic treatment called PACT nail fungus treatment. Our podiatrists are experts in diagnosing fungal toenails and can advise you how to best treat nail fungus.

Seniors foot care Melbourne podiatrist

The hidden danger of nail salons

Medical pedicure Melbourne podiatrist

The dangers of nails salons and pedicures are a much debated topic. At Melbourne Podiatrists & Orthotics we have no problem with patients visiting a nail salon to have their nails painted. However caution should be exercised if you are having your nails cut or if any other sharp tools are being used on your feet, the main issue being sterilisation of instruments.

Unlike podiatry, which is a regulated profession with instruments required to be sterilised to strict Australian health care standards, most nail salons are unregulated and have no strict standards regarding sterilisation. This means that most nail salons will be using instruments like nail clippers that are not fully sterilised. This can potentially lead to a greater risk of cross infection, developing fungal nail infections and even more serious blood borne infections if your skin is cut accidentally.

Podiatrists are university trained and the best people to diagnose and treat foot problems. They should be the only people to use a scalpel or sharp instrument on your feet if you want to avoid cross infections.

Melbourne podiatrist

Orthotics and general foot care

orthotics Melbourne

Orthotics help improve foot function. A lot of skin and nail problems are caused by trauma and excess pressure. When your foot functions poorly or excessively pronates or rolls in this can put increased pressure on certain areas of the skin and nail, leading to problems. Orthotics can be prescribed by our podiatrists following gait analysis to help improve your foot function and gait. This can help redistribute pressure and harmful forces, reducing problems such as corns, callus, thickened nails and ingrown toenails.

At our Melbourne clinic our podiatrists guarantee you accurate custom orthotics through our 100% comfort guarantee.

Custom orthotics guarantee Melbourne podiatrist
Melbourne podiatrist

Do Your Feet Need Podiatry Care?

The podiatrists at our Melbourne clinic can diagnose and treat all skin and nail problems affecting the feet. Regular podiatry treatments can help prevent foot problems and keep you mobile on your feet, leading to better health.

If your feet require the care of a friendly general podiatrist, children’s podiatrist or sports podiatrist in Melbourne contact us today.