A Plus Family Foot & Ankle Center

1221 South Water Street Suite A
Kent, Ohio 44240

Common Foot Problems

The doctors at A+ Family Foot & Ankle Center, Inc. provide treatment for most foot conditions including, but not limited to the following:

Athlete’s foot is caused by a fungus that causes redness and cracking of the skin. It usually starts between the toes or on the bottom of the feet. The fungus can, however, spread to other parts of the body. Signs of athlete’s foot include itchy, scaly skin, and thick, white nails. Ward off infection by washing your feet daily with soap and warm water; drying carefully, especially between the toes; and changing shoes and hose regularly to decrease moisture.

Blisters can form from shoes always rubbing the same spot, from wearing shoes that do not fit, or from wearing shoes without socks. Breaking blisters can create an opening for bacteria. Instead, apply a moleskin pad for protection, keep your feet as dry as possible and wear thick socks for extra padding. When the blister pops, leave the broken skin in place, but keep the area clean and apply an antibiotic cream. Cover it with a sterile gauze bandage.

Bunions form when the big toe slants toward the smaller toes, and a bump forms at the base of the big toe. This spot can get red, sore, and infected. Bunions often run in the family and can also be caused by wearing shoes with pointed toes. Surgery is sometimes required to correct the problem.

Corns and calluses are thick layers of skin caused by too much rubbing or pressure on the same spot. The rubbing and/or pressure can be cause by underlying bone problems or shoes that repeatedly rub. At those spots, dead skin cells pile up, creating calluses on the bottom of the foot and corns on the toes. Never attempt to cut or dissolve corns or calluses at home. Your podiatrist can trim or protect them if they become painful. but they usually grow back unless the underlying problem is corrected surgically.

Dry skin can become cracked, allowing germs to enter. A break in the skin on the foot is a gateway for bacteria to enter the body. Bare feet are especially vulnerable to puncture wounds, foreign objects and infection. What may start out as a simple cut — if not promptly and properly treated — could quickly become quite serious or even life threatening, as with tetanus or blood infection.

Hammertoes can be the result of an inherited muscle imbalance, too-small shoes or a bunion-bearing big toe that slants inward. They form when foot muscles get weak, shorten the tendons, and then retract the toes, causing them to curl under the foot and creating a bump at the joint on the top of the toes. These areas can become sore. Square, open-toed, or prescription shoes may increase comfort. Surgery may be needed to correct this problem.

Heel pain is usually caused by a walking stride that exerts excessive stress on the heel bone. Discomfort can also result from poorly made shoes, obesity, a stress fracture of the heel bone, bruises of the fat pad under the heel, or a disease such as rheumatism or gout. To ease heel pain try wearing well-fitted shoes with soft, shock-absorbent soles. Orthotic devices may absorb some of the impact on the heels. A doctor may also prescribe non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or suggest applying heat and/or cold to the heel. Surgery may be necessary as a last resort if heel pain is severe.

Heel spurs refer to heel pain caused by bone irritation. A ligament or muscle may be pulled from the heel. If cortisone, taping, and orthotics don’t work, surgery may be necessary.

Ingrown toenails occur when an edge of the nail grows into the skin, which can then get red and infected. Ingrown toenails can happen if you cut into the corners of your toenails when you trim them. This condition can also be caused by wearing shoes that are too tight. Trim nails slightly longer than the end of the toe and don’t cut into the corners.

Plantar warts form on the bottom of the feet and are caused by a virus. They can be painful and need medical attention to prevent their spread.

Plantar Neuroma is a condition that occurs when two bones rub together and irritate a nerve. The resulting enlargement of the nerve can produce pain, burning. tingling, or numbness between the toes and in the ball of the foot. Conservative treatment includes orthotic devices (shoe inserts that help realign the foot and distribute body weight evenly) and/or cortisone injections, but surgical removal of the growth is sometimes necessary.

Warts are caused by a virus that enters the skin through small cuts. Children, especially teenagers, tend to be more susceptible to warts than adults. Most warts are harmless and benign, though they are unsightly and may be painful. Warts often come from walking barefoot on dirty surface. A podiatrist can dissolve warts painlessly with topical acid treatments or remove them surgically.