Managing Skin and Nail Conditions of the Foot – Podiatrist’s Advice

When it comes to overall health, we often overlook the importance of our feet, especially the skin and nails. This neglect is why conditions such as ingrown toenails, nail fungus, and foot corns are becoming more common. 

If not treated early, such conditions can cause significant discomfort and affect our quality of life. In this article, we’ve invited our Podiatrists from Straits Podiatry to advise you on managing these conditions. 

Ingrown Toenails

An ingrown toenail is caused by the nail growing into the flesh, resulting in pain and swelling. It often affects the big toe and is mainly due to trauma to the toe or trimming your nails too curved. Most individuals will attempt to “Do It Yourself” and risk developing more severe infections. 

Ingrown toenail treatment ranges from conservative management to minimally invasive procedures. If the condition is mild, where there is just a nail spike poking into the tip of the toe, a conservative trimming can safely remove it. However, if you have had repeated episodes of ingrown toenails, you may require a partial nail avulsion procedure to stop the recurrence. 

Nail Fungus

Nail fungus is a condition in which fungus infects toenails. The infection causes the nails to turn yellow, brown, or white. It is very common in Singapore as our climate is hot and humid.

Managing nail fungus can be tricky, as the fungi are stubborn and difficult to get rid of. Most topical products tend to fail, as the fungi usually thrive under the nail. Nail fungus treatment often requires a combination approach involving nail trimming and debridement, topical applications, and photodynamic antimicrobial therapy. 

Foot Corns

Foot corn is a condition in which painful, hard, thickened skin forms on the sole of the foot or the sides of the toes. The underlying cause of foot corn is pressure and shearing, which can be due to your foot posture, walking pattern, or inappropriate shoes. 

The treatment usually involves corn removal using a scalpel to provide symptomatic relief. However, to slow down or prevent the recurrence, you may need to use a pair of insoles designed to relieve pressure and shearing on the affected area of your foot. 

Tips on Maintaining Good Foot Health

Prevention is always better than cure. Start paying more attention to your feet to avoid trouble. The first thing you can do is ensure that all your nails are cut straight across and only lightly round the sharp edges using a nail file. Second, moisturise your feet daily, but avoid areas between the toes. Lastly, wear supportive footwear such as sports shoes and avoid slippers as much as possible.

We hope that you find this article helpful. If you have any foot problems and require assistance, contact our podiatrists at Straits Podiatry today!