About feet diseases
The human feet are flexible structures that are made up of 26 bones, hundreds of muscles, 33 joints and soft tissues that allow us to stand upright, run walk and even jump. The feet have strong muscles ligaments and tendons that facilitate the complex movements that are needed for good balance and motion. The human feet are divided in to three sections;
The forefoot that is made up of five toes commonly known as phalanges and five long bones (the metatarsals).
The mid-foot which is a pyramid like collection of bones that forms the feet arches that comprise the cubooid bone, three cuneiform bones and thenavicular bone.
The hind-foot comprises of the ankle and the heel. The ankle is supported by the talus bone and the heel bone is the largest foot bone.
All the three sections of the foot are prone to many different types of diseases that can cause severe complications if not well taken care of.
Common feet diseases
Warts: These are skin growths that look like calluses on the heel or foot ball. They seem to have small black spots at the center that look like small pin holes. They are caused by viruses that attack the outer skin layer on the skin's sole.
Warts can be very painful and spread really fast if left untreated.
Calluses and corns: They are hard skin build ups that form under the bony surface. They are caused by pressure from the shoes that bring about friction, uneven distribution of weight, wearing shoes that do not fit properly and some type of skin abnormality.
Bunions: This occurs when the big toes joints swell and become tender making them to no longer fit together the way they should. Bunions are hereditary but are not severe though they can sometimes cause pain.
Ingrown nails: This is among most common feet diseases. It occurs when the nail breaks the skin and curves into the soft nail grooves. They cause a lot of pain to the nail borders especially in the large toes.
Spurs: these are calcium growths that occur on the bones feet. They are as a result of muscle strain brought about by standing for long, being overweight and wearing improperly fitting shoes. Depending on the severity of the spurs and the cause, they can be mild or very painful.
Mycotic nails: This is also among the common feet diseases. The nails are infected by fungal organisms. Other causes include wearing shoes for long as they have a moist, dark and warm environment that favors fungal growth and nail injury that tends to dispose the nail to fungal infections.
Symptoms of feet diseases
The symptoms of the different feet diseases vary depending on the type of diseases and the health of the person affected. The following are the main symptoms of the different feet diseases described above.
Warts: Its main symptom is painful calluses that have black spots at the centre.
Corns and calluses: Characterized by a translucent dry and waxy appearance.
Bunions: its frequent symptoms are things like pain when walking, enlargement of the big toes base and severe pain at the big toe's base.
Spurs: Spurs are characterized by tenderness, heel pain, plantar fascia and Achilles inflammation.
Ingrown nails: are characterized by painful sores, redness, swelling, infection and drainage.
Mycotic nails: The nails appears thick bristle and somehow separated from the nail bed with a yellow brownish discoloration.
Prevention and treatment of feet diseases
Warts: Can be prevented by avoiding contact with an infected person and avoiding barefoot walking. Warts are treated by freezing the wart with nitrogen liquid, surgery or by use of pads and topical medication that softens the skin and relieves discomfort.
Corns and calluses: Are prevented by wearing properly fitting shoes, avoiding leather shoes, using cushioned insoles, wearing shoes with increased height but not very high heeled and avoiding barefoot walking. The treatment involves a simple home remedy; soak the foot in soapy warm water and use a pumice stone to get rid of the tissue build up if this is not successful, surgery may be necessary.
Bunions: Prevented by wearing loose shoes and avoiding too much walking. It is treated by use of anti-inflammatory drugs, local cold pack, stretching exercise and wearing a bunion splint at night.
Ingrown nails: Are prevented by cutting the nails often especially after bathing when they are still soft, avoid cutting the nail sides and avoiding tight shoes. Their treatment involves soaking the affected foot in soapy salty warm water and then applying an antiseptic before bandaging. In severe cases, surgery is conducted to the growth plate.
Mycotic nails: Prevented by washing the feet daily and drying properly. Treated using topical medications that cure fungal infections and removal of damaged tissues.
Spurs: Prevention involves wearing heeled shoes and they are treated by use of anti inflammatory agents.