Onychomycosis is the fungal infection of the nail plate and although it is not considered harmful, it is stressful for many people and can spread to the nail matrix and other toes if left untreated. Once the infection has attacked the nail root, the fungus can permanantly damage the nail. What are fungal nails? What…

What are verrucae? Verrucae are plantar warts that commonly occur on the soles of the feet or around the toe area. They are caused by the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), which is contagious through direct person-to-person contact. There are various forms of HPV, which all relate to various parts of the human body. What causes…

What is it? Most of us have suffered from foot perspiration and odour from time to time, yet for some people, sweaty feet (along with sweaty palms and armpits) are a persistent problem, which can be embarrassing and uncomfortable. For some people, this can affect their day-to-day life considerably, and result in decreased social contact…

What is rheumatoid arthritis and how do I know I have it? Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a condition that causes inflammation in many joints of the body but particularly affects the hands, feet, wrists, ankles and knees – and tends to occur symmetrically. For example, if your right big toe is swollen and painful, chances…

What is osteoarthritis? Osteoarthritis (OA) is often called the ‘wear and tear’ arthritis. It occurs when the cartilage of a joint (a thin layer of gristle that covers the end of the bones and allows them to glide over each other) becomes damaged. When the cartilage deteriorates, the bone underneath can thicken, causing pain, stiffness…

What is an ingrowing toenail? An ingrowing toenail is where a piece of nail pierces the flesh of the toe. It can feel as if you have a splinter, be extremely painful and inflamed or infected. In more severe cases, it can cause pus and bleeding. Ingrowing toenails most commonly affect the big toenail, but…

What is heel pain? The heel is a specialised part of the body designed to absorb the impact of your body weight when walking, running or undertaking any other form of physical exertion or weight-bearing exercise. When pain does develop, it can be very disabling, making every step a problem, which in turn affects your…

Arthritis is a disease of the joints which causes them to become inflamed and stiffen. There are three types of arthritis – Rheumatoid arthritis, Osteo-arthritis and the less common form, Gout. What is gout and what causes it? Gout is the result of an imbalance of uric acid in the body and manifests via a…

What are corns and callus and what causes them? When we walk or stand, our body weight is carried first on the heel and then on the ball of the foot, where the skin is thicker to withstand the pressure. When this pressure becomes excessive, some areas of skin thicken in the form of corns…

What are chilblains? Chilblains (also called pernio) are small itchy, red (and sometimes purple) swellings on the skin, which can become increasingly painful, can swell and then dry out leaving cracks in the skin that expose the foot to the risk of infection. They occur on the toes (particularly the smaller ones), fingers, the face…

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