Feet are something that most people don't pay attention to until they have a problem with one or both of their feet. Healthy feet are important to doing everything people need to do, and when a problem arises, it can put a giant kink in performing the basic activities of daily living. Here's a look at three common foot issues that bring people to the podiatrist.
1. Athlete's Foot
You don't have to be an athlete to get this foot fungus, which thrives in moist, dark, warm environments like sweaty gym shoes and sauna floors. The fungus gets in between the toes and the soles of the feet, causing peeling, itching, rashes, a burning sensation, and odor. The fungus can also make its way to the groin, commonly called jock itch. There are over-the-counter products available, but athlete's foot can be pretty persistent and often needs to be treated with prescription medication from the podiatrist.
This condition is actually a form of arthritis. It affects the two joints in the big toe. It is also incredibly painful. It is usually triggered by a diet that is high in purines, which are found in foods like red meat and beer or excess alcohol. Purines cause a buildup in uric acid, which forms crystals that find their way to the joints in the big toe.
These crystals are like miniature knives, and they stab the cushioning around the joints nonstop. The toe becomes hot, red, and swollen, and the pain is so intense, putting on a sock let alone a shoe is out of the question. Changing your diet and drinking pure tart cherry juice can help with a gout attack, but many need to see the doctor for additional treatment.
A bunion causes the foot to become deformed over time. It also affects the big toe. A bony overgrowth occurs on the side of the big toe where the last joint meets the foot. This can then push the big toe into the other toes, crowding them out. Bunions are often hereditary, but they may also be caused by arthritis or wearing high heels or shoes that are too tight or narrow in the toe box.
Anti-inflammatory pain relievers can be used to temporarily to deal with the pain and swelling that occurs, but eventually, a podiatrist will need to be consulted where cortisone injections or surgery may be explored to correct the problem. They may also prescribe orthotics, which are shoe inserts.
For more information, contact a medical office like Chesapeake Research Group, LLC.