Athlete's Foot - Tinea Pedis

Just about anybody can catch athlete’s foot.  It usually starts between the fourth and fifth toes, but can easily spread between the other toes and to other parts of the foot and nails.  Athlete’s foot is highly contagious and can be easily picked up from wet floors, used towels, socks and shoes.

Signs and Symptoms

  1. Intense itching between the toes, usually the 3rd, 4th and 5th toes.
  2. In ulcerative athlete’s foot the peeling of the skin worsens and cracks may develop, this can result in secondary bacterial infections.
  3. The peeling of skin or cracking between the toes.
  4. Red and inflamed skin in which a series of raised bumps or ridges develop. Intense itching and a watery discharge may develop.
  5. A red rash across the bottom of the foot, the skin becomes dense and scaly.





Corns, also known as Helomas,  are thickened areas of skin that form in response to excessive pressure and friction. They form to protect the skin and the structure beneath it from damage.
This pressure is not necessarily caused by walking, it can occur through ill-fitting footwear.
Corns are usually hard and circular, with a translucent centre. They can become painful or ulcerated in response to the severity of pressure.
There are 5 different types of corn, however the two most common are hard corns (heloma durum) and soft corns (heloma molle).


Hard Corns
These are usually about the size of a pea, and yellow in colour. They appear as a circular raised shiny patch of skin. They contain a nucleus (an inward-growing point) which can push against the underlying nerve ending thus causing sharp intense pain.
Fitting curled toes into ill- fitting shoes is the most common cause of hard corns, usually on the 5th (small) toe however they can occur on the tops, sides or tips of any of the toes. They can also appear under the ball of the foot, which is another pressure point.

Soft Corns
These are whitish in colour and have a rubber-like texture. They usually develop between the toes and are caused by the rubbing together of the bones in the toes.

Seed Corns
Tiny corns that tend to occur on the bottom of the foot.

Vascular Corns
These usually start as a hard corn, however through inadequate self-treatment, nerve endings and blood vessels are pushed to the surface.
These will bleed profusely upon paring and can be extremely painful.


Fungal Nail Infection

Fungal nail infection (onychomycosis) is an infection that causes the nails to thicken and discolour. The big toe is the most susceptible to this condition, however other toes can become infected. Fungal nail is caused by the same fungus that causes athlete’s foot. Cutting your nails too short, damage to the nail caused by a bang on the foot, or tight shoes that constrict or rub the toes, are the major contributing factor of this.

Signs and Symptoms
The infection usually starts at the tip or side of the nails and spreads towards the base of the nail. In the early stages the nail may change colour to off-white, yellow and in some cases green. The nail becomes thicker and crumbly and can eventually crumble away completely. Toenail infections are more difficult to clear totally than skin infections. This is because the nails grow slowly and receive very little blood supply. Because nails grow slowly, it typically takes up to a year for the nail to regain a healthy, clear, thin appearance


 Ingrown Toenail

Known as ‘onychocryptosis’, this is a common, painful condition which occurs when the skin on the side of the toenail grows over the edge of the nail or when the nail grows into the skin. It is most common on the big toe, however it can develop on the other toes.
Usually the side of the nail penetrates deeply and it is difficult to see the edge. Some will just have a nail that appears deeply embedded down the side or sides of the nail. In some, the corner or a small spike of nail may penetrate the skin. It can be extremely painful, red and inflamed and in more severe cases can result in an infection, pus and bleeding, in which case, a course of anti-biotics are required.  Ingrown toenails can develop for many reasons:
In some cases the nail is more curved than usual rather than being flat, this will cause the edge of the nail to grow in. The most severe example of this type of nail is one in which both sides of the nail are very curved, this is more commonly called a ‘pincer nail’ and the shape is usually inherited, but can be influenced by trauma or shoe pressure. Trauma, such as stubbing a toe or having one stepped on can cause a piece of nail to jam into the skin.
Incorrect trimming is widely regarded as the most common cause. The nails should be cut straight across avoiding cutting too low at the edge or down the side. The corner of the nail should be filed and be visible above the skin.
Pressure from an adjacent toe, a bone deformity (e.g. bunion), tight-fitting footwear or hosiery can also be causative factors.

There are so many other common foot complaints out there, too many to mention. But any problem you have with your feet, will not be a problem to us.



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