When It Hurts To Walk (Your Toes Aren’t Loyal)

    Plantar warts have the appearance of thick, scaly skin. They can occur as small, single warts or can cluster into large areas on the soles of the feet. Moist, sweaty feet can predispose you to infection by the wart virus. They’re caused by a virus that enters through broken skin, and they can be picked up in showers and around swimming pools. Treatment consists of burning the wart with topical salicylic acids, freezing with liquid nitrogen, laser surgery or cutting them off — all of which do not guarantee that warts will not return. Surgery is a method that provides a less chance of reoccurrence.

    Hammertoe

    When toe muscles get out of balance, they can cause painful toe problems. While some people are prone to hammertoe, other risks include tight footwear. Hammertoe generally causes the middle joint of the toe to bend downward, with toes appearing raised near the foot. Well–fitted footwear with the correct amount of space in the toe box, shoe supports, and surgery may offer relief.

    Ingrown Toenail

    A toenail that has grown into the skin, an ingrown toenail can result in pain, redness, swelling, even infection. Cutting nails too short or not straight across, injury to the toenail, and wearing tight shoes are culprits. For mild cases, soak the foot in warm water, keep it clean, and wedge a small piece of cotton under the corner of the ingrown nail to lift it off the skin. Minor surgery can remove all or part of the nail.

    Fungal Nail Infection

    Occurring when microscopic fungi enter through a break in the nail, a fungal infection can make your nails thick, discolored and brittle. If left untreated, the nail infection won’t go away — and can be hard to treat. Thriving in warm, wet places, the fungi can be spread from person to person. Topical creams may help mild cases but antifungal pills are your best chance of curing a severe infection.

    Flatfoot

    Just because you have flat feet does not mean you will have problems or pain. If you do have pain, there are various treatment options available. If you only have one foot that has a flat arch, it may be due to another problem and you should get it checked out. Flatfoot is characterized by the sole of the foot coming into complete or near–complete contact with the ground. It may be inherited, caused by an injury, or by a condition, such as rheumatoid arthritis. Flatfoot symptoms are rare, though weight gain, ill–fitting shoes, or excessive standing may cause pain. Treatment includes foot–strengthening exercises, and shoes with good arch support.

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