Routine Nail Care
For some people cutting nails can be a problem due to mobility, vision issues or the fact that their nails are too hard or thick. The podiatrists at the Osteopathy and Podiatry Centre are happy to take care of this for you.
The service is extended to those who suffer from diabetes or who are on blood thinners or those that just prefer to have a professional nail cutting service.
Nail care is also available for those who have traumatised their nail leading to partial avulsion (tearing off) and for sub-ungula haematomas (blood blisters under the nails).
An ingrowing toenail can be one of the most painful things that a podiatrist sees. Early intervention by a podiatrist can often quickly and relatively painlessly resolve the problem in one appointment.
The longer the nail is left to grow in the more swollen the toe becomes and there is increased likelihood to catch an infection. Home ‘surgery’ is not recommended as people tend to cut the nail further back leaving a deeper spike that is then more difficult to remove.
An ingrown toenail is where a splinter of nail grows into the flesh usually on the big toe. They are often caused by poor nail cutting – usually by cutting too short down the sides of the nail leaving a spike of nail which as it grows forward pierces the flesh. It may also be caused by trauma and is more common is people who have weak nails that break more easily.
Corns & Callus
Corns can make walking extremely painful and can cause changes in the way people walk leading to other problems such as knee and hip pain. Our podiatrists can give immediate relief by painlessly removing these allowing you to go back to pain free activities.
Corns and callus can occur on any part of the foot and can range from a mild callus under the foot, to a corn that can develop into an infected ulcer in the case of a person who has reduced blood flow to the feet.
A biomechanical assessment may be necessary to find out the root cause of persistent painful corns and callus. Custom made orthotics to redistribute pressure will slow down the return and sometimes stop the growth of corns and callus. It is not advisable for people to cut their own corns, and corn plasters and paints should not be used by those with diabetes or circulatory problems. Self treatment can cause injury in the form of cuts and wounds, and this can be especially dangerous for people in these high risk groups.
Heel Callus and Fissures
Hard skin and cracking around the heels is a common and unsightly problem that both men and women suffer from and can be painful. It is particularly prevalent in Singapore due to the environment we live in. Our podiatrists can remove the skin and cracks quickly and painlessly alleviating discomfort and catching on the bedsheets.
In some cases if the skin is left to grow too thick deep crack appears within the callous this is known as a fissure (see photo). If particularly severe and deep this may bleed and be prone to infection. In this case it is advisable to seek the help of a qualified podiatrist for management. This will involve addressing the underlying cause of the hard skin, careful debridement of all callous and advice on dressings, strapping, footwear and prevention of re-occurrence.
Plantar Warts (Verrucae)
Whilst warts do not usually cause pain but they are unsightly and easily spread due to the damp Singapore environment and people often walking barefoot. Our podiatrists will discuss the different management options for you and this may involve cryotherapy (freezing), topical acids to be used at home, strong acids in the clinic or in more resistant cases referral for laser treatment. Advice on how to reduce the spread of the verrucae will also be given.
Fungal Infections (Athlete's Foot)
Fungal infections are common in Singapore due to the humid environment. They can start off as dry flaky skin or small blisters and can lead to intense itching, cracking, blistering, redness, and in between the toes, soggy white skin. People with very dry or very moist skin are more prone to infections. The fungus can also spread to the toenails causing discolouration and thickening and can be transferred to other areas of skin such as the groin and hands. Our podiatrists will advise you on how to get rid of the infection and steps to help prevent re-occurrence.
In the case of nail infections they may also cut back the infected area and drill the nail to make topical treatments more effective.