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GENERAL PODIATRY/PODIATRIST QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

What is a corn and how do Podiatrists treat them?

Corns are painful points on the feet made of hard, dead skin or keratin. Corns are caused by many things, the main one being pressure and dry skin. Podiatrists will usually remove the corn in the clinical chair with a scalpel. This process is pain free and there is an immediate reduction in pain. As most things, if the cause of the pressure is not changed then the corn will come back over a period of time.

What is a wart and what causes a wart?

Warts are an infection in the skin by a virus, they present as a painful lump. They are contagious and are often passed from family member to family member. High risk areas for contracting warts are the area surrounding swimming pools. Plantar warts on the feet are called verrucae pedis and need to be treated slightly differently from other warts due to their presence of thickened hard skin on the sole of the foot. See your Podiatrist at The Foot Clinic to ensure the best treatment of your wart.

Why does callous form on my foot?

Callouses form on your foot in response to friction and pressure. Callousing patterns correspond with areas that are experiencing high amounts of these forces. Podiatrists can treat your callouses by explaining the force that is causing the callousing, debriding the callous and finding ways to change the pressure on your foot to delay or stop the onset of the callousing again.

What is Podiatry?

Podiatry is a relatively new health profession that has specialised expertise in treating, assessing and diagnosing conditions of the lower limb. It is an allied health profession that is registered with the Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Authority.

Why are my nails thick?

Thickened nails are usually caused by one of three types of trauma to the nail matrix.
The 1st reason and the most common reason is a fungal nail infection, fungal nail infections can be diagnosed by the Podiatrist in the chair by clinical symptoms or through a sample of clippings. Treating a fungal nail infection is a difficult process that can be treated through both topical (creams, or ointments) or systemic (medication). Your Podiatrist will let you know the chances of either being effective given your presentation.
The 2nd reason is trauma, trauma can be from an ongoing source such as running or cricket bowling or a single event such as a stubbed toe. Although there is no infection to fight, there are some general tips and tricks to manage thickening nails and improving toe nail health.
The 3rd reason is psoriatic toe nails, Psoriasis is a condition that can affect nails, skin and joints. Psoriatic toe nails do not usually occur without either of the other two and can usually be diagnosed during your consult with your Podiatrist. Treating psoriatic nails is slightly different than treating other sources or causes of thickened toe nails.

What is tinea?

Tinea is an infection of the skin. It is caused by a fungus, which is the same as the fungus that causes fungal nail infections. Tinea can differ in it's levels of severity and symptoms that can be associated with the infection. Tinea can be burning, itching or painful.

Can a Podiatrist help me cut my nails?

As a simple answer, yes. If you need ongoing care of your toe nails a Podiatrist can help you out long or short term. However Podiatrists at The Foot Clinic Point Cook will encourage you to be able to cut your own toe nails through various self care techniques.

What is required to become a Podiatrist and how long does it take?

Podiatry is currently only offered in LaTrobe University in Victoria it is currently a double degree with a Bachelor of Health Sciences and Masters of Podiatric Practice. Podiatrists who trained before this program will have a Bachelor of Podiatry

What is the difference between a Podiatrist and a Physiotherapist?

Podiatrists are allied health professionall's, as are Physiotherapists. Podiatrists area of expertise is foot and ankle conditions with a focus on biomechanical assessment and treatment. Physiotherapist's specialise in all injuries both acute an chronic.

What causes cracked heels?

Cracked heels are caused by dry and calloused skin. This is due to the fact that feet do not have oil glands and instead rely on moisture from sweat glands. If your sweat is allowed to dry too quickly it will dry the skin out and become painful and cracked.

What is Psoriasis?

Psoriasis is an auto-immune condition that can affect skin nails and joints, anywhere on the body. Usually people know if they have psoriasis from the tell tale skin plaques which occasionally comes in parallel with hot, inflamed joints.