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Skin & Nail Care

Skin and nail care appointments are designed to provide immediate relief from pains and problems related to the health of your toenails or the skin on your feet.

 

For some, this may look like removing painful pebble-like corns that periodically develop on the bottom of the feet in specific areas of high pressure. For others, they may now have difficulty reaching their feet to manage their toenails and skin health, and need some professional help to prevent the problems from turning into something significantly more serious further down the track. 

 

Here at Masterton Foot Clinic, we offer a comprehensive skin and nail care service so that you leave your clinic chair feeling significantly better than when you came in. In addition to the services performed at your visit, your podiatrist is always here to discuss any other lower limb concerns you may have, provide advice on how to best care for your feet and legs between visits, create prevention and management strategies, and much more.

 

 

Your skin and nail care appointment may address:

 

Thick, hard or difficult-to-manage toenails

As we age, our toenails can become harder and may thicken. This means that regular nail cutting tools no longer do the trick. We have all the right tools and techniques to best care for your nail health, reducing both the length and thickness of the nails. The same applies to nails that have grown more fragile or brittle.

 

Corns

Walking on a corn can be as painful as permanently walking on a pebble at the bottom of your foot. We can remove and manage all types of corns (hard corns, soft corns, seed corns) in your appointment without any pain or discomfort, to give you significant relief upon standing.

 

Warts

Medically known as verrucae, warts are caused by a virus and can be difficult to treat given their cellular nature. We have a number of treatment options suitable for both children and adults to effectively treat plantar warts.

 

Callus & cracked heels

Callus builds up in response to excess pressure or friction to an area of the feet – but this protective response can quickly become uncomfortable and painful when the callus becomes too thick, or dries out and forms cracks in the callus. Cracked heels may not just crack the outer dry skin, but also the healthy skin beneath, leaving you vulnerable to infection and significant pain. We reduce the thickness of callus and cracked heels to a safe and healthy level in one appointment, significantly improving your comfort and reducing your risk of future complications.

 

Ingrown toenails

Ingrown toenails can be an incredibly painful and uncomfortable problem, affecting both children and adults alike, often repeatedly over many years. We have a number of solutions for ingrown toenail relief ranging from one-off removal of the ingrown nail spicule for first-time ingrown toenails, to permanent correction using a minor surgical procedure.

 

Athlete’s foot

Athlete’s foot can cause extreme itching, discomfort and tenderness on the soles of the feet and between the toes. Being caused by a fungus, we help you choose the best anti-fungal agents to effectively manage your infection while teaching you how to prevent the infection from recurring or spreading to others in your household by putting the right measures in place to eliminate the fungal spores from your home.

 

Fungal nail infections

Also caused by a fungus like Athlete’s foot (above), treating fungal nail infections starts with confirming that the discolouration, nail changes or other symptoms you’re experiencing are truly being caused by a fungus – as in up to 50% of patients, there may be another cause. We do this with a lab test using a sample of your nail, performed during your appointment. From there, we’ll discuss all of your treatment options, including our most effective treatment for fungal nail infections – the Lunula cold laser.

 

Diabetic foot care

Diabetes affects our feet in a number of ways, including our circulation and sensation. With our ability to feel what’s happening around our feet diminished, and our ability to heal any wounds and fight off infection impaired, those with diabetes need extra care for their feet and nails. This is why home foot care for those with diabetes is not recommended, and podiatric foot care is the best method to help eliminate your risks and detect any new problems and abnormalities, allowing you to get effective and timely care.

 

 

 

Skin & Nail Care FAQ’s

Why do toenails become thick?

Most often, toenails thicken due to the natural ageing process. As we grow older, the rate at which our nails grow slows, and so the nail can thicken. Other times, it’s because of trauma to the nail, whether that be from dropping something on the foot or from the toes repeatedly rubbing against the tops of a tight shoe. It may also occur from a number of other reasons like a fungal nail infection.

 

What causes corns?

Corns are caused by repeated friction (rubbing) or excess pressure to an area of skin. These actions trigger a natural response for the skin to thicken, harden and form callus, but when this pressure or friction is applied over a very specific point of the foot, a corn forms.

 

How can I tell between a corn and a wart?

It can be difficult – and even some medical professionals get it wrong. Thankfully, we see corns and calluses every day and are trained to detect the difference. Warts are living tissue caused by a virus. They have a blood supply and will bleed when paired back. They will also feel painful when pinched from the sides. They have a rough appearance, and the lines of your skin tend to go around the wart.

 

Corns aren’t usually painful when pinched, but they are painful when pressed down on. They tend to be darker and deeper in colour, and don’t bleed unless the skin immediately next to the corn is damaged. The lines of the skin tend to go through the wart.

 

Both warts and corns often have build-ups of callus over the top of them, so the best way to get a proper look and be able to diagnose if there is significant callus is to safely remove the callus which our podiatrists do.

 

Are warts contagious?

Yes, warts are contagious and can spread through direct contact.

 

Why do heels crack?

When you have a build up of callus on your heels, and the skin dries, cracks can form. While it’s usually the outer layer of callus that cracks, sometimes the healthy skin beneath can also crack and bleed.

 

Does Athlete’s foot spread to the toenails?

Athlete’s foot refers to a fungal skin infection that can cause small blisters/bubbles and itchiness on the bottoms of the feet and in the toes. If the fungus takes hold of the toenails, a fungal nail infection can start too.

 

What should I do if I can’t reach my feet anymore?

This is a common experience with the natural ageing process, and something our podiatrists help a lot with. If you can no longer care for your feet for whatever reason – whether that’s not reaching them or not seeing them properly due to vision changes or something else – our podiatrists will take excellent and professional care of your skin and nails for you on a regular basis.

 

How often should I be coming in for skin and nail appointments?

This usually depends on how quickly your nails grow, or how quickly problems like corns grow back. Most people come every 6-12 weeks. Your podiatrist can help you choose the best time at your appointment, and if we find it has been too long or soon when it’s time for your next appointment, we can adjust your time frame accordingly.