Seven Top Foot Questions and Answers

Question: What can I do to get rid of my corns and/or calluses?

Answer: Corns and calluses can be caused by foot deformities or from an ill-fitting or poor quality shoe. Only wear shoes that are well-constructed and fit properly. Take the time to have your feet measured; if you have gained weight it could make a difference in shoe size. Your feet are also bigger at the end of the day, so keep that in mind when making a purchase. Your podiatrist can make a personalized orthotic device to wear inside your shoes. This corrective measure will provide much relief.

Question: How do I get rid of warts on my feet?

Answer: Foot warts should be professionally examined and treated by a podiatric surgeon as they may enlarge in size and multiply due to their viral nature. The doctor will numb the area prior to removing the warts. The procedure is simple and painless.

Question: I think I have an ingrown toenail. How can I tell and what should I do?

Answer: Symptoms include redness, swelling, and pain with or without pressure on the toe. Infection is possible, and symptoms of infection include the above plus an area that is warm to the touch and discolored; if the skin breaks yellow drainage is noted. Soak the foot in warm water and carefully remove the ingrown part of the nail. Always trim nails straight across. If pain and/or redness persists, contact a podiatric surgeon. The doctor can resolve your problem immediately by reshaping the nail. If you are diabetic and do not know how to care for your feet, do any foot care yourself . See your podiatrist. Please see related article, Foot Care and Diabetes.

Question: What is a hammertoe?

Answer: A hammertoe is an abnormal contraction of one or more toes which often causes them to rub on the top of the shoe. Try wearing a larger shoe and avoid pointed-toe shoes; opt for a roomier square cut. The quickest answer would be to consult with a podiatric surgeon. This is a problem that does not resolve on its own.

Question: What is a bunion?

Answer: A bunion is an enlargement of the bone on the inside of the foot at the big toe. Wear larger shoes to make space for the bone. The shoes should be a softer material and avoid pointed toes. If the pain persists, a podiatric surgeon may prescribe an orthotic device or recommend treatment alternatives, including surgical correction. This is another condition that does not resolve on its own.

Question: What is the best way to relieve the discomfort of having flat feet?

Answer: Good arch support is key. If you haven't found a good arch support on your own, see a podiatrist.

Question: What is causing my heel pain?

Answer: Most likely the heel pain is plantar fasciitis , an irritation of the ligament running along the bottom of the foot and attaching to the heel. It usually causes pain first thing in the morning or after a lot of activity. Try wearing cushioned shoes with a slightly elevated heel, approximately an inch to an inch and a half high. Also, insert an arch support to decrease pressure on the heel. If discomfort persists, consult a podiatric surgeon who may recommend custom orthotics, professional treatment, and possibly surgical correction if conservative care does not help.