Common Foot Complaints

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You would be utterly surprised at the number of “everyday” skin conditions which can affect the skin and nails of the feet and with this in mind I have been working on the formulation of a new Hygiene Cream for feet to address many of these everyday conditions.

The hygiene cream launch coincides with the celebration by Margaret Dabbs Clinics of ‘World Foot Health Awareness Month’ in May and is a must-have in any bathroom cabinet. It is particularly good for feet that suffer with bouts of Athlete’s feet, or feet that have damaged and discoloured nails. If hygiene is an issue it is an excellent tool as a treatment measure as well as helping to prevent recurrence of the Athlete’s Foot. For sweat prone or sports feet or for people that swim often and can be affected by the chlorine in the water it can be a great help. I have found that it is great for teenagers, and helps to prevent the occurrence of bacterial infections of the skin.

I have found that females especially can be afflicted on the skin of just one foot – with the skin of the other foot being absolutely perfect. This can be the result of medication, injury or illness affecting the circulation, alcohol intake or just purely hereditary.

The one condition that everyone dreads is the fungal nail condition – or mycosis, which can also spread to the skin. It is less common than you think however. From my experience men are more likely to contract this than women, however if you knew how many times patients come to me with the diagnosis of a fungal nail condition, only to find it is actually a bruised nail, nail bed damage, or even simply discolouration from nail varnish or …. fake tan. Believe me, it doesn’t matter that you apply Vaseline to the nails or even that the nails were painted when the fake tan was applied to the body (not even the feet) – it migrates everywhere.

The number of people who are ill – advised about this by their nail technician – is incredible so don’t panic but seek advice to get a true diagnosis – which incidentally can only be confirmed by pathology testing; that is nail scrapings which are examined under a microscope and cultured.

Don’t be talked into having expensive treatments before you are absolutely sure of the diagnosis, and bear in mind if you suffer from eczema for example it can also occur on the feet and under the nails and could be what you are looking at.

Repeated toe nail trauma will also give the appearance of a fungal nail so bear this in mind too.

Often it can be the skin of the feet affecting the nails, and Athlete’s foot or tinea pedis is another well know dread. The good thing is that this can be treated, though once you have had one bout it can flare up at other times, and can be associated with stress.

As we get older the sweat glands of the feet reduce in effectiveness leading to dehydration, when we really do need to re-introduce moisture as without it the skin can crack and fissures appear.

Prevention is better than cure, so do think about doing something before the cracks open as they are really painful, and can be difficult to treat yourself.

These are very common if you suffer with swelling of the ankles and feet, from medication, illness or injury which causes the skin to dehydrate, swell and break.

Hard skin called callus or tyloma on the heels can also crack and give fissures, so don’t ignore these either as once the cracks open not only are they extremely painful and difficult to treat, they can also lead to infection.

Then there is the other end of the spectrum – hyper hidrosis – or bromihydrosis if a bacterial infection is also present with the swelling and the feet smell. It is difficult to control the sweating – which you will be pleased to know does reduce with age – but the bacterial side is very treatable with general hygiene measures. This condition can be acutely embarrassing, and young adults – especially boys can be severely affected.

Then there is the other end of the spectrum with anhidrosis – no sweating. With this condition the skin is very dry and papery and must be replenished with a good, foot lotion that has the ability to be accepted and penetrate into the skin rather than just sitting on top of it. Use the Margaret Dabbs Treatment Foot Oil, followed by the Margaret Dabbs Hydrating Foot Lotion – the products will get to work immediately and the feet will feel less itchy and much more comfortable.

Chilblains – well this winter we have definitely seen an increase in the occurrence of chilblains – or erythema pernio as we foot people know it. It is difficult to self-diagnose and treat and can be acutely painful. Experience shows me that they are more common in females – especially those with fine or fair skin. Circulation also plays a part in this. It has been difficult for people to keep warm and dry and the extremes of temperature are most at root of this problem. Try very hard not to scratch them, and an old wives tale remedy which I have found helps is the juice of an onion with a spoonful of sugar, covered in a bowl and left to ferment for a day or two until the residual juice can be used to apply to the offending chilblain.

For the children, the big issue for the feet is verruca, and the treatments available can be traumatic and in some instances really like it is from the dark ages. Use the Hygiene Cream for a more conservative treatment method, and you will be really surprised as the results with regression of the verruca over the period of a few weeks, and without the tears usually associated with treatment. Pop the cream over the offending verruca and cover with a plaster to allow the area to macerate and the product to treat down into the tissues.

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