Written by Michelle Champlin BSc Pod., M.Ch.S., S.R., Ch., (UK)
Valentine’s Day is coming up and given that we are lucky enough to live in the lovely warm climate of Dubai, a romantic barefoot stroll along the beach could well be on the cards.
It’s at times like this that you can become self-conscious of any issues with your feet, whether visible and unsightly – corns, callous, bursas or yellowed toenails; or ailments that nobody else can see but cause you excruciating pain, affecting how you walk – such as heel pain (commonly plantar fasciitis). Don’t let your Valentine’s date be turned off by smelly feet or cracked heels – your Podiatrist has the answer for these turn-offs (and more). Read on for our most common (and easily treated) foot related mood killers.
Are your feet lovely? Unsightly foot problems that cause you embarrassment, such as discoloured toenails, cracked heels, callous, verrucas or smelly feet aren’t just a cosmetic issue, but may indicate an underlying health issue, cause you pain, or lead to something more problematic in the future. So gentlemen, if your wife thinks you should see a Podiatrist – she’s right (as always). Read on to find out how to get loveable feet.
• Yellow Toenails Toenails may become yellowed with excessive nail polish use, or cracked and flaky with a fungal infection. Toenails yellowed by nail polish use are eventually more likely to become susceptible to fungal infections.
• Ingrown Toenails Ingrown toenails can be caused by shoes that are too tight in the toe box, or even hosiery pressing into the nail. Some ingrown toenails are just ‘genetic’ – too wide for your toe, or very curved – and your mum or dad may have also experienced problems with painful nails. You will experience pain, redness, inflammation and if left untreated, infection.
Don’t worry – there’s good news!
The good news is that all of these are treatable. There’s no reason to put up with unsightly or painful toenails and at our clinic, we believe in explaining all the options available, the pros and cons, and always aiming for long term, permanent fixes. We do everything we can to treat your toes like we do our own – pain free, gentle and one-off treatments to avoid repeatedly having to see us (much as we hope you enjoy your visit with us, we know you have better things to do with your time than visit the Podiatrist!) Conditions such as yellowed or fungal toenails are a common and easily treated complaint for us to fix, in most cases in just one visit.
Cracked heels, dry skin and secret fungal infections
Sometime the white, dry skin we see on feet is actually a fungal skin infection, unique to the desert climate we live in and harboured in the sand. We see patients who have been moisturizing or buffing their skin and understandably end up frustrated when despite all their best efforts, there is limited improvement. A fungal foot infection can look red and itchy or may also just look like very dry, powdery skin.
I’ve tried over-the-counter lotions, potions and insoles…nothing works Especially if other treatments have not worked for you, make an appointment with us and we can start the correct treatment straight away to resolve it – we can buff your feet to perfection and also treat the actual underlying fungal infection, as well as advise on the cause and how to prevent it recurring. We see tens of fungal skin infections every single day in the clinic, and after 15 years of podiatry practice in Dubai, we’re experts in the various strains and sometimes deceptive appearances. We love difficult, stubborn or complex cases – it’s what we specialize in at Dubai Podiatry Centre.
Of course, sometimes very dry skin is not due to an underlying fungal infection – as Podiatrists, we’re experts in the whole range of possible causes. We’ll be looking to explore possible undiagnosed thyroid or diabetic conditions, vitamin deficiencies or even a biomechanical anomaly (how you walk and run). Patches of callous or corns tell us a lot about your feet. We work a bit differently at Dubai Podiatry Centre – we forensically analyze every telltale sign on your feet, such as callous, to understand why it is building up, discuss the cause with you and decide an action plan with you.
Foot Pain You don’t have to put up with foot pain. Your feet are a biomechanical miracle and designed to carry you easily on your recommended 10,000 daily steps. If you suffer frequent or ongoing foot pain, you should get this checked out by a Podiatrist, or your GP may refer you to a Podiatrist. Feet are all we see all day, every day. The most common cause of heel pain we see at our clinic in the UAE is a very painful condition called plantar fasciitis.
The Great News!
There are solutions for foot pain to give you long term, permanent relief. One of the main reasons for plantar fasciitis is when your foot and ankle alignment is ‘out’ – usually your ankle rolling inwards and causing the long arch of your foot to collapse. This also gives the impression of a ‘flat foot’. Not many people have proper ‘flat feet’ but in fact ‘over-pronate’ or roll in too much when they stand or walk. The great news is that this can generally be corrected, mostly with a discrete slim-fit little corrective orthotic (looks like an insole, but is rigid and not available over-the-counter).
What now? So from flat feet, to heel pain or problematic nails, your first step to healthy feet in Dubai is to give us a call on 04 3435390. Love your feet and they will love you back!