I get a lot of email questions; and I send a lot of informational replies.
So much so, it struck me: why don't I share the love?
This one's about three subjects close to my heart.
I of course mean, pinch callus, nail fungus and corn acid burns.
Query 1 - Pinch Callus and Fungus
"I’ve had issues with my foot for a long time. I file hard skin back every so often yet it returns.
My toe nail next to the big toe now is deformed. I work on a xxxx so I mainly wear boots all day which doesn’t help.
Do you think there could be a fungal infection in the nail? Any advice would be appreciated.
I’ve attached some pictures."
Big Toe Pinch Callus
The hard skin callus on your big toe is probably from joint restriction.
In other words, your big toe isn't moving up freely. This means it twists off to the side.
(Very common, actually, it's called hallux limitus)
It's easy enough to blade off — but it'll come back.
Use a good foot file to keep it under control, like this one.
Second Toe Callus
The second toe bit is more interesting. It's likely the one you'll have the most trouble with.
Eventually, it'll try and pull away and split. If your're going to file, I'd focus my efforts there!
(Also use a strong urea cream to battle the build-up. For this I recommend Gehwol Callus Cream)
It looks like it's under-riding the big toe to quite a large degree.
Actually, on second glance, your second toe deviates at the top, as per photo.
This means that part of the joint pushes into your big toe. As a result, it scissors up and down when you walk.
Your podiatrist could make you a removable spacer if filing gets exhausting!
Nail Fungus Infection?
Going by the photos, your toenails look more battered than fungal.
(We call this "trauma". It can impart a yellow tinge and thicken up toenails)
This is what has caused the roof shape second nail. It'll always try and revert back to this shape if you let it grow.
But, you could have it burred down to keep it more level.
(*Burred = think a rotary sander. It's completely painless)
The only thing that looks vaguely fungal on that second toe is that lateral line around a quarter-way up.
Saying that, it's linear for nail fungus.
I don't discount it as a mark from the nail hitting the top of your boot.
More than anything, your toenails are battered. I strongly recommend you rehydrate your toenails with this.
(Before you go down the expensive anti-fungal route)
If it is fungal, it's early stage and known as superficial white onychomycosis.
If you wanted to be sure, buy a tube of Lamasil and put a dab on it.
Query 2. Corn Plaster Acid Burn
I have ordered the cream you suggested in your blog. I did type a message, but wasn't able to add photo.
I am thankful to you, and hopeful this cream works.
Please let me know if you think I need to go to a doctor, or if I am on my own track road to recovery.
And yes, I promise, I stop using syl-acid!! Thank you again, and Bless your heart!
Ouch, that's some salicylic acid burn you've got!
(All that white skin is dead and chemical scorched)
The good news is that corn is likely long gone.
The bad news is you have to allow time for that damaged skin to detach.
And by that, I mean on its own. Don't force it.
Fat Foot Pad
My advice is to put the biggest, most padded Band Aid you can on that area while you are weight-bearing.
(In other words when you're walking, working, etc)
When you have down time, put a dab of Gehwol Mint on.
Oh, and give it time. What you're looking for is a gradual peel/gentle pick off of that dead skin.
If there's no progress in a few weeks (or there's a ton of white skin still left) you may need it medically removed.
It won't be painful.
They will almost certainly provide an offloading pad to take pressure off the area.
Remember Not to Rip
Remember: don't rip bits of white skin off with force. This will expose a blister-like wound.
Rather, take off any bits that naturally flake and GENTLY use a pumice stone etc.
Moisturize the hell out of it with Gehwol afterwards.
Let me know how you get on!
Skin, Fungus and Acid Burns | Ask The Podiatrist
So there we have it.
Callus, corn plasters and nail fungus, the undisputed foot issue champs.
As always, the key to solving each is early intervention!