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When should a podiatrist be consulted?

February 13, 2019

The problems with the nails can be many and they are caused by too tight shoes, high heels or infections caused by fungi (onychomycosis). A different color, a thickening of the surface or, more simply, the fact that you feel pain, may indicate that something is wrong.

In all these cases, ignoring the problem is counterproductive. It is better to show your nails to a podiatrist. We talked about it with Dr. Alessandra Bianchi, who runs the podiatry clinic in Humanitas Medical Care Arese, inside the shopping center IL CENTRO.


A problem that knows no seasons

In autumn-winter the cause is mostly the use of closed shoes too narrow, responsible for the so-called “partridge’s eye”, a soft callosity between the toes. When wearing closed shoes for a long time (even more than eight hours a day), the foot may experience nail fragility and onychomycosis. Moisture and the microenvironment created inside the shoe can weaken its structure.

“In the summer season, due to the use of hiking shoes or open sandals – explained the doctor -, there is a greater frequency of trauma to the toes and toenails. In particular, subungual haematomas, avulsion (detachment) of the nail lamina, post-traumatic onychodystrophy can occur. The nail, usually the big toe, develops defectively, presenting a change in the normal shape of the nail lamina. Finally, also in summer, when more people go to swimming pools or when walking barefoot, it is easier to take plantar warts by contact”.


How to choose the footwear?

The eye wants its share, but in the choice of shoes is also very important the size of the fit and the width of the metatarsal fan, to allow a good movement of the fingers, which should not be extremely close. In addition, unsuitable footwear increases the formation of calluses and consequently the pain felt.

“Elderly people, in particular, must pay close attention to the care of the feet, as their deficit leads to greater instability during walking – said the podiatrist – Arthrotic forms (hallux valgus, hammer toes), surgery, vascular diseases, nail deformities, bone prominence or callosity are all factors that can affect the quality of walking and the time spent walking.

When to go to the podiatrist?

The podiatrist intervenes mechanically in order to treat an embodied nail (onychocryptosis) or plantar callosity and on or between the fingers in an unbloody manner. The podiatrist is responsible for the correct shortening of the nails, especially for the elderly, to prevent nail deformities, recurrences of onychocryptosis or paternal. It is important to know that podiatric treatment has nothing to do with aesthetic treatment.

The podiatrist instead deals with all painful or inflammatory conditions in one or both feet and provides a specific assessment and or local treatment.

In addition, the podiatrist assists people with at-risk illnesses and reports suspected pathological conditions to the doctor that require in-depth diagnosis or therapeutic intervention.


How does the podiatric examination take place?

During the first visit, the podiatrist collects a series of useful information about the patient (history), then invites him to lie down on the couch to better analyze the shape of the foot, see it free from weight and identify any primary deformities.

After a couple of tests and having the patient walk, the specialist uses the baropodometric platform, with which he assesses the compensation, i.e. the loads with the force of gravity. At the end of the investigation, if deemed necessary, the podiatrist prepares tailor-made orthotics, aimed at solving the diagnosed problem.

“The podiatrist mainly uses files, cutters, disposable blades, micromotors to mill the thick nails or the part of the skin on the heels – concluded Bianchi -. Sometimes he uses the podiatrist and the baropodometric platform that measures the cycle of the step and transmits it to a specific software



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