When a strange lump, bump, or rather icky visitor pops up on your feet, it can be a little unnerving (and even a little embarrassing). No need to be shy, our podiatrists at Highland Foot and Ankle Clinic offer a judgement-free environment for all of your foot troubles. Below we’ll discuss the differences between three common issues: bunions, corns, and warts. If you’re dealing with any of the issues mentioned in this post, schedule an appointment at our St.Paul office today.
Problem area: big toe joint
A bunion is an inflamed swelling of the small fluid-filled sac on the first joint of the big toe accompanied by enlargement and protrusion of the joint.
Your big toe will curve inward towards the second toe, and a bony bump will be visible at the base of the big toe.
The main symptom aside from the visible protrusion at the base of the big toe is pain. You may also notice redness or thickened skin in the area.
At-home treatments include pain management with over-the-counter medications, cold compresses, and special inserts or pads to cushion the bunion. Consider changing shoes: a toe box that is too narrow for your foot will continue to push the big toe inward. In severe or very painful cases, surgery may be performed to realign the bone and shave off any bump or callus caused by the condition. Call Highland Foot and Ankle Clinic to schedule an evaluation, including x-rays and gait analysis to find the best solution to your particular type of bunion.
Problem area: top and sides of feet, between toes, weight-bearing areas
The dictionary definition of a corn is “a local hardening and thickening of epidermis (as on a toe).” It can be caused by improperly fitting footwear, walking problems, or foot abnormalities that result in friction and pressure on the feet.
A corn is a hard, raised bump of thickened skin. It can have a defined center or be softer and thinner when less severe.
Aside from the physical presence of the corn, symptoms include dry skin and pain when pressure is applied to the area either manually or due to footwear. Calluses are sometimes confused with corns; calluses are not painful.
The first line of treatment is preventative: switch to properly fitting shoes that offer the correct support for your foot type. Medical intervention includes removal of the damaged skin and tissue. Schedule an appointment with one of our podiatrists today to discuss a treatment plan and learn tips to prevent corns in the future.
A viral visitor
A wart is defined as “a horny projection on the skin usually of the extremities produced by proliferation of the skin papillae and caused by any of numerous human papillomaviruses.” It is caused when a virus enters broken or damaged skin (such as a shaving cut or picked skin). They are contagious and can spread to other parts of the body and to other people.
A wart is a small, fleshy growth on the skin that can be up to the size of a pea. It can be flesh-colored, white, tan, or pink. Warts may contain tiny black seed-like dots; these are the blood vessels supplying it with oxygen and nutrients.
The main symptoms of a wart are the presence of the growth itself. They are painless but may feel rough to the touch. While they can be found on many parts of the body, warts are very common on the feet. A wart on the bottom of the foot is called a plantar wart. It is usually flatter and can be painful due to pressure and friction from walking, running, and other standing activities.
A wart may go away on its own. A medical professional can treat warts through burning or freezing the affected tissue, tissue scraping with a tool called a curette, and by using a laser. Avoid picking or scratching at the wart, and absolutely do not attempt to cut it off on your own. An at-home attempt at removing the wart in this way could cause further spreading through the damaged skin. Our podiatrists at Highland Foot and Ankle Clinic can perform wart removals in-office. Schedule an appointment today!
Remember, No Foot Pain Is Normal!
Whether you’re dealing with bunions, corns, warts, or general foot and ankle problems, it’s a good idea to visit a podiatrist as soon as possible. We use our feet everyday, so prompt diagnosis and treatment is critical to preventing further damage. Contact our office and our caring staff will set up your appointment today!