This chiropody service is offered as part of other treatments (see below) or by itself if you are unable to manage cutting your nails. This could be due to not being able to reach or due to nails becoming thickened or ingrown.
One of the common reasons for nails to become thickened is due to a fungal infection. These can be unsightly but very rarely cause a problem in themselves. The nail(s) has to be reduced so as to clear as much infection as possible. The remaining nail or exposed nail bed then needs to be treated with a cream or spray so as to ensure that the new nail growth does become infected as it passes over the nail bed.
Treatment often needs to continue until the new nail growth is clear of any infection.
Hard skin – corns and callous.
These occur due to high pressures on the skin and are the body’s way to protect itself against this pressure. Our chiropody treatment removes the hard skin and you will be offered to have the area sanded and a foot cream applied. As the formation of the callus is due to increased pressure on the skin from either footwear or foot function there is high possibility that the callus or corn will return at some point.
If this is the case we are able to recommend orthoses or padding to slow down the recurrence of the callus. If there is a corn forming on a hammer toe, for example, then we are able to offer a surgical appointment to assess if the problem can be remedied with a local anaesthetic procedure to resolve the toe position.
Ingrowing toe nails
Some of our staff are able to provide removal of ingrown nails under local anaesthetic. The toe is injected with a local anaesthetic to ensure it is numb and you will not feel anything, the ingrowing bit of nail is then removed, in severe cases the whole nail will have to be removed but this is rare.
At this stage the nail bed can be treated with a chemical to prevent regrowth of the nail if this is a long standing problem. Nails tend to in grow due to the shape of the nail bed. This can occur as a result of traumatic damage to the nail or over time the nail bed changes shape. Following treatment your toe will be dressed and you will have to keep this dressing in place and dry for a couple of days. Then you will have to change the dressing on a daily basis – all instructions and dressings will be supplied.
One of our team will review you a week following the operation, at this appointment you will normally be discharged but with an open appointment to return if you do not feel the nail is healing properly. This usually takes another week.
These are caused by a viral infection of the skin and the result is a build up of hard skin. A first course of treatment is usually carried out by using over the counter treatments such as Bazuka. If this does not resolve the problem then we are able to offer more aggressive treatments. These usually involve the application of a caustic that ‘burns’ away the verruca tissue. This needs to be contained within a dressing and kept in contact with the skin for at least 4 days to be effective. The area is then debrided (dead skin cut away with a scalpel) and more caustic applied.
This process is repeated until the verruca has gone. This method can be very effective but is intensive and can be uncomfortable. It is difficult to judge how many treatments may be needed as this will depend on the location of the verrucae, health of the patient and virility of the verrucae virus. The caustic treatment has the benefit of stimulating the bodies immune system to help fight the virus.
We now also offer cryotherapy for the treatment of verrucae.
We use a Freezepen that delivers a very fine jet of freeze spray at -89 degrees C. This means we can be very precise in its application and not cause any surrounding skin damage. This ideally works on verruca up to 6-8mm across but we have used it on larger areas. This can be painful at the time as we need to try and freeze the skin for up 6-8 seconds at a time. The idea being that the freezing breaks down the virus during the freeze and thaw process. The process is repeated 3-4 times at one treatment. We advise that you continue with any other treatment after 2 days follow the cryotherapy. These treatments are reviewed every 2-3 weeks. This treatment can be painful at the time but is usually pain free following.
We can use a combination of these two treatments although this does tend to be quite painful it can be effective. We will discuss with you the situation and course of treatment each time you come back to the clinic.
We also carry out surgical debridement of verrucae but this is following the above caustic treatment and can be discussed on a case by case basis. Surgery is the last resort due to possibility of developing scar tissue and being left with a problematic scar.