Skin conditions of the foot are common in sports and most are easily avoidable. They include athletes foot, blisters, corns, calluses, and verucca. Most can be treated with over the counter remedies but if you think something is wrong then view our advice on whether see a doctor about your foot injury or skin condition.
Athlete's foot, also known as Tinea Pedis is a skin infection which is commonly thought to occur amongst athletes and those who wear trainers and other non-breathable footwear. It is caused by a fungus that grows in warm, moist environments, just like a sweaty trainer! Read more on how to prevent and treat this foot infection.
A blister is caused by friction between the skin and the inside of a shoe or clothing. Heat builds up causing a swelling under the skin which may or may not have blood in it. Redness on the skin is the first sign of a blister, and is particularly common on the heel, instep and toes. Read more on how to prevent and treat blisters on the feet.
Corns and calluses occur when there is excess or thickening of the skin, usually on the soles of the feet. Calluses form on weight bearing parts of the body and corns on non weight bearing areas. Applying gels to reduce friction and applying plasters can help ease any pain and protect the area.
A verruca is also known as a plantar wart and appears on the sole of the foot. They are the same as warts on any other body part and are caused by a virus, known as human papilloma virus (HPV). They vary in size and are not normally something to worry about, although care should be taken as they can be contagious.
When should I see a doctor?
When should you see a doctor with your foot pain? Often people do not want to bother their GP or A & E department but if you have any of the following symptoms you should seek further medical assistance.
- Severe pain, especially on walking
- Severe swelling (oedema)
- Altered sensation in the foot – such as a feeling of “pins and needles” (paresthesia) or a “loss of feeling” (anaesthesia) in the foot.
- Unable to complete normal daily activities after the initial 72 hours.
Further medical assistance can be sought through either your local GP or a private clinician such as a podiatrist, physiotherapist, sports therapist, osteopath or chiropractor. If you have followed the P.R.I.C.E. principles (see below) and are still unable to walk after 72 hours or still have severe pain that is not subsiding after the first 72 hours you should visit your local A&E department for further assessment.
Secondly, if you have applied for P.R.I.C.E. principles and still have weakness that lasts a long time (more than 2 weeks) or have ongoing discomfort in your foot or heel, you are highly recommended to seek advice from a specialist expert - such as a podiatrist or physiotherapist, osteopath, or chiropractor - who can provide you with advice and an appropriate and effective recovery and rehabilitation program.