Diseases and disorders of the foot affect the quality of life and mobility of millions of Americans. Foot ailments can be the first sign of a more serious medical problem, such as arthritis, diabetes, and nerve and circulatory disorders.
The podiatrists at the UConn Foot Center have specialized training and skills to provide diagnosis and treatment for both common and rare foot disorders. Our podiatrists use the latest technology and proven therapies to help ensure that you’ll live a healthier and more comfortable lifestyle.
At the UConn Foot Center we work with you to evaluate your condition and prepare an individualized treatment plan to fit your needs. We offer general podiatry, foot ulcer and wound care, specialty foot services and diabetic and high-risk foot care for people of all ages. We use the latest computerized technology to analyze foot structure, measure pressure on the foot and evaluate the way you walk. This allows us to produce customized inserts as appropriate.
Common Foot Disorders
There are three main causes of foot disease: infections, structural problems and diabetes.
- Athlete’s foot is caused by a fungus. It usually starts between the toes or on the bottom of the feet and can spread to other parts of the body. The signs of athlete’s foot are dry scaly skin, itching, inflammation, and blisters.
- Bunions are misaligned big toe joints that can become swollen and tender. The deformity causes the first joint of the big toe to slant outward, and the second joint to angle toward the other toes. Bunions tend to run in families, but shoes that are too narrow can aggravate the condition.
- Corns and calluses are protective layers of compacted, dead skin cells. They are caused by repeated friction and pressure from skin rubbing against bony areas or against an irregularity in a shoe. Corns ordinarily form on the toes and calluses on the soles of the feet.
- Hammertoe is a condition in which the toe is bent in a claw-like position. It occurs most frequently with the second toe, often when a bunion slants the big toe toward and under it, but any of the other three smaller toes can be affected. Although the condition usually stems from muscle imbalance, ill-fitting shoes or socks that cramp the toes often aggravate it.
- Heel pain generally occurs when too much stress is placed on the heel bone or nerves in the area. This can come from walking or jumping on hard surfaces, or from poorly made footwear. Some general health conditions like arthritis, gout, and circulatory problems can also cause heel pain.
- Heel spurs are growths of bone on the underside of the heel bone. While they can occur without pain, pain may result when inflammation develops at the point where the spur forms. Both heel pain and heel spurs are often due to plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the long band of connective tissue running from the heel to the ball of the foot.
- Ingrown nails are nails whose corners or sides dig painfully into the skin. They are frequently caused by improper nail trimming, but also by shoe pressure, injury, fungus infection, heredity, and poor foot structure.
- Warts are caused by a virus that enters the skin through small cuts and infects the skin. Most warts are harmless and benign even though they are painful and unsightly. Warts often come from walking barefoot on dirty surfaces.
Age-Related Foot Disorders
While foot problems can affect people of any age, some problems are more prevalent in particular age groups.
- Children and Adolescents: Warts, ingrown toenails, athlete’s foot, flatfeet and sports related complaints.
- Adults: Heel pain, athlete’s foot, fungal and deformed toenails, corns, calluses, hammertoes, bunions, and diabetic foot concerns.
- Seniors: Toenail changes, dry and cracking skin, diabetic foot concerns, corns, calluses, hammertoes and bunions.
A. Albreski, D.P.M.
Director, Podiatric Dermatology Clinic
|Samuel Berkowitz, D.P.M.|