Foot health is something most people rarely think about. We tend to take our healthy feet for granted until problems start to develop. And some of these foot problems may seem minor until they lead to even more serious issues that can only be treated medically.
So, what are these common foot problems and what can they lead to if untreated?
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Toenail fungus can be more than just a nuisance
Toenail fungus is a very common condition. Most people know what it looks like: it causes toenails to become thickened, discolored, brittle, and distorted in shape. Most cases of toenail fungus can be treated at home.
Rarely, toenail fungus can cause complications. If it’s not treated, it can cause toenails to fall off – and that’s the least of it. According to Mayo Clinic, the infection may spread beyond the toes, especially in people with diabetes and people with a weakened immune system.
In some cases, toenail fungus of any degree of severity should be treated medically. People who have diabetes or any other condition that causes blood circulation problems or nerve damage and immunocompromised people should see a doctor about toenail fungus.
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Cracked heels may be a sign of a health issue
Like toenail fungus, cracked heels are a common foot problem. Most people view them as nothing more than a cosmetic problem. While this is true in most cases, and cracked heels can often be treated using home remedies, the cracks on your heels may also be a sign of a serious issue or lead to complications.
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According to HealthLine, cracked heels may be a sign of diabetes, vitamin deficiencies, hypothyroidism, and atopic dermatitis, among other conditions.
In severe cases, cracks on the heels may bleed. If cracks on your heels are bad enough for your skin to break, you may be at risk of foot infections and other complications. Seek medical help immediately if you have signs of a foot infection, such as pain, warmth, redness, and swelling.
Can bunions be a serious problem?
Bunions can make it awfully difficult to find a well-fitting pair of shoes. Often, it’s the shoes that cause this problem in the first place: wearing tight-fitting shoes can cause bunions to form. Other causes of bunions include congenital structural defects of the foot and various types of arthritis.
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Bunions don’t usually indicate or cause any serious problems. However, they can make walking uncomfortable and cause pain due to the following, according to Mayo Clinic:
- bursitis (inflammation of fluid-filled sacs in the joint);
- metatarsalgia, a condition that causes pain and inflammation in the ball of the foot.
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Your feet do such an important job, so take good care of them!
This article is solely for informational purposes. Do not self-diagnose or self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for any harm that may result from using the information provided in the article.