When it comes to looking after your health, it’s easy to forget about your feet. Your feet do a lot of work. By the time you’re 50, you’ll have walked 75,000 miles on them so healthy feet are an important part of your overall wellbeing. Foot problems can have a huge impact on your quality of life. If they occur, podiatrists can help.

What does a podiatrist do?

A Podiatrist is a health professional, trained and educated to assess, diagnose and treat problem of the foot and lower limbs. Podiatry means ‘physician of the foot’.

Jenny Gilbert is a HCPC registered Podiatrist who qualified from Birmingham School of Podiatry in 2008 with a BSc Hons in Podiatry. She has experience working in both the private sector and NHS by working in community and hospital settings. Working in both sectors, Jenny has gained experience in many areas of podiatry, including general podiatry, nail surgery and biomechanics. During her time in the NHS, she went on to specialise in the high-risk foot and became a locality Diabetes Lead Podiatrist working with patients with complex foot needs.

In addition to general podiatry treatments we are able to make referrals to a Podiatrist Surgeon for further structural assessments, diagnosis and treatments.

When may I need a podiatrist?

Podiatrists treat people of any age for many foot-related conditions such as those listed below.

  • Bunion (Hallux abducto valgus) and toes deformities. A bunion is a bony deformity that affects the big toe joint, it results in the deviation of the big toe towards the smaller toes. A Bunion may or may not be painful but it can lead to hammer toes, other toe deformities and foot pain. Bunions can contribute to the formation of corns, calluses and ingrown toenails. 
  • Ingrown toenails. An ingrown toenail is when the edges of the nail curl or dig into the skin of the toe. Ingrown nails can occur after an injury, due to excessive pressure on the toes (if you run or play high impact sport for example), due to tight-fitting shoes, incorrectly cut nails, or from picking at the nail or skin around the nail. Ingrown toenails are painful and if left untreated can become severely inflamed and infected.
  • Nail disorders. These include issues like fungal nail infections, thickened nails that are difficult to cut and ingrown or curved toenails.
  • Calluses. These are areas of thickened hard skin. They develop due to pressure or friction. They can be caused by an underlying problem such as a bony deformity, a particular style of walking or inappropriate footwear. 
  • Corns develop due to pressure or friction. They often occur over bony areas, such as a joint. They are calluses that have a denser compacted centre and can be very painful. There are different types of corns, such as ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ corns.

Athlete’s Foot. Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection of the skin that can lead to intense itching, cracked, blistered or peeling areas of skin, redness and scaling. It can occur on moist, waterlogged skin, usually between the fourth and fifth toes initially, or on dry, flaky skin around the heels or elsewhere on the foot. Large painful fissures can also develop and the condition can also spread along all five toes and sometimes to the soles of the feet if left untreated. It is caused by a number of fungal species that you can pick up from someone else shedding infected skin, typically in communal areas such as pools, showers and changing rooms, or anywhere that you walk around barefoot. Athlete’s foot can also be passed on directly by person to person contact, although people who sweat more are more prone to infection.

Cracks or cuts in your heels. The skin around the heel area of the feet can become excessively dry causing it to crack and fissure. They can become quite painful and lead to more serious conditions if not treated promptly. The skin around the heel is naturally thicker than other areas of the foot and so requires more moisture to keep it supple. If the skin becomes too dry and lacking in moisture, the upper layers start to lose their flexibility causing the skin to split and crack. Cracked heels are quite a common condition, particularly in the summer months and in warmer climates.

“There’s the whole world at your feet.”

For further information or to make an appointment please contact Jenny on 07883864203.