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Problem Feet


Disease and Problems of the feet

Toe deformities

These include burrowing fifth toes, hammer, mallet or clawed toes. These are due to either poor footwear at any age or surgery, or even associated medical conditions like spina bifida.

Hallux vulgaris

A bunion occurs when the big toe deviates towards the lateral side of the foot. This makes the bone stick out and become sore, especially in tight or narrow shoes. It is usually caused through pointed or ill fitting shoes. It is possible for the Reflexologist to bring relief by gentle moving and pulling the joint.

Ingrowing toe nail

This is caused by a splinter of nail piercing the side of the toe and digging into the flesh. If untreated the skin may become red, shiny and swollen and look infected. Is it usually caused by poor nail cutting, i.e. digging down the sides. It may also be due to a direct trauma or even an intermittent one, e.g. poor footwear.

Fungus infection of the toe nail

This is a painless condition but it can cause the nail to change colour and thicken. Infection can result from poor personal hygiene, or from the spread of athlete’s foot which already exists. It can get worse if left untreated; it can also affect other nails.

Calluses and corns

Calluses can be very painful, especially if retracted, and are often due to friction. This may be followed by a corn. A callus needs to be worked gently between the joints as the hard skin protects the joint. Corns also protect the joints and it is thus necessary to work around it.

Athletes foot

It is a fungal infection of the feet, occurring particularly between the toes. It affects 1 in 7 adults. It can be picked up from walking on wet changing room floors, like swimming pools, or occasionally from other peoples’ towels or shoes.


The viral infection gets into the prickle cell layer of the skin and alters cells. They normally occur on non pressure points whereas corns appear on pressure points. They are infectious and should be covered at all times especially in public changing rooms. Some clear up by themselves and some can take years.


This is very sweaty feet and may be caused by a number of things including emotional distress. It is common in teenage boys but can affect girls too.


This is a common condition in which sweaty feet are accompanied by smelly feet. It can be linked to illness.


This is very dry feet and may be associated to illness such as peripheral vascular disease where poor circulation is involved and the nutrition of the limb is inhibited.


A swelling of the feet and ankles. Pit oedema is when a thumb print leaves an indentation after the thumb has been removed.

Intermittent claudication

This occurs in those who smoke heavily, and there is pain in the calf. In this the muscles and arteries get so clogged up that the blood can no longer circulate freely.


This affects the micro circulation of the feet. Little red blood vessels receive fat deposits, and this can possibly lead to arteriosclerosis. It is a common cause of blindness in this country.

Infected feet

There are various stages in this. A septic foot could be caused by a cut which becomes infected. This can get cellulites, which is inflammation of the cells, causing a red tract up the leg. This can lead to lymphangitis and lymphadenitis which is an inflammation of the lymph nodes. If it worsens, it could lead to gangrene where surgery might be indicated and finally to septicaemia which can prove fatal.



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