Corns and Calluses

These are the areas of thickened skin due to abnormal pressure. Corns are concentrated spots of excessive pressure on top of the foot. Calluses are diffused to areas of excessive pressure on the bottom of the foot.

Symptoms: Pain when wearing closed shoes

Cause: Tight shoes, toe deformity

Treatment: Proper footwear, corn, or callus file; in extreme cases, see a podiatrist

Ingrown Toenails

The side of the toenail grows into the skin.

Symptoms: Pain, tenderness, redness, swelling, pus

Cause: Tight shoes, poor nail cutting, naturally curved toenails

Treatment: Loose socks and proper shoes, cut nail straight across; in extreme cases, see a podiatrist


A bunion is a bump at the base of the big toe.

Symptoms: Bumps, redness, swelling, pain, big toe pushing against the second toe

Cause: Narrow high heeled shoes, flat feet, genetics

Treatment: Proper footwear, custom made prescription orthotics; in extreme cases, see a podiatrist

Tailor’s Bunions

This is a bump found at the base of the fifth toe. It is also known as a bunionette.

Symptoms: Pain, redness after wearing closed shoes

Cause: Narrow fitting shoes, injury to that side of the foot

Treatment: Shoes with extra width and rounded toe box, custom made prescription foot orthotics; if pain persists, see a podiatrist


Hammertoes is a toe deformity with a bend in the middle of the joint.

Symptoms: Pain while wearing closed shoes

Cause: Improper footwear, muscular or bone injury to the toe

Treatment: Change footwear; if the problem persists, see a podiatrist

Plantar Warts

Plantar warts are a viral infection of the foot. They are often confused with corns or calluses.

Symptoms: Feeling like a small pebble is on the bottom of the foot, dark spots at the centre of a wart (which is the blood supply to the wart)

Cause: Walking barefoot on moist surfaces such as the pool or public changing rooms, sharing shoes or socks with someone with plantar warts

Treatment: Topical medication, cryotherapy; seek the advice of a podiatrist

Athlete’s Feet

Athlete’s feet is a fungal infection of the skin between the toes and sole of the feet.

Symptoms: Itchiness, redness, cracking skin, blisters

Cause: Sweaty feet, going barefoot at swimming pools or locker rooms

Treatment: Keep feet clean and dry, apply antifungal cream and powder; if the infection persists, see a podiatrist

Fungal Toenails

Fungal Toenails is a fungal infection found at the nail plate and the nail bed of the toes.

Symptoms: Discoloured nails, thickened nails, nail plate falling apart

Cause: Dark, damp conditions inside shoes which cause naturally present fungi in the air to collect inside the shoes and invade toenails

Treatment: Topical antifungal medication, oral antifungal medicines; if the infection persists, see a podiatrist

Plantar Fasciitis/Heel Spur

Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the tissues that form the arch of the foot. Heel spurs are overgrowths of the bone on the bottom or back of the heel bone.

Symptoms: Sharp pain, aching, inflammation

Cause: Improper footwear, misalignment of the foot, flat or high arched feet, arthritis, Gout

Treatment: Stop or reduce activities causing pain, ice the heel/foot, massage, padded shoes, and heel cushions; seek the advice of a podiatrist for cortisone injections or prescription foot orthotics

High Arched Feet

With this issue, the gap between the ground and the inner side of your weight-bearing foot becomes too great.

Symptoms: No pain, mild pain, sharp pain, wearing out the outside of the soles of your shoes

Cause: Genetics, injury, muscular diseases

Treatment: Proper footwear; if pain persists, seek the advice of a podiatrist for custom made prescription foot orthotics

Children’s Foot Problems

Since foot bones in children are soft and pliable, foot deformities can result due to abnormal pressure.

Symptoms: Pigeon toe (Metatarsus Adductus), in-toeing, flat feet

Symptoms: Tripping while walking or running, getting tired of walking, or running sooner than children of the same age

Treatment: Exercise, proper footwear, custom made prescription foot orthotics from a podiatrist, surgery as a last resort

Cracked Heels

These are cracks found on the skin at the heels.

Symptoms: Pain while walking, redness, bleeding, infection

Cause: Dry skin, prolonged standing, excessive body weight, opened back shoes

Treatment: Apply oil-based moisturizers, avoid opened back footwear; consult a podiatrist for severe cases

Ankle Sprains

These are common injuries that can occur during sports or daily activities.

Symptoms: Swelling/bruising, pain, difficulty bearing weight, stiffness at the joint

Cause: Sports, inappropriate shoes, walking or running on uneven surfaces, inversion injuries

Treatment: Rest, ice, compression, elevation; consult with a podiatrist for extreme cases


The term arthritis means inflammation of the joint. Many different types of arthritis can affect the feet. The two most common types of arthritis we hear about are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Symptoms: Inflammation of the joints, joint stiffness, limited function, fever, fatigue, weight loss, swollen lymph nodes

Cause: Injury, metabolic disease (e.g. Gout), hereditary factors, bacterial and viral infections, a misdirected immune system with autoimmunity

Treatment: Prescription and non-prescription medication, joint injections, weight redirection, gentle exercise, avoiding activities that increase stress on the joints, hot/cold compresses, dietary supplements

Achilles Tendinitis

Achilles Tendinits is a condition resulting in inflammation of the large tendon on the back of the heel or leg.

Symptoms: Pain when touched or moved

Cause: Trauma, overuse, sudden increase of speed while running, change in footwear, change in your exercise training schedule

Treatment: Ice, minimizing activities that cause pain; consult a podiatrist


Gout is a medical condition in which there is an overabundance of uric acid/urate in the body.

Symptoms: Hot, red, swollen joints, pain at the joint, sudden onset of pain

Cause: Meat consumption, alcoholic beverages, certain medications, IV contrast dyes, psoriasis, chemotherapy, starvation, dehydration

Treatment: Restriction of certain foods from the diet, taking or eliminating certain medications as directed by your doctor, drinking more water

Haglund’s Deformity

Haglund’s deformity is a bump found on the back of the heel. This deformity used to be referred to as “pump bump.”

Symptoms: Redness or pain on the back of the heel, inability to bend the ankle

Cause: Rigid back footwear, tight Achilles tendons, hereditary structure making this deformity easier to occur

Treatment: Anti-inflammatory medication, icing to reduce swelling, heel lifts on the bottom of shoes, heel pads applied to the back of the heel, custom made prescription foot orthotics from a podiatrist, surgery as a last resort

Talk to a Doctor

This information is for general viewing only. Please contact us at the Edmonton Foot Health Centre for professional consultation and treatment.