Calls and sports, broken nails, blisters on the feet: the remedies

Calls, onychomycosis, onychogriphosis, blisters: how to treat them? We talked to Professor Antonio Serafin, a podiatrist and professor of podiatry at the University of Milan

Maria Elena Perrero

Calls, blisters, nails that break, onychomycosis and onychogriphosis: i athlete’s feet (but not only), especially in summer, they can also suffer from these small discomforts, certainly less important than bone fractures or muscle and tendon injuries, but in any case unpleasant. Some sport, how to run they can especially expose the foot to the possibility of calluses or nail problems. So what to do? “The first thing to say is that in most cases these are minor problems that are easy to solve, but they should not be overlooked, especially if they are annoying, because in the long run they could make it difficult to walk,” he said. teacher. Antonio Serafin, head of the podiatry service at the Galeazzi IRCCS Orthopedic Institute in Milan (San Donato Group), didactic director of the Degree in Podiatry at the University of Milan and professor of Podiatry.


First let’s explain what I am corn: “They are hyperkeratosis, or thickening of the skin to defend the deep organs. There keratin it accumulates like a shield of the dermis, of the capillaries. In itself, then, the corn they are positive, they are real natural protections. They become negative when the thickening is such that it does not let the skin slip, which stretches. In these cases the corn begins to hurt. In addition, the increase in keratin causes the capillaries to tighten, causing pain. But we are talking about corn of a certain importance, in which we must intervene by lightening the hard surface and, if possible, avoiding the cause of this thickening “, he explains to Official asset Professor Serafin.


Even in cases where i corn you need treatment, it is not certain that you should go to the podiatrist: “In many cases these are small calluses that can be fixed at home by applying urea ointments, which softens these hyperkeratosis, or by intervening mechanically, with a pumice stone. In the case of major calluses, the professional, the podiatrist, will intervene with a cutter, explains Professor Serafin. What should be avoided is I cut with the creed, this kind of potato peeler. In this way, in fact, subcutaneous wounds can be made and there is a risk of removing too much keratin, stimulating the growth of a new callus, as our body, as a defense, will increase the rate of growth of the skin and keratin. ”Be careful, though, if we have it callosity with nucleated hyperkeratosis, or calluses with a hard white part inside: “In these cases it is necessary to prevent the callus from coming into contact with other surfaces. Thus, the download can be done with insoles, protections or felts “, adds the podiatrist.

“At Risk” Sports

He causes of corn they may be different, including a certain incorrect posture, but some sports can make your workout easier. “All activities that involve walking are likely to occur hyperkeratin – explains Professor Serafin -. In detail, however, the most popular sports are the footballthe career prolonged, thehiking, Theclimbing and the via ferrata, the balletCalluses in these cases have precise locations: “They usually form in the parts that protrude from the foot, such as the joints of the first and fifth toes and the distal phalanx of the toes,” explains the podiatrist.


But sport, or more simply a wrong posture, can also cause nail problems. “Nail changes may be due to prolonged trauma, with lysis of the lamina and consequent loss of the nail, or to a partial detachment of the lamina with risk of infiltration by fungithat is, of mushrooms, and therefore of onychomycosis“. Regarding the microtrauma that can occur in sports such as running or walking, these can cause a thickening of the lamina and the consequent onychogriphosis, the so-called harp key. “It manifests itself with a slightly white nail, thicker than normal, not very transparent,” explains Serafin. The treatment consists of milling and using specific creams that nourish the nail and limit the thickening “. onychogriphosis the risk of losing the nail is not direct, but there may be: “The thicker nail is more prone to trauma and therefore as a secondary there could be a partial lysis that can be total, and for both lead to nail detachment. ” A different case is that of real traumas that, as in football, can lead to live nail detachment, which in any case then grows back. Up to onychomycosis, “Without a doubt, swimming in the pool is more prone, as it creates a warm, humid environment in which any fungus can proliferate on the nail detached from its bed. Onychomycosis involves a first treatment with local antifungals and any generalized oral treatment. But here the dermatologist takes over ”.


Another discomfort in the feet that can occur especially in summer is the blisters. “They are quite common if the wrong shoe is used for prolonged sports,” explains Professor Serafin. They are caused by rubbing the skin against the shoe. There are those who are more inclined, have delicate skin and are therefore more prone to irritation, but it usually depends on the footwear. There buffet it is a detachment of the layers of the skin. Our body, however, leaves no gaps and fills them with interstitial fluid, rich in amino acids, proteins and sugars. The old way of piercing your bladder with a sterile needle and letting it dry after disinfecting it is not bad: “It’s okay if the blisters aren’t particularly red and sore. The important thing is to always wear clean brushed cotton socks or, better yet, leave the bladder outside. “

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