Most, if not all, children are very active. They like to run around and jump from one place to another. It is normal for kids to do activities and play as much as they can. However, for some, this leads to pediatric foot conditions. Fortunately, these conditions are anything but incurable.
About Pediatric Foot Conditions
Children pretty much experience the same kind of foot conditions as adults do. It sometimes only differs in symptoms and characteristics. Still, there are circumstances in which these occur more in children because of their sensitive skin, developing bodies, and energetic lifestyle. Some of these foot conditions include flat feet, heel pain, plantar warts, and ingrown toenails. All of which are very common and can be treated properly by a pediatric podiatrist.
Pediatric podiatrists are kids’ doctors who have been trained to diagnose and treat a child’s foot or ankle problems. Children’s feet continuously grow and develop. Because of this, it takes a doctor that specializes in this area to truly identify and alleviate the needs of children’s growing feet.
If these cases are left untreated or even undiagnosed, they may become more complicated to treat when they grow older.
Catch The Symptoms Early On
While there are children who would easily tell their parents when they are hurt, there are some who will not. Therefore, it is highly important to always keep an eye on them. Check the way they do things like walking, running, and jumping, as well as the physical appearance of their little feet.
Children with heel pain may experience:
- Discomfort in the back or bottom of their heels
- Walking on their toes
As a result of their fast growth, children may experience these symptoms. Their calf muscles and Achilles tendons can become tight during growth spurts, putting strain on the heel bone. Although this may be common, it is important to understand that, if ignored, it may develop into something more.
Another common foot condition that children may come across is plantar warts. This is a skin lesion that starts small on the bottom of their foot and can be confused with a corn or callus. They appear thick and scaly with small clotted blood vessels called wart seeds. Difficulty in walking or standing may follow.
On the other hand, a child has flat feet when the arches on the inside of their feet are flat, causing the entire soles of their feet to touch the ground when standing up. This usually develops in one foot but may affect both. There may be pain, redness, and swelling that worsens over time with continuous activity.
Ingrown toenails are common with both adults and kids. This is the growing of a nail into the softer flesh of a toe. It usually affects the big toe and can cause redness, swelling, discomfort, and even infection if caught late.
When To Seek A Podiatrist?
Heel pain can be caused by an injury or overuse, such as excessive running. However, its most common cause is plantar fasciitis, where the connective tissue at the bottom of the foot is irritated. A child’s feet can get better with rest alongside taking the proper dose of anti-inflammatory drugs prescribed by the doctor, as well as suggested foot exercises. If the pain does not heal after these non-invasive treatments, your doctor may recommend surgery.
There are several recommended treatments for plantar warts, but over-the-counter medications are not one of them. Seeking the assistance of a podiatrist is always the way to go. Depending on the severity of plantar warts, your doctor may perform the following treatments:
- Burning the wart with topic acid
- Freezing the wart with liquid nitrogen
- Laser surgery
- Surgical excision
In some cases of flatfeet, non-surgical treatments may work, such as wearing a short cast while the tendon heals or undergoing physical therapy sessions. When these do not work, your doctor may resort to surgery.
Treating mild cases of an ingrown toenail can easily be done by soaking the affected toe in warm water and placing a small piece of cotton beneath the edge of the nail. However, if an infection is already present, getting a podiatrist to drain the area or perform minor surgery that will remove the part of the nail that is pushing against the flesh of the foot is the course of treatment to take.
Pediatric Podiatrist Care In Cincinnati
If your child is suffering from foot or ankle discomfort, consult a doctor at Cincinnati Foot & Ankle Care. Our podiatrists are excellent and well-trained in identifying and treating children’s foot conditions and can offer the most effective medical care.