It has been a while since we have done one of these, and wow has a whole lot happened since!! We thought we’d give you a little insight into what has been happening during the last year for us without mentioning the C word, which has taken over all our lives this past year. Life before the first lockdown seems so long away for us all. Little did we know what was about to happen and how much it would change all our lives. As soon as the first lockdown was announced, we were in the same boat as everyone (and I’m not talking about the toilet roll situation). We found ourselves being in a very difficult situation of What do we do? Can we stay open? This alongside the initial shortage of PPE, it was a very strange and testing time. As a clinic we were permitted to still be open, however we were only permitted to see emergency patients. And so we did for a few months. Going from being jam packed week on week to seeing 4 or 5 patients a week was definitely a strange experience, but also one which was rewarding knowing during very difficult and unprecedented times, we could still help out the community where we could. Taking every measure possible to protect our patients and ourselves from the spread of the virus was also a big challenge, but a necessity we had to and continue to do. Once through the first lockdown and adjusting to new rules and regulations, we have been permitted to stay open and see all patients throughout the second and third lockdowns. So, for now, work carries on as usual for us. Throughout all of this we have also moved premises! We opened our new clinic in November 2020. We are delighted now to be fully settled in our new home. We have had such amazing feedback on our new clinic and we are delighted that our patients are just as pleased with it as we are. Full credit to Brian who managed to build our new place in such a short time frame. We all know within our family if Brian is put under time pressure he excels, and completing this during the most challenging time was no different. Pressure creates diamonds!! For all those that don’t know where we are, we have moved just around the corner to number 2 Piggottshill Lane. In addition, we are soon to have an Audiologist working within our clinic. We are looking forward to another health service working within our community and wish them all the very best. If you want to find out more information about them, please go to: https://www.naturalhearing.co.uk/ On a rather sad note, in September we lost someone very dear to us. Our close family friend Rodney passed away. He is the inspiration behind why Kelly turned to Podiatry and without him there wouldn’t be a Southdown Podiatry Clinic. Rodney is someone we miss profoundly, someone who brought so much happiness, joy and laughter to our family. He has gone far too young but will always be with us, every day, and we will continue to work in his memory. Life isn’t the same without him here and has left a big hole in our lives. Moving on, one of our podiatrists Kay who some of you may have seen is now no longer working with us. We like to thank her for everything she has done for us for the time she was here and wish her good luck on her next adventure whatever that may be. We are now looking for a new podiatrist to join our team. Hopefully this won’t be too far away so we can ease the workload on our current two podiatrists, which in turn will allow us to see all of you a lot sooner than we can at the moment. With the vaccination programme and people seemingly more confident to come out, we are now very busy. Which has its good sides and bad sides. We would love to see as many patients as possible, however with limited staff and time in the day we can only do so much. Like all them graphs we have seen on the telly over the past year, our appointment availability will soon level out over time. Good times are not too far away, and we all deserve to celebrate in one way or another. Whether it be seeing and hugging loved ones, to socialising with friends, to going to the pub or for me personally getting back into football stadiums. This has been something that we have never experienced before and hopefully never will again. Thank you to the NHS, key workers and all the volunteers during this period. Another thank you to all our patients for being so understanding given the climate we have found ourselves in. The power of community really shone through over the past year and I hope this can be a positive we can all take into the future. Stay safe
A regular occurrence that we deal with here at the clinic is that of the little but highly annoying corns. But what exactly are corns? Corns are small areas of thick skin often cone-like shaped caused by the build-up of hard, dead skin. Special skin cells found all over your outer layers of skin called keratinocytes produce this hard skin, which is your body’s attempt at protecting itself from friction or pressure. This extra skin can become an uncomfortable problem because the cone-shaped area transfers pressure to the skin underneath, causing discomfort. Corns are most commonly found on bony areas such as on the tops and sides of toe joints due to a lack of natural cushioning. Yet, corns can also be found on other areas of the foot such as the sole due to increased pressure occurring. The most common cause of corns is that of shoes which do not fit correctly. If you have a corn, it is likely to be because of friction and pressure from footwear; whether it be from shoes too loose or too tight. Certain shoes such as high heels for example, place excessive pressure on an area of the foot and can squeeze the toes, thus potentially causing corns. We all have our favourite pair of shoes, high heels, trainers or sports boots; however, the emphasis on how important footwear which correctly fits can never be underestimated, not only for the prevention of corns, but for the health of your feet also. We see many patients of all ages who come into the clinic with footwear which doesn’t correctly fit, consequently leading to all sorts of aches and pains. In addition, not only does incorrectly fitted footwear lead to corns but so does repetitive activities. Sports, running, climbing stairs, dancing or even work can also cause a corn due to increased and persistent pressure taking its toll on your feet. Moreover, some patients especially in the summer also develop corns due to not wearing any socks with shoes. As aforementioned, the main prevention of corns is correctly fitted shoes. Nevertheless, there are other steps which can be taken to help prevention. Moisturising your feet regularly to keep skin soft and supple, rotating your shoes (e.g wearing trainers on commute to work before putting work shoes on) and just giving your feet a break from a certain pair of shoes are further ways to help prevent corns occurring. Corns should not be treated using medicated corn plasters especially by those who suffer with diabetes, have circulation problems or have fragile skin as they contain an acid which can damage the skin. If you are in pain, seeing a podiatrist or a foot specialist will be the most effective way to treat your corns. A podiatrist will be able to cut away the corn, as well as provide specially made soft cushioning pads to relieve the pressure off the painful area of your foot. For something so small, corns can be an absolute pain and can get in the way of daily activities. Unfortunately, corns are very common however they’re also very treatable. Here at the Clinic, we have experts in getting rid of corns to help relieve the pain and pressure you may be experiencing. If you are unsure about whether you have a corn, need corn treatment or just want some shoe advice to help prevent corns from occurring; here at The Southdown Podiatry Clinic we are always here to help and make sure that they don’t get in the way of your daily life.
Sunday 31st of March is a special day in the calendar as it marks Mother’s Day. Here at the Southdown Podiatry Clinic, we have so many amazing mums that come into the clinic on a daily basis. We see mothers of all ages and we always love hearing their stories about how proud they are of their children; or in the case of new mums, how little sleep they are getting. We believe that every day should be a day to tell your mum how much they mean to you. However, Mother’s Day is an extra special day to spoil them just like they deserve. We are a family clinic who understand not only how important mums are, but also how special they are too. Being a mum is the most enjoyable job in the world, but one of the hardest as well. Mums are always too busy looking out and taking care of you (no matter how old you are) instead of worrying about themselves and their feet. Flowers, chocolates and breakfast in bed are always a must, however, treating her to some TLC for her feet will be a welcome surprise that she will absolutely love; even if you do blame your mother for your foot genes. Whether it be for Mother’s Day or any other time of the year, we are always here to give your mum and her feet the best possible love and attention. If you would like to treat your mum, step mum or even your mother in law, gift vouchers are also available here at the clinic. For every Mum out there, especially our patients, have an amazing Mother’s Day and we hope you get spoilt rotten. And for those who are seeing their mother this Sunday, just a reminder: Don’t forget them flowers!!!
With Valentine’s day fast approaching, many are getting prepared to treat a loved one to a special day or a special gift. At The Southdown Podiatry Clinic, we are no different, however we like to treat patients’ feet which are in much need of some TLC. Ok, perhaps feet are not the first, second or indeed third thing that springs to mind when you think of Valentine’s Day. We admit that a trip to a podiatrist doesn’t quite compare to a candle lit dinner or indeed a trip to Paris on the romance scale. Nevertheless, treating someone to have their feet seen to may lead to a few extra brownie points. We often find that the condition of your feet can often bother others more than it does yourself! Here at The Southdown Podiatry Clinic, we regularly see patients who have been suggested, recommended or maybe even indeed forced to see a podiatrist by a loved one. We have lost count the amount of phone calls of people making appointments for their partners or parents. Therefore, if you feel that a loved one needs their feet treated, whether it be for their own good, or for your own sanity, here at The Southdown Podiatry Clinic we are always here to help. We provide the best love and attention that your feet can possibly get. If you would like to treat or in fact drop a subtle hint for a loved one; whether it be a partner, family member or friend, gift vouchers are also available here at the clinic. Remember feet need some love and care occasionally too!
Monday 4th February marks World Cancer Day. Cancer needs no introduction or explaining; we are all aware of the devastating impact it has on our lives. Cancer is a global challenge that we are all aiming to eventually beat, and we will. According to Cancer Research UK: ‘In 2018, 18 million people world-wide were diagnosed with cancer. In the UK alone, more than 360,000 people are diagnosed with cancer every year – that’s nearly 990 people every day’. No doubt all of us have been affected by cancer within some capacity, whether it be ourselves, family or friends. And with latest findings now showing that one in two people will develop cancer at some point in their lives, it is now even more crucial to help raise awareness and take action to help drastically reduce this. Here at the Southdown Podiatry Clinic, we also have to deal with the C word too. For some, feet are not the first thing that comes to mind when it comes to cancer. However, feet are as prone as any other parts of the body to the C word. It is important that feet are checked regularly for abnormalities that might indicate evolving skin cancer. If you are worried about anything on your feet that may seem unusual, make sure to see a podiatrist. Some of the most common forms of cancer on the feet are:
- Basal Cell Carcinoma
- Squamous Cell Carcinoma
- Malignant Melanoma