While over-the-counter medications can be extremely useful for dealing with minor foot ailments such as corns, bunions and warts, they are not suitable for all situation. Here are some types of people who should use caution when opting for an over the counter solution.
Diabetics are vulnerable to poor circulation in their extremities (hands and feet). This means that small issues such as warts and corns can easily become infected. In the most serious cases this can lead to gangrene and amputation so it's extremely important for diabetics to receive attention from a podiatrist when they have small issues. With up to 30% of diabetics in Australia not diagnosed as having diabetes yet, you should take care using over the counter medications for foot ailments if you have any suspicions you may be diabetic.
People with reduced immune systems
If you have a suppressed immune system, such as undergoing cancer treatment or being on immunosuppression drugs for a transplant, then you should get any small ailments treated by a podiatrist. Over the counter solutions act by burning away a portion of the healthy and unhealthy skin, which can leave an open wound for germs and bacteria to enter the body. A podiatrist can choose between other options such as cutting the ailment away or freezing it off, and then dress it appropriately to avoid getting extra infections.
People with a history of similar ailments
If you have a continual issue with foot warts, corns or other foot ailments it is advisable to get your feet checked out by a podiatrist. While it's normal to have occasional issues, repeated issues that are not resolved by over the counter cures it can be a sign that you need to see a podiatrist to check if you have some underlying issues that need treatment. For example, recurring corns may be a sign that you need orthotics to reduce the friction on your feet.
Anyone in severe pain
If you are in severe pain due to the issue you are experiencing, it is much quicker and easier to get direct treatment from a podiatrist. Over the counter solutions can take up to 2 weeks and have a lower success rate than treatments from a podiatrist.
If you are in one of these categories, it's important that you get the advice of a qualified podiatrist. They can evaluate the issues you are facing and come up with treatment that will optimize your overall health.