Hand & Foot Issues

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From movement and mobility to touch and precision, our hands and feet play very important roles in our lives. Whether it's running around with our kids, typing on our keyboards, or standing around and doing dishes, we tend to put our hands and feet through a lot without much second thought.

However, we sometimes forget how fragile they can be. A combination of many small bones, ligaments, muscles and skin, our hands and feet are complex and often exposed to the environment around us, making them susceptible to injuries, accidents and diseases.

When our hands or feet get injured, it can slow down many essential activities in our lives or prevent us from carrying them out altogether. This can have many unintended and adverse knock-on effects. That's why taking care of our hands and feet is essential to maintaining general health and well-being.

Knowing what can go wrong with our hands and feet is a great first step to preventing injuries and accidents if and when issues arise. Awareness can also help us pick up early warning signs so we can seek timely medical care.

Common signs you may have a hand or foot issue

Many things can go wrong with our hands and feet.

Injuries and accidents are often obvious, with symptoms resulting from our actions or events we are aware of. Common signs that an injury or accident has occurred to our hands or feet include:

  • Bruising
  • Cuts
  • Swelling
  • Burns
  • Pain
  • Numbness

Some of these can be symptoms of more severe problems, like nerve damage, ligament damage or broken bones. If you suspect any of these has resulted from your injury, you should seek immediate medical care.

It's also important to note that you can prevent many injuries and accidents. By taking proactive safety measures and being cautious of our actions, we can help avoid injuries and accidents from happening.

Diseases and infections can be more challenging to pick up as they are not likely to appear instantaneously in response to a known action or event, unlike an injury. Common signs that a disease or infection may be present in your hands or feet include:

  • Swelling
  • Warmth
  • Redness, rash or spots
  • Discolouration of the skin or nails
  • Pus or fluid drainage or buildup
  • Irritation or itchiness
  • Burning sensation
  • Pain
  • Stiffness

What hand and foot issues do we treat?

You might be surprised by the wide range of conditions Bettr can take care of for you.

As long as it’s not a medical emergency, our doctors can help you with a wide range of health issues and healthcare services in the comfort of your home. For example, during a consultation, our doctors can help diagnose your issue, prescribe medication to treat acute (right now) symptoms and suggest lifestyle changes for long-term prevention where relevant. 

Hand and foot issues we can help treat through Bettr include the following:

  • Gout
    Gout is a common problem experienced by kiwis. A form of arthritis (inflammation of a joint), Gout can cause severe pain and swelling in your joints and, if left untreated, damage your kidneys and quality of life. Caused by an increased uric acid level in the bloodstream, multiple risk factors have been cited to increase the risk of getting gout arthritis, including high alcohol intake and obesity.
  • Foot infections
    Foot infections can occur at any time, often after an injury. Injuries can be minor, including small cuts or skin cracks. Ingrown toenails, diabetes or feet being damp for long periods can also increase your risk of infection. An infected foot can be painful, inflamed, and even cause a fever. If left untreated, a foot infection can lead to cellulitis and spread. All foot infections must be treated.
  • Hand and foot skin conditions
    Skin conditions can appear anywhere on our bodies, including our hands and feet. Subject to a lot of friction, environmental factors, chemicals and irritants, the skin on our hands and feet can be particularly vulnerable to issues like allergic reactions, rashes, warts, eczema and dryness. The main point of contact between us and others and the environment, hands and feet, can also be the entry point for bugs (like scabies) and bacteria.

Many other conditions not on this list will also be fine for online support. However, if your doctor thinks you need a face-to-face consultation for further treatment, they will discuss this with you to arrange the best next steps.

See a doctor online with Bettr

If you or a family member are experiencing issues with your hands or feet, like the above, you can book an appointment with our doctors, who can often treat your condition online.

We offer same-day appointments and online prescriptions. There’s no app to download, no need to change GP and no registration; just immediate healthcare wherever you are. And if you have injured your hands or feet by accident, we also offer ACC and injury care — should you need a medical certificate, we can do that too.

Following your online consult, should you need to see a doctor face to face to treat your hand or foot issue, we can make it easy by referring you to one of our nearly 50 GP and medical clinics from Whangārei to Christchurch.

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If you're in Auckland you can register today and see a doctor for $45. You can also see a doctor in-person at any of our 40+ GP clinics for under $20*. Learn More