Skin & Nail Problems
We Treat & Prevent Common Problems
There are many types of skin and nail problems that can effect your feet. Nail fungus, athletes foot, dry skin, warts are just some of the types you may experience. We see patients of all ages that experience skin and nail problems. Treating these conditions are more involved because your feet deal with extreme conditions.
Your feet are stuck in sweaty and tight conditions which is the perfect recipe for bacteria and infection. There are easy ways to prevent many common skin and nail problems. First, wear moisture wicking or cotton socks and apply an antiperspirant to your feet daily. This will help to keep your feet dry and soft. If you tend to sweat more, pack an extra pair of socks and change throughout the day. Be sure to switch your shoes daily to give them time to air out.
A. Nail Fungus
Nail fungus is a common and frustrating problem. Nail fungus is easily contagious and can spread to a person's own toes. It is caused by a fungus that gets into the nail.
It thrives in the most, dark environment in your shoes. There are different ways to treat nail fungus. There are oral, topical and even laser options. Your doctor will work with you to determine the best option.
B. Ingrown Toenails
An ingrown nail occurs when a portion of a toenail on either side of the toe turns downward and presses into the skin. Nails normally are nearly flat, with just a slight arcing downward at the borders. When the border of the nail is turned downward, it begins to injure the skin.
Patient's usually feel pressure and eventually pain, as the hard and sharp nail edge creates further injury. Shoes that apply pressure to the toe increase the pain. If an infection develops, the pain becomes intolerable. An Ingrown Nail is identified by the doctor's physical exam. If an infection has developed, the doctor may send a sample of the drainage to a lab, to identify what bacteria has caused the infection and which antibiotics will most easily cure the infection.
Ingrown toenails are common and can be very painful! They are usually caused by shoes that are too small or improper cutting. Both of which could be corrected by seeing a podiatrist. Depending on the severity, ingrown toenails will be cut in certain ways. We, also, add an extra step an application of medicine to prevent the toenail from growing back into the skin.
Athlete's Foot is a common fungal infection of the skin. Many people, especially those who play sports...hence the name, will experience athlete's foot sometime in their life. It is most common among athletes because the fungus likes to hang out in dark, moist, wet environments, much like a locker room.
Athletes foot is another problem that thrives in dark, warm moist environments. It is a fungus that infects the skin on the feet. It is itchy and can become scaly and painful. It is very contagious and can be spread through locker rooms (hence the name), public pools, and gyms. Treatment includes topical lotions and oral medication.
Signs of Athlete's Foot
How Did You Get Athletes Foot?
Athlete's foot is transmitted from person to person through fungi spores. These spores like dark, warm, moist environments (which is why they like your feet so much). Places like the locker room, public pools, showers etc are where you most likely picked up the problem. It is also spread
How Do We Treat Athletes Foot?
There are topical treatments (cream/gel) that are used to painlessly rid the feet of athletes foot. Usually it takes around 4-6 weeks to be rid of the fungus, but it can depend on your case.
Preventing Athletes Foot
Never walk anywhere barefoot, especially places like the gym, locker room, public pools. If someone in your house has athletes foot, be sure to sanitize areas like the shower. Also, change your socks frequently so you can keep your feet dry and allow your shoes a day in between to air dry by rotating shoes.
A plantar wart is a small skin lesion that resembles a callus and is found on the bottom of the foot or toes. The term "plantar" doesn't mean only farmers get them. "Plantar" means they occur on the bottom surface of the foot. It is usually under 1 cm diameter, but can occur in clusters and be much larger. Sometimes a single larger wart is surrounded by many smaller warts. In this case, they are called mosaic warts
How Do You Know It's a Wart
A plantar wart feels like a lump under the foot. They are only painful is they are squeezed or pinched from side to side, or if you bear direct weight on them. Warts on other parts of the body, such as the hands, grow elevated above the skin's surface. We bear weight on warts on the bottom of the foot, so they get flattened and pushed into the skin. Most people liken this to walking with a rock attached to the foot, as the thickened callous tissue becomes hard and painful as it gets bigger.
A plantar wart can usually be diagnosed by your doctor based on a characteristic appearance alone.
When the doctor trims the hard callus tissue from the surface of the wart, a pattern of small black dots that are actually small blood vessels that feed the wart, is usually seen. The doctor will also test the wart by pressing directly down on it, and then pinching it, squeezing it from side to side. Most warts won't hurt when pressed directly down, but are very painful when pinched. If these findings are present, no further testing is necessary to identify a plantar wart.
How Did You Get a Plantar Wart
All warts are caused by the Papilloma virus, a slow growing virus which invades the skin. The viruses are common in all of our environments and they don't readily grow on intact skin. But if there is a break in the skin, like a scratch or thorn penetration, this gives the virus the opportunity to get in and start growing. The virus only grows in the epidermis, the thick layer of the skin closest to the surface. It doesn't invade the dermis, the deeper layer of the skin.
Always Wear Shoes
The wart virus thrives in dark, moist areas such as pool areas, bath tubs, jacuzzi areas. It is highly recommended to wear sandals in this areas to prevent contamination. Warts are also very contagious. Keep your feet clean and dry. Inspect feet frequently for new warts and begin treating small ones immediately, before they increase in size or number.
Treating Plantar Warts
Warts are most common in children which is why our team has developed a painless treatment protocol. The process involves debriding the skin and treating the area with very high potency salicylic acid. Patients then do at home treatment for 3 weeks, then follow up. It is painless and allows children to be treated effectively without scary needles or freezings. While those option may be quick, they are often very painful and involve a long healing process.
iii. Dry, Peeling Skin
Dry skin on your feet is very common. It can be embarrassing, painful even dangerous for some people. There are many causes of peeling, dry skin, athletes’ foot, fungus, shoes, weight gain- are all common causes of dry skin on the feet. If you are NOT a diabetic, treating the dry skin on your feet could include using a foot cream daily, changing your shoes, and using a pumice stone weekly.
In addition, our office has a high powered file that can help to drastically reduce the dry skin on you feet so at-home maintenance is much easier. Once your foot is filed in our office, the upkeep for smooth, healthy looking feet only takes a few minutes a day.
iv. Foot Odor
Hydrosis is excessively sweating in the palms and feet. It is more common in young men than women, but many women still suffer with it. It can become an embarrassing and frustrating condition. Speaking to a podiatrist about the condition can help to treat it faster.
Causes of Sweaty, Smelly Feet
Smelly feet can be caused by an inherited condition called hyperhidrosis, or excessive sweating, which primarily affects males. Stress, some medications, fluid intake and hormonal changes also can increase the amount of perspiration your body produces.