Common Skin Conditions That Affect Your Feet
It is only natural that your body’s largest organ, your skin, is susceptible to a wide range of potential diseases and issues. Skin conditions are bound to occur when you have a large quantity of surface area that can be attacked by microscopic organisms. Additionally, we cover most of our body with either clothes or footwear, thus creating warm, dark, and sometimes damp environments that are conducive to microbial growth. There are a lot of problems that can arise and create uncomfortable or painful skin conditions on your feet, but at Dallas Podiatry Works, we know how to treat them.
Corns and Calluses
Corns and calluses are caused by pressure and friction when bony parts of your feet rub against the insides of footwear. This is particularly risky when you wear shoes that are ill-fitting and too tight. Switching to comfortable shoes that better fit your feet is one way to help prevent these conditions from occurring. Think of calluses as your body’s way of protecting itself. So if your skin is not being constantly “attacked” by the friction from ill-fitting shoes, it will not develop calluses for protection.
Human papillomavirus (HPV) can cause growths on your skin called warts. The growths are unsightly, but often harmless. They can be painful, depending on their location, but do not pose much risk of anything more than spreading. Plantar warts on the soles of your feet may cause the most trouble. There are over-the-counter remedies to take care of warts, but the success rate is hit-or-miss. When treating this particular condition, it is important to be patient, as it may take weeks before they are cleared.
In spite of the name, ingrown toenails are actually more of a skin condition than a toenail one, because the nail will ultimately break the skin and this opens the door for potential infection. This situation can be prevented by cutting the toenail straight across, instead of rounding it off, and making sure that it lines up with the edge of the toe. Making sure your shoes don’t pinch your toes will help, too.
Also known as ringworm, athlete’s foot is a fungal infection that happens on the surface of the foot. This skin condition arises from a variety of circumstances and is actually the most common fungal infection that humans can contract. The symptoms of athlete’s foot are itchiness, cracking, and a burning sensation, and these can typically be treated effectively with either an over-the-counter foot spray or powder.
Unlike other skin conditions that originate from external sources, gout is a disease that results from the buildup of uric acid in the body. This disease is commonly found in the big toe, but can also be experienced in the ankle. In this condition, uric acid crystals can be deposited into the joints and result in inflammation and severe pain.
Warm, dark, and humid conditions are where fungus likes to grow, and this is a key reason you may experience fungal toenails. Keeping your feet dry and clean, especially between toes, is vital for preventing these infections. Foot powder or spray can be used to kill fungus and bacteria that would otherwise grow on the skin underneath your toenails.
When your feet are itching or have a burning sensation, it might simply be on account of excessive dryness. Moisturizing your feet with cream or lotion can help prevent this condition. Having dry feet increases the risk of skin cracking and creating an entrance into the body for a possible infection. This is especially dangerous for those who suffer from diabetes and autoimmune disorders.
Here at Dallas Podiatry Works, we have experience with treating a wide range of skin conditions that are affecting your feet. If you find yourself with any of these conditions and home treatments have not been effective, make an appointment with either Dr. Joel W. Brook or Dr. David R. Northcutt today. Call toll free (888) 716-5283 and schedule with either our Dallas or Plano, TX, office.