A chronic infection caused by various types of fungus, Athlete’s foot is often spread in places where people go barefoot such as public showers or swimming pools. The condition ranges from mild scaling and itching to painful inflammation and blisters. It usually starts between the toes or on the arch and may spread to the bottom and sides of the foot.
Depending on the type of infection you have, various kinds of medication may be used in treating your fungal problem. Successful treatment usually involves a combination of medication and self-care.
If your condition is not serious, over-the-counter and prescription powders, lotions, or ointments can often help treat scaling, itching, and inflammation. Consult us before taking any medication. Foot soaks may help dry excessive perspiration, but you should contact our office first. If your Athlete’s foot does not improve, we may prescribe stronger medication.
Corns & Calluses
Corns and calluses are protective layers of compacted, dead skin cells. They are caused by repeated friction from skin rubbing against bony areas or against an irregularity in a shoe. Corns ordinarily form on the toes and calluses on the soles of the feet. The friction and pressure can burn or otherwise be painful and may be relieved by moleskin or padding on the affected areas.
Never cut corns or calluses with any instrument, and never apply home remedies, except under a podiatrist’s instructions.
Fungal nail infection is caused by contact with dermatophytes which are everywhere in the environment. Common sources of the infection include swimming pools, public showers, gyms and nail spas. Tight fitting shoes and nail trauma can also lead to infection. Genetics, poor health and increasing age are also factors that increase the risk of fungal nail infection.
You may suffer from a fungal nail infection if you have one or more of the following:
- Discolored nails
- Yellow streaks under the nails
- Distorted or thickened nails
- Brittle, crumbly or ragged nails
- Nails separated from the underlying skin
- Buildup of debris (nail fragments, skin) under the nail
- White spots or streaks on the nail surface
Oral drugs can be effective in treating the fungus. The medication can take anywhere from 12 weeks or longer to clear the nail. Side effects are a concern with oral treatment, especially liver damage and heart failure. Bloods tests may be necessary to monitor for side effects. Topical drugs are less effective in treating nail fungus and restoring clear nails. It is applied twice a day until the nail is clear, which can be 12-24 months.There are no significant side effects, however in some patients, the medication cannot penetrate the nail to reach the infection. Laser treatments are effective in treating the infection and restoring clear nails. A recent clinical study shows no adverse side effects.
Ingrown toenails occur when the corners or sides of the nail dig painfully into the skin. Ingrown toenails are usually caused by improper nail trimming, but can also result from shoe pressure, injury, fungus infection, heredity, and poor foot structure. Women are more likely to have ingrown toenails than men.
The problem can be prevented by trimming toenails straight across, selecting proper shoe styles and sizes, and responding to foot pain in a timely manner. Chronic conditions may require permanent removal of the ingrown portion. This is done with a painless, in-office procedure.
Warts are skin growths that are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). They can occur anywhere on the body and are generally not painful unless they are on the bottom of the feet. Treatments may include use liquid nitrogen to freeze the wart, topical acids, laser or surgical excision. Various home remedies may include: rubbing the warts with garlic, or apply a paste made of baking powder and castor oil. Crushing up vitamin C tablets into a paste to cover the wart or even soaking warts in pineapple juice. It is advised to see podiatrist or dermatologist if you think you may have a wart since squamous cell carcinomas may have a similar appearance as warts