If you aren’t already on our email list, you are missing out!
Sure, we could say that at pretty much anytime, but it really applies now that we’ve started an email series geared towards helping to make you aware of skin and toenail problems.
See, your feet are amazingly intricately structured—containing over one-quarter of all the bones in your entire body—and have more than a hundred muscles and connective tissues (tendons, ligaments) to enable movement.
Seriously, feet are impressive structures.
Sometimes, though, outer appearances can be as important as the internal structure. We get that “beauty is only skin deep,” but issues with skin and toenails that don’t look right are indicative of some kind of problem. And, as is always the case, early intervention for these kinds of issues is important.
That means you need to know how to recognize them at their earliest stages (and then come see us here at Fixing Feet Institute).
Now, there are a variety of reasons as to why skin and nail conditions are most effectively resolved in their earliest stages. For example, toenail fungus is a matter of a stubborn infection and—when treated—the new, healthy nail growth is slow. As such, you want to nip the problem in the bud – and especially if you want to walk barefoot or wear open-toed shoes or sandals.
When it comes to ingrown toenails, treatment spares you a lot of pain and can reduce (what would otherwise be) increased infection risk. So there are a couple of reasons to seek early intervention.
As you’ll see, there are other reasons early intervention is typically best practice for skin and toenail conditions, but it is worth noting that it is incredibly important to recognize these conditions early if you are diabetic! Remember, diabetes causes systemic damage to your body and can cause issues that seem minor to become very serious medical complications.
So what issues does our email series cover? Well, let’s take a quick look at them:
In the case of plantar warts, an unsightly growth develops on the underside of your foot. This might not be a dangerous situation for otherwise healthy individuals, but it is concerning for those who have diabetes. Additionally, the location can cause discomfort or even pain when you’re on your feet.
By all reasonable estimates, just about everyone ends up with a wart at some point or other. A major contributing factor to this is the prevalence of the virus responsible for warts – the human papillomavirus (HPV).
Not all strands of HPV cause warts—and even strands that do for one person might not for the next—and there has to be some way for the virus to enter the body (like a very tiny cut or abrasion), but this still obviously happens with great frequency.
Warts are stubborn and quite contagious – there is a reason, after all, we use the term “viral” for things that spread easily. Fortunately, we can easily handle this issue for you or any affected family members!
Speaking of infections, athlete’s foot (also known as tinea pedis) is a fairly common one. Understanding what this condition entails will enable you to know how to prevent it and when to seek treatment.
So what exactly is athlete’s foot?
In spite of the name, this is not a condition that only happens to athletes or as a result of athletic participation. Instead, this is a common fungal infection that usually develops between your toes—areas which often create a hospitable environment for the offensive fungus—and then spreads out over the skin of your foot.
The fungus that causes the athlete’s foot is easily transmitted by contact, even from indirect sources like shoes, towels, and floors.
The various warning signs of tinea pedis may either be experienced individually or as a combination of symptoms. These often include:
- Burning, itching sensations that become increasingly intense as the infection spreads.
- A red, scaly rash that often accompanies dry skin.
- Inflammation, blisters, and foot ulcers.
Over-the-counter, antifungal sprays, powders, and lotions tend to be quite effective when it comes to treating mild cases of this infection. The containers for these products will often specify an appropriate amount of time to see results, but if your condition is not improving you should schedule an appointment with Fixing Feet Institute. We will provide stronger treatment, which may entail oral antifungal pills or topical medication to clear up the infection.
Fungal toenails is a common condition that may cause your nails to discolor, become brittle, and thicken. No one wants to think about fungus growing on his or her body, so it is natural to wonder what can be done about this condition. The good news is that toenail fungus is absolutely treatable.
When you are looking at treatment options, it is best to bypass over-the-counter products because they tend to be unreliable and may not produce the results you need. Oral antifungal medication is a more trustworthy method. Another effective option is laser therapy. Fungus can hide under your nails, which makes them difficult to treat with topical solutions, but we can eradicate the infection at its source with laser treatment.
One of the most common issues is ingrown toenails. This happens when a nail grows into the soft skin flanking it. In severe cases, over one-quarter of the nail can become ingrown!
It’s just a simple fact that if you have toenails, it’s possible for you to develop an ingrown nail at some point during your life. Regarding “some point in your life,” we mean that ingrown toenails can really happen at any point. Some babies are born with a toenail that’s ingrown—likely the result of foot position in the womb—and this is a nail condition that can affect seniors as well.
When home treatment is insufficient, professional treatment options we offer include lifting the nail, partial nail removal and, for recurring cases, even removing the affected nail and tissue altogether.
We certainly understand if you become concerned upon seeing a rash on a foot of any of your family members as you put on your sandals before heading out the door. When this happens, it is important to identify the issue, which may be a case of psoriasis.
Rashes can be caused by many different root causes. These include athlete’s foot, poison ivy, allergens, hives, rubella, reaction to medication, eczema, and even heat. Another common cause of rash is a condition known as psoriasis.
When trying to determine if the cause of the rash is psoriasis, check for the following signs:
- Silvery scales covering red patches of skin
- Small scaling spots (more commonly seen in younger patients)
- Cracked, dry skin that might bleed
- Burning, itching, and/or soreness
- Pitted, ridged, or thickened nails
- Stiff and swollen joints
An even better method to determine if that rash on your foot is psoriasis? Schedule an appointment with our Surprise, AZ office!
Actually, contact us for an office visit if you—or any of your family members—are experiencing any problems, difficulty, or abnormality with feet or ankles. Yes, internal structures and injuries are important to address, but so too are the ones on the outside!
For more information or to request an appointment, call Fixing Feet Institute at (623) 584-5556 or connect with us online right now. And don’t forget to sign up today to receive our emails!