Athletes foot is a common fungal condition of the skin. Fungus grows best in a moist, warm, dark environment. A shoe is the perfect habitat for fungus. Athletes foot is usually characterized by itchy, dry flaky, irritated skin, and odor. Some will have wet looking skin breakdown between the digits. Treatments include topical or oral medications. Most importantly is managing the moisture in the shoes by rotating shoes to allow them to dry, wearing cotton socks, using foot powders, and washing the shoe. These should prevent growth and reinfection of the skin.
Calluses and Corns
Corns and calluses are a thickening of the skin from pressure and/or friction. Some deformities or conditions cause uneven or increased pressure on the skin. Over time this causes irritation on the tissues leading to increased thickness of the skin. Most people experience pain, redness, or blistering at these areas. Occasionally an ulceration can form. Most commonly calluses form on the bottom of the foot or between the toes. Padding, modifications to the shoes, or orthotics are required to redistribute the weight or prevent pressure at the area of the callus. Maintenance at home usually involves filling with a pumice stone or sanding board. Podiatrist will occasionally shave the callus with a blade. Medicated corn pads are not recommended as this can cause pain irritation and infection of the skin.
Warts are a condition of the skin which occur frequently on the hands and feet. They are caused by a virus which lives within the layers of the skin. The skin will become thick, painful and develop small black specks. Anyone can get warts but children are most likely to have warts. Warts are sometimes quite difficult to treat as recurrence is frequent. Treatments include freezing, laser, mechanical removal, or medications which cause peeling of the skin. These sometimes need to be used in combination to provide lasting relief.
Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition of the skin which causes irritation, thickening, and pain. Occasionally a skin biopsy is required to diagnose this condition. Treatments often involve oral or topical steroids as well as other therapies and medications. Multi-specialty management of this condition is often required and management of treatment often include your primary care physician and a dermatologist.
Wounds, ulcers, sores, skin lesions...They go by many names. Ulcers, wounds and sores are complex problems. Many medical problems slow the healing process. The foot and ankle are prone to ulceration of breakdown of the skin. This is a very common problem and can be very dangerous! Normally our bodies heal at a rapid rate but blood flow, neuropathy, illness, and other conditions can block this process and lead to a chronic wound which may or may not be painful. The focus of proper wound care is understanding and managing the reasons the ulceration is not healing. It is routine to have labs, ultrasound, culture, and x-ray ordered on the initial visit to help focus treatment for the best result. The largest risk with ulceration is infection as the skin provides protection from bacteria and an ulceration has disrupted this barrier. There are hundreds of types and brands of dressings. There are also various skin substitutes. Your wound care specialist will help choose which is most appropriate for the type of wound. Also, pressure relief is generally critical in improving the healing potential of foot ulcers. This can be accomplished in several ways with crutches, boots, casts and pads. If you or a loved one has a foot or leg wound which is slow to heal or has been a problem for a month or more, please contact us. Dr. Corey Blackburn has had extensive training and experience in wound care and management. Ulcerations can be complicated and risky don't delay any longer.