The feet experience a lot of activity, which can lead to the onset of certain traumas or infections over time. With the amount of wear and tear placed on the feet every day, a condition is bound to arise that requires the help of a medical professional. If you are experiencing health problems related to your feet, it’s important to seek treatment before the condition advances. Although the feet may not seem like the most pressing part of your body to monitor, their health has plenty to do with your overall wellbeing. The physicians at Laserderm Dermatology & Cosmetic Laser Surgery can provide the treatment you need to ensure your feet remain functional.
The Importance of Foot Health
Oftentimes, people who are experiencing discomfort in their feet tend to ignore it under the assumption that foot pain is an isolated concern. However, the health of your feet can significantly impact how you feel on a regular basis. When your feet begin to suffer, you are likely to become less active, which can take a toll on your general fitness level and hinder the amount of activity you perform. It’s important to remain aware of your feet as a way to monitor the rest of your body and seek treatment if necessary.
Types of Foot Conditions
There are a variety of common conditions that affect the feet, and at Laserderm Dermatology & Cosmetic Laser Surgery we treat infections that can slowly become detrimental to your health if left without medical intervention. If you suspect that you have a foot infection, a consultation with our physicians can provide you with an appropriate diagnosis and treatment regimen.
There are many types of warts that impact the skin, and they can appear anywhere on the body. When warts are present on the foot, it is likely that the human papillomavirus has embedded itself into a scratch or cut on the surface of the skin. While generally benign growths, many people choose to have warts removed for cosmetic purposes. However, removing a wart also prevents it from spreading to other parts of the body or another person, as the virus is highly contagious. Warts can be removed with liquid nitrogen by freezing the growth until it is excised from the skin.
Athlete’s Foot (Tinea pedis)
Commonly referred to as athlete’s foot, tinea pedis is a fungal infection that causes the feet to itch, sting and burn. It more severe cases, the fungus can create blisters on the skin. The infection is typically present in between the toes and is caused by various fungi that are mostly present in humid climates like locker rooms or swimming pools. Many medicated creams are available over-the-counter that are effective when treating mild cases of athlete’s foot, and when cases are more severe, prescriptions can be made for stronger formulations. Preventative tactics like practicing regular hygiene, keeping your toenails short and avoiding being barefoot in public spaces can limit the spread of tinea pedis.
Nail Fungus (Onychomycosis)
Another fungal infection that affects both the fingernails and toenails, onychomycosis is characterized by thick and discolored nails that become brittle over time. The nails may look black, yellow, green or white and at times may emit a foul smell. Typically, the condition does not cause much physical pain, but if left untreated the underlying skin can become inflamed and make it difficult for the rest of the foot to function properly. Cultures may be needed to rule out any other form of infection and make a proper diagnosis, but once onychomycosis is confirmed, topical medicated creams are usually prescribed.
Unlike general warts that can occur anywhere on the body, plantar warts appear only on the bottom of the foot. They often look and feel like rough and thickened lesions that protrude from the surface of the skin, typically no larger than a pencil eraser and are almost always noncancerous. Warts are usually removed if they become bothersome and, since they are contagious, it is important to have them them treated if they do not disappear on their own. Like general warts, plantar warts are treated with liquid nitrogen or over-the-counter medications.
Receiving Treatment for Foot Infections
A diagnosis for a particular foot condition can usually be derived from a skin evaluation that considers the appearance of your condition, your medical history and your symptoms. However, many infections can also be diagnosed and ruled out by observing different cultures from the infection. Once our physicians have identified the infection, we will determine the most effective treatment option and explain proper administration. Many infections can be treated with topical creams from drug stores, while more severe conditions may require stronger prescriptions or clinical applications. If you are experiencing symptoms related to a foot condition, contact Laserderm Dermatology & Cosmetic Laser Surgery for a consultation, diagnosis and suggested treatment options.