Skin & Nail Care
A big part of your total foot health is caring for the skin and nails on your feet. From fungal infections and dryness to frostbite, blisters, and more, there are many conditions that can occur on your feet, but keeping a close eye out for symptoms will allow you to treat problems promptly. Even better, taking some simple, preventative measures will help you avoid issues in the first place.
Watch for Signs of These Common Skin Conditions
Athlete’s Foot – there is definitely fungus among us! That’s why it’s pretty common for fungal infections like athlete’s foot to occur. This red itchy rash typically starts between the toes and can spread and even blister.
Warts – these are caused by the human papillomavirus, or HPV, which enters your skin through a small cut or scratch then accelerates skin growth, forming an ugly bump that can spread and is contagious. Those on the bottom of your foot (Plantar warts) can be painful and grow inward, are flat, and often have a small black dot in the center.
Corns and Calluses – often confused with each other as well as warts, these rough patches of skin develop mostly on the ends and joints of toes, heels and balls of the feet due to friction and pressure.
Blisters – friction causes these liquid-filled bubbles to form in an attempt to protect your skin, however they can end up being painful and can even become infected.
Moles and skin cancer – most moles are harmless, but melanoma (an aggressive skin cancer) can resemble them. Keep an eye out for the ABCDEs of melanoma—asymmetrical, borders that are uneven or fuzzy, colors that are inconsistent, diameter (most are wider than a pencil eraser), and evolving / changing. Melanomas caught early are almost always curable, but those caught late may be fatal.
Eczema – this is category of skin conditions or infections that cause an itchy, dry, scaly rash—and in some cases even oozing and crusting. It is extremely common in infants, but it’s not unusual for older children or adults to be affected either.
Keep an Eye Out for These Toenail Troubles
Fungal toenails – when fungus settles in under your toenail it can turn it yellow, crumbly, brittle, misshapen, and even smelly! Toenail fungus is hard to get rid of, especially if it has been left untreated for a long time and has spread to other nails. When there is a fungus among us, we have effective treatment options, including ClearANail treatments and our fungal nail laser therapy.
Ingrown Nails – sometimes, toenails will grow into the surrounding skin instead of up and over it. When an edge digs into the flesh it can cause pain and tenderness and can also become infected, making matters worse.
Black Toenails – often seen in runners, repetitive trauma to the toenail can result in a pooling of blood beneath it, causing toenails to appear black and in some cases, fall off.
Prevent Problems with the Skin and Nails on Your Feet
The best way to side step many of these issues is to be proactive. Keep feet clean and dry. Wear moisture wicking socks and treat both your feet and shoes with an anti-fungal product. Never go barefoot in communal places like gym locker rooms and showers, and don’t share footwear or pedicure tools. Trim toenails straight across without curving the edges, and keep them even with the tips of your toes. Make sure your shoes fit properly and don’t rub on your skin or squish toes.
If you do experience a skin or nail condition and need help, just give us a call so we can get you started on a treatment plan. You can schedule an appointment at our Troy or Clifton Park office by dialing (518) 273-0053. We will help you keep the skin and nails on your feet healthy and clear!