Keeping your feet healthy includes being aware of skin and nail problems that can arise.
From fungal infections and blisters to heel fissures and ingrown toenails, plenty of conditions impact the health of the skin on your feet as well as your toenails. Not to worry, though—we have plenty of treatment options and preventative tips!
Healthy skin and nails start here.
Athlete’s foot – You don’t have to be an athlete to come down with this skin condition! Typically, it starts between the toes and can spread to other parts of your foot, including your toenails. Symptoms include red, itchy, peeling skin and sometimes even a blistering rash. Antifungal medication helps, as does keeping feet clean and dry with moisture-wicking footwear.
Corns and Calluses – These rough, thick layers of skin develop as a means of protection against friction and pressure, but they can become painful. Corns, which tend to form on tips and tops of toes, and calluses that develop on weight-bearing areas like heels and balls of the feet, can be avoided by always wearing socks and shoes that fit properly. A warm-water soak and a pumice stone can help smooth away these bothersome bumps.
Warts – The Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is what’s behind these stubborn growths that can grow bigger and multiply. When found on the bottom of feet, they can also be painful. While there are plenty of over-the-counter treatments and DIY remedies, your best bet is to let us remove the wart before it spreads or gets worse. Avoid them altogether by always wearing shoes in public places!
Blisters – In another attempt for your skin to protect itself, these fluid-filled bumps develop due to friction mostly from shoes that rub you the wrong way! Protect yourself by wearing socks and making sure your shoes fit properly. You can be proactive by covering problem areas with a bandage or padding, and making sure feet stay dry.
Heel Fissures – Extremely dry skin on your heels can crack open and even become infected. This painful condition can be prevented by keeping the skin on your feet -- especially your heels -- moisturized. Try applying petroleum jelly to heels then slipping socks on before you go to bed.
Cancer – Skin cancer can occur on your feet as well as under your nails. It’s important to protect your feet by remembering to apply sunscreen and watch for signs of trouble, like darkness under your nail or a new or changing mole on your foot. If you see anything out of the ordinary, schedule an appointment immediately to get the early treatment you need.
Toenail Fungus – Signs that a fungus has made its way under your nail include discoloration and distortion. Nails will also become thick, crumbly, and brittle and debris may start to collect underneath. This can spread to other nails if left untreated, and can be difficult to get rid of on your own. We can prescribe medication or use our laser therapy to eliminate the fungus at its source.
Ingrown Toenails – Often the result of improper trimming and ill-fitting shoes that squish toes together, nails can curve into surrounding tissue instead of over it, sometimes even breaking the skin and causing pain and infection. There are several ways we can treat this problem, and you can help yourself by always trimming nails straight across and making sure shoes offer plenty of wiggle room.
Black Toenails – As mentioned above, this can sometimes be a sign of cancer, however, it’s more commonly the result of repetitive trauma to the nail, like when runners’ toes ram against the front of shoes repeatedly. Blood pools beneath the nail, turning it black and blue. The pressure from this buildup of blood can be painful and you might even lose the nail. We can help!
We are here for all your foot care needs. Making sure you have healthy skin and nails just happens to be one of our specialties! If you need help with any of the conditions mentioned above or have questions, call McDowell Orthopedics and Podiatry Group in Carmichael, CA at (916) 961-3434.