When you think of skin problems, do you consider them developing on your feet? Though it may seem like common sense, many people forget that wherever you have skin, you can develop a related condition – all the way down to your toes. Some problems are small, unsightly, and somewhat uncomfortable. Most people have them treated because they are tired of the effect the condition has on their feet. Other issues, however, can be quite serious. They can open the body to infection, cause significant pain, and decrease your quality of life.
Whatever your concerns are with the skin on your feet, Dr. Evan Merrill and Dr. Adam Gerber can help evaluate and care for them. At Southern Oregon Foot & Ankle, we see and treat a wide variety of foot skin conditions. Some of the most common problems include:
Athlete’s Foot (Tinea Pedis) - This infection is easy to catch and can be hard to eliminate. As microscopic fungi begin growing on your feet, the skin dries and itches. It can also peel or crack.
Blisters - These raised, fluid-filled bumps are the result of irritation and damage to the surface of the skin. They are frequently caused by friction, but they can also develop from burns, extreme cold, and occasionally from illness.
Calluses - Under pressure and friction, the body builds up extra layers of thick, dead skin to protect itself. These thickened areas are called calluses. On the feet they frequently develop where the foot experiences the most pressure. They can be both unsightly and uncomfortable—the affected spot is rough and can be dry and flaky, as well as painful when pressed on.
Corns - Often confused with calluses, corns are also spots of thickened skin, but they behave differently. They occupy a smaller area and typically develop in places that don’t bear weight, like the tops or sides of toes. On occasion they can also form on the bottom of the foot.
Fungal Nails - If microscopic fungi ends up under your nails, those organisms begin to grow and multiply. This slowly damages the hard keratin tissue that makes up your nails; and over time, the tissues become thickened, discolored, brittle, ragged, and generally unsightly.
Ulcers - These are breaks in the skin that do not heal. They generally occur in someone with a weak or compromised immune system. The sores open the body to serious infections which, if not cared for quickly enough, could lead to amputation.
Warts - Warts are growths caused by viruses. When they appear on the bottom of the foot, often under pressure points, they are called plantar warts. They can be painful to press on, which can make walking difficult if they develop in a weight-bearing area or a place that frequently rubs against footwear.
If you have any pain in your feet or are concerned by changes on the surface of your skin, don’t wait and allow them to get worse before seeking treatment. Even the serious skin conditions start small before they become dangerous to your health—and they are much easier to deal with successfully when they are caught early. Start on the path to healing your foot skin concerns today. Contact Southern Oregon Foot & Ankle, for an appointment or more information by calling our office in Medford at (541) 776-3338.