Skin Conditions On The Feet
Caring for the Skin on your Feet
Your skin makes a great barrier between you and danger or infection—most of the time. We tend to take for granted this organ (and the skin is an organ) that covers our whole body, but then something happens to cause skin conditions on the feet or elsewhere, and we realize its importance. That “something” can take many forms, some of which we described below.
Taking care of your skin is crucial so it can continue to hold your other tissue in place and protect it. Your skin can sense things around you that could hurt you; like heat, cold, and sharp objects, so you can avoid them and stay safe. Treat the skin on your feet kindly with daily hygienic care, proper footwear, and keeping an eye out for any abnormalities.
Be sure to contact Ottawa Foot Practice in Ontario at (613) 595-9700 if you notice anything strange about the skin on your feet or legs. We can give you a prompt and accurate diagnosis and a treatment plan that will get your skin healthy again.
Common Skin Conditions on the Feet
- Fungal Nails – Also known as onychomycosis, a fungal infection of the toenails can lead to brittleness, discolouration, and odour. These forms of infection can be difficult to eradicate through home-based or over-the-counter means, and often need professional intervention.
- Athlete’s Foot – a fungal infection that causes red, peeling, cracked skin. It can also cause a burning sensation, along with a bad odor if it remains untreated. Combat it by keeping your feet clean, using antifungal creams on your feet and antifungal sprays in your shoes. Avoid any fungal skin re-infection by always wearing footwear in public places and keeping your feet as dry as possible.
- Calluses and Corns – patches of hard, dry skin that form from friction or pressure. Corns often form on the tops of hammertoes or joints that rub against tight shoes, and calluses usually form under the parts of your sole that bear the most weight—your heels and the ball of your foot. Soak and slough off the dead skin and moisturize regularly, and use protective pads on hot spots for protection.
- Dry Skin – one of the most common skin conditions on the feet; caused by heated, dry inside air, lack of hydration, medical conditions, irritating soaps, even excessively hot showers or baths. Counteract it by moisturizing faithfully every day.
- Warts – these are benign but contagious growths in the top layer of your skin, caused by a virus. They can be a round, soft protrusion on the tops of your feet or toes, or hard, dry patches on your sole that have small brown specks in them. These plantar warts can be painful when walking.
- Erysipelas or Cellulitis – skin infections in the upper or lower layers of your skin caused by bacteria. They cause a rash or blisters, redness and warmth on the skin, but sometimes also fever, chills, sickness, and swollen glands. They are treated with oral or I.V. antibiotics.
- Eczema or Psoriasis – itchy and inflamed skin or red, thick, scaly skin due to one of these conditions for which the cause is not fully understood, but includes immune system problems, allergic reactions, and even temperature changes.
- Cancer – even your feet can develop cancer cells of several types—basal or squamous cell carcinoma or malignant melanoma, the most dangerous. If you notice skin changes on your feet, it is best to have us check them out to make sure they are not cancerous.
Long-Lasting Solutions to Your Foot, Toenail and Ankle Problems
Protecting Your Body’s Barrier
As we mentioned, taking care of the skin of your feet will help it stay healthy and resist infection. Wash them every day with warm water and mild soap, dry them thoroughly, and apply moisturizer as needed. While you are at it, inspect them for any cuts, bruises, or skin changes. Keep nails trimmed and clean as well. Keep your toenails short and cut them in following the natural curve at the tip of your nail.
Protect your feet with socks and shoes that help keep them dry and support your foot structure properly. This can help prevent fungal infections and injuries to your skin. Use sunscreen if they will be exposed to direct sun.
If you are experiencing skin conditions on the feet or any other problem or injury, call us at (613) 595-9700 and set up an appointment for excellent foot care. We want to help your feet be the best they can be!