As spring approaches we look forward to warmer weather and all that it brings. This means transitioning to a warmer-weather wardrobe, including footwear that will likely show more of, or in some cases all of our feet. Unfortunately, many of us do not feel completely comfortable with the appearance of our feet. For a variety of reasons, our feet often show obvious signs of the stresses that life presents for them. Our feet are subject to many negative factors including exposure to physical use and abuse, enclosure in a hot and moist environment (footwear), exposure to microorganisms, and if that isn’t enough, our feet can be genetically predisposed to several dermatologic conditions that may negatively impact their appearance.
Fortunately, at Advanced Dermatology, our providers can evaluate and treat skin conditions that may affect the feet, toes, and toenails. Oftentimes, multiple skin conditions can affect the feet at the same time. You can be conﬁdent that our providers will sort through the issues and provide a treatment plan to improve the health and appearance of feet in need of healing and improvement.
In some cases, the skin on our feet may simply become overly dry and thickened. This can lead to painful cracking and splitting of the skin, as well as unsightly ﬂaking and scaling. In the opposite case, with excessive moisture, the skin or nails on the feet can be affected by fungus. With fungal infection the skin between the toes may peel and break down, or the sole of the foot may become very rough, scaly, and itchy. Involved toenails may become discolored, thickened, brittle and begin to separate from the nail bed. In some cases, the nail may completely detach leaving the nail bed bare.
In addition, viruses may also affect the feet. Very commonly, wart viruses called human papilloma viruses can invade the skin of our feet and cause warts to grow in the skin. Furthermore, the skin of the feet and the toenails can become bacterially infected. Bacterial infection of the feet can cause “maceration” or a breakdown of the top layer of skin. Lastly, genetically based conditions such as psoriasis or eczema commonly affect the feet. In such cases the skin of the feet may become rough and scaly and may crack or split. In addition, painful or itchy blisters or pustules may form on the soles or toes. Oftentimes toenails affected by psoriasis may lift from the nail bed or become thickened or brittle.
Once a foot condition has been identiﬁed and treated, the appearance of the skin on the feet or the toenails can usually be dramatically improved. In order to treat conditions of the feet, our providers can recommend therapeutic options such as skinfo Soft & Smooth Heel and Elbow Buffer is one option available at skinfo.com. In many cases, prescription topical, oral, or injectable medications may also prescribed to improve the condition of the feet. In any case, our providers at Advanced Dermatology are experts in the diagnosis and treatment of the various conditions that can affect our feet, and in most cases they can assist in the return of the feet to a normal healthy state.