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Top 5 foot conditions seen by podiatrists that can be easily avoided through proper care

 

Athlete’s Foot Athlete’s Foot is a fungal infection of the foot that develops commonly on the soles of the feet and in between the toes. It usually produces itchy, dry, scaling skin. In more severe cases, inflammation, cracks, and blisters may form. Athletes commonly suffer from sweaty feet and use the facilities where the fungus is found, thus the term "athlete's foot." Athlete’s Foot can easily be prevented by changing your socks frequently to avoid creating a moist environment for your feet, spraying your shoes with Lysol every day to kill bacteria that is often found in warm, moist places, and wearing shoes in public facilities.

 

Plantar Fasciitis  Your foot contains a thick band of tissue called plantar fascia that stretches from your heel to your toes. That tissue’s job is to support the muscles and arch of your foot. Too much tension on the tissue can cause it to stretch too far, resulting in tiny tears that cause pain and inflammation. I see this issue in a lot of athletes especially if they don’t wear proper fitting shoes to the gym. It’s important to support your arch to avoid stretching your plantar fascia to the point of pain.

 

Nail Fungus  Nail fungus is a condition that occurs when a microscopic fungus enters one or more nails. This condition often begins as an infection in the skin, which is commonly referred to as athlete’s foot. As the nail fungus penetrates deeper into the nail, it may cause the nail to discolor, thicken, and develop crumbling edges- an unsightly and potentially painful problem. Most people develop nail fungus as a result of walking barefoot in public places. This can be treated at home, but for extreme issues I suggest seeing a podiatrist who can likely solve this issue in a matter of weeks. Over the counter ointments can often take months to eliminate the fungus.

 

Ingrown toenails An ingrown toenail is a common condition typically affecting the great toe, in which the corner or side of the nail becomes incurvated (turned inward) and grows into the skin and soft flesh of the toe. This results in irritation of the surrounding soft tissue, often causing pain, redness, swelling, warmth, and sometimes and infection. It’s not uncommon for male patients to attempt “bathroom surgery” to dig out the ingrown on their own, but this often causes more serious infection and rarely solves the underlying issue. Use the Straight Edge Toenail Clipper to maintain healthy nails and avoid painful ingrown toenails. A straight edge toenail clipper ensures the nails are cut straight across decreasing the chance of ingrown toenails. This can be easily achieved at home, however if an ingrown toenail is present it is recommended to be treated at your podiatrist.  After cutting your toenails with a straight edge nail clipper, you should file your toenails down with an emery board to smooth out the edges. When filing, it's important to file your toenails using light pressure and long strokes in one direction to minimize the trauma to the surrounding nail bed. 

 

Plantar Warts A wart is a thickened and elevated small growth of skin that develops when the skin becomes infected by the human papillomavirus (HPV). Warts can develop anywhere on the foot, but typically occur on areas of direct pressure under the foot, such as the ball and the heel. Hard and thick callus can grow over the wart lesions as they grow inward and make them more painful. To prevent contracting plantar warts avoid walking barefoot in public places – like at the gym, communal bathing areas, and pools. If you do get a plantars wart, I suggest seeing a podiatrist to help treat these issues immediately as they are contagious. 

 








Author
Dr. Miguel Cunha Dr. Miguel Cunha, founder of Gotham Footcare and a leading podiatrist in Manhattan, is a highly trained and skilled foot and ankle surgeon with experience treating a wide array of foot and ankle conditions from minor problems to complex reconstructive foot and ankle surgery. Dr. Cunha takes pride in having a genuine interest in each and every one of his patients while providing them the utmost compassion and exceptional care.

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