What are Plantar Warts?
Plantar warts are a special type of wart that is most common among kids and teens. They start out as small lesions on the bottom of the foot that look a bit like a callus. As the wart grows inward, you’ll start to notice black pinpoints on the surface, which are actually tiny drops of clotted blood.
What Causes Plantar Warts?
Plantar warts are caused by an invasion of the human papillomavirus which attaches to the outer layer of skin.
The virus itself is not extremely contagious, but it’s best not to risk it, especially in areas of high exposure.
Children and teenagers tend to be more susceptible to infection, due to increased likelihood of exposure and less well developed immune systems. Risk factores include:
Wearing damp socks and shoes
Wet areas such as pools and common showers
Having a weakened immune system
Having a history of warts
How Do I Treat Plantar Warts?
Over-The-Counter and “Home Remedies.” In the majority of low risk patients, there is little harm trying to treat the wart yourself. These options tend to be not very effective.
Topical Medication - There are a few topical prescriptions medications. They are applied once or twice a day. We offer, Vircin, which is a highly effective and pain free option for treating warts.
Cantharone - This is a "smart" treatment that does not cause deep tissue injury that can lead to scarring of the skin. It can be associated with some mild pain.
Laser - Lasers are rapidly become a favorite treatment for plantar warts. They office a versatile solution to either remove the warts via more traditional surgical techniques or as an adjunct to topical treatments by disrupting the "core" of the warts.
Surgical - This is the most aggressive form of treatment, but allows for the fastest return to normal. This is typically the last resort since it can be painful and takes time to heal.
What is Athlete's Foot?
Athlete’s foot, or tinea pedis, is a fungal infection that occurs on the surface of the foot. The skin will itch and sometimes burn, peel, crack, hurt, blister or become infected. The skin around your heel and the bottom of your foot may thicken and crack. It can even spread to your toenails. It can involve the soles of the feet or isolated to the web spaces between the toes.
It can be spread through direct skin-to-skin contact, walking barefoot on contaminated locker room floors, showering after or sharing shoes with someone who has athlete’s foot.
It’s even possible to touch something that’s contaminated and pass it to another person without actually getting athlete’s foot yourself. That’s because some people are just more susceptible to it. If you have already had athlete’s foot, you may be at a higher risk of repeated outbreaks.
How Do I Treat Athlete's Foot?
If you have recently noticed the signs of an athlete’s foot infection and it’s the first time you have had it, try one of the over-the-counter products for Athlete’s foot. Along with the cream, lotion or spray, here are some other important tips:
Stay away from infected areas! Wait till you get home from the gym to shower. (And make sure to sanitize the tub so you don’t pass it along to your partner).
Wash with anti-fungal soap daily. We recommend FungaSoap because it’s naturally based and gentle enough to use every day because it contains tea tree oil; a natural anti-fungal.
Apply an anti-fungal cream or athlete’s foot cream and foot powder to your feet and in between the toes before putting socks and shoes on. These products can be obtained in our office. In some instances, a prescription may be sent to your pharmacy.
Avoid wearing cotton socks, which will just hold the excessive sweat against your skin. We recommend copper thread or bamboo socks.
Give your shoes time to dry out by wearing different shoes every other day.
Sanitize shoes with a Shoe Zap (ask our staff for more information) or antimicrobial sprays/powers.
CRACKED HEELS / FISSURES
What are Heel Fissures?
Cracked heels and heel fissures start out as dry skin and turn into a painful health problem.They occur when the skin on the edge of the heel becomes too dry, hardens into a callus and then starts to crack. When they fissure and crack, they can be difficult to heal, so it is important to catch this before the cracks appear. They can be particularly dangerous for patients with diabetes or diseases that compromise the immune systems, such as patients with cancer or HIV. They are more common among patients who have dry skin, flat feet, high arches, heels spurs and/or inactive sweat glands. They are also seem with people who walk barefoot or wear flip flops or sandals who live in very dry climates, or who are obese.
How Do I Prevent Heel Fissures?
If the edges of your heels are dry, scaly and hardening, apply a heavy moisturizing lotion each night before bed and sleep with socks on.
A pumice stone or loofah sponge soap can be used to gently exfoliate the callus each night before applying the lotion. Be careful not to rub so hard that it causes pain or bleeding. Diabetics should take extra care with a pumice stone due to their potential for infections and healing concerns related to neuropathy and circulation concerns.
How are Heel Fissures Treated?
If the fissure are too severe, we can treat them with a special liquid bandage that will hold the skin together and promote healing.
In many cases, we trim and file away the callused skin which is causing the cracking
Prescription Softening agents may be prescribed / dispensed.
Orthotics may be recommend to pad/cushion the heel or to stabilize the foot and prevent the rubbing that can cause cracked heels.
ADDITION SKIN CONDITIONS WE TREAT
Corns and Calluses
Hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating)