Information on Athletes Foot
Athlete’s foot is an infectious condition of the foot that is caused by a fungus, yeast, or mold. Often times there is burning and itching with this condition. There is typically dried, flaking skin associated with this condition in addition to a moccasin pattern of erythema (redness) associated with the foot.
People under the age of 18 tend to get this condition because of hormonal issues of teenage years. This is typically a type of athlete’s foot that responds fairly quickly to treatment.
In adults (people over the age of 18) the nature of the condition changes. At times an adult will get an athlete’s foot condition simply because of the nature of their skin type. It is just friendly and receptive to the fungus/yeast/mold that causes the condition. At times an adult’s work condition may contribute to an athlete’s foot. The shoes may be drenched in perspiration, there may be a constant wet environment at work, there may be something else in their home or work environment that puts the person in constant contact with fungus/yeast/mold. Adults may require not only medication but some mild alterations of their environment to not just get rid of this condition but also to prevent it from coming back.
When left untreated, an athlete’s foot condition may move from a relatively benign problem to compromising the skin to such a degree that a bacterial infection may occur. This will often times happen between the toes and is acutely painful with raw and sometimes bleeding skin though it can happen anywhere on the foot in the right circumstances.
If any questions, please contact our office directly.
Information on Warts
Warts are a virus infection of the skin that can be found on any part of the foot. The most common place to find warts on the foot is on the bottom of the foot. A wart found on the bottom of the foot is called a plantar’s wart. When people treat their warts with medication they get at the drug store, the medicine contains an acid that is too weak and often fails.
Because a wart is caused by a viral infection, like most types of infections, it is possible for the wart to spread or grow larger if left untreated. It is also possible for a wart virus to be spread from one person in a family to another, especially with children. Warts are often mistaken for calluses or corns because they get covered with skin. They are frequently left alone until they become painful. Warts become painful when they are in an area that bears weight or if they lie in close proximity to a boney prominence.
Treatment of a wart involves, most importantly, the correct diagnosis. Warts can look like a variety of other skin conditions and often go misdiagnosed for long periods of time as a corn or callus. After diagnosis, we often use a very powerful medication in an attempt to form a painless blister which “lifts” the wart out and away from the surrounding tissue. Occasionally, it is necessary to surgically remove the wart and this can be done with a scalpel, biopsy kit or with the help of a laser.
If you suspect that you or a loved one has a wart, there is no advantage to waiting. Please call to make an appointment at one of our offices.
Information on Wounds
Non-healing or slow healing sores or wounds tend to be a life-altering event for a person. Not only do they often require daily attention and application of protective dressings, but they can also be painful or have an offending odor associated with them. Some wounds look bad, but do not hurt. These are often the most dangerous wounds.
It is possible for long-standing wounds to become infected. If this happens, it can only compound any other existing health problems. There can be many causes for these wounds and they can occur in the absence of injury or trauma. At times, they are reflective of a deeper underlying disease process. When these wounds are present on the feet and ankles, they may also be accompanied by swelling of the foot and/or leg. There may be significant drainage associated with the wounds.
These wounds should be under the care and treatment of an expert wound care specialist who will, when necessary, work closely with your private physician or other specialist to get the wound healed. The Foot Health Institute has a very experienced doctor on staff that treats wounds.
If you or anyone you know suffers from this or any foot or ankle problem, please contact Dr. Wood, your foot and ankle specialist, at the Foot Health Institute. Dr. Wood is board certified in wound management.
Information on Diabetic Wounds
Wounds of the foot and ankle can be catastrophic. Chronic wounds in the United States affect around 6.5 million patients. An excess of $25 billion dollars is spent each year to treat these wounds. This number is expected to grow as both diabetes and obesity continue to increase in the U.S.
One of the most significant causes of wound formation in patients involves Diabetic Neuropathy (altered sensation including feeling on the bottom of the foot and balance). Diabetic neuropathy is in fact the number one cause of wound formation in the U.S. Diabetic neuropathy also is the number one cause of infection of the foot and ankle, and non-traumatic amputation in the U.S.
Diabetic neuropathy takes away the ability for the patient to determine that they have been injured because they no longer have enough sensitivity or feeling in the foot to tell when they have a cut, scrape or wound (i.e.the wound does not hurt). It is all the more difficult because the patient often times can not perceive that they have lost the critical sensation to protect the foot and/or there may be a level of denial that occurs on the part of the patient.
In addition to diabetes vascular disease both arterial (how the heart sends blood to the foot) and venous (how the blood moves from the foot back up to the heart) are also major contributors to the wound formation in the U.S. These wounds are often times extremely painful.
A wound care specialist is trained to make an appropriate early diagnosis and guide intervention within his/her own specialty as well as recommendations towards other specialties such as vascular surgeons, interventional cardiologists, internists, endocrinologists, infectious disease and others who are critical for treating these types of wounds.
If any questions regarding wound care, please contact our office directly.
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