Athlete’s foot is a harmless fungal infection that happens to countless people every year. If you are someone who doesn’t wear your shower shoes at your local gym’s locker room or the community pool then you may find yourself prone to developing athlete’s foot. If athlete’s foot does happen to you, it’s important that you not only treat the issue but also know how to treat it so that it fully goes away. Here’s what to do if you find yourself faced with this fungal problem.
If you already know you have athlete’s foot then the next step is to treat it. More often than not this issue can be treated with over-the-counter medications. This means that you can easily go to your local pharmacy and find an anti-fungal medication that could clear up your athlete’s foot over time. Of course, if you are someone who gets athlete’s foot regularly, has severe athlete’s foot symptoms or you also have diabetes then you’ll want to see your podiatrist right away.
In some cases, over-the-counter medications aren’t enough to get rid of the infection. If this is the case then a foot doctor will be able to prescribe a much stronger antifungal cream or topical medication. It can take a couple weeks for symptoms to clear up. Make sure that you continue to use the medication until it is finished otherwise you could risk a reinfection.
In the meantime, there are ways to care for your feet either during an infection or after the infection has been treated to prevent another one in the future. This means keeping feet dry at all times, whether you are stepping out of the shower or the pool. Whenever feet get wet, thoroughly dry them off to prevent them from becoming a breeding ground for fungus to grow.
Look for footwear and socks that have breathable materials. If you are prone to sweaty feet, apply an antifungal powder to your feet or your shoes before putting on footwear. When you take your shoes off make sure to give them a full day to air out before wearing them again. You can also apply more talcum powder in the shoes to eat up the moisture while they air dry.
You’ll also want to protect your feet in public areas where fungus thrives. Local swimming pools, gym showers, and locker rooms are breeding grounds for fungus. Always wear protective sandals whenever you are in these environments.
Whether you are dealing with a nasty bout of athlete’s foot or you just have questions about ways to properly care for your feet, it’s the perfect time to turn to a podiatrist who has all the answers.
It can be pretty embarrassing to take your shoes off and feel like you left a puddle of sweat behind. How can feet be this sweaty? If this scenario sounds like you, then chances are good that you may be wondering what could be going on to cause this awkward issue.
If you have extremely sweating feet then you could be dealing with a condition known as hyperhidrosis. This is something that can happen to anyone but tends to be more common in younger adults. If you have hyperhidrosis of the feet you may also find that the palms of your hands sweat more than most.
Why is this happening to you? Unfortunately, it can be a bit tricky to determine why this is happening to you. Perhaps this is something that runs in your family (thanks, mom!). It’s hard to tell, but those with true hyperhidrosis will experience sweaty feet all the time, not just when it’s hot or humid out.
So, what constitutes hyperhidrosis? Besides the obvious extreme sweating, you may also notice that your feet slip and move around in your shoes more. You may be more prone to embarrassing foot odors or even infections. If you have diabetes and are dealing with any foot problems, even seemingly innocuous ones like sweaty feet, it’s still important that you visit a podiatrist to help you manage your symptoms and to prevent complications.
There are some at-home measures you can take to reduce sweaty feet symptoms. Make sure to thoroughly wash your feet everyday and dry them completely. Once feet are dry, you can apply a talcum or antifungal powder onto your feet and your shoes to prevent infections and to reduce sweat. It’s also a good idea to wear socks that are breathable and wick away sweat and moisture from your feet. If you aren’t sure what kinds of shoes and socks to wear, you can always turn to a foot doctor for advice.
If you are dealing with severely sweaty feet or you aren’t able to handle the issue on your own then it’s time you turned to a podiatrist for some answers. While a lot of people can find easy ways to manage their symptoms and reduce perspiration, it’s not always easy for everyone. Call your foot doctor today.
If you’ve recently exposed extremities to the harsh cold elements then you may be dealing with itching, swelling skin on the fingers and toes. This itchy manifestation is known as chilblains, and it’s a common bodily response to cold (particularly in regions that experience colder, damper weather).
Chilblains often show up in just a few hours after being exposed to the cold. Skin may even start to turn red or blue. The skin usually burns or itches. You may find that the minute you walk into the warmth or heat that these sensations get worse. If you have a really bad case of chilblains then the skin may even crack open or blister.
While scratching the skin may feel good at the moment it’s really important that you do not scratch the skin, as the skin is more susceptible to cracking or breaking open and becoming infected. There are some people who are more at risk for developing chilblains such as:
- Living in areas with cold weather
- Being underweight
- Having poor circulation
- Certain immune conditions (e.g. lupus)
While this condition may sound rather concerning or serious, most people won’t actually need to visit a podiatry or specialist for their chilblains. In most cases, this condition will clear up within a few weeks and shouldn’t cause any complications. However, there are some situations that may warrant visiting a podiatrist. If your symptoms don’t go away within a few weeks, or if the itching and swelling are severe, then it’s time to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Medication may be necessary to improve circulation in your feet.
It’s also important to be aware of symptoms of an infection such as a high fever, malaise, swollen lymph nodes and pus in the affected toes. If you notice any of these symptoms call your foot doctor right away.
Otherwise, you can typically manage your symptoms on your own from the comfort of your own home. Look for lotions and creams that may relieve itching (if you aren’t sure, ask your podiatrist for recommendations). You can also prevent or reduce your chances of developing chilblains by avoiding the cold as much as possible, providing your feet with ample protection or taking measures to improve poor circulation.
While it might seem tempting to immediately place feet into hot water or near a fireplace after being in the cold, such extreme temperature changes are what can cause this problem to occur. Warming the areas up gradually is always your safest bet. If in doubt, talk to your podiatrist about ways to protect yourself.
While warts can appear anywhere on the body, if you notice one on the bottom of your feet then you have what’s called a verruca (also known as a plantar wart). Most people will get a wart at some point during their lifetime, so it isn’t something you should be worried about. Warts are the result of the human papilloma virus (HPV). Sure, having a plantar wart on the sole of your foot may be annoying but it will typically go away all on its own.
What does a verruca look like?
You may not even notice that you have a verruca, a thick, slightly raised growth or lump that looks a bit like a callus; however, since they do develop on the soles of the feet you may find that they are rather uncomfortable or even painful sometimes, especially when wearing shoes or during physical activity.
How long will it take for this wart to go away?
While warts can often be left alone to run their course, it can take several years for the verruca to completely go away. In the meantime, you may find that the verruca has become more painful and too annoying to put up with or to wait for it to go away. If this is the case, then it’s time to visit a podiatrist.
What can a podiatrist do?
There are several treatment options that a foot doctor may recommend for removing your verruca. There are certain creams and medications that contain active ingredients like salicylic acid, which can remove the outer layers of the wart to help shed it faster. While you can find some of these products over-the-counter, if you want to weigh your treatment options then talking to a podiatrist is always a good option. If you have diabetes or nerve damage in your feet you’ll want to immediately turn to a foot care specialist if you have a verruca and want to have it removed.
Another way to treat a verruca is through cryotherapy, in which we will freeze the wart with liquid nitrogen. While this might not be the best option for children, as freezing the wart can be uncomfortable, it only takes a few seconds to treat the wart. Once the wart has undergone cryotherapy it will scab over before falling off. Sometimes one cryotherapy session is all that’s needed while others may require several treatments to fully treat the wart. If in doubt, turn to your foot care specialist to treat your verruca properly.
If you can smell your feet immediately after you take off your shoes or socks, you may have a foot odor problem. Foot odor has a number of possible causes, but the most common reason is some type of a fungal infection. Thankfully bad foot odor can be easily treated with the help of a podiatrist at Family Foot and Ankle Center in Fairfax, McLean, Ashburn, and Reston, VA.
Causes of Foot Odor
Before you can properly deal with foot odor, you need to know the possible causes. If you don’t identify how it happened, it will continue to reoccur. Here are a few possible scenarios that may have led to your bad foot odor:
- Walking barefoot in public showers or bathrooms.
- Wearing wet shoes all day (especially if participating in athletics).
- Not washing your feet thoroughly when showering.
- Sharing socks and shoes with other people.
All of these scenarios can lead to toenail fungus, foot fungus or athlete’s foot, three of the most common causes of foot odor.
Foot Odor Solutions
Your foot odor will soon be history when you visit a podiatrist at Family Foot and Ankle Center in Fairfax, Mclean, Ashburn, and Reston, VA. Here are the most common treatments:
- Anti-fungal foot powder or cream.
- Oral anti-fungal medication.
- Laser treatment for nail fungus (targets the fungus, preserves healthy tissue).
Preventing Future Odor Problems
Foot odor isn’t normal and shouldn’t become a regular part of your life. Change some of your habits to avoid foot odor problems in the future:
- Throw out old shoes and socks that may be havens for fungus.
- Only use your own shoes or socks.
- Dry your feet immediately after getting out of a pool or shower.
- Wear flip-flops in public showers, and be sure to thoroughly clean your feet.
- Make sure your socks and shoes are dry when you put them on.
Get Help from a Podiatrist
If your foot odor has become so intense and offensive that others complain about it, it's time to see a podiatrist. Call us at (703) 723-9267 (Ashburn), (703) 273-9818 (Fairfax), (703) 556-8637 (McLean) or (703) 723-2719 (Reston).
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