Posts for: September, 2016
A minor cut or scratch on your foot is usually not cause for alarm, but certain kinds of wounds on your feet can become infected and lead to other health problems if they are not treated promptly.
Perhaps you've nicked your skin while trimming your toenails. Maybe your new shoes didn't fit properly and you have an uncomfortable blister on your ankle. Or you were outside working in your garden and discovered a rusty nail the hard way Â by stepping on it. These don't seem like cause for much concern, but foot wounds can necessitate immediate medical attention in some instances.
Certain ailments can make dealing with foot wounds profoundly more challenging. For instance, a simple blister in a healthy person would require a minimal amount of treatment in order to heal. But for someone who has poor circulation or neuropathy, found in individuals with diabetes and autoimmune or vascular disorders, the complications could be dire. These diseases, particularly diabetes, reduce feeling in the extremities and suppress healing. This means a scratch or cut on the foot can ulcerate, become infected and potentially lead to amputation if not treated promptly.
Patients who are at risk for foot wound complications should work directly with their physicians to understand how to prevent wounds and the management of existing wounds. This includes rigorous cleaning and careful inspection of the feet daily.
Feet are particularly susceptible to puncture wounds, as sharp objects on the ground may not be immediately seen as someone is walking. These injuries can be concerning because of the potential for harmful bacteria to thrive in the lowÂoxygen environment. The depth of the wound can cause pieces of debris to become trapped, and without proper care and cleaning, this can lead to a serious infection.
It is important to seek medical care as soon as possible after receiving a deep puncture wound on your foot, particularly if it penetrated your shoe. You may need a tetanus shot booster if you haven't received one in the last five to ten years. Even after visiting an emergency department, following up with a podiatrist afterwards is essential to ensure the injury site is clean and healing properly.
If you are diabetic or have another vascular disorder, it is important to maintain good hygiene and to stay in contact with your podiatrist in the event of an injury. Other foot wounds should be seen by a doctor to determine the best treatment.
Excessive sweating of the feet can be an embarrassing problem that can also lead to infection. Learn how to deal with sweaty feet through these tips.
Most people only notice sweating during hot weather or stressful situations. However, some have a condition called hyperhidrosis, which makes them genetically predisposed to sweating more often than the average person. Because the feet have a large amount of sweat glands, they are the one of the most common areas for hyperhidrosis to occur. With the skin constantly exposed to moisture, the feet are more susceptible to odor and infection.
Controlling this frustrating problem can involve one or more of the following techniques:
Talking about your sweaty feet may feel uncomfortable, but it's important to discuss your symptoms with a podiatrist to devise the best treatment for you. Many people respond well to prescriptionÂstrength antiperspirants. These contain a higher concentration of aluminum chloride than that found in storeÂbought products.
There is reported success with injections of botulinum toxin to stop the sweat glands' production. These treatments typically last between 3 and 9 months. There is also the possibility of using oral medications, called anticholinergics, but these can produce undesirable side effects such as dry mouth, constipation, and visual disturbances with longÂterm use.
People with hyperhidrosis must follow a strict hygiene regimen to combat their condition. Washing daily with antibacterial soap will help control infection and odor. Your feet should be dried thoroughly after bathing and powder such as cornstarch should be applied. Socks should be made of synthetic, breathable materials designed to draw moisture away from your feet. Cotton socks tend to hold moisture in and thus should be avoided.
The FDA recently approved iontophoresis devices, which submerge the feet in treated water and conduct a very low electrical current through the affected skin. These treatments are usually performed in a physician's office and take approximately an hour. There are also several surgical procedures available, but these are generally avoided unless all other treatments have been exhausted.
Having sweaty feet is a problem that can affect more than just your extremities Â it can have a profound impact on your selfÂesteem and social interaction. Your podiatrist is wellÂequipped to combat this issue; call today for an appointment.