The feet absorb the impact of every step we take, and this pressure is felt in more than just the bones and ligaments. The skin between the toes and on the bottom of the foot is at risk of lacerations, rough and hardened calluses, and even infections transmitted through moist surfaces. Even when it is protected by footwear, the skin of the foot may rub against the sides of the shoe, causing pain and pressure that could force the nail to grow into the foot—or form the perfect environment for a fungal nail infection to thrive.
Skin and Toenail Conditions We Treat in Our Offices
Skin and toenail conditions may be painful, cause discomfort while walking, or have an unusual appearance that makes patients fearful of showing their feet in public. Whether you are experiencing an unusual discoloration of the toenails, itching or irritation on the soles of the feet, or a skin laceration that will not heal properly, the podiatrists at Greater Washington Advanced Podiatry will create a treatment plan to stop the problem from progressing and reverse the damage done to your feet. Simply fill out our contact form today to learn how we can help.
We have developed effective interventions for a variety of skin and nail problems, including:
- Warts. If you have noticed a growth or discoloration on the underside of your foot, you may have developed a plantar wart. A wart on the plantar surface (the sole of the foot) may cause irritation at first, but can quickly spread into a cluster of warts that make it difficult to put weight on the foot without pain. While there are various ways to treat plantar warts, they can often return if the root cause is not addressed. A foot doctor can treat even the most difficult warts so that they go away completely and don't grow back.
- Corns and calluses. These hard, tough areas of thickened skin on the feet and toes are caused by pressure or friction, usually from ill-fitting shoes. Calluses are the body's way of protecting the foot, building up and hardening the skin on the surface to protect the tissue underneath. Corns are smaller than calluses and typically form on the toes, causing a tender or painful bump under the skin. If a corn or callus is not treated properly, it may crack and bleed, opening the foot to possible infection.
- Athletes foot. Athlete's foot is the most common fungal infection that affects humans. It is commonly transmitted in shared barefoot areas (such as swimming pools, showers, and locker rooms) and thrives in warm, damp environments. Common symptoms include a red, scaly rash between the toes that itches, burns, or develops cracks in the surface of the skin.
- Toenail fungus. Thick or yellowing toenails are commonly caused by a fungus called onychomycosis. This fungus is likely to affect people who spend long periods of time in heavy work boots or shoes with little ventilation. Infection often begins in one nail, but can quickly spread to others without intervention. There are a variety of medicines that can treat a fungal nail infection, but some are not safe for people who have liver problems or a history of congestive heart failure. Our podiatrists can examine your feet and your health records to determine which treatment is right for you.
- Ingrown toenails. In some cases, a toenail may curve downward at the borders, and growing into the skin at the sides of the nail. This "digging in" of the nail irritates the skin, often creating pain, redness, or swelling. If an ingrown nail causes a break in the skin, bacteria may enter and cause an infection in the area. Our foot doctors can relieve the pain of an ingrown toenail, stop the spread of infection, and perform nail trims to prevent toenails from growing irregularly in the future.
- Diabetes wound care. As diabetic foot specialists, we regularly incorporate new technologies to prevent people living with diabetes from undergoing stressful and expensive hospitalizations. We have close relationships with specially-trained vascular interventionists, and use a special machine called a Wound VAC to help close slow-healing wounds.
At Greater Washington Advanced Podiatry, we tailor our solutions to the unique needs of each patient, offering free initial consultations to diagnose the problem and recommend a treatment plan. To have our foot care specialists examine your feet in our Germantown or Silver Spring podiatrists, fill out our contact form or call us at (301) 515-3338 and we will be in touch with you shortly. For West Virginia residents, contact our Greenbrier podiatrists or call (304) 520-3086.