A Look at Common Skin Conditions That Affect the Feet

From your ankles to your toes, there are plenty of things that can cause pain and inflammation, but a podiatrist near you in Chicago can treat them all. Podiatrists often see patients with skin conditions, given that the feet are an ideal location for the proliferation of microorganisms, such as bacteria and fungus. Your feet are also susceptible to corns, calluses, and systemic diseases. podiatrists - feet

Thickened Skin

Corns and calluses are areas of thickened skin that develop in response to excessive pressure and friction. Calluses typically appear on the soles of the feet. They usually aren’t painful, but a podiatrist may need to treat them when the patient has diabetes or poor blood circulation. Inhibited blood circulation can increase the risk of complications. Corns aren’t quite the same as calluses. They tend to be smaller and they usually develop on the non-weight-bearing areas of the feet, such as the sides and tops of the toes. Unlike calluses, corns feature a hard center, which is surrounded by inflamed skin. They are painful when pressure is applied.

Skin Infections

Even if you meticulously scrub your feet every day, it’s impossible to keep them completely free of infectious agents. Confinement in socks and shoes creates a damp, warm environment that allows fungal infections to flourish. Athlete’s foot is among the most common infections to affect the feet and it can be tricky to get rid of. Your podiatrist can recommend antifungal medications and lifestyle changes to help you eliminate foot fungus. Bacterial infections can also affect the feet, including erythrasma, which is a chronic, superficial infection that affects skin folds. This infection causes a slowly widening area of pink or brown discoloration.

Skin Diseases

Some diseases that can affect the skin of the feet include gout and dyshidrotic eczema. Dyshidrotic eczema is characterized by itchy, fluid-filled blisters that develop on the soles of the feet and the palms of the hands. The blisters tend to dry out after a few weeks, causing dry, painful skin cracks. Gout is a form of arthritis that inflicts sudden, severe pain in the joint of the big toe. The skin on the affected area becomes swollen, tender, warm, and red.