Many people associate podiatry with the treatment of serious foot and ankle conditions, such as broken bones, foot deformities, wound care, and chronic pain. But it’s important to know that there are many common foot conditions that can have a negative impact on your life. Podiatrists are here to help you with a wide range of skin and nail-related foot conditions, including more minor issues that can cause pain, discomfort, or embarrassment. Treating common skin and nail foot conditions

At Alliance Foot & Ankle Specialists, we’ve seen many of our patients live with “minor” conditions for years, relying on over-the-counter creams or powders to relieve their skin and nail disorders. However, these products often provide short-term relief only, and our patients waste time and money to correct a problem that continues to frustrate them. Taking the time to visit a podiatrist can help you access the knowledge, expertise, and treatments you need to recover your healthy feet.

Let the Podiatrists at Alliance Foot & Ankle Specialists Help You With Your Podiatric Problem

We take pride in the fact that we never give up on a patient. No matter how long you have struggled to overcome your condition, our podiatrists can find an effective treatment to help ease the pain. Many of the skin and nail conditions that our patients deal with can be frustrating, uncomfortable, and unsightly. By using over-the-counter treatments, our patients hope their symptoms will go away; however, most often, they don’t. You don’t have to put up with discomfort or pain when you could have healthy feet.

When to See Your Dallas Fort Worth Podiatrist for a Skin or Nail Condition

It can be difficult or confusing to know when to see a doctor for your skin or nail foot condition, especially if you think your issue could resolve on its own over time. Here are a few signs that you should see a podiatrist:

  • If you are feeling regular pain and discomfort in your feet
  • If your skin is discolored, itchy, swollen, or painful
  • If you have a wound or blister that is not healing
  • If you have an infected or ingrown toenail
  • If one or more of your toenails is discolored, thickened, or otherwise deformed
  • If you have a case of athlete’s foot that is not going away

If you are ever concerned about a change in the appearance or function of your foot in any way, your podiatrist is here to help. It’s always better to come in before a problem becomes severe.

Common Skin and Nail Foot Conditions We Treat

No matter how healthy you are and no matter how well you look after your feet, most people, at some point in their lives, are likely to develop a common foot skin or nail condition. While it might not be as urgent to see a podiatrist for a fungal infection as it is for a broken bone, it can be just as important in the long run when it comes to maintaining fully functioning, healthy, and healthy-looking feet. Our skilled podiatry team routinely sees and treats the following skin and nail conditions:

Athlete’s Foot

Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection that causes burning or itching between the toes or on the bottoms of the feet. It is easily spread by walking barefoot in public places (such as locker rooms and swimming pools), and the fungus thrives in dark and moist environments like the inside of your shoes. The condition is often irritating at first but may cause scaly or peeling skin and even swelling if it is not treated. You should see a podiatrist for your athlete’s foot, especially if it recurs or does not get better with over-the-counter treatments. We can treat you with stronger medicine or oral medications and help make certain there is not an infection.

Gangrene and Diabetic Wounds

Patients with diabetes must be extremely diligent in taking care of their feet. Many people with diabetes develop nerve damage (neuropathy) in their extremities, making it difficult for them to feel heat, cold, and pain in their feet. A person with neuropathy might walk with an open wound on their foot for days and never notice it. Neuropathy can also affect circulation, making the body less able to heal wounds in the feet. If left untreated, these wounds may become infected or progress to the point of tissue death or gangrene. We work to remove dead tissue and help prevent patients with diabetes from developing pressure ulcers in the future.

Corns, Calluses, and Blisters

Corns, calluses, and blisters are common foot conditions that often result from friction, pressure, or repetitive irritation of the skin. Corns are thickened areas of skin that develop in response to pressure, typically on the tops and sides of toes. Calluses, on the other hand, are broader, flattened areas of thickened skin that usually form on the soles of the feet or other weight-bearing areas. Blisters are fluid-filled sacs that develop from friction or pressure, causing the upper layers of the skin to separate.

Treatment by our experienced podiatrists may involve removing the excess skin of corns and calluses through gentle debridement, relieving pressure points with custom orthotics or padding, and providing advice on proper footwear. Blisters are typically managed by cleaning and dressing the affected area to prevent infection and, in some cases, draining the fluid to alleviate discomfort. Additionally, we offer our patients guidance on preventive measures to reduce the likelihood of these conditions recurring. Regular foot care and appropriate footwear choices are essential components of maintaining foot health and helping prevent the recurrence.

Toenail Fungus

Yellow, thickened, or crumbling nails may be a sign of toenail fungus, an infection that takes root under the surface of the nail. Over time, the fungus can alter the texture and appearance of the nail and may make it uncomfortable or painful to wear shoes. Foot spas used in pedicures are the most common way nail fungus is spread. Treatment for toenail fungus ranges from topical medications to oral medications to laser treatments and surgery.

Plantar Warts

Warts are benign skin growths caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), which enters the body through a break in the skin. Warts on the soles of the feet, known as plantar warts, are commonly passed between people walking barefoot in public areas. Plantar warts often appear as patches of rough gray or brown skin on the bottom of the feet and cause pain or irritation when walking or standing. Treatment may begin with conservative methods such as trimming away dead skin and applying topical medications, but more severe cases may require dissection and surgical removal of plantar warts.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails, commonly known as toenail overgrowth, is a painful toe condition. It has three main causes: rounding the nail edges when cutting them, cutting the nails too short, and wearing socks or shoes that are too tight and do not fit well. Ingrown toenails cause inflammation and pain at the point where the nail digs into the skin. Later, the affected area starts to drain a yellowish fluid, and extra tissue grows. If an ingrown toenail is not treated early, it can result in an abscess or an infection that requires treatment.

There are two main treatment methods recommended for ingrown toenails: nail surgery or self-care treatment:

  • Self-care treatment. This is the simplest treatment for ingrown toenails. However, it is only applicable if the ingrown nail is at its early stage and the inflammation is mild. The self-care treatment involves wearing comfortable shoes that are not tight and have a round space around the nails; trimming the nails straight to prevent nail pieces from piercing the surrounding skin; pushing the skin gently from the nail; and practicing good foot hygiene.
  • Nail surgery. If the ingrown toenail is severe, nail surgery becomes the best treatment plan. It involves two main options: a partial nail avulsion or a total nail avulsion. Partial nail avulsion entails partly cutting a toenail. In most cases, it involves cutting the toenail edges to make them straight and narrow. This is the most common surgical procedure used to treat ingrown toenails and is better than ninety percent effective. If the ingrown toenail is quite severe, a total nail avulsion may be the best optional treatment method. It involves removing the entire toenail.

Preventing Skin and Nail Foot Conditions

There are a number of things you can do to avoid common skin and nail conditions and keep your feet healthy and strong, including the following:

  • Wear shoes and socks that fit correctly, so they’re not too tight or too loose.
  • Wear clean flip-flops when in the gym locker room or at the pool.
  • Clean and dry your feet regularly and examine them for problems.
  • Never wear wet or dirty socks or shoes.
  • Trim your toenails straight across and not too short.
  • Avoid foot baths at spas and nail salons.
  • Wear socks made of natural, breathable fabrics.
  • Alternate the shoes you wear each day.