Though most of us know to avoid foot injuries like sprains or fractures, we often forget that the well-being of our skin and nails can be just as important for our overall foot health. And, ignoring or hiding any problems you may be experiencing in your feet usually doesn’t solve the issue. On the contrary, doing so will most likely make matters worse.
What Are Some of the Most Common Conditions?
But the good news is that our team of experts can provide you with effective care for a variety of common nail and skin conditions to not only help your feet look great, but also relieve painful and concerning symptoms.
Since our skin and nails are subjected to quite a bit of abuse on a daily basis, there are many conditions that may cause harm to our feet. However, some of the most common conditions we treat at our offices are:
This issue develops either when toes are jammed together in the front of shoes that are too tight, or when the toenail is not trimmed properly and grows into the side of the toe. They can also happen on account of physical trauma or even an inherited nail structure, like naturally curved nails.
This condition develops when fungi become embedded underneath the tip of the nail. The nail may become discolored, brittle, and ragged, and often require treatment – the condition will not go away on its own, and may even spread to other toes.
Corns and Calluses
The skin on the feet can develop these hardened areas of skin to protect from damage, like ulcers, scratches, or blisters. Without treatment, calluses and corns could become painful or lead to burning sensations.
These are actually the result of a viral infection from the human papillomavirus (HPV). The viral growths are not dangerous but can cause physical discomfort and embarrassment. Not to mention that, over time, warts can easily spread and grow.
In spite of the name, this common infection is not one that only athletes develop – anyone who visits damp, humid environments, like locker rooms and pool decks, or wears footwear that traps moisture inside could be at risk. This type of infection may begin with signs of itching and burning sensations.
The list could easily become quite extensive. But the point is: Skin and nail problems are very common and potentially very frustrating.
The good news is that there are definitely measures you can take in order to prevent these from becoming a part of your life.
How Can You Prevent Skin and Nail Conditions?
If you practice good foot care habits, you should be able to steer clear of most skin and nail conditions out there. Indeed, as is true with most health problems, the first step to eradicating skin and nail issues is to prevent them from happening in the first place.
And there are some easy foot care habits you can “adopt” to ensure your feet and ankles are kept fresh and happy throughout every stage of your life:
- Check your feet every day. Especially if you are living with diabetes. Look for changes in the texture and color of your feet and toenails.
- Practice good foot hygiene. Wash your feet on a daily basis and make sure you dry them thoroughly after you are done, paying special attention to those areas between your toes.
- Moisturize your feet. Do so after every wash, but keep in mind that you should avoid the areas between your toes.
- Wear appropriate footwear. When you buy shoes, make sure that they have plenty of room for your toes to move freely and that they provide enough support and cushion.
- Trim your toenails the right way. Make sure you clip your nails straight across, and never share tools with others.
- Alternate between shoes. You should give your footwear time to dry out completely before you wear them again.
- Avoid socks with tight elastic at the top or ridges. Instead, look for moisture-wicking cotton socks that are breathable and well-fitting.
And, of course, you should always seek medical care whenever you become aware of anything unusual—early intervention is best for optimal recovery.
Are You Looking for a Skin and Nails Expert in Austin, TX?
If you are looking for skin and nail care, you should reach out to an experienced podiatrist. Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists can help. Our office provides a wide variety of advanced, effective treatment options for all kinds of painful conditions. Ready to schedule an appointment? Contact us online or call our Austin office at 512.328.8900.