As you may well know, the skin is our body’s largest organ. We tend to concentrate on maintaining a healthy skin on our bodies and faces. Often we overlook the skin covering our feet. We care for the skin on our hands so why would it be different for our feet. It is important to know common skin issues and when neglected they can affect your feet for the longer term. below are six common skin issues to feet that you should not ignore if you are facing them.
While most blisters are caused by excessive wear, or ill fitting footwear, there are other causes for blisters which should not be ignored. If you experience blisters on your feet that are not a result of friction or fit issues, you could be dealing with diabetes, poison ivy, athlete’s foot or even allergic contact dermatitis. Be sure to keep blisters clean and protected with a bandage, and never pop them. Popping a blister can invite infection.
Eczema may appear as thick, scaly skin patches on your feet. Patches may appear red, irritated and/or bumpy. It may be caused by a sensitivity to something you are coming into contact with, like a fabric or soap, or something you are eating. It can also be a result of moisture developing within your footwear. If you think you may have eczema, keep your skin properly moisturized, but also provide adequate ventilation to ensure your skin can breathe.
3. Toenail Fungus
Toenail fungus, or onychomycosis, is a common foot problem. The classic symptoms of toenail fungus are nail discoloration, thickening, and changes to the nail’s texture—such as flakiness or brittleness. The fungus is likely to infect the entire nail as well as the skin below, which is why onychomycosis can be difficult to clear up. You can use essential oils like tea tree oil, or over the counter medications to treat toenail fungus. Be sure to keep feet and shoes dry and clean.
Warts, or verruca, can be small, singular lesions or large ones that cluster together. They are generally circular and occur on the soles (plantar surface) or sides of the feet. Warts are caused by a virus, making them contagious and hard to cure. You can treat warts naturally by applying apple cider vinegar to the wart and covering it with duct tape, or you can treat it with over the counter medications. Be sure to wear shoes in public areas with wet floors to avoid spreading or contracting additional warts.
5. Athlete’s Foot
Athlete’s Foot, or Tinea pedis, is a fungal infection of the foot. The typical symptoms include an itchy and red rash that usually affects the soles of the feet and between the toes, and/or splitting of the skin under or between toes. Athlete’s Foot can be treated with tea tree oil, or over the counter medications. Be sure to keep feet cool and dry to prevent worsening of symptoms.
Corns are thickened areas of the skin’s uppermost layer. They often develop in response to areas of excess pressure against the skin, such as on the toes, under the ball of the foot or heel areas. Ill-fitting shoes are often the cause of many corns. Corns can be painful and unsightly. You can treat them with over the counter treatments, or see a podiatrist to have them shaved down. Be sure that all your footwear fits properly and doesn’t rub your feet to avoid development of future corns.
The importance is to watch for them when they occur. Worn out shoes, poor quality socks, overpronation, supination and poor foot hygiene are all common causes of common skin issues of the feet. Take the time to rest your feet, exfoliate them regularly, and of course stimulate its circulation. Always keep in mind the skin on your feet is as important as the skin on your face and body.