The skin is a complex, flexible, fibrous structure that encases all the living tissues and organs of the body. It is the most accessible tissue of the body, and serves as an excellent means to determine many conditions present within the body. Many dermatologic conditions affect the lower extremities. Two of the most common skin conditions involving the foot are athlete’s foot and contact dermatitis.
Athlete’s foot is a very common infection of the foot. It is caused by a simple fungus, which is a mold-like growth in the skin. This fungus can cause red, cracked skin that may itch or burn, or weeping water-filled blisters on the foot. It also may cause a white, wet irritation between the toes. It may infect the toenails, causing them to become discolored and thickened.
This condition is contagious and can be picked up or transferred almost anywhere. It often is transferred between members of the same family. Untreated athlete’s foot can lead to severe bacterial infection, especially in diabetics and patients with circulatory problems. Therefore, prompt treatment is recommended to cure this disease and prevent reinfection of the patient or family members.
Contact dermatitis is an inflammation of the skin due to exposure to an irritating substance. This usually is due to a combination of reduced ability of the skin to resist injury, and contact with a material to which the individual is sensitive. Irritants include nylon and synthetic compounds used in manufacturing of shoes. Treatment consists of identifying and removing the offending material and medicating the skin to alleviate the inflammation, reducing the rash, blisters or other symptoms.
If skin problems are affecting your feet, perhaps a podiatrist can help. We make it easy for you to find out. Here’s how…
The physicians and staff of the A Step Ahead Foot & Ankle Centers maintain two complete podiatric clinical facilities and provide 24-hour emergency service. We participate in most health plans including Blue Cross Blue Shield, Medicare, and Medicaid. We complete and file all necessary insurance forms and make every effort to assure you of maximum benefits with minimum out-of-pocket expense.