Breaching Your First Defenses
What’s one thing your feet have in common with every other area of your body? They are protected by your skin. This enormous organ protects your body from a whole host of problems. On your feet it takes quite a beating! Your skin must put up with the wear and tear of being walked on regularly. Sometimes issues occur and your skin becomes damaged or infected. Fortunately, Pequest Foot and Ankle Specialists can diagnose and treat a host of skin conditions on your feet.
Common Skin Concerns
Your skin is your first line of defense against infections and injuries to your internal structures. When it’s healthy and doing its job, bacteria is kept out. When it becomes compromised, you are vulnerable to many uncomfortable issues. Different injuries and stresses can cause problems with the skin on your feet. Some of the most common include:
Blisters — These fluid-filled bumps form under the top layers of skin. Typically they are the result of friction and pressure causing irritation, but extreme heat or cold can also cause them to develop. Ruptured blisters can open the body to infection.
Calluses — Spot of dead skin build up to form calluses in areas that consistently experience a lot of pressure. They are especially common on the soles of the feet. Though they are intended to protect your skin from rubbing and pressure, they can actually cause discomfort.
Corns — Similar to calluses, these are areas of built-up dead skin. They tend to be small and occur in non-weight bearing areas of the foot. Typically they have a hardened, sometimes pointed center surrounded by irritated skin. Generally they can be very painful to press on and may make wearing shoes uncomfortable.
Frostbite — In extreme cold, your body tissues can actually freeze. This occurs in the extremities first—your hands, feet, ears, and nose—as your body constricts blood flow to those areas (to both prevent heat from escaping) and spends more energy protecting your vital organs. As your feet freeze, they become numb. They may appear waxy and white, or grey if the damage is severe. Without prompt treatment, frostbite can lead to tissue death.
Fungus — Fungus exists all over in the environment. Any place that is warm and damp can become a breeding ground for fungi. If your feet offer a hospitable atmosphere, the microorganisms can grow on your skin. These infections can cause multiple conditions and require targeted treatment to deal with the problem.
Warts — These benign masses are caused by a virus that enters the body through a small breach in the skin. Though not particularly dangerous, they can be quite uncomfortable and unsightly. Warts located on the bottom of the foot receive a lot of pressure from body weight and can make walking or wearing shoes unpleasant.
Pequest Foot and Ankle Specialists treats other skin conditions including:
Your skin is incredibly important for protecting your feet from a wide variety of problems. When it isn’t able to do its job well, your feet and mobility can suffer. Don’t ignore pain or visible changes in the surface of your feet and risk further damage that will be harder to treat. Instead, contact us in Belvidere for an appointment or more information. Call (908) 475-8750 or visit our online contact page to reach us.