Posts for: November, 2017
You've had them before, and you'd like to be rid of them for good. What are they? The medical term is verrucas, but your Howell, NJ, podiatrist will call them plantar warts. All you know is that they hurt. At Family Foot Health Center in Howell, podiatrists Dr. Richard Lesser and Dr. William Hoffman diagnose and treat plantar warts, giving patients the clear skin they like and the pain free feet they deserve. Learn more here about these nuisance skin lesions.
The details on warts
Physicians at the Cleveland Clinic say that millions of people of all ages suffer from plantar warts. These rough, circular, raised bumps are totally benign, but because they start on the skin surface and grow inward, they become painful and particularly so when located on the soles of the feet. In addition, warts are usually dark in color, may be spotted, and grow into clusters when not treated. So warts are unsightly as well.
Verrucas are highly contagious, being caused by the Human Papillomavirus, the same microoganism linked to oral and cervical cancers and some STDs. Warts, however, are not cancerous but simply pop up on broken areas of the skin easily penetrated by germs.
The American Board of Podiatric Surgery says that cryosurgery (freezing) and cautery (burning) are typical treatment options for plantar warts. Alternatively, Dr. Lesser or Dr. Hoffman may prescribe topical creams or ointments (commonly containing salicylic acid) to lift warts off the skin surface. Avoid over the counter preparations.
The best way to treat plantar warts, however, is preventing them from forming in the first place. While basic foot care cannot guarantee you never will develop plantar warts, your Howell, NJ, podiatrists advise these steps toward clearer, healthier and more comfortable feet:
- Wash your feet daily with soap and water, and dry them completely, especially between the toes.
- Examine your feet for any changes in skin color, roughness, cracks, bumps or anything that seems different about your normal foot configuration.
- Apply moisturizer to the entire foot surface every day.
- Wear shoes when walking out doors.
- Wear flip flops in public showers and around any swimming pool, sauna or hot tub.
- Change to clean, moisture wicking socks daily, or whenever they get wet or sweaty.
Keep your feet that way. See your podiatrist in Howell, NJ, at least yearly, or if you are diabetic, as the doctor recommends. For an appointment at Family Foot Health Center, call (732) 370-1100.
The feet have more sweat glands than any other part of the body, which means they have the ability to sweat profusely. With your feet encased in your shoes all day and the sweat unable to evaporate, bacteria will begin to grow rapidly. Bacteria then begins to break down the sweat, generating an unpleasant odor. Other factors can contribute to increased perspiration, including anxiety, hormonal changes, medications and various skin conditions.
Foot odor is a common problem, especially among those who perspire excessively, but it can be both embarrassing and physically uncomfortable. If you suffer from foot odor, rest assured that simple lifestyle changes and improved personal hygiene can help reduce and eliminate the smell.
Easy Ways to Eliminate Foot Odor
Since most foot odor is caused from excess sweat and the growth of odor-causing bacteria, it's relatively easy to control and reduce foot odor on your own. Start by taking the following preventative steps:
- Keep your feet clean by washing them with an antibacterial soap on a regular basis to minimize bacteria.
- Keep feet dry as moisture enables the growth of bacteria.
- Alternate shoes and avoid wearing the same pair for multiple days in a row.
- Choose open shoes such as sandals when possible, allowing air onto the feet which evaporates sweat and slows the growth of bacteria.
- Wear cotton socks which wick away moisture and absorb perspiration.
- Apply foot sprays and powders to the feet. Ask your podiatrist for recommended products.
- Disinfect, wash and discard foul smelling shoes as necessary.
The causes of foot odor are typically not harmful to your health, but do create an environment for the growth of fungus and bacteria. It's not unusual for infections such as toenail fungus and athlete's foot to develop as a result.
When improving your foot hygiene doesn't help reduce the smell, you may need to visit your podiatrist, as persistent foot odor can indicate an infection or a severe case of hereditary sweating. In these cases, a prescription ointment may be required to treat the problem. Visit our office, and we'll work with you to determine the cause and most effective treatment for your condition!