Podiatric Dermatology - Skin & Nail Assessment & Treatment
Embarrassing skin conditions in the feet - optimised improvement reducing the embarrassment
You may have been living with a skin problem within the foot a long time, that may or may not be painful or embarrassing. You may have seen a recent change in your skin, nails or the underlying tissues. It is wise to get it checked out. We have seen all sorts of problems over our many years of practice.
Paul worked in a hospital and its' Regional Skin Unit over 30 years ago. Ever since, he has a long standing and wide interest in the effects of skin conditions on the foot. He was a member of the Podiatric Dermatology Group and keeps up to date using the web, courses and definitive text books.
There are many possible causes and our special interest in this important area of foot health will help identify the issues and start appropriate treatment.
We have wide experience of lots of skin problems including: itches and rashes, rashes between toes; dry or wet skin types, foot odour with or without soggy skin; distorted, discoloured or diseased nails; lesions - lumps and bumps on, in or under the skin, warts, verrucae; deeply cracked plaques of hard skin.
How we can help
We support the diagnosis and treatment of effects of dermatological conditions within the feet and hands, managing affected nails, skin and tissues. We collect specimens for mycology / pathology. We advise you if you are the patient, or as the parent or carer.
With our increasing use of leisure time at gyms, swimming facilities, hotels, cruise ships, time shares, B & B, caravan and campsites etc., we are exposed to a combination of viral infections (eg verrucae and warts)and fungal infections (eg athletes foot). These are found in each environment, as users move around and shed skin cells which may be infected with fungus or virus ( recent research shows that fungi can still be active even after 18 months away from our bodies). School halls used in the evenings and at weekends for gym, dance, yoga classes etc. may also be infected. Despite 'good housekeeping' at these places, they may not be 'clinically clean'.
There are, also, people who enjoy barefoot walking, in the garden, on algae covered patios and decking or who play field games like soccer, rugby and shower and change in muddy changing rooms. Power jet washers are often used on paths by people with only a pair of old garden shoes or trainers for foot protection. All of these activities can expose people to soil borne bacteria and algae etc..
So, what should we do to protect ourselves? Change your socks at least once a day, if you socks or feet get wet / muddy - put clean dry socks on, when possible, after washing the feet. Use non-slip flip flops or pool shoes rather than going barefoot in accommodation, and wear everywhere - even in the shower. Wear wellies when doing muddy wet jobs outside like washing cars, drives, and watering plants.
If you have a foot health issue related to your lifestyle, when there is no change with over the counter or home remedies, contact us and we will start to sort it out.
Verrucae and Warts
Once you or the person you care for has been diagnosed with verrucae at the first visit, the follow up visits will carry through the treatment plan. Appropriate advice will be given depending on medical history and lifestyle. Each separate verruca or wart needs to be treated and monitored to check they are fading.
Sometimes they are very difficult to treat, regardless of which treatments are used - success is measured in various ways. A course of treatment may be just a few weeks or can last over a year.
We have a success rate of at least 80-85% of feet are cleared of verrucae in the long term.
Dry Cracked Skin
When you attend with the common problem of dry cracked skin, which may be painful, bleeding or can become infected, we will aim to find the underlying cause. There are many causes of cracked skin, which may be due to life style, the environment around the feet, infections, specific dermatological conditions and so on.
The condition can affect any part of the foot; and, as a first aid measure, may benefit from a daily application of an oily or greasy based cream to exposed areas of skin - avoiding the spaces between the toes. When this is not helping, a consultation may be more beneficial.
We will start a course of treatment, using our skills with a scalpel and other instruments to return the skin to a thin supple smooth surface. We will use suitable medicaments based on what we discover and use dressings when needed, backed by advice. You may be given medicaments to use at home.
Moist Skin Conditions
You may have moist skin affecting any part of the foot, the most frequent area affected is between the toes. Occasionally, seen in some adults and regularly seen with teenage children. There may be odour caused by fungi/yeast and / or bacteria on the skin.
The condition may benefit from good foot hygiene, clean socks daily, clean shoe liners, and leather next to your skin in shoes. Airing and ventilating the feet with sandals and cotton socks may help. When these simple measures are not helping a consultation may help.
When you consult us, we will aim to work out what is causing the problem by taking a thorough history to understand what might have caused the problem. We will advise you to manage and reduce the likelihood of recurrence.
Lumps, bumps and moles on the feet
You may have noticed a change in the appearance of your skin in an area around your foot. There are lots of causes of small bumps with or without changes in their colour in the affected area.
Most have simple explanations and are nothing to be concerned about. They may be due to a splinter, insect bite, small wart or verruca, etc.. However, in one out of 4000 cases there can be a cause for concern.
So, it is wise to get any lumpy or bumpy lesion checked out, especially if there is a variety of colour pigments, a change in the size or appearance of the lesion; or,if it has been bleeding recently. If you do not wish to trouble your doctor at this stage, then at least get the professional opinion of a podiatrist.