Skin Conditions of the Foot
Posted: Feb 25, 2021
Skin conditions can affect the foot just like on the skin anywhere on the body can be affected. However, there are a number of unique things about the foot that affects skin conditions. Firstly, there are some skin conditions that are unique to the foot and secondly, there are the more general skin conditions that appear different when they affect the foot. The reason for that uniqueness is the skin on the foot is placed in the dark and moist environment of the shoe and the foot is subjected to a lot more trauma from shoe pressure and accidents than other parts of the body. This means that skin conditions that affect the foot present some unique challenges.
Some of the unique conditions that affect the foot locally are corns and calluses. These are due to too much pressure on different areas of the foot from poor fitting footwear or from foot deformities like bunions and hammer toes. The help of a skilful podiatrist is often needed to help alleviate these types of problems. Fungal infections of the skin and nails are also very common. The fungus that causes these thrives in dark and moist environments, which is the exact environment that you can find inside shoes. The wearing of shoes predisposes to these conditions and therefore trying to treat these problems can be a challenge as you are trying to get rid of a bug that likes the environment that it is in. Going barefoot more often may be needed to help these types of problems in addition to the usual treatments may be needed if it does not respond to treatment. Blisters are also a common skin condition that affects the foot. This is usually a footwear fitting issue combined with higher levels of sports activity or walking a lot in new shoes.
Other skin conditions that affect the rest of the body, get changed by the weight bearing of the foot and the pressure from the shoes. This can affect both the diagnosis of the problem and the treatment of the problem. For example, the warts or verrucae that commonly affect the hands also commonly affect the foot, but they pose a diagnosis challenge as the pressure from weight bearing and the shoes distorts the appearance of them. Psoriasis is a common skin conditions that the sweat of the foot inside the shoes can alter the appearance of that skin condition making it more difficult to diagnose and it can often be confused with a fungal infection. The poorer circulation that the foot gets compared to other parts of the body can also affect the nature of different skin conditions that affect the rest of the body.
Most of these issues were discussed in depth in a recent episode of the podiatry related livestream, PodChatLive in which the hosts of the show had a discussed with the podiatrist, Ivan Bristow. Ivan is widely considered as an expert in the dermatology of the foot and is widely published in this area as well as lecturing internationally.
Craig Payne is a University lecturer, runner, cynic, researcher, skeptic, forum admin, woo basher, clinician, rabble-rouser, blogger and a dad.