It’s Fungal Disease Awareness Week: Common Infections of the Foot

No matter how clean you keep your feet, they are constantly in contact with microorganisms that can cause infection. Bacteria and fungus are the most common offenders. Because this is Fungal disease Awareness Week, Dr. Hubert Lee of CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists is sharing information regarding the most common foot infections.

Fungal Foot Infections: These are familiar to many of us who may have picked up a toenail or foot infection in a spa or locker room. The foot, particularly between the toes, provides the perfect environment for infection. All it takes for the infection to develop is for the foot to come in contact with a contaminated surface.

Athlete’s Foot: When itchiness, flaking, and a rash develops between the toes, it is most often related to a common condition known as athlete’s foot. The fungus thrives in moist, warm environments such as saunas and gyms and can flourish in sweaty shoes and socks. It is very contagious and can be easily spread through contaminated towels, clothing, or floors.

Toenail Fungus: This fungal infection typically slowly grows underneath the toenail. Its symptoms include a yellowish or white discoloration, and the flaking and thickening of the nail, which separates from the nail bed. It often accompanies athlete’s foot and is more common in people with a weakened immune system.

Bacterial Foot Infections: While somewhat less common than a fungal infection, a bacterial foot infection can sometimes become serious, and develop from a local infection to a systemic one. Most are established through abrasions or breaks in the skin, often as a result of a penetrating wound.

Foot Abscess: Bacterial foot infections sometimes consolidate into a pocket of pus known as an abscess. This is most often caused by a puncture wound or the infection of a hair follicle.

Cellulitis: This is a potentially serious skin condition in which a local bacterial infection spreads from the site of the initial wound. It typically starts as a small area of inflammation that quickly spreads to surrounding tissues.

If you’re dealing with one of these or any other foot issues, contact the office of Dr. Hubert Lee at CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists to schedule a consultation. Call our office today at (425) 455-0936 to book your visit or schedule an appointment online.

Identifying Your Foot Pain

Most people would rather not discuss their feet or the problems they may have with them. But we rely on our feet every day to get us from place to place and do the things we do. Because September is Pain Awareness Month, today, Dr. Hubert Lee of CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists is sharing information regarding different causes of foot pain.

We might not think too much about our feet until they begin to hurt and prevent us from carrying out our daily activities.

Following are the various types of condition and how to prevent and treat them. 

Achilles Tendinitis: Activities such as changing from soft to hard surfaces and running can cause this condition. Reducing the pain can be as easy as icing, resting, and taking an OTC pain reliever.

Bunions: Common causes include hereditary, heeled shoes, and gender. Relief includes padding, wearing footwear with a wider and a deeper toe box, ice, and pain medication.

Gout: Sharp pain, sudden tenderness, and increasing inflammation are common symptoms. Gout can be relieved using injections and anti-inflammatory drugs. Keeping hydrated, limiting alcohol intake, and maintaining a healthy body weight all can decrease the risk of gout.

Ingrown Toenail: To treat ingrown toenails, you will want to keep the area as clean as possible and to wedge a piece of gauze in between the nail and the wet skin. If the condition doesn’t improve, it’s time to see your podiatrist for expert treatment.

Neuroma: Morton’s neuroma is a noncancerous growth of nerve tissue typically found between the third and fourth toes. The symptoms include a burning sensation, numbness, or tingling between the toes and in the ball of the foot. With basic treatment, the neuroma should clear up naturally, though more severe cases can lead to injection therapy or surgery.

Plantar Fasciitis: When the area is strained or injured, the foot becomes weak and inflamed. Common treatments include new footwear, arch supports, physical icing feet and in severe cases, steroids, splints or surgery.

Athlete’s Foot: This condition is usually found around foot soles, in between toenails and toes. Symptoms include redness, burning, flaking, cracking, or itchy skin at the bottom of the feet. Antifungal creams should clear up the affected problem.

There are many types of podiatry conditions out there, and it can be challenging to determine which one you might be experiencing. The easiest and safest way to diagnose foot pain is to visit a podiatrist as early as possible.

If you’re dealing with one of these or any other foot issues, contact the office of Dr. Hubert Lee at CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists to schedule a consultation. Call our office today at (425) 455-0936 to book your visit or schedule an appointment online.

What You Need to Know About Aging Feet

Our feet will carry us around 110,000 miles throughout our life – that’s over 216,000 steps! It’s certainly no wonder that as we age, our feet begin to experience challenges. Because September is Healthy Aging Month, today Dr. Hubert Lee of CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists is sharing information regarding what you need to know about your feet as you age.

Examples of the most common foot issues for the elderly include the following: 

Arthritis: Osteoarthritis can affect various joints, and the feet are no exception. Women are more at risk for the condition as they age.

Additional risk factors include:

  • Past injury to the ankle or foot;
  • Obesity;
  • Bunions;

Gout: This condition is an autoimmune disease that can cause excruciating pain and discomfort due to amassed acid crystals surrounding a joint, most often in the big toe.

Dry Skin: When left untreated, dry skin on the feet can cause discomfort when walking and allow bacteria to form, raising the possibility of an infection. Moisturizing your feet regularly before the skin becomes cracked often helps.

Flat Feet: Flat feet produces swelling and pain within the inner ankle and the arch of the foot. In some cases, it also causes these symptoms, upward through the lower back, knee, and hip. It can cause a senior to have stability and balance issues and increase the possibility of sprains in the ankles and feet.

Toenail Changes: As we age, toenails often get thicker and become more brittle, making them more difficult to clip. They also often develop ridges and cracks and change in color.

Condensed Achilles Tendon: The Achilles tendon can lose water in the aging process, which can shorten them and make them more susceptible to tears or ruptures, substantially less flexible, and create a flat-footed gait.

Make the first step to improving the foot health of your senior loved one! Contact the office of Dr. Hubert Lee at CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists to schedule a consultation. Call our office today at (425) 455-0936 to book your visit or schedule an appointment online.