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.

8 Reasons to Take Proper Care of Your Feet

In life, every step counts. Your feet allow you to carry on with your daily activities. Caring for them can sometimes be challenging, but today Dr. Hubert Lee of CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists is sharing information regarding eight reasons why you should take proper care of your feet.

Being aware of how these health conditions can affect your feet will help you keep them healthy and happy.

  1. Diabetes. Diabetes can cause several different foot complications, including neuropathy (that can sometimes result in amputation) and poor circulation.
  2. Arthritis. Arthritis can present itself in several ways, but it’s usually painful, and it can be debilitating. When arthritis attacks your feet, there can eventually be a loss of mobility. It is crucial you visit a podiatrist if you experience the following symptoms:
  • Painful joints;
  • Swollen joints;
  • Difficulty moving a joint;
  • Redness on the joint;
  • Stiffness early in the day;
  • Changes in the skin.
  1. Injury. Ankle and foot injuries, including sprains, fractures, and strains, can cause a loss of support in your feet. Make an appointment with a podiatrist if you have pain or swelling in your feet or ankles or if you experience difficulty walking.
  1. Obesity. Research reveals that more than one-third of Americans are obese. This extra weight puts added pressure on ankles, hips, and knees, leading to more wear and tear on your feet.
  1. Tendon and Muscle Issues. Tendons, bones, and muscles, aid your feet in carrying your weight. If a muscle or tendon in your foot or ankle is injured, even the simple act of walking can become painful.
  2. Skin Disorders. The list of skin disorders are long, but certain skin conditions can result in significant health problems. See a podiatrist if the following skin issues develop:
  1. Toe Joint and Nerve Problems: Pain and numbness – when located in the joints of the toes – can cause a hammertoe, neuroma, or bunions.
  2. Toenail Issues. While they may seem like the least of your worries, toenail issues can cause significant discomfort from toenail fungus or ingrown toenails.

Keep your feet healthy by seeing a podiatrist if you experience any of these 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.

Is It Athlete’s Foot or Psoriasis?

August is Psoriasis Awareness Month, and the condition is often confused with athlete’s foot. But they are two very different conditions. Today, Dr. Hubert Lee of CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists discusses how you can distinguish between the two.

Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that causes the skin cells to grow more quickly than normal, making them accumulate on the skin instead of flaking off. The extra skin cells change into scales or white-silver thick patches that are often itchy, painful, and dry. The condition is typically genetic.

On the other hand, athlete’s foot develops when fungal cells on the skin begin to grow and multiply too quickly. It commonly develops in body areas that are disposed to moisture, such as between the toes.

Symptoms of Athlete’s Foot and Psoriasis

The two conditions have some symptoms in common, but they also have some important differences.

For instance, patches of psoriasis can be large and cover large areas of your body or small and cover just a few tiny areas of skin. Because it’s an autoimmune disease, it isn’t contagious.

Because athlete’s foot is caused by a fungus, it is contagious. You can contract it by coming into contact with infected surfaces, like shoes, gym floors, and clothing.

Tips For Telling The Difference Between Athlete’s Foot And Psoriasis

These points may help you distinguish between athlete’s foot and psoriasis.

  • Affected body areas: If only your foot is affected, you likely have athlete’s foot.
  • Response to antifungal treatment: If the rash doesn’t disappear, you may be dealing with psoriasis or some other issue.
  • Response to no treatment: Psoriasis may be active for a short time, and then the symptoms may vanish. Athlete’s foot rarely goes away without treatment.
  • Diagnosis with testing: The only way to be sure if your symptoms are caused by psoriasis or athlete’s foot or (or something else), is to have a skin test.

If your condition is diagnosed as athlete’s foot, treatment will likely be quick and easy; but if it is psoriasis, treatment will be more involved. Regardless of which condition you are experiencing, you should be treated by an experienced podiatrist. Contact the office of Dr. Hubert Lee at CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists ASAP at (425) 455-0936 to book an appointment or schedule it online.