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.

Are You at Risk for Plantar Warts?

The first step in preventing any toenail or skin condition is understanding how and why it develops. It’s not any different when it comes to preventing a wart, so today Dr. Hubert Lee of CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists is sharing information regarding various risk factors for plantar warts.

There are many misconceptions when it comes to how a wart develops. The myth that frogs cause warts likely stems from the fact that certain toads have bumps that look similar to warts found on humans.

So if warts don’t come from frogs or toads, where do they come from?

Simply put, plantar warts are caused by a few different strains of a widespread virus known as HPV. Interestingly enough, not every person responds to those strains in the same manner, meaning that a strain that produces warts in one person might not do the same thing for someone else.

It only takes a minor cut, abrasion, or scrape to provide a way for one of these tiny organisms to enter your body, and when it does, you will begin to notice one of the unsightly growths.

Considering that, a noticeable risk factor for plantar warts is having any type of skin damage that provides entry for the virus. Technically, anyone can get plantar warts, but those who are at higher risk include:

  • Teenagers and children;
  • People who have had plantar warts before;
  • Individuals who have a compromised immune system;
  • Individuals who walk barefoot in places where they are exposed to a wart-causing virus.

The virus – much like bacteria and fungus – is often found in damp, warm environments where it thrives such as gym locker rooms, indoor pool decks, and communal showering areas. The good news is that you can lower your risk factor for developing a plantar wart by wearing clean shower shoes or sandals in these places.

Almost everyone develops a wart at some point, so it’s tricky to completely prevent this from happening. If you already have a plantar wart on your foot, or you get one in the future, the best course of action is to visit us for safe removal. Contact the office of Dr. Hubert Lee at CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists today at (425) 455-0936 to book an appointment or schedule it online.

Our Simple Guide To Treatment of Plantar Warts

Have you noticed what you think could be a wart on the bottom of your foot? If it’s making you self-conscious, you should know that plantar warts are widespread and easily treated! Today Dr. Hubert Lee of CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists is sharing a simple guide regarding the treatment of this common condition.

Plantar warts are so common because catching the virus can be as easy as going barefoot at the pool or gym locker room. The virus can easily be transferred if the plantar wart has a small nick or open cut on it.

At-Home Treatment for Plantar Warts

Depending on the individual and how severe the wart is, it can often be treated through continued use of OTC wart removal medications such as Compound W.

You may have observed that the bottoms of your feet have incredibly thick skin that is difficult to penetrate. Unfortunately, this thick skin is the reason the virus is so good at staying hidden from your immune system.

The goal of most wart treatments is to rub the surface of the skin to stimulate your immune system so it can attack the virus better than if you were to leave it alone.

When To See A Podiatrist for Treatment of Plantar Warts

Plantar warts are most commonly located on the bottom of the feet, so they can be irritating and painful to walk on. The virus isn’t typically treated quickly, especially at home.

So if you don’t want to feel like you’re walking on a small pebble for the next 1 to 6 months, more aggressive and professional treatment is recommended.

If you’ve seen your podiatrist and have been diagnosed with a plantar wart, you will likely be given some of these treatments:

  • Prescribed oral or topical medications;
  • Cryotherapy (freezing);
  • Laser therapy;
  • Surgical removal;
  • Acid treatments.

There’s no need to be embarrassed if you have a plantar wart. As long as you take preventive measures such as wearing shoes in public areas such as locker rooms, public showers, pools, and gyms you won’t need to worry about the virus lodging itself into your foot.

You don’t have to be self-conscious anymore!  Contact the office of Dr. Hubert Lee at CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists today at (425) 455-0936 to book an appointment or schedule it online.