Athletes foot, also known as tinea pedis, is a fungal infection of the foot which causes itching, redness, pain, and scaling of the skin. It can occur anywhere in the foot, but is most commonly seen in the web spaces, heel, and sole of the foot. It is common among athletes because excessive sweating in closed toed sneakers creates a breeding ground for fungi which thrive in dark, moist environments. Athletes foot can be frustrating to treat, because fungi are resilient organisms which can colonize shoes and sneakers for long periods of time and cause reinfection.
Luckily, many treatments for athletes foot exist. The mainstay treatment is topical anti-fungal medication. If the infection is found on the sole or heel, topical anti-fungal creams are effective in treating athletes foot. However, if infection is found in the web spaces, a topical solution should be used. This is because creams cause more moisture to be trapped in the web spaces, making the environment conducive to more fungal growth. In more severe cases, or if topical medications fail to manage the infection, a short course of oral anti-fungal medication may be considered.
However, the most effective treatment is prevention. Keeping the feet clean and dry, especially in the web spaces, will help to prevent fungal growth. Be sure to change socks frequently and dry the feet well after bathing or showering. Athletes or those who sweat a lot should consider using talcum powder to prevent excessive sweat or moisture buildup.
Athletes foot can be painful, uncomfortable, and unsightly. Additionally, it can spread to other parts of the body since the fungal organisms that cause athletes foot are also responsible for jock itch, ring worm, and nail fungus. Do not delay management of this pesky infection – seek consultation with one of the doctors of Advanced Podiatry!
Warts are a common yet frustrating issue to treat for doctors and patients alike. They are caused by a virus, typically Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), which invades the skin and causes irregular growth and discoloration. Aside from being unsightly, warts can cause significant pain, especially when they occur on a weight bearing surface of the foot.
Traditional treatments include topical acids such as salicylic acid which cauterize or burn away at the wart. Other topical drugs such as Imiquimod act as immune response modifiers to help the body fight off the wart. However, topical medications often require multiple applications. Additionally, the wart itself must be “debrided” or scraped before application of these topical medicines which can be painful.
Cryotherapy is another common form of treatment for warts in which the warts are frozen. However, this too can be painful for the patient, and medical literature has shown that recurrence rates after freezing a wart can be as high as 30-40%.
Advanced Podiatry is one of the few podiatry groups in New York that offers CO2 laser therapy for management of warts. The CO2 laser emits a precise dose of heat which is used to destroy the wart. The laser also cauterizes the blood vessels which supply warts to prevent them from recurring. While recurrence rates with topical medications and cryotherapy are relatively high, warts treated only once with the CO2 laser rarely return! Because the warts are debrided with the laser rather than a traditional scalpel blade, scarring is minimal and the end result is wart-free skin which is cosmetically pleasing.
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