Foot Skin and Nail Care

Foot Skin and Nail Care

Foot Skin and Nail Care
Taking good care of your feet and toenails can ward off calluses, athletes foot and other problems. For people with diabetes, good foot care is particularly important. Wash and dry your feet daily with mild soap and warm water. Cut toenails straight across after bathing and pat feet thoroughly dry, then apply a soothing lotion. Wearing comfortable shoes and roomy socks made from natural fibers like cotton and wool will allow moisture to escape and help avoid athletes foot and calluses. So will using talcum powder and wearing sandals in public areas like locker rooms.

Recently Answered

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    AUCLA Health answered
    For athlete's foot infections that involve the sole of the foot, prescription oral medication may be prescribed. It is also helpful to wash feet and keep them dry and in the open air to inhibit the fungus from growing. Maintaining a disinfected environment to discourage fungal infection is ideal but not always feasible.

    Parents should talk to their children about how common these infections are in order to get them to recognize symptoms and seek treatment before the rash becomes more bothersome and uncomfortable.
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    AUCLA Health answered
    Doctors can generally diagnose athlete’s foot just by looking at the infected feet. Athlete’s foot can also be diagnosed by scraping the affected skin and looking at it under a microscope to see if the fungus is present.

    Not all foot skin problems are athlete’s foot. If you suspect your child (especially a pre-teen) has athlete’s foot, it is a good idea to have a doctor take a look in order to make a correct diagnosis.
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    AUCLA Health answered

    Athlete’s foot is a very common rash on the skin of the foot. Most people, especially teenage boys, are likely to contract athlete’s foot at some point in their lives. Athlete’s foot is rare in pre-teens.

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    A Michael Roizen, MD, Internal Medicine, answered
    Walking with plantar warts can feel like walking with a pointy rock in your shoe. That's because these warts grow inward from your sole (the plantar surface of your foot).

    Several treatments are available for the elimination of plantar warts, but while you wait for the treatment to work, exercise like a mermaid: Do water aerobics. They'll give you a real workout without putting a load on your feet. So will doing floor moves, such as crunches and bicycles. You’ll break a sweat, but your feet won’t touch the floor.
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    Nail care refers to the proper maintenance of the fingernails and toenails. Nail care is important because it helps prevent nail problems, such as fungal nail infections and ingrown toenails. However, in some cases, nail problems are symptoms of an underlying medical condition, such as an infection throughout the body.

    The fingernails and toenails help protect the fingers and toes. The nails are made up of several different parts. The nail plate is the largest and most visible part of the nail. It is the hard part that covers the tips of the fingers. The nail bed is the skin that is beneath the nail plate. The nail folds are the skin that surrounds the three sides of each nail. The cuticle is the thin u-shaped tissue that overlaps the nail plate at the base of the nail. It protects new nail as it grows from the nail bed. The lunula is the white-colored half-moon shape at the base of the nail beneath the nail plate.

    The nails start growing underneath the cuticle, in what is called the matrix. As new cells grow, older cells harden and are pushed out to become part of the nail plate. On average, nails grow about 0.1 millimeters daily. In other words, if a nail falls off, it takes about 4-6 months for it to completely grow back.

    Nails are considered healthy if they are smooth and uniform in color and consistency. Healthy nails do not have ridges or grooves, and they do not have spots or discoloration.

    In order to maintain healthy nails, it is recommended that individuals keep the nails clean, trimmed, and moisturized. Moisturizing the nails helps prevent the nails from becoming brittle and breaking or cracking. Although nail biting does not usually cause nail problems, it is not recommended. In some cases, nail biting may worsen a nail condition, such as an infection around the nail bed.

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    A James Ioli, DPM, Podiatric Medicine, answered
    If you have a foot blister so large and painful that it interferes with walking, seek medical help. Also seek help if you notice that the fluid in the blister is not clear but looks more like pus, or if you develop a fever. These are signs of infection. If you have a blister that itches, or what appears to be a rash of blisters spreading across your foot, the problem may be athlete's foot or some other disorder. In any of these situations, consult your doctor or foot care specialist.
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    A James Ioli, DPM, Podiatric Medicine, answered
    Symptoms of a foot blister include:
    • Soft, fluid-filled bubble of skin at a part of the foot exposed to friction
    • Fluid that is usually clear, but may contain traces of blood
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    A Christopher Chiodo, MD, Orthopedic Surgery, answered
    The best way to prevent blisters on your feet is to wear shoes that fit comfortably -- not so tight as to cause continuous pressure, and not so loose that they slide up and down your heel when you walk. Also, make sure your feet remain dry during the day, since moist feet tend to "stick" to the shoe and worsen rubbing. Wear socks or stockings to pad the skin and minimize any friction as you walk. If you are prone to blisters or know that particular shoes cause problems, use petroleum jelly to lubricate the skin in a problem area, or foot powder to keep your feet dry. You can also protect the skin at problem spots using bandages or moleskin.
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    A James Ioli, DPM, Podiatric Medicine, answered
    Just like the rest of your body, your feet change with age. The skin grows thinner and drier; the nails may become thicker or more brittle. You can't do much about these changes. But you can exercise or massage your feet to increase circulation. Pay attention to nutrition, too -- if nails are thick and yellow, it may indicate a health problem. Another good idea is to moisturize feet regularly.
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    A Christopher Chiodo, MD, Orthopedic Surgery, answered
    As you move into your 50s, 60s, and beyond, your skin may begin to dry out. Unless you moisturize your feet on a regular basis with creams or lotions, you may develop cracks and fissures in the skin. Not only is this painful, but it can also make you more susceptible to viruses and bacteria that enter through breaks in the skin and cause infection.