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By Crofton Podiatry
February 06, 2019
Category: skin conditions

Every person’s skin is different. The way they react to the moisture, or lack thereof, can be very different. Some people develop rashes, while others become very itchy and scaly. That’s why there are so many different kinds of moisturizing solutions out there!

The skin on your feet will most likely react the way it does everywhere else on your body. If the air is dry, the parts of your body that are most exposed to the elements are likely to respond by drying out.

Here are some causes for dry feet and what you can do about them:

  • Dry air – Especially in the winter, the air can become dry. With humidity levels dropping, your skin needs more moisture. Apply a moisturizer such as lotions or creams more often than you do during the summer. Additionally, try your best not to expose your skin to dry windy air for too long, as that will make the dryness worse.
  • Overexertion and/or dehydration – Much physical activity can cause your body to overheat resulting in lots of sweating to help you cool down. If you are not hydrated enough, excessive sweating can lead to dry skin, due to dehydration. Make sure that you drink adequate amounts of water each day – about 8 – 8oz glasses per day.
  • Skin conditions – If you have skin issues like eczema or psoriasis, you are more likely to have rashes and/or dry, flaky skin. It can even lead to painfully cracked heel fissures. Be sure to stay on top of moisturizing, and if necessary, topical medications. Drink plenty of water each day.
  • Skin infection – If dry skin is because of an infection like Athlete’s foot, be sure to treat the source of the problem right away. Use over-the-counter antifungal creams at the first sign of symptoms. If they are not effective, come in so that we can prescribe you a stronger treatment.
  • Health conditions – Some health conditions can have a side effect of dry skin. Diabetes is one of the conditions that can lead to dry skin. The lack of circulation can cause problems for bringing necessary fluids and nutrients to nourish your skin. Ask your doctor how you can help your dry skin when you’ve got diabetes.

If you’ve got persistent dry skin and only using moisturizers doesn’t seem to be working, try some of these home remedies to help your dry skin.

  • Set up a nice warm footbath. Soak for at least 10 minutes and then gently scrub areas of dry skin with a pumice stone. Make sure you moisturize your feet after drying them off.
  • Add Epsom salt, apple cider vinegar, or honey to the foot soak. These can help to increase moisture absorption, as well as help keep infections at bay.  
  • Use paraffin wax to seal in moisture while you sleep.

Got persistent dry feet that won’t heal up no matter what you try? Make an appointment with our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brad Toll to help you find treatment for your dry feet. Call Crofton Podiatry at (410) 721-4505, which provides services to Crofton, Gambrills, Odenton, and Bowie, MD areas.

Heading to the beach this weekend? Don’t forget to put sunblock on your feet too!

There’s a reason why your skin is the body’s largest organ. It covers every inch of us, giving us information about the outside world, through the magic of touch. But that also means that in addition to soft and cuddly sensations, the skin is also exposed to harsh elements like the sun, rough surfaces, friction from shoes, pathogens, and anything you might be allergic to.

The skin on your feet are susceptible to the following:

  • Blisters, rash, or hives: Allergies can cause your skin to react to certain substances like sock materials or grass. You may feel itchy at the contact location, and pain if blisters occur in response to allergic contact dermatitis.
  • Athlete’s foot: Dry, itchy skin near the toes (as with Athlete’s foot) can be caused by the fungus, tinea. The same fungus can get into the toenails, causing brittle, discolored toenails, or fungal toenails.
  • Rash: Athlete’s foot can be a cause for a rash on the feet, but autoimmune skin diseases like eczema and psoriasis can also cause dry, itchy, scaly skin and rash.
  • Corns and calluses: These are caused by chronic friction, typically on the toes or near the balls of the feet. As a preventative measure, the skin thickens and can become painful and unsightly.
  • Smelly feet: Foot odor usually occurs when there is an overgrowth of bacteria or fungi. They can be contracted in communal areas such as locker rooms or community pools and can live in your socks and shoes. If you tend to sweat throughout the day, especially if you have hyperhidrosis, there’s a good chance that the bacteria and fungi thrive and make things stinky. They can also cause an infection!
  • Infection: Any cuts, scrapes, or large wounds are susceptible to attack by bacteria, fungi, or viruses. Any open skin allows for pathogens to enter and cause problems for your skin, including ulcers.
  • Warts: If you an open wound on your foot comes into contact with a surface in which someone else with warts has touched it, you are at risk of getting warts on your feet too. They can come and go on their own, but warts can become painful and continue to live in your body if not properly treated.
  • Malignant melanoma: While not commonly found on the foot, it is still possible to find an unusual looking mole on your feet, especially if your feet are often exposed to the sun.
  • Dry skin and heels: Just like the rest of your skin, your feet might become dry as well. The most commonly dry area of your feet is the heel. When you’ve got heel fissures, your heels can become dry and cracked, even causing you pain.

If you’ve noticed some changes in the skin of your feet, make an appointment at our Crofton, MD office to see our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brad Toll. At Crofton Podiatry, we will use the latest treatment options to assess and take care of your foot and ankle care needs. Our Crofton, MD office serves the surrounding areas of Gambrills, Odenton, and Bowie, MD.

 

By Crofton Podiatry
January 10, 2018
Category: Heel Pain

When it comes to foot problems, the balls of the feet and the heels tend to incur many of the most common issues. The heels in particular are prone to pain from heel spurs and discomfort from the surrounding soft tissues (Achilles tendon, plantar fascia). It’s important to pay attention to these problems so that they don’t lead to chronic issues or get worse.

And speaking of problems that can get worse, don’t forget about the skin that covers the heels. The skin is subject to a lot of wear and tear and can incur damage and irritation as well. The following are heel skin problems and what might cause them:

  • Blisters: Those who wear high heels may be all too familiar with blisters that form on the back of their heels. Actually, many shoes with closed heel cups that do not have padding can cause painful blisters. And don’t forget about shoes with thin straps in the back – they can cause blisters, but also dig into the skin if they are too tight.
  • Heel callus: When the heel endures friction or irritation, the skin around the area can thicken and harden. Ill-fitting shoes, repetitive motions, or standing for a long period of time can put extra pressure on the bottom of the heels, leading to thickened skin. However, the thicker it gets, the drier and more uncomfortable it can become. Those with diabetes with peripheral neuropathy are prone to developing calluses, as they lose sensation in their feet and do not make adjustments to reduce friction on their heels.
  • Heel fissures (dry, cracked heels): Friction and continuous rubbing of the skin around the heels can also cause heel fissures. This is common when wearing open-backed shoes, such as sandals, which can leave the skin on the feet to become dry. When the heels are dry and friction is present, the skin can crack and bleed. This uncomfortable and painful condition should be treated promptly to prevent worse symptoms, like ulcers. Those with skin disorders like psoriasis or eczema should be more attentive to the skin on their feet as they are more likely to have problems with dry, cracked heels that take a long time to heal.

The cold, dry winter air can make heel skin problems worse. Moisturize your feet nightly with foot creams to relieve discomfort and nourish the skin. Additionally, use padding and orthotic inserts to relieve pressure on the parts of the heels that may be affected. Orthotics can help keep the feet in place, reducing the friction that is caused when your feet slide around in the back of the shoe. 

Having recurring skin problems on your heels this winter? Consult with our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brad Toll at Crofton Podiatry to get the right treatment. Make an appointment at our Crofton, MD by calling (410) 721-4505. Our team is ready to assist you at our office, which also serves the surrounding Gambrills, Odenton, and Bowie areas.

By Crofton Podiatry
July 06, 2016
Tags: heel fissures  

Now that sandal and flip flop season are in full swing, you may be experiencing dry, cracked heels – or worse, dry and cracked skin all around the sole of your foot. This is also known as heel fissures. Unless there is bleeding or infections, there are some home remedies that you can try in order to prevent or reduce them.

If you do experience extreme dryness, pain, bleeding, or infections, you should contact our board-certified podiatrist, Brad Toll, D.P.M. at our office in Crofton, MD. He will help you find the right treatment for your heel or sole of the foot.

For those of you who are not extreme, you may try these tips at home.

  1. Make sure you drink lots of fluids each day to stay hydrated.

  2. Soak your feet in warm, soapy water and then use a pumice stone to scrub off the dead skin cells.

  3. Use antibacterial soap to keep any infections at bay.

  4. Paraffin Wax can also help to retain moisture while you sleep.

  5. Add Epsom Salt to any baths, and maybe any other time you do a foot soak.

  6. Or add Honey to any baths!

  7. Apple cider vinegar or lemon juice can also aid in softening the skin and killing some bacteria that is nearby.

Even with these methods available, some dry skin may persist even when treating the heel fissures. You can make an appointment with us at our Crofton Podiatry office by calling (410) 721-4505. Dr. Toll will work with you to find the right treatment for your feet.




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2411 Crofton Lane, Suite 25
Crofton, MD 21114

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