Common foot ailments runners should watch for:
Athlete’s Foot: This fungal skin disorder causes dry, cracking skin between the toes, itching, inflammation and blisters. It can be prevented and controlled by washing the feet regularly and carefully drying between the toes; switching running shoes every other day to allow them to dry; wearing socks made with synthetic material instead of cotton; and applying over-the-counter ointments.
Toenail Problems: Ingrown nails can cause inflammation and possible infection and usually are treated by cutting the corner of the nail with sterile clippers. Black toenails happen when a blood blister forms under the nail from trauma, and it’s best to let the nail fall off by itself. Fungal toenails are yellow, brown or black and sometimes are irregularly shaped and thick. They are best treated with oral anti-fungal medications.
Foot Odor: There are more than 250,000 sweat glands in the foot and daily hygiene plus regular changing of shoes and socks are best for controlling sweat and odor. Runners should avoid wearing cotton socks and running without socks. Foot powders, aerosols antiperspirants and vinegar soaks also are helpful.
Blisters, corns and calluses: Never pop blisters unless they are larger than a quarter or are painful or swollen. Use a sterile instrument to lance the corner, leave the top as a biological dressing, wash, apply antibiotic ointment, and cover with a Band-Aid. Corns and calluses are caused by repeated friction, and should be treated by aseptically trimming the dead skin and eliminating the underlying cause.
Contact Dr. Cindric's office in Greensburg at 724-832-1000 or Irwin at 724-863-0996 for more information.