Podiatric dermatology evaluations
The dermatologic exam is one of the four pillars of a podiatric evaluation. A thorough inspection of the skin from the toes to the legs can reveal a lot.
To the trained eyes, the skin provides information of localized stresses on our bodies.
Some stresses come from the outside world, like infections. Others come from inside, like poor circulation. Still other stresses are caused by the interaction of forces on our skin.
When microorganisms from the outside world stress our skin, infections arise. Fungal infections like athlete’s foot are pretty common in podiatry practices.
Dry skin, discoloration, and flaking are just a few signs. Sometimes people tolerate these issues as only cosmetic, but left untreated they can lead to more serious problems.
Rampant athlete’s foot can lead to cracks in the skin which can get infected with bacteria.
When bacteria start to cause infection, care should not be delayed. Pain, swelling and redness are some telltale signs.
When stress from inside our bodies manifests in our lower extremities, many different presentations can occur.
A good rule of thumb I tell my patients is to compare the skin on their feet and legs to their hands and arms.
They should look the same-ish. If the feet are more pale and dry, maybe poor circulation is the reason.
If the toe tips are blue, Raynaud’s Syndrome might be to blame. If the skin itches with a rash, maybe an allergy should be investigated.
When forces like friction and pressure interact with our skin, the skin responds and forms callus, blisters, or even wounds.
If a corn gets too thick, pain can indicate need for treatment. If a blister or callus is left untreated, wounds can occur leading to even worse outcomes.
Call Sohl Foot & Ankle at 267-699-3839 to make sure your foot health isn’t overlooked.
PHOTO CAP: A thorough skin examination can identify potential problems.