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We all love our kids, but let's face it, they're not the cleanest creatures in the world. And especially when it comes to their feet. They walk barefoot around the house. Many walk barefoot outside, around the pool deck, at waterparks, and it predisposes them to developing certain skin conditions. The first one I'd like to talk about today is #AthletesFoot. Athletes Foot is very commonly seen in children and is known as tinea pedis. It often presents on the foot as redness, flakiness, peeling, or skin cracking. It's also commonly present on the soles of the feet and in between the toes. Here's the thing, athlete's foot is contagious.
There is treatment for athlete's foot and there are a lot of over-the-counter creams. If over the counter creams don't resolve the issue, then it's time to come into the office. In the office I'm able to prescribe treatments, whether it be topical or sometimes oral.
The best way to avoid treatment for athlete's foot is to prevent it all together. The way you prevent athlete's foot is first of all, keep your feet clean and dry. That it's especially holds true for between the toes, which develops a lot of moisture. We want to protect your feet when you're in public places. Wear flip flops in locker rooms and public showers, pool areas. When it comes to socks, you want to avoid cotton socks, that absorb moisture. You want to make sure your socks are made out of a moisture wicking material.
The second common skin condition that we see in children are #PlantarWarts. Plantar warts are lesions in the feet caused by a form of the HPV virus. The virus infects through small cracks in the skin. It can be just a single lesion or it could be a whole family of warts called the mosaic wart. Warts are common in kids because of the hydration of their skin. And technically, warts are self-limiting. That means they should go away on their own, but instead they often become larger, they spread, and they become painful.
There are many treatments available for plantar warts. There are over the counter treatments and generally they're not successful. Treatments in the office can include the application of a topical acid, cryotherapy, which is freezing the wart, some offices use laser. All these treatments use brute force trying to destroy the wart. The problem is it also affects the healthy skin. That's why in my office, we now use a treatment called Swift microwave therapy. It has a totally different approach to treat the wart. Generally, the proteins of the HPV virus hides it from your immune system. The low dose microwave energy of the Swift system exposes the virus to your immune system, and that allows it to recognize the virus and fight it. Studies show that less than 1% of warts come back after the Swift treatment.
Another very common condition that we see in kids are #IngrownToenails. An ingrown toenail occurs when the toenail embeds into the adjacent skin. This causes pain and inflammation and if left untreated, it can become infected. You inherit the way the nail grows and sometimes the nail is just too wide for the nail bed. Sometimes an ingrown toenail is caused by improper cutting of the nails. Don't let your kids pick on their nails. It's asking for trouble. And ultimately it's going to lead to an ingrown toenail. You also want avoid what I call bathroom surgery. That's when you take your nail clippers or your nail scissors, and you're just put your foot up on the commode and try to go after it. It rarely works. And it often makes it worse.
So how do you know the nail is ingrown? Well, first of all, it hurts. There's going to be pain and you'll see some swelling and redness on the skin around the nail. Sometimes you'll see bleeding or pus coming from the area.
If an ingrown, toenail persists or worsens, it's time to come into the office. In the office, I'm able to do a simple procedure to remove the ingrowing border from the skin. We start off by numbing your toe at the base of it. After the toe is nice and numb, the rest of the procedure is painless. What I do is remove just the extreme border that's causing the problem. It's rarely necessary to remove the entire toenail. After the procedure, you'll soak and dress the toe for about a week. If the ingrown toenail is persistent and recurrent, then there's a permanent procedure that I could do that prevents the nail border from growing back.