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5 Common Foot Problems and How to Treat Them

When you consider the amount of time the average person spends on their feet, it’s no wonder that the majority of us will have to deal with some sort of foot problem at one time or another.

While some of these problems can be serious, many other minor problems can be self diagnosed and treated out home. When dealt with properly, foot problems can easily go from unbearable to inconvenience.

At Delray Beach Podiatry, Dr. Ian S. Goldbaum has everything you need to treat common foot problems.

Five common foot problems and how they can be treated

Ingrown Toenails

Keep reading to see how these common foot problems can be treated! []

Keep reading to see how these common foot problems can be treated! []

What is it? An ingrown toenail is caused by the pressure from the ingrowth of the nail edge into the skin of the toe. Once the edge of the nail breaks through the skin, it produces inflammation that can eventually lead to an infection. An ingrown toenail is most often associated with the big toe and is medically referred to as onychocryptosis. An ingrown toenail is often the result of improper trimming and can cause pain, redness and swelling.

How is it treated? Occasionally, ingrown toenails can be treated at home by soaking the toe in room-temperature water — often mixed with Epsom’s salt — and gently massaging the nail fold to help reduce the inflammation. If the pain is severe or spreading, however, your doctor should be consulted.

Ankle Sprains

What is it? At one point or another, it’s more than likely that you’ve dealt with some form of ankle sprain. Most types of ankle sprains occur when the ankle rolls outward and the foot turns inward, causing the ligaments on the outside of the ankle to stretch and tear. These sprains can range from mild to severe, depending on how badly the ligament is damaged and how many ligaments are injured. With most ankle sprains, you feel pain almost immediately and notice swelling and bruising at the site of the tear.

How is it treated? Immediate treatment for ankle sprains is often refereed to as R.I.C.E. (Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation). It is recommend that cold therapy or ice should be applied for 10 to 15 minutes every hour for the first 24 to 48 hours after the injury occurs. Almost all ankle sprains heal on their own with proper home treatment and rehabilitation, but surgery can sometimes be required if there is a severe ligament tear or if the ankle remains unstable.


What is it? A blister is caused by friction between the skin and the inside of a shoe or clothing and is a common problem for runners. A blister on the foot is often the result of shoes that are either too tight or rub the skin in one particular area. The first sign of a blister is redness over the skin – known as a “hot spot” – that serves as an early warning that one is forming.

How is it treated? Most blisters will drain and heal naturally on their own. When dealing with larger blisters, however, it is sometimes necessary to pop and drain the area with a sterilized needed. It is important to drain the fluid, but make sure to leave as much of the skin as possible covering the wound. The remaining skin serves as a protective layer for the underlying skin and will help to prevent infection.

Athlete’s Foot

What is it? Athlete’s foot is a common skin infection of the webs of the toes and soles of the feet. When caused by a fungus, athlete’s foot may also spread to the palms, groin, and body. It is most commonly characterized by cracking and itchy feet, as well as moist, white, scaly lesions or sores between the toes. The risk for getting athlete’s foot increases if you keep your feet wet for long periods of time or sweat a lot. The infection is easily spread and can be passed through direct contact with items or surfaces.

How is it treated? Over-the-counter anti-fungal powders or creams are used to help control athlete’s foot. It is important to keep using medication for one to two weeks after the infection has cleared in order to prevent it from returning. If the infection does not get better in two to four weeks with self-care, it is recommended that you consult a doctor.

Plantar Warts

What is it? Warts are skin growths caused by a virus on the surface of the skin that can be both unsightly and painful. The virus attacks compromised skin through direct contact, entering through possibly tiny cuts and abrasions on the outermost layer of the skin. After infection, warts may remain dormant and not become visible for several weeks. Although both your hands and feet are vulnerable to infection, plantar warts only occur on the soles of feet and toes.

How is it treated? Home treatment for hand warts can often take anywhere from a weeks up to a few months to completely remove the infection. Plantar warts, in particular, are even more challenging to treat because most of the wart lies below the skin surface. A doctor can help expedite the removal process through a variety of treatments including freezing the wart off with liquid nitrogen, removing the wart with laser or surgery, or applying or injecting medicines.

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The content on this website is for informational purposes only. Do not rely or act upon information from without seeking professional medical advice. If you live in South Florida and would like a consultation with Dr. Ian Goldbaum, a podiatric physician and surgeon with over 30 years of experience, please see our contact information below:


16244 S. Military Trail #290, Delray Beach, FL 33445



8198 Jog Road #100, Boynton Beach, FL 33472



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