Mahaska Health Partnership Shares Common Teen Foot Ailments

Mahaska Health Partnership

MAHASKA COUNTY – As a teenager, changes in your body occur from head to toe. MHP Podiatrist Mark Beers, DPM, explains common foot conditions in teens and how to treat them.

According to Dr. Beers, teens often battle fungus on their feet. “It’s common for teens, especially athletes who spend a lot of time in enclosed shoes, sweating or who share showers with others; to have some form of fungus on their feet,” Dr. Beers explained. “Whether it’s a fungal nail infection or athlete’s foot, these conditions thrive in warm, dark and wet places and can be stubborn to get rid of.

“Teens who share close quarters or even those utilizing community showers in dorm rooms need to take extra precautions to keep their feet clean and dry,” Dr. Beers suggested. “Make sure to dry between your toes after going to the pool or taking a shower. Wear shoes or sandals that allow your feet to breathe and find socks that absorb sweat. If your feet get sweaty, let your shoes air out and wear rubber shoes when using a public shower.”

Plantar warts are another common foot condition for teens. “Plantar warts are caused when a virus enters the body through a cut,” Dr. Beers explained. “They are tough growths that are often tender. These warts are harmless, but often cause pain due to their location and constant pressure or friction.

“The most common way these warts are spread is through either skin-to-skin contact or on public surfaces such as pools and showers,” Dr. Beers explained. “Keep sandals handy whenever you’re in these locations and make sure to wash your feet with a disinfectant soap after being in a communal place. For those who get pedicures, pay attention to the sterilization techniques of the facility you use to prevent the spread of infection from the previous client. If you do develop a painful wart, salicylic acid may help, but a visit to a specialist who can either freeze, burn or use excision to remove them is most effective.”

Ingrown toenails are another common problem for teens and their feet. “An ingrown toenail is exactly as it sounds,” Dr. Beers quipped. “These occur when the toenail grows into the skin and can be very painful, causing redness, swelling and infection. These are commonly caused by cutting your nail too short or not straight across, an injury to the nail or wearing too tight of shoes.

“To prevent an ingrown toenail, remember to always cut your nails straight across and buy properly fitting shoes,” Dr. Beers advised. “If you do develop an ingrown toenail, soak your foot in warm water for 15-20 minutes a few times a day to relieve pain and swelling. Once you’re done, make sure the area is dry and wedge a piece of cotton ball underneath the nail to help lift it off the skin. Apply antibiotic cream to the area and cover it with a bandage. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to remove the infected part of the toenail.”

Podiatrist Mark Beers, DPM, practices full time in the MHP Medical Group. He has been caring for feet in the Oskaloosa area for more than 25 years. Dr. Beers partners closely with Certified Diabetes Education and Wound Ostomy Care professionals, providing an all-encompassing approach to foot health. In his spare time, Dr. Beers enjoys spending time outdoors fishing, hunting and trap shooting. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Beers, call 641.672.3450.

Mahaska Health Partnership, located in Oskaloosa, is a non-profit health system accredited by the Joint Commission. It is guided by its mission to provide exceptional customer service and health improvement, linking the science of medicine with the humanity of compassionate care. For more information about how Mahaska Health Partnership is making healthcare personal, visit mahaskahealth.org.

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Posted by on Mar 28 2017. Filed under Lifestyle, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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