7 Common Skin Problems of the Feet

There are many different skin problems that can affect your feet, some more common than others. The usual cause of rash or skin lesions on the feet is an infection, whether it's fungal, bacterial, or viral. Simple irritation or allergic reactions are also a fairly common cause of rash. Sometimes these skin conditions have similar characteristics which makes them tricky to identify or treat with OTC products. This is why it's best to seek medical attention for the diagnosis and treatment of these conditions.

Athlete's Foot

Athlete's Foot Information and Treatment. Credit: ourhealthnetwork.com / Getty Images

Tinea Pedis, more commonly known as athlete's foot, is an infection that's caused by fungus. The typical symptoms are an itchy and red rash that usually affects the soles of the feet and in between toes. Chronic tinea pedis causes a scaly rash that can be mistaken for dry skin, whereas acute tinea pedis can cause a painful, red, and blistering rash.

More »


© Catherine Moyer, DPM. Credit: © Catherine Moyer, DPM

The medical term for a wart is verruca plantaris. Warts, or verruca, can be small, singular lesions or large ones that cluster together. They are generally circular and occur on the soles (plantar surface) or sides of the feet. They are often mistaken for a corn or callus because they can have a similar hardened appearance on the surface. The difference is that warts are caused by a virus, and can be difficult to get rid of.

More »

Bacterial Infections

© A.D.A.M. Credit: © A.D.A.M

Bacterial infections of the feet have a variety of presentations. The skin surrounding the toenails are among the most common areas for bacterial infections. An ingrown toenail often leads to a bacterial infection, especially if left untreated. Sometimes bacterial infections are mistaken for athlete's foot because they may have a similar red or painful rash. Certain bacterial infections can spread quickly and require immediate care, especially when associated with a wound.

More »


Toenail Fungus. Credit: &copy: [matka_Wariatka]/[Fotolia]

A toenail fungal infection, or onychomycosis, is a common problem. The classic signs of onychomycosis are nail thickening, discoloration, and changes to the nail's texture, such as flakiness or debris. The infection is likely to extend through the entire nail and affect the skin below, which is why onychomycosis can be difficult to clear-up. Onychomycosis isn't just a cosmetic concern — it often causes pain due to excess shoe pressure and in some cases creates susceptibility to bacterial infection.

More »


A.D.A.M. Credit: © A.D.A.M

Eczema is another rash that has an appearance and symptoms similar to athlete's foot. Eczema can appear as small, circular areas of thick, scaly skin or as larger, less distinct lesions. Eczema can be caused by sensitivity to something the skin has come in contact with, such as a chemical or it can be a reaction to overly moist or dry skin. A common type of eczema is atopic dermatitis, a skin condition that is often experienced in conjunction with allergies or sensitivities.

More »


Rash. Credit: © A.D.A.M

The most obvious cause of blisters is excess friction from shoes, especially with long-distance walking or running. However, blisters on the feet can be a symptom of other conditions as well, such as diabetes, poison ivy, athletes foot, allergic contact dermatitis, and dyshidrotic eczema. In young children, hand, foot, and mouth disease, which is caused by a coxsackievirus, can be a cause of blisters on the soles of the feet.

More »

Corns and Calluses

These are the most common areas where corns and calluses develop on the feet. Credit: © A.D.A.M

Corns and calluses are thickened areas of the skin's uppermost layer, or stratum corneum. They develop in response to areas of excess pressure against the skin, such as on the toes, under the ball of the foot, or heel areas. Sometimes corns can entrap tiny blood vessels or nerves, which makes them either painful or bleed easily when shaved down. Where a corn or callus develops on your feet often points to what type of foot problem you have.

More »

Continue Reading