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Posts for category: Foot Conditions

By Michael Gittleson DPM
January 15, 2019
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: Athlete's Foot  

Athletes FootAthlete's foot is one of the most common fungal infections of the skin and is frequently seen in our office. Whether you've had it or not, it's important to understand how you can avoid and treat this highly contagious infection if you do contract it.

The fungus that causes athlete's foot thrives in damp, moist environments and often grows in warm, humid climates, such as locker rooms, showers and public pools; hence the name "athlete's foot. " This infection can itch and burn causing the skin on your feet and between your toes to crack and peel.

Tips For avoiding Athlete's Foot:

  • Keep your feet dry, allowing them to air out as much as possible
  • Wear socks that draw moisture away from your feet and change them frequently if you perspire heavily
  • Wear light, well-ventilated shoes
  • Alternate pairs of shoes, allowing time for your shoes to dry each day
  • Always wear waterproof shoes in public areas, such as pools, locker rooms, or communal showers
  • Never borrow shoes due to the risk of spreading a fungal infection


A mild case of athlete's foot will generally clear up on its own with over-the-counter antifungal creams and sprays. But since re-infection is common due to its contagious nature, many people require prescribed anti-fungal medication to effectively treat the infection. Generally, it's always best to consult with your podiatrist before choosing a treatment.

Mild cases of athlete's foot can turn severe and even cause a serious bacterial infection. If you notice your rash has become increasingly red, swollen and painful or you develop blisters and sores, call our office right away. Athlete's foot left untreated could eventually spread to other body parts and infect other people around you.

With the right treatment, you'll be cured of your athlete's foot in no time, which means the sooner you can enjoy the activities you love without pain and irritation!

By Michael Gittleson DPM
December 18, 2018
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: Ingrown Toenail  

Have an ingrown toenail? An ingrown toenail is a condition in which the nail grows into the skin. Ingrown nails usually affect the big toes. Ingrown toenails are a common, painful condition. Dr. Michael Gittleson in Chevy Chase, MD, offers treatments for ingrown nails. Keep reading to find out how we can help if you're dealing with this condition.

1. Antibiotics. In some cases, ingrown toenails break through the skin and allow bacteria to enter the surrounding tissues next to the toenail. The resulting infection is treated with prescription medication. Your podiatrist may recommend using oral or topical antibiotics, especially if your toe is infected or at risk of becoming infected.

2. Lifting the nail. Your doctor may carefully lift the corner of the toenail that's digging into the skin by placing a splint, or cotton wedge, under it. This separates the nail from the skin and helps the nail grow above the skin edge. At home, you will need to replace the material daily.

3. Partial nail removal. For a severe ingrown toenail, your health care provider may remove a portion of your ingrown toenail. Before the procedure, your doctor will numb your toe by injecting it with a local anesthetic. The procedure helps to prevent the ingrown nail from returning.

4. Complete nail removal. If you have chronic pain or the infection returns, your healthcare provider may suggest surgery to remove all of the ingrown nail. Complete removal of the nail is a simple procedure. Before the procedure, your doctor will numb your toe by injecting it with a local anesthetic.

5. Prevention. It's important to try and prevent ingrown toenails whenever possible. When you trim your toenails, you should trim them straight across and avoid rounded corners. The shoes you wear can also help prevent ingrown toenails. You want to wear shoes that are comfortable and give your toes room to move.

Ingrown toenails hurt, but you don't have to suffer. Don't wait! Call Dr. Michael Gittleson at 301-986-4900 today to schedule a consultation in Chevy Chase, MD. We can help you get rid of that ingrown toenail once and for all!

By Michael Gittleson DPM
October 19, 2018
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: Warts  

What Causes Warts?

Got foot warts? Nearly everyone will have a wart at some point in their lives. Warts are typically small, hard skin growths caused by an infection with humanpallilloma virus. Foot warts are treatable. Foot warts are among the most common dermatologic conditions podiatrists treat. Read on to learn about the causes of warts.

An HPV Infection

Common warts are caused by by an HPV infection. Over 100 types of HPV exist. Certain types of HPV infection cause cervical cancer. Some types of HPV infection cause foot warts, while others cause warts that appear on the face, neck, or hands. Of the 100 types of HPV, about 60 cause common warts on areas such as the hands or feet.

Skin-To-Skin Contact

Wart viruses are contagious. You can get foot warts from skin-to-skin contact with people who have warts. However, not all HPV strains are highly contagious. You can get the wart virus by touching an object that another person's wart touched, such as clothing, towels, shoes, or exercise equipment.

Breaks in Your Skin

HPV infects the top layer of skin and usually enters the body in an area of damaged or cut skin. Cuts from shaving can provide an avenue for infection. Getting a scrape can also bring on common warts. Foot warts are very common in swimmers whose feet are scratched by rough pool surfaces.

A Weak Immune System

In most cases, your immune system defeats an HPV infection before it creates a wart. Someone with a weakened immune system is more vulnerable and therefore more likely to develop warts. Immune systems can be weakened by HIV or by immunosuppressant drugs used after organ transplants.

If you want to get rid of foot warts, see your podiatrist as soon as possible. Many types of effective wart treatments are available. They include salicylic acid, cantharidin, cryotherapy, laser treatment, and surgery. Your podiatrist can help you get rid of foot warts once and for all!