Dermatological issues can be frustrating and complex.

Many issues can be addressed with over-the-counter creams and medicaments, here is some information on some common skin issues.

Pitted Keratolysis

Pitted keratolysis is a skin condition affecting the soles of the feet and, less commonly, the palms of the hands. It is caused by a bacterial infection of the skin and may give off an unpleasant odor.


Gout is a disease in which there is an elevated level of uric acid in the blood and crystals of uric acid are deposited in the cartilage and tissue surrounding joints, kidneys, and skin. These deposits cause inflammation that presents as the sudden development of a swollen, red, hot, tender joint, especially at the big (great) toe (also known as podagra), followed by the ankle, wrist, and knee, that can result in joint damage. Other signs of chronic gout are nodules (solid, raised bumps) called tophi, and kidney stones.

Uric acid is a substance resulting from the breakdown of purines (proteins found in human tissues and in many foods). Elevated uric acid is due to either increased production or decreased excretion by the kidney. The excess uric acid is deposited as needle-like crystals in the cartilage and tissue surrounding joints, in the skin, and in the kidneys.

Plantar Wart (HPV): Symptoms and Treatment

Warts are growths of the skin and mucous membranes (the mouth or genitals) that are caused by a virus known as the human papillomavirus (HPV). The virus causes thickening of the top skin layer. Plantar warts occur on the sole of the foot. They can look and feel like a callus. Plantar warts can be small, or they can grow to cover most of the sole of the foot. They can be painless or may be tender. They may go away on their own, sometimes taking a few months or up to a couple years to resolve.

Warts are usually acquired from person-to-person contact. The virus is not highly contagious but can cause an infection by entering through a small break in the skin. In the same way, warts can be spread to other places on your own body (self-inoculation). The virus can sometimes be transferred by touching an object used by an infected person.


A callus is skin thickening that occurs in response to excessive, repeated force on the skin, commonly due to constant pressure, rubbing, or friction. Certain deformities of the feet, such as crooked toes, may predispose a person to calluses. Calluses may be painful.

Dyshidrotic Eczema (Dyshidrotic Dermatitis)

Dyshidrotic eczema (dyshidrotic dermatitis) is an itchy rash that occurs on the hands (usually the palms and sides of the fingers) and/or the feet. Dyshidrotic eczema manifests as small, itchy, fluid-filled blisters.

Sometimes the blisters are very small, like pinpoints, and sometimes they are larger, covering almost the whole palm or foot. The fluid inside the blister can be clear or white to yellow. It is not known what causes this condition, but it is more common in people with eczema. Even in people without sensitive skin, it seems to be triggered by the same things that trigger eczema: cold, dry air, or contact with irritants that bother the skin. In other people, a warm, moist climate may be the trigger.

Athlete’s Foot (Tinea Pedis)

Athlete’s foot (tinea pedis), also known as ringworm of the foot, is a fungal infection of the superficial layers of the skin of the foot. The most common fungal disease in humans, athlete’s foot may be passed to humans by direct contact with infected people, infected animals, contaminated objects (such as towels or locker room floors), or the soil.

Diabetic Ulcer (Neurogenic Ulcer)

Neurogenic ulcers, also known as diabetic ulcers, are ulcers that occur most commonly on the bottom of the foot. People with diabetes are predisposed to peripheral neuropathy, which involves a decreased or total lack of sensation in the feet. Feet are naturally stressed from walking, and someone who has decreased sensation will not necessarily feel that they have an area of skin breakdown occurring. Coupled with this lack or absence of sensation is a decrease in circulation to the feet as well. Wounds that do not get proper blood flow are not only slower to heal but also at an increased risk for infection. A small cut, scrape, or irritated area in a diabetic can turn into an ulcer for these reasons. It is common for these types of ulcers to keep coming back in diabetics.

Plaque Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a common, noncontagious condition that can present in a variety of ways in the skin. The subtypes of this condition include plaque, inverse (or skin fold), guttate, erythrodermic, and pustular psoriasis. Plaque psoriasis, which represents approximately 85% of psoriasis cases, is a lifelong skin condition that affects about 2%-3% of the population worldwide. Plaque psoriasis skin lesions are typically red and raised with overlying scale. There may be papules (small, raised bumps) or plaques (larger, raised skin lesions that are bigger than a thumbnail), or both. People with plaque psoriasis typically have thickened, white scaly patches on their skin.

While the exact cause of psoriasis is unknown, this condition is the result of an overactive immune system that attacks the skin and other organs of the body. Psoriasis is very common in some families, suggesting a likely genetic component contributing to this disease, but it can also occur in individuals with no family history of psoriasis. Psoriasis can be triggered by certain environmental causes, such as emotional stress, pregnancy, injury to the skin, bacterial skin infections such as a streptococcal infection (“strep”), smoking or alcohol consumption, and ingesting certain medications.


Corns are thickenings of the skin composed of keratin (a type of protein that forms in the hair, skin, and nails). They are typically found on the toes. They are caused by repeated friction or pressure to the involved area.

Corns are considered either hard or soft, depending on their location and appearance.

  • Hard corns typically affect the tops or bottoms of the toes and appear as a well-defined, dry, thickened area of skin.
  • Soft corns occur between the toes and are whiter, softer, and moister in appearance due to continuous softening by sweat.

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Further reading on Dermatology can be found here; Primary Care Dermatology Society