Itching between the toes and water blisters are some of the most common symptoms affecting the feet. While they may be attributable to some simple and familiar maladies, they may also be a sign of something requiring a specialist’s attention. Knowing some of the conditions that are related to these common symptoms can help make it clear when it is time to see a foot specialist.
What are water blisters?
Water blisters arise whenever there is a kind of weakening in the skin. The ‘water’ is actually the liquid part of the blood seeping into an area of decreased skin integrity. Most often, the water blisters that form on feet are due to the excess friction of shoes or particular activities. They may, however, form as part of a hereditary or infectious problem.
What causes itching between the toes?
The most common cause of itching between the toes is a fungal infection called tinea pedis, commonly referred to as athlete’s foot. Far from being limited to athletes, this infection is spread by walking barefoot in warm, damp areas. As such, it has been associated with locker rooms and athletes. This incredibly common infection primarily prefers the spaces between the toes, known as the interdigital spaces, and the third and fourth interdigital spaces are most commonly affected. The symptoms of athlete’s foot may also involve the soles of the feet.
While itching may be the primary complaint, the infection can lead to the peeling and cracking of the feet and interdigital spaces. This significant breakdown in the integrity of the skin can allow an even more serious infection to spread under the skin locally or systemically. This is why treatment of athlete’s foot is so important: it provides both relief from symptoms and protection from potentially life-threatening infection.
When should I see a specialist?
Isolated symptoms of water blisters should prompt an assessment of your footwear. Have you recently started using new shoes or socks that may have caused excess friction in the area of the water blister? If sources of increased foot stress seem insufficient to explain the presence of water blisters, it may be time to consult with a specialist.
When it comes to itching between the toes, over-the-counter anti-fungal creams along with avoidance of areas known to be associated with the spread of tinea pedis may be sufficient to heal the infection. If symptoms persist, or are accompanied by additional symptoms such as unexplained water blisters or other symptoms involving the soles of the feet, it may be time to see a foot specialist.
With four convenient locations, American Foot and Leg Specialists are able to serve the entire South Atlanta Metro area including Fulton, Cobb, Douglas, Fayette, Henry and Clayton counties. The American Foot and Leg Specialists are available 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Monday thru Friday to help put your mind – and feet – to rest.