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Holes in sole of foot with plugs which bleed after removal, painful, difficulty walking. Can I treat it at home?

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Practicing since : 2002
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One day, about 4 months ago, the sole of my foot, where my heel and arch XXXXXXX started hurting. There was nothing on the outside of the foot to indicate a problem until about a month into this a little speck the color and size of beach sand popped out. A few weeks later that hole was bigger and the skin inside crumbled away. Outside of this small, XXXXXXX crater is a callous encircled with a white ring that is only visible at times particularly after Epsom salt soaking. A few days after the erosion I pulled a soft "plug" out of the center which immediately started bleeding bright red, but stopped after a minute or two. Since then my hole has grown. I've pulled out several other "plugs" which are all about 4mm XXXXXXX skin colored and very strong. They usually bleed a very little. Only one had a dark thread in it. I do pumice the callous part since it is so thick. The pain waxes and wanes. Walking has become difficult. Oh, and I should mention that if I press down on it or pull it open there's no pain. Only when it's squeezed or there's side to side pressure does it hurt. I am a 38 year old female with no medical conditions. What do I have? And, can I treat it at home?
Posted Wed, 2 May 2012 in Skin Hair and Nails
Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga 16 minutes later
Hello and thank you for submitting your question.

Your question is a very good one and I will work on providing you with some good information and recommendations regarding what is going on.

Regarding the spot on your foot it seems to me like there is some kind of inflammatory process going on. Inflammation in such a small area can cause a significant degree of proliferation of some of the normal skin tissue in the area.

Some of the tissue you are removing from the area is very likely what we call this plastic skin. It is possible that there is something inside the foot which is causing this inflammatory process. This could range from anything such as a foreign body to possibly some type of disruption of the normal architecture of the bone in the foot such as a bone spur.

Unfortunately I do not think this is something that you can treat at home with over-the-counter preparations. I would recommend that you make an appointment to see a foot specialist or podiatrist for a focused consultation and complete examination of this area.

It may be necessary for the foot specialist to perform a procedure which might enable you to have a complete resolution of this process. In the meantime I suggest you continue using comfortable things such as Epsom salt soaks. I would discourage you from squeezing the area or from continuing to remove some of the tissue which grows. The reason I emphasize this is because with manipulation of this tissue you run the risk of introducing a infection.

I thank you again for submitting your question. I hope you found my response to be helpful and informative. If you have any additional concerns I would be happy to address them.


Dr. Robert
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Holes in sole of foot with plugs which bleed after removal, painful, difficulty walking. Can I treat it at home? 1 hour later
I was thinking of seeing a dermatologist because I thought it might be porokeratosis plantaris discreta or heloma millare. I can't find very much info on these disorders on the internet, so I thought you might be able to help.
Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga 14 hours later
Hello again,

In the absence of being able to examine you it would be difficult to make such a diagnosis without visual and tactile examination.

In any event, with either of these things or if there is something else which may be contributing to the symptoms I would first go to a podiatrist as they are very skilled in skin issues involving the foot as well.

Again I would not recommend trying to treat this at home or with over the counter preparations as the foot is something you would not want to risk causing prolonged symptoms with.

Thanks again for the query and followup. If I can be of any additional assistance please let me know.


Dr. Galamaga
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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