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I have small white objects coming thru the skin on the bottom of my right foot.

by Phillip
(Marietta, Ga. USA)

They are very small like the tip of a pencil. They force their way too the top of skin but I end up piercing the skin with a needle to get them out. They are restricted to a very small area just above my instep and below the pad below my toes. They are white semi hard. I believe they are calcium or bone. I had shinsplints in the Army but that was in Vietnam a long time ago. Could it be bone fragments from way back then? I also am a diabetic. Feet hurt anyway.


RESPONSE

Hi Philip,

Unless you were actually injured while in the military, I doubt what you are pulling out of your foot is actually fragments of any kind of foreign body. Besides, I think you would have had that type of issue long before now.
What I actually envision coming out of your foot is what is known as a porokeratosis. You mention your instep but I am assuming you are noticing these things on the ball of your foot, just behind the toes.
These growths are essentially are very small areas of very hard skin. Some believe they be plugged sweat glands since the feet can have as many as 250,000 sweat glands between them. So there is some debate as to what causes them. They, however, are not bone or calcium.
Most people will describe them as feeling like they have a stone in their shoe. Others who have them will not relate to them being painful at all. Whether they need to be treated becomes a question of whether or not they hurt.
Having said that, good medical practice dictates that any growth, at the minimum should be visually inspected by a doctor to determine if it is a suspicious growth or a growth that can be left alone, assuming they do not hurt.
The problem that I have with this whole scenario is that you state you are a diabetic.
Diabetics under no circumstances should ever be performing "bathroom surgery" on their own feet. I know nothing about you in terms of the severity of your diabetes and other medical issues, but I will tell you that over the years, most of my diabetic patients who have gone on to lose a toe, foot or leg have done so as a result of doing something foolish to their foot, including attempting to cut things out of their own foot.
So, as a diabetic, I would think the smartest thing you could do for yourself would be to enlist the services of a podiatrist in your area and have the doctor, first, make an accurate diagnosis and two, offer you quality treatment.
If what you have is truly multiple porokeratosis, then a qualified doctor should be able to do a better job of removing them than you could ever do by yourself, not to mention, it would also be safer.
The problem with a true porokeratosis is that they have a tendency to return and end up being a chronic issue for most people.
So the decision has to be made as to whether or not they should be treated in the first place, especially in a diabetic.
Keep in mind, I have discussed the most common skin condition that mimics your description, but your actual problem may be something else and the only way to know for sure is to have a qualified podiatrist take a look at your feet.

see related article....porokeratosis

see related article....diabetic foot

Marc Mitnick DPM
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