dr Sarah Haller watches the calluses fall off like dust when she takes off Jolynn’s socks
dr Sarah meets a young patient named Jolynn who is traveling to New Jersey with her sister Wendi. The patient is looking for Dr. Sarah to get a definitive diagnosis of a genetic condition nobody knows about. The feet have terrible calluses around bumps and heels that she can never quite get rid of. Jolynn found it difficult and uncomfortable to walk on the callus, which had hardened to a cement-like consistency. She compares her calluses to hot water balloons, which bleed and stink when they burst. While several doctors promised Jolynn it would go away or that she would grow out of the problem, it seemed to get worse over time, forcing her to turn to Dr. Turning to Sarah as her last hope.
What if you have a genetic condition that doctors don’t have a treatment for? In the latest episode of My Feet Are Killing Me, Dr. Sarah Haller Visit from a patient who has rock-hard feet and poses great challenges to the doctors.
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Jolynn seemed to have a similar problem on her hands (around the knuckles) which ended up being extremely painful and scary. dr Sarah inquires about Jolynn’s current resolution after hearing about her struggles at school and interacting with others. She had started using udder balm to make her calluses less painful. She also mentions wearing fluffy socks to keep in moisture, but it still looks like a desert.
dr Sarah was amazed when she finally looked at her feet. She watches the calluses fall off like dust when she takes off her socks. She observes Jolynn’s feet deteriorating and the presence of various types of cracks (dry open sores). The feet appeared to have large cuts on the bottom of the heels and on the sides at one point, giving the impression that she had been walking on blades the whole time. Although she could not feel anything under her foot, applying pressure caused a lot of discomfort.
dr Sarah could see crevasses rising at her foot and gradually reaching to her heels. Her sister recalls that when she was young, Jolynn was taken to a doctor who told her that her skin cells develop 50,000 times faster than normal humans. Although her illness could not be fully diagnosed, Dr. Sarah tells her that she has palmoplantar keratoderma (PPK), a diverse collection of genetic or acquired disorders defined by excessive epidermal thickness of the palms and soles. Because calluses like this are as hard as concrete, they just keep growing and reappearing. Jolynn’s callus was about an inch thick. dr Sarah also mentions that as the layers accumulate, the bacteria trapped between them creates a terrible odor, which the patient describes as smelling like corn chips.
dr Sarah, who is known for discouraging patients from surgery, points out that there is no set procedure for treatment. She offers many options, including a special concoction designed for her super skin to dilute it. She then proceeds to use her tools to trim the extra and plan how to make her walk easier – presumably pain-free. Jolynn is supported by Dr. Put Sarah on a tropical cure.
dr Sarah recommends applying lotions and antibiotics to the soles of your feet to reduce odor and slow callus growth. dr Sarah uses a grinder instead of a blade because she can’t risk using a blade in a situation like this. She eventually reached a point where the bottom of her foot felt smooth and had no jagged edges after trying to remove all calluses. Because dr Sarah helps her feet look better and prevents that from happening too soon, she tells Jolynn to stick to her routine if she doesn’t want to face another embarrassing public situation.
My Feet Are Killing Me Season 4 airs every Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET on TLC.