You may or may not think the appearance of your feet is that important, but there’s more to skin and nail health than cosmetics. Of course, we want you looking and feeling your best, but your skin and nails are also an important layer of defense against germs and infection, and when they hurt, you hurt.
Below, you can find out more about some of the most common skin and toenail conditions we see and treat at our Long Island podiatry office, and how we can help.
Kids and adults alike are highly susceptible to this common condition, in which a side or corner of a toenail grows into the soft surrounding flesh. Factors that may contribute to one include an injury, wearing tight shoes, or trimming nails too short or not straight across.
Ingrown toenails can be quite painful, but fortunately they’re usually simple and relatively painless to treat. We offer a few in-office treatment options, including gently lifting the nail and placing cotton or floss underneath, removing just the ingrown portion of the nail, or removing the entire nail.
Fungal toenails may appear yellow, thickened, brittle, crumbly, or misshapen. Since the infection is deep beneath the nail, home remedies are almost never effective, and effectively eradicating the infection and growing new, healthy nail to replace the damaged one will take time.
Traditional treatment for fungal toenails involves an oral antifungal regimen. A newer option we now offer our patients is Noveon laser treatment, which uses light beams to kill the microbes under the nail. It does not require anesthesia and results have been very encouraging, with a much higher success rate and none of the nasty side effects of oral medications.
Corns and Calluses
These skin conditions develop as a response to repetitive friction, such as from shoes that are too tight. Corns have a hard center surrounded by swollen skin, usually appear in non-weight bearing areas (like the tops and sides of toes), and are often painful when pressed. Calluses are flatter, usually larger, and more likely to appear in weight-bearing locations. Both corns and calluses can cause complications, especially if you have a condition restricting blood flow to the feet, such as diabetes or PAD.
People with no underlying conditions may attempt home remedies such as non-medicated pads, moisturizers, and pumice stones. Those with diabetes or more persistent problems may seek our help in trimming excess skin, applying medications, or prescribing inserts or orthotics to correct a foot deformity that may be causing these skin problems in the first place.
Also known as cracked heels, deep heel fissures are not only unsightly, but can also be painful to stand on and even bleed or become infected (particularly if you have diabetes). Using an oil-based moisturizing cream twice every day is strongly encouraged and may resolve the problem; if not (or if you’re at increased infection risk) we recommend that you seek our help. We may debride thick skin, prescribe or recommend certain medications or moisturizers, or provide pads or inserts.
Warts are common in children, and although they’re often harmless from a medical perspective, they are hardy, contagious, potentially embarrassing, and may be painful if located in a weight-bearing spot. We can help you clear them up faster with a quick appointment, using either salicylic acid or cryotherapy methods.
Getting Help for These and Other Skin and Nail Conditions
Whether you’re struggling with one of the above problems, or a different skin issue such as blisters, athlete’s foot, eczema, dry skin, lesions, or more, please contact Dr. Corey Fox at Massapequa Podiatry Associates today. Your feet are your foundation, and our mission is to keep that foundation strong so you can do the things you need to do. To schedule an appointment at our Nassau County office, use our online contact form or give us a call at 516-541-9000.