Skin & Toenail Conditions
Some skin and toenail issues might seem cosmetic, whereas others are considered minor or “annoying” at best. Left untreated, though, such issues can lead to bigger problems, especially for individuals who live with diabetes. The good news is that we can create an effective treatment plan for these problems here at Foot & Ankle Center of Oklahoma. Even better? Most skin and toenail conditions are preventable.
Common Toenail Problems
Toenails might not be as instrumental for our toes’ protection today as they were for our ancient ancestors, but we continue to grow them anyway. Unfortunately, these archaic features can cause potential issues. They include:
- Ingrown toenails – Nails can become ingrown in response to improper nail trimming practices, tight footwear, physical trauma, and unusually curved nail structures. Treatment for an ingrown toenail is usually conservative in nature, but sometimes nails that continually become ingrown need to be removed permanently.
- Toenail fungus – Fungal toenails are often brittle, thickened, and unsightly. This condition will not go away on its own, so treatment is necessary to clear up the nails and restore them to a healthy state. Check with our office to find out what treatment options we use to treat fungal nails.
- Black toenails – In most cases, black toenails are simply a matter of blood pooling between the toenail and its nailbed (subungual hematoma). This will usually happen in response to physical trauma, either dropping something heavy on the foot or a toe that constantly hits the front of a shoe on a long run. It is important to have this condition diagnosed, though, because sometimes a darkened nail is an indication of malignant melanoma. That is rare, but quite serious.
Most toenail issues are prevented by choosing shoes that fit well (not too tight), keeping feet dry, and using proper toenail clipping techniques. If you have any questions or need more information on toenail issues, contact our OKC podiatrist office and we will be glad to help.
Skin Conditions That Affect Feet
While the need for toenails may have become diminished over time, skin is still the essential barrier that helps protect our body from external threats. As with toenails, there are skin conditions that can arise from time to time. In a similar manner, most skin conditions can be effectively treated and prevented with a little effort.
- Corns and calluses – These are related conditions, as both feature dead skin that builds up over time, but there are differences as well. Corns are conical in shape and develop in response to friction. Calluses are flat and found in areas that are weight-bearing.
- Blisters – When friction forces the top layers of skin to separate from lower ones, a blister is likely to form. The space between the layers is filled with a clear fluid to protect the area as the body works to repair itself.
- Athlete’s foot – In spite of the name, this condition does not only happen to athletes. Instead, this is a very common fungal infection that causes itching, redness, and even blistering in some instances. Mild to moderate cases can usually be treated with over-the-counter products.
In addition to these conditions, another concern is foot odor. Most people understand that feet, especially when they are sweaty, can have strong odor. The reason behind this tends to be misunderstood, however. Yes, sweat can play a role, but not for reasons you likely think.
Sweat is actually odorless. The unpleasant aroma we associate with it is actual a byproduct of digestion by bacteria that break down sweat. With this in mind, the best ways to take care of offensive foot and shoe odors are centered on keeping feet dry and eliminating the bacteria. Our office can provide various tips and practices to keep your feet smelling fresh and clean.
Oklahoma City, OK Professional Skin and Toenail Care
There are preventative measures that you can take when it comes to skin and toenail issues, but sometimes treatment is necessary. When you or a loved one needs professional foot care here in OKC, we are ready to help. Contact Foot & Ankle Center of Oklahoma today for more information on the services we provide. Call us at (405) 418-2676 or request your appointment online with our Oklahoma City podiatrist office.
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Oklahoma City Office:
609 W Memorial Rd.
Oklahoma City, OK 73114
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