Common Skin and Nail Conditions
Don’t underestimate the importance of your skin and nails. They’re more than just pretty things to be pampered at a spa—they are your body’s first line of defense against injury and infection, and you want them looking and feeling their best.
When the wear and tear of life has your skin or nails looking worn down, trust your feet to Harvey R. Danciger, DPM. Below, you’ll find a sample of some of the most common conditions we treat.
Sometimes, a nail doesn’t grow out exactly the way it’s supposed to. When the edge starts to curve and dig into neighboring flesh, the result is an ingrown toenail. Even worse, the break in the skin lets in bacteria and other germs, increasing your risk of an infection—even a bone infection—if left untreated.
While the condition is quite frequent, and potentially quite painful, it’s also easy to treat—so you have no excuse not come in for a visit! We’ll gently remove the affected portion of the nail and have you on your way.
In the meantime, decrease your risk of developing an ingrown toenail by wearing comfortable shoes with plenty of wiggle room for toes, and always cut your nails straight across (and never too short).
You might be embarrassed by an unsightly fungal infection, though you might be surprised to hear that it’s actually fairly common—especially among those who are middle aged and older. It doesn’t take much for a fungus to set up shop (an ingrown toenail, walking barefoot on a pool deck or gym floor, putting on a wet pair of shoes), and once they’re entrenched, they’ll take a little time to deal with.
If you have a fungal problem, you may notice the hard keratin tissue turning yellow, becoming thick, brittle, and/or crumbly, or even warped. The problem won’t go away on its own and home care is almost never effective on its own, so visit our office for treatment. Oral antifungal medications, laser therapy, topical treatments are potential solutions we may consider.
Corns, Calluses, and Blisters
Corns and calluses are patches of thick, hardened skin that form as a response to repetitive, long-term friction and pressure. Corns are more likely to be painful, are typically found in non-weight-bearing locations such as between or on top of toes, and usually feature an exterior “shell” around a central core. Calluses are more common in weight-bearing areas, like the ball of your foot, and are often arranged as long, flat patches of toughened skin. Intense, shorter-term bursts of friction may also produce blisters, in which the dermal layers are separated from one another and the gap fills with fluid.
Often there is an underlying problem causing the pressure and friction. This can range from structural deformities such as bunions or hammertoes to lifestyle choices (such as wearing tight shoes). In order to prevent the formation of new corns and calluses, these factors may need to be addressed. In the meantime, options such as shoe modifications, moleskin pads, and inserts can protect or cushion the sensitive area. Surgery can be done if conservative care is not affording enough relief. Never cut your calluses or perform your own “bathroom surgery”—take it to the experts.
Common to athletes—but by no means exclusive to them—athlete’s foot, or tinea pedis, is a fungal affection that typically affects the tops of feet and between the toes. Like fungal toenails, too much time spent barefoot in dark, dank, damp conditions is the usual culprit.
Athlete’s foot usually resolves in about 4-6 weeks using over-the-counter topical antifungal creams at home—no need to stop by for a visit. However, if you are having trouble getting a particularly bad case to go away, or it keeps coming back, we can help you with more aggressive treatment.Not happy with the health or appearance of your skin or nails? Hiding those toes in closed shoes—despite the desert heat—because you’re embarrassed to show them in public? You don’t have to put up with it. Let Dr. Danciger help you get those happy feet back. Call 760-568-0108 today to set up an appointment at our Palm Desert, CA office.