Common Skin & Nail Problems - Serving the Greater Pittsburgh Area
8 COMMON SKIN & NAIL PROBLEMS + MORE
What are Ingrown Toenails?
An ingrown nail is the result of a nail growing into the skin that surrounds it. This often occurs at either edge of the big toe. Ingrown nails may be caused by improper trimming, Diabetic nails, injuries, fungal infections, or pressure. A simple 5 minute office procedure will permanently fix this problem .
What are Thickened Nails?
Abnormally thick or crumbling nails may be caused by injuries, pressure from shoes, fungal infections, or conditions such as diabetes, psoriasis, or vascular disease. With regular care in our office, covered by insurance, can help will help prevent many problems from arising with these conditions.
A wart is an infection caused by a virus, which can invade your skin through small cuts or breaks. Over time, the wart develops into a hard and rough growth on the surface of the skin. A wart is most commonly seen on the bottom of the foot (known as a plantar wart), but can also appear on the top. Children, teens, and people with allergies or weakened immune systems are more vulnerable to the wart virus. Many simple office procedures to remove these quickly or painlessly, including our new Radio Surgery.
Corns & Calluses
Corns and calluses are your body’s response to friction or pressure against the skin. If your foot rubs inside your shoe, the affected area of skin thickens. If a bone is not in the normal position, skin caught between bone and shoe or bone and ground builds up. In either case, the outer layer of the skin thickens to protect the foot from unusual pressure. In many cases, corns and calluses look bad but are not harmful. However, more severe corns and calluses may become infected, destroy healthy tissue, or affect foot movement. With your doctor’s help, corns and calluses can be controlled.
Bunions & Hammertoes
A bunion is an enlarged bone on the side of the big toe that is angled outward. Depending on the severity of the bunion, the big toe may be angled mildly or sharply toward the other toes. If wider shoes aren’t giving you the relief you need a simple outpatient procedure can have you back into your shoes in 3 to 6 weeks.
A hammertoe is an arched toe, the result of an abnormal contraction or “buckling” that leaves the toe in a claw-like position. Once stiffened into position, hammertoes rub against shoes and cause painful corns and calluses. A simple 15 minute office procedure will permanently fix this problem.
Ankle Sprains are caused by sudden sideways motion, a twist, or a misstep. When your foot lands off balance, muscles may give way, allowing the ankle joint to move too far. If ligaments connecting the foot and anklebones overstretch or tear, a sprain is the result. These sudden injuries cause pain both at the time they occur and throughout the healing process. Depending on the sprain, swelling and bruising may extend from your ankle into your foot. With proper care, however, sprains will heal correctly. And, in many cases, you can reduce the risk of reinjury.
Does your daughter complain of pain in her foot? Does your son avoid gym class or other activities because of the pain he feels in his heel? It is unusual for children to complain of foot pain, so if they do mention it, there is most likely a problem behind it. Often, the problem is a case of flat feet. If you or your spouse has flat feet, it is likely that your child does too, as the condition is hereditary.
A child may complain of pain on the inside or outside of the ankle or the bottom of the foot. Older child may develop painful bunions (a bump on the side of the big toe) or hammertoes (curling or crooked toes) as a result of flat feet. If your child does have a painful flat foot, the doctors at the Beaver Valley Foot Clinic can assess the problem and decided on a proper course of treatment.
Most flat feet will require simple orthotic inserts in your child’s shoe to help realign the foot. If that does not alleviate the pain, surgical correction can be performed to prevent further problems down the road. Due to the latest surgical techniques, the flat foot correction can now be accomplished with a simple surgery that will require minimal recovery time. Please keep in mind that the doctors are dedicated to to exploring a full course of conservative treatment prior to performing any surgical procedure.
Another common foot problem in children is heel pain. This usually occurs in active children between ages 8 and 12 who spend a lot of time running around, playing sports or dancing. These children often will complain of pain in the back of the heel that worsens during or immediately after physical activity. The technical tern for this condition is Calcaneal Apophysitis or Seaver’s disease, but it is often referred to as “growing pains.”
In the back of the heel bone, where the Achilles’ tendon attaches to the bone, there is a growth plate that enables the bone to continue to grow as the child ages. For some children in this age group, the bone grows faster than the muscles and the tendons of the leg. This causes the Achilles’ tendon to become to tight and to pull on the back of the heel bone. Fortunately, the treatment for this condition is always conservative and does not require surgery. Stretching, icing, anti-inflammatory medicines, heel lifts and a temporary decrease in activity usually relieves the pain. The good news is that the growth plate closes over time, so the pain does not reoccur and no long-term problems result from this condition. For adults, the noninvasive ESWT, Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy is available to treat your heel pain in one 20 minute visit.
Other common pediatric foot problems to be aware of include ingrown toenails and warts. All pediatric foot conditions can be treated by the doctors at the Beaver Valley Foot Clinic. Having children of their own, both doctors are sympathetic to young patients as well as parents. As always, they are dedicated to providing gentle yet comprehensive foot care for patients of all ages.