Skin and Nail Care
Your skin and nails are more than just the pretty exterior you show to the world—although that’s important, too! Rashes, dry skin, ingrown toenails, and bacterial and fungal infections (among other things) can cause pain and lead to more serious complications, in addition to bruising your self-confidence and causing psychological distress.
At McVay Foot & Ankle, we want your feet looking and feeling their best. That’s why we specialize in providing high-quality skin and nail care for a wide range of troublesome conditions. Read on to learn about some of the conditions we see frequently, and how we fix them.
Toenails normally grow outward without incident, but sometimes a corner or edge of a nail can get snagged and begin digging into the soft surrounding flesh. This could be the result of congenital nail deformities, improper trimming of the nail, shoe gear irritation or as a result of previous trauma to the toenail. Ingrown toenails can be very tender and painful, and without treatment can even lead to severe infections.
In some cases, conservative therapies such as softening nails with a moisturizer and lifting it with pieces of cotton may be selected. If the nail becomes red and inflamed, you may get some relief with warm water and Epson salt soaks. If these things fail to alleviate your symptoms then you should schedule a visit with McVay Foot & Ankle. We can perform a minor, in-office procedure to remove the ingrown corner of the nail, leaving most of the nail in place. Pain relief is immediate, and you can usually go back to normal activities within a day or two.
For more severe deformities or in those patients who do not want the ingrown nail border to grow back, we can perform a permanent solution. After removing the offending nail border, a chemical is applied to the nail bed. This will ablate the nail matrix responsible for producing new nail tissue and will prevent the nail from growing back. Although this means recovery will take a little longer, it has a big advantage — since that edge of the nail won’t ever grow back.
Caused by the same group of fungi that lead to athlete’s foot and ringworm, fungal toenails can be deeply embarrassing. Nails may become yellowish, thickened, brittle, crumbly, and warped.
The important thing to understand about fungal toenails is that there is no quick and easy path to treatment. The fungus is hardy and the nail offers natural protection. Furthermore, because the physical damage to the nail is not reversible, it may take several months for healthy nail to replace it, even if the fungus itself has been eliminated.
When it comes to treatment, vigilance is key. The gold standard treatment is 12 weeks of oral antifungal medications, provided you’re healthy enough to take them. We also provide a topical treatment which requires filing down the nail weekly and applying a topical medication daily for one year. Finally, we can remove the entire toenail and apply medication, with the hope that the new nail will grow in clear and healthy.
A cure is not guaranteed, and the 2-year recurrence rate is quite high. However, your odds of successful treatment are much better if you are disciplined about your treatment and continue to take smart precautions and prevention strategies, such as using antifungal powders or sprays in your shoes.
Warts are extremely common in young children, though anyone can get them. Although they are mostly “harmless” in a medical sense, warts can be embarrassing, and when they appear in a load-bearing location (such as the bottom of the foot), they can cause pain.
Our primary treatment option for most foot warts is a chemical procedure that creates a small blister, disrupting the supply of blood to the wart. It may take up to three treatments to fully eradicate the lesion. More serious warts may require prescription medications, and very large single lesions may be best addressed by simple surgery.
Other Skin and Nail Conditions We Treat
This is not an exhaustive list, but it includes:
- Athlete’s foot. Most cases of athlete’s foot can be treated at home, but we can provide more aggressive treatments for cases that don’t respond to over-the-counter medications.
- Contact dermatitis. Skin may swell or otherwise become irritated due to an allergic reaction or other form of damage. We’ll help you identify the culprit and correct it.
- Cracked heels. Dry feet can lead to deep cracks in the thickened fatty pad around the heels. Potential complications include pain, bleeding, and infection.
- Psoriasis. Superficially similar to athlete’s foot, psoriasis is an autoimmune disorder that can cause scaly red rashes on skin of the feet (and elsewhere).
- Black toenails. Trauma (whether an acute injury or repetitive small impacts) to the toe under the nail can cause cuts or bruising. Treatment may be needed to relieve the pressure and prevent infection.
- Diabetic wounds. For more information, please click here to see our webpage on diabetic foot care.
Whatever condition may be afflicting your skin or nails, contact the team at McVay Foot & Ankle for a prompt evaluation and treatment. You can reach us in Colorado Springs at 719-266-5000, or fill out our handy online contact form.
Note: Please do not use the contact form to send extensive or Protected Health Information (PHI). Please phone our office instead.