We Answer Your Top Questions About Podiatry and Physical Therapy
Have questions about bunion removal, orthotics and more?
When you live in constant pain, you have questions about what causes your pain and how you can get the relief you crave. Get the answers you need from our podiatrists and physical therapists.
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What is skier’s toe?
Skier’s toe is a very common nail injury. Repetitive pressure and trauma to a nail from your ski boots causes it to turn black. This is because the injury creates slight bleeding in the nail bed. The blood leaks to the underside of your toenail, where it stains the hard keratin a dark color. This looks unsightly, but it isn’t usually a problem unless the blood pools. Pooled blood can put pressure on your digit and be quite uncomfortable.Normally black toenails from ski boots develop when your boots do not fit correctly. Either they are too small and pinch the ends of your toes, or they are too big and allow your feet to slide forward and bang against the inside of the boots. The discoloration only goes away when the stained keratin has had a chance to fully grow out. If your toe is painful, however, you may need to have the pressure under your nail relieved. Let our teams in Cherry Creek, Castle Pines, and Parker, CO, help you take care of your digits in every season. Make an appointment online, or by calling us at (303) 805-5156.
How can you prevent frostbite?
Nearly all frostbite is avoidable. You simply need to take precautions. To prevent frostbite, limit your time out in extremely cold temperatures. When you do go out, make sure you wear appropriately protective gear.
Layer loose, light, warm clothing and use moisture-wicking socks. Taller styles are better than ankle socks for your lower limbs. Many people use a thin sock close to their skin and layer thicker ones over that. Also, use the correct boots for your winter activities. Make sure your footwear is waterproof and durable enough for your use. Definitely pick comfort over fashion.Always wear lined gloves—or better yet, mittens—and a hat when you go outside. Pay attention to your extremities, especially your toes, and go inside at the first signs of frostnip. If you’re concerned about preventing frostbite, let our team at Podiatry Associates, P.C. help you do so. Use our online forms to contact us with questions or for an appointment. You can also call our Castle Pines, Parker, and Cherry Creek, CO offices at (303) 805-5156.
What are the signs of frostbite?
You need to be able to recognize signs of frostbite, so you can be sure to take care of your extremities as soon as symptoms appear. Frostbite symptoms will vary slightly depending on how serious the damage is.
Mild frostbite, also called frostnip, features cold skin that may appear somewhat reddened. The affected area may feel numb or somewhat prickly. They next degree of damage, superficial frostbite, goes deeper into the skin. The reddened areas will turn pale grey-yellow or possibly blue. Your affected limb may actually start to feel warm even as ice crystals form in your tissues.
The worst damage of all is deep or severe frostbite. The affected area may feel hard or waxy to the touch. You may not notice any pain from the numbness, as well as have trouble moving your joints. Eventually the tissues will turn black. At this point, the damage is permanent and you may need surgery or even an amputation to avoid life-threatening issues with gangrene.As soon as you notice frostbite symptoms, get help. You can call Podiatry Associates, P.C. in Parker, Castle Pines, and Cherry Creek, CO, at (303) 805-5156.
How are burns treated?
There are multiple ways to treat foot burns. The main goal is to alleviate pain and inflammation so the skin can begin healing. Exactly what your foot will need to recover will depend on how serious the damage is. For minor to medium burns, the damaged area will have to be cooled. Running lukewarm to cool water over the foot, or wrapping a moist, cool bandage over the painful area reduces the inflammation. After cooling your skin, you’ll need to gently wash the area to disinfect it. Then apply a thin layer of cooling gel, like petroleum jelly or aloe. To protect the skin on your feet from rubbing, you may need to then cover the spot with loose, non-stick gauze.
More serious burns will need stronger and possibly more invasive treatments. Our experts at Podiatry Associates, P.C. in Castle Pines, Parker, and Cherry Creek will determine the best way to treat your foot burns. This may include prescription-strength ointments or, in very severe cases, skin grafts to ensure your foot heals correctly. Make an appointment today to see what your burn really needs. You can use the website contact forms or call (303) 805-5156.
How do you perform first aid on a burn?
A foot burn—or any type of burn on your skin—needs immediate first aid to alleviate the inflammation and limit the damage. The more quickly you begin treatment, the faster your skin can begin the healing process and the less likely you’ll suffer an infection. For minor to medium burns, hold the affected area under cool, but not cold, running water to alleviate the burning sensation. If you notice your skin beginning to blister, avoid popping the little bubbles. Gently apply aloe or some other cooling, moisturizing ointments to your skin. Use a non-stick gauze bandage to cover the damage, so nothing gets stuck.
If your burn is serious, however, first aid will not be enough. Make sure you are safe and not in additional danger of further burns. Then immediately call for medical assistance. Cover the area with a cool, moist cloth or bandage and elevate it. Do not immerse the burn in water. Experts like our podiatry team at Podiatry Associates, P.C. will help treat the damage as soon as we can. Make an appointment at our Parker, Castle Pines, or Cherry Creek locations through our website or by calling (303) 805-5156.
Why is my toenail turning black?
Toenails are meant to be clear and neutral-colored. The most common culprit for black toenails is actually blood under your nail. This happens when you stub your digit too hard or you drop something heavy on your foot. The damage creates mild bleeding that stains the underside of the keratin a dark color. This is particularly common with athletes and runners, since they can repeatedly bump their toes against the inside of their shoes and cause damage. In most cases, this is a mild issue and there aren’t any treatments for it.Sometimes it is an uncomfortable issue because the blood pools under the nail and creates pressure. The only way to deal with this is to have an expert, like our team of specialists at Podiatry Associates, P.C., safely drain the fluid from under your nail. Whether the blood pools or not, though, the stain will stay dark until the keratin completely grows out. If you don’t remember injuring your toe, or the pain is intense, make an appointment to take care of the problem right away. Just call (303) 805-5156 to reach our Castle Pines, Parker, and Cherry Creek locations.
What are ways I can prevent dry skin on my feet?
Dry skin on the feet can be an uncomfortable problem that actually puts you at risk for infections and other secondary issues. Preventing all of this is relatively simple, though, and easy to add to your daily foot care.
Use moisturizing soap when you wash your feet every day, and avoid excessively hot water. Apply ointment or cream after you wash and dry your lower limbs to re-hydrate the skin. It’s best if you put on clean socks afterwards to help lock in the moisture. Use shoes that allow your feet to breathe, so you don’t sweat excessively. Drink plenty of water so your whole body stays hydrated, too; this helps your skin stay healthy from the inside.
If you struggle with callus build-up drying out your feet, periodically use a pumice stone to soften them up.
Our team at Podiatry Associates, P.C. will help you make sure your skin is well cared for. Connect with us for more information or an appointment at our Parker, Cherry Creek in Denver, or Castle Pines, CO, offices by calling (303) 805-5156 or by using our website.
How is a corn different from a callus?
Corns and calluses are similar, but they aren’t the same thing. Although they both form under pressure and from rubbing against the skin—typically from shoes—they are different and affect the feet in slightly different ways. A corn is small and usually raised. Generally it forms on the tops or sides of your toes or feet, where there isn’t a lot of weight. It has a “core,” too, which may feel soft or hard. It is usually painful when you press against it.
A callus, however, forms in weight-bearing areas like your heel and the ball of your foot. It’s a large, flattened patch of thickened skin. Not all calluses are bad. They become problematic when they are too thick or grow too deep. This can be uncomfortable in its own right, as well as lead to cracking or splitting in your skin.Both corns and calluses should be monitored and taken care of regularly. Our team at Podiatry Associates, P.C. can help you keep the skin on your feet healthy and smooth. Make an appointment at our Castle Pines, Cherry Creek in Denver, or Parker, CO, offices by calling (303) 805-5156 or using our online request form.