Find Answers From Our Roanoke Podiatrists About Your Foot and Ankle Pain...and About Our Practice!
We love to hear (and answer) your questions! Listed are some frequently asked questions we receive at office, as well as some answers to others that we think you may find very informative. Make sure to check out our blog as well, where you’ll find in-depth articles on common feet and ankle problems.
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Why are my toenails turning black?
There are a couple of different reasons why your toenails may be turning black. The most likely cause of black toenails is physical trauma experienced by your foot. If you dropped something heavy on your foot, it might result in discoloration from bleeding or a blood clot under the nail.
Another form of trauma that might not be as immediately evident is the kind that takes place within the shoes of long-distance runners. When toes repeatedly hit the fronts of running shoes, and particularly if nails are not trimmed properly, it can lead to black toenails.
Other causes include chronic ingrown nails, fungal infections, and even health problems that affect the rest of your body. Although this is quite rare, malignant melanoma is a possible explanation for a black toenail. This is an extremely serious medical condition, so it is important to have an expert diagnosis.
If you need further information, treatment for a painful nail, or want to be sure that your black toenail is not malignant, Shenandoah Podiatry is here for you. Contact our Roanoke, VA office by calling (540) 904-1458.
I am diabetic and found a blister. Should I be worried?
Blisters raise the potential for a break in the skin that could lead to infection, so you should absolutely be concerned. It is possible that diabetic blisters may appear on your legs or arms, and then go away on their own in 2-4 weeks, but these are quite rare. However, it is better to seek help and have it not be a big deal, than to let it go and face potential amputation.
Additionally, blisters may be an indication that you already have a severe infection. Keep in mind that your immune system cannot fight off infection particularly well, and this could lead to a dangerous condition for you. If the blister is intact, take every precaution to keep pressure off of it and come in to see us as soon as you possibly can.
If you have diabetes and discover a friction blister on your foot, contact Shenandoah Podiatry as soon as you can and make the earliest appointment possible. Dr. Jennifer Keller or Dr. Marshal Gwynn will give you the care you need at either our Roanoke or Blacksburg, VA, locations. Call (540) 904-1458 for our Roanoke office or (540) 808-4343 for Blacksburg today!
How do I know if I have toenail fungus?
Toenail fungus is a common nail condition with some distinct symptoms. A fungal infection damages keratin and changes it. Typically nails grow dull and discolored, often appearing yellow, gray, or brown. There may be a build-up of debris under the nail tissue. The keratin typically becomes brittle and crumbly or ragged. It may change shape and grow distorted as well. You may notice a slightly foul odor. Over time, you may find it more painful to wear certain shoes.
The most accurate way to tell if you have developed a fungus is to have your nails tested. Shenandoah Podiatry can scrape a little keratin off the top of your nail and have it analyzed in a lab to confirm any fungal infections. Once we’re sure of your condition, we help you begin treating it. Don’t just guess about your lower limb issues. Contact Shenandoah Podiatry in Roanoke and Blacksburg, Virginia for accurate care. Use the website or call to make an appointment with us: (540) 904-1458 for Roanoke, or (540) 808-4343 for Blacksburg.
Can I Treat Dry and Cracked Heels at Home?
If you have dry, cracked heels, you can blame your parents! This problem is often hereditary. Conditions like diabetes can cause dry heels as well, and sometimes your skin just dries out with age. Fortunately, in most cases, you can treat yourself at home.
The first step toward smoother skin is keeping your feet moisturized. After bathing, smooth dry areas with a pumice stone then liberally apply a rich, creamy lotion. Lock the moisture in by putting on socks, or even sleeping in them. You can also try soaking your feet in lemon juice—the acid from the lemon erodes away dead skin. Re-apply lotion often and avoid hot showers, as well as caffeine and alcohol. Drink plenty of water instead. Using a humidifier in your home can help too. If nothing seems to be working or you notice your cracked heels are bleeding, schedule an appointment with Dr. Jennifer Keller or Dr. Marshal Gwynn of Shenandoah Podiatry. You can reach our Roanoke, VA office at (540) 904-1458, or our Blacksburg, VA location at (540) 808-4343. We can help your heels be healthy again!
Are pedicures bad for my toenails?
Everyone loves to pamper themselves once in a while, and pedicures are a popular way to do so. However, before heading to the salon you should take some precautions to avoid possible problems. Otherwise your pretty feet could wind up with some unsightly issues, like warts, athlete’s foot, and fungal nails.
Foot baths are notorious breeding grounds for bacteria and fungus. It’s important to make sure the salon you choose follows strict sterilizing techniques, not only for the baths, but also the tools. Take some time between appointments as well so that toenails can take a breather from being painted. If you can’t stand being without color, it’s best to choose a polish with healthy ingredients such as the Dr. Remedy line of nail polish we carry at Shenandoah Podiatry.
For more tips on avoiding the possible risks from a pedicure, or if you’d like to pick up some of our polish, just call (540) 808-4343 in Blacksburg, VA, or call (540) 904-1458 in Roanoke. Dr. Jennifer Keller and Dr. Marshal Gwynn are happy to help keep your feet and nails healthy and looking good!