Toenail and Skin Conditions
Properly maintaining your skin and nail health is more than just keeping up appearances. In addition to looking good, your skin and toenails are also the first line of defense your body has against marauding germs and more significant injuries.
At Brook Valley Podiatry, we want you looking and feeling your best. When heels are cracked, skin is thickened and callused, or toenails are discolored, it doesn’t just rob you of your self-confidence, but also can cause physical pain or make you more susceptible to bacterial or fungal infections. That’s why skin and nail health is an important part of what we do every day.
Here are some of the more common conditions we treat:
If you notice your toenails looking discolored, thickened, brittle, ragged, or warped, you most likely have a fungal infection.
Although usually not “medically serious,” fungal toenails can be highly embarrassing for patients, and can easily spread to other toes (or people) if not addressed.
Toenail fungus does not get better on its own, and because the fungus is protected by the nail, at-home topical treatments are almost never effective. Prescription-strength oral antifungals are the best method, and while it will take some time for the damaged portions of the nail to grow out and off, we know you’ll love to see your healthy, clear nail finally return.
Toenails, unfortunately, don’t always grow correctly. Minor injuries, poor footwear choices, incorrect trimming technique, or other factors can lead a nail to grow and dig into the soft surrounding flesh, causing pain and swelling and potentially leading to infection.
The good news is that, while painful, ingrown toenails are often relatively simple to treat professionally. You may only need the nail lifted slightly if it’s a minor case; tougher pain is usually addressed through a minor procedure where the offending portion of the nail is trimmed or removed. The pain relief experienced by most patients as a result is significant and immediate, so there’s no reason to sit and suffer any longer.
Corns and Calluses
These related conditions consist of layers of thickened, hard, rough, or waxy skin that build up a defense mechanism against constant pressure and friction. Calluses tend to be flat and typically form on weight-bearing areas like your soles, whereas corns usually consist of inflamed skin around a hard center, and are more likely on the tops and sides of toes.
Our staff can help you safely and effectively trim and treat corns and calluses that are especially unsightly or painful. We’ll also help you manage or treat the underlying stresses that cause corns and calluses in the first place, such as poor footwear or foot alignment.
Caused by a fungal infection, athlete’s foot is highly contagious and can be transmitted through contact with infected surfaces.
Athlete’s foot usually responds well to home treatment using over-the-counter topical antifungals; we recommend you attempt the at-home approach first. For particularly stubborn cases that do not respond to home care, or frequently reappear, contact our office—you may require a tougher, prescription-strength antifungal.
Cracked heels, also known as heel fissures, can range from being a mere cosmetic nuisance to being a significant source of discomfort or even infection risk, especially for patients with diabetes or poor circulation.
Although moisturizing creams and other home care strategies for cracked heels can be beneficial, particularly painful or infected cases should be referred to our office for treatment. We’ll be able to more accurately assess the status of your condition—including the root causes—and provide any callus removal, footwear inserts or modifications, or other management strategies you may need.
Warts are a common affliction among children, but affect many adults as well. The bumps themselves
are almost always harmless and painless, but when they appear on a weight-bearing portion of your foot they can cause pain indirectly by applying pressure on other tissues.
Home care is usually ineffective and can be dangerous if performed improperly, so we recommend visiting our office to have any painful warts removed.
The Best Skin and Nail Care in Midwood Brooklyn and Spring Valley
Don’t neglect the health of your skin and nails—visit Stuart Birnbaum, DPM at Brook Valley Podiatry to restore that healthy glow and shine, and get your confidence back. Our Brooklyn office is conveniently located just a few blocks from the Q line’s Avenue M station in Midwood.
You can use our online form to request an appointment at either of our locations. To book by phone, dial 718-434-0600 for the Midwood, Brooklyn office, or call 845-352-7507 for Spring Valley.