Scary movies and freakish costumes are normal at this time of the year. At Patrick Fettinger, DPM, we thought this might be an excellent time to explore some foot disorders that might also fall into the “not for the faint of heart” category for our Fairfield County patients.
Black Toenails—you may be alarmed if you look down and see one or more black toenails staring back at you. It’s most likely not a cause for concern, however, especially if you are a runner. The constant pounding of the toes up against the front of your shoes can cause bleeding under the toenail. You should check to make sure your running shoes fit properly to reduce this risk. Other reasons for a black nail are trauma due to stubbing your toe or dropping a heavy object on it. In rare instances, it can indicate melanoma. Patients with diabetes should also report a discolored nail to the podiatrist right away.
Claw Toe—a toe bending downward, resembling a claw or a hammer, is a deformity most often caused by a biomechanical defect. Your shoe choice can also play a part, and if you notice a deformity developing, you should make sure your footwear features plenty of room in the toe boxes. Early detection of a toe defect allows a greater choice of conservative treatment options that may slow or halt the progression.
Ingrown Toenail—a red, swollen toe that’s oozing pus may look like something out of a horror movie, but it’s most likely the result of a nail that’s become ingrown and punctured the skin. It will cause the above symptoms and also intense pain. You can try soaking the toe in warm, soapy water several times a day and gently massaging the nail out from under the skin. Don’t try to cut or dig the nail out with a sharp instrument. It could result in a worse injury or an infection.
If you notice anything scary looking about your feet or ankles, get it checked out sooner rather than later. Contact our New Fairfield (203-746-9660) and Middlebury (203-598-0357) offices so that our podiatrist, Dr. Patrick J. Fettinger, can get to the root of the problem and promptly treat it.