By Mid-Michigan Foot & Ankle Center
April 18, 2018
Category: toenail conditions
Tags: Diabetes   podiatrist   fungus   nails   black toenail   cancer  

When you notice that you have a black toenail on your foot, it can be quite alarming. The usual healthy color of toenails is a pink-like tone. When you see a black toenail, you panic and immediately think the worst.  Some of the savvier sufferers go to their trusted friend Google and type away, trying to figure out what is going on. A black toenail can be caused by a multitude of reasons. Only a trained podiatrist can determine the exact cause and provide proper treatment. So, while you are waiting for your scheduled podiatry appointment, read through the facts and falsehoods about black toenails.

Falsehood #1 – Home remedies will fix your black toenail. If you are suffering from a fungus that is turning your nail black, it may seem easier to grab some anti-fungal cream and treat the nail at home, but the fungus can be very hard to cure. Fungus should be treated by a podiatrist in their office for the best possible results.

Falsehood #2 – You can only get fungus on your toenails if you do not bathe. This is completely untrue. Even the cleanest person in the world can still get a foot fungus. This is because fungus likes to grow in dark, wet places. This makes shoes the perfect breeding ground for fungus. Even if you wear closed toe shoes and are very clean, you can still get toenail fungus and black nails.

Falsehood #3 – It will not have severe effects on your health, so it can be ignored and go untreated. This falsehood can be very dangerous. Black toenails can be a sign of underlying diseases such as diabetes or kidney disorders. If a black toenail is left unchecked, these other disorders may not be found in time.

Falsehood #4- Black toenails are quick and easy to treat. While in some cases it is relatively easy to get rid of a black toenail with a pinprick and the release of built-up blood, in other cases it can be very hard to get rid of black toenails. This is because sometimes cancer, fungus, and other conditions can cause the toenail to blacken. These conditions must be treated before the treatment of the black toenail can be effective.

If you are suffering from a black toenail, whether from a fungus or a traumatic injury, it is important to see a podiatrist immediately. Call Dr. Andrew H. Cohen of Mid-Michigan Foot & Ankle Center, located in Saginaw and Bay City, Michigan. Call 989-790-8009 or make an appointment online today. A black toenail is not permanent.

By Mid-Michigan Foot & Ankle Center
April 12, 2018
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: warts   podiatrist   contagious   virus   remove   manageable  

As the nice weather slowly begins to make its appearance, it is tempting to bring out all of the open-toe shoe options that are available in your closet. These open-style shoes are very fashionable and let your feet feel free in the beautiful weather. You are less likely to sweat in them and get blisters, but they do show off your entire foot. That means the wart that you got not too long after you hit the gym a month ago is sitting out in the open and is hard to ignore. Now that you have the wart, you are probably trying to recall all the information you ever heard about them. Which myth is true and which is false? Read on to learn the truth about that pesky wart.

Myth: Warts are contagious. This myth is indeed true. Warts are caused by a virus that is spread from skin to skin contact. This virus can also be left behind on floors and other surfaces that bare feet touch. Public showers, pools, and gyms are all places where the wart virus loves to grow due to its damp, humid atmosphere.

Myth: Warts can cause cancer. This statement is false. A typical wart that you find on your feet is benign.

Myth: A podiatrist cannot remove a wart. This myth is completely false. A podiatrist is a highly skilled foot doctor who regularly treats patients who suffer from warts. Part of this treatment involves removing the wart from the foot. Most often, liquid nitrogen is used to freeze off the wart during an office visit.

Myth:  Warts don’t come back after being removed. This is, unfortunately, completely false.  There is no cure for the warts virus. This virus is only manageable and requires the patient to regularly examine their feet to be sure that no warts are afflicting the feet. Warts can be prevented with frequent handwashing and cleansing of the feet with warm water and anti-bacterial soap.

If you are suffering from a wart, you do not have to live with it forever. Visit our office and have it removed by a highly trained podiatrist. Call Dr. Andrew H. Cohen of Mid-Michigan Foot & Ankle Center, located in Saginaw and Bay City, Michigan. Call 989-790-8009 or make an appointment online today. Not only will you receive quality treatment, you will also learn about your warts.

By Mid-Michigan Foot & Ankle Center
April 05, 2018
Tags: Proper Footwear   calluses  

A callus doesn’t seem like a major foot problem to many people. This is because many people live with calluses on their feet every single day. A callus doesn’t become a problem until it starts to cause pain and suffering. Once pain is introduced then people begin to pay attention to their calluses.

A callus is an area of thick skin on the foot. This skin begins to get harder and thicker as a protective measure. It does this to help protect the foot from pressure and friction.

Symptoms a Callus Produces

  • Hard skins
  • Raised skin
  • Thick skin
  • Skin that is rough to the touch
  • Dry and flaky skin

What causes the callus?

If your shoe rubs the same spot of the foot over and over again a callus will begin to form to protect the soft, delicate skin. If a show is too tight and puts pressure on the foot than a callus will form to prevent further injury or puncture from this pressure. More often than not, calluses are caused by shoes that do not fit properly. Sandals, heels, and flats are also known to cause calluses on the heel due to their design.

Treating a callus that is on the heel is not impossible but it will take some work. If you are up for the challenge begin by giving yourself a pedicure. Take a pumice stone and gently rub the skin of the callus. Once the skin is smoother apply ointment or moisturizer to the skin to help it become happy and healthy again.

If you don’t want to give yourself a pedicure you can always go to your podiatrist’s office. There your podiatrist can safely remove the callus. Your podiatrist will also instruct you on proper footwear. Proper footwear will prevent calluses from forming which will prevent future pain. A sneaker is usually a good option when picking a new pair of shoes.

If your podiatrist is unable to file away your callus then he or she may recommend he callus be surgically removed. This usually happens in extreme and rare cases of calluses.

Unfortunately, calluses are likely to return. It is imperative that you see a podiatrist to help remedy your callus. At home treatment is not recommended as it can cause infection of the foot and lead to more severe problems down the road.

If you have a callus on your heel and are in pain or dislike it looks, then call Dr. Andrew H. Cohen, of Mid-Michigan Foot & Ankle Center, located in Saginaw and Bay City, Michigan. Call 989-790-8009 or make an appointment online today. Your calluses are one step away from being smoothed over.

By Mid-Michigan Foot & Ankle Center
March 29, 2018
Category: Toe Pain
Tags: Injury   podiatrist   stubbed   pain   toenail   infected   fracture  

Walking innocently through the house on a search for your car keys can start any morning off in the wrong direction. For one, it is frustrating to lose something. In addition to that, these lost keys are wasting minutes on the clock, causing you to be later and later for work. As time progresses with no luck, your calm demeanor fades and panic rises up within. You start to hurry along and suddenly, thwack! You stubbed your toe. The pain is excruciating, your toe is throbbing and now your day has gone from bad to worse. Gingerly, you strip off your shoes and take a peek at the damage. Your toe is swelling, it looks a little deformed, and the toenail is bleeding.

Is it serious if my toenail is bleeding?

After stubbing your toe, if you notice that your toenail is bleeding, you should call your podiatrist. This is because a bleeding toe can be a sign of a more severe injury. It could mean that there is a cut under the nail. This cut can become infected easily. If it gets infected and the cut is deep enough, it can begin to affect the bone. Another serious indicator of a problem is if the base of the toenail is loose. This is because it could mean that the joint of the toe has been injured.

Is my toe broken?

There is a chance that the toe has suffered from a fracture or a break. That is especially true if it is the pinky toe that is injured. If the toe is swollen, bruised or deformed looking it should be seen by a podiatrist immediately. A podiatrist will take an x-ray of the foot to determine whether or not a fracture or break has occurred. If it is determined that you are suffering from a fracture or a break, your podiatrist will set the toe into the proper healing position and wrap it. It is usually splinted and wrapped for 6 weeks so that it can heal properly.

If you stub your toe and it looks to be in rough shape, do not just walk the injury off. It is important to see a podiatrist so that you can ensure that there are no underlying problems that could worsen over time. Call Dr. Andrew H. Cohen, of Mid-Michigan Foot & Ankle Center, located in Saginaw and Bay City, Michigan. Call 989-790-8009 or make an appointment online today. There Dr. Cohen and his staff can inspect your toe and determine whether or not a more severe injury has occurred from the trauma of your stub.

By Mid-Michigan Foot & Ankle Center
March 21, 2018
Category: Diabetic Feet
Tags: Diabetes   Ulcers   Injury   podiatrist   peripheral neuropathy   soak   wound  

People who suffer from diabetes are at a very high risk of receiving foot ulcers. This is because some people who suffer from diabetes also suffer from peripheral neuropathy and other conditions that cause a lack of sensation in the feet. This lack of sensation makes it so it is hard for a diabetic patient to feel pain and other injuries occur on their feet.  If you do not have diabetes, you can still receive an ulcer on your foot, but it is more likely to be found immediately due to the ability to clearly feel the injury and pain. If you do find an ulcer on your feet it is important that you make an appointment to see a podiatrist immediately. A podiatrist will clean and disinfect the ulcer so that an infection does not appear and spread. Wondering how they might do it? Here are the basic steps a podiatrist may take to clean your ulcer and protect it from further harm.

  1. Your podiatrist will find the ulcer.
  2. Next, your podiatrist will measure your ulcer. They want to know how large it is and will continue to measure it to be sure it is not growing in size.
  3. Clean your feet. Your podiatrist will clean out the ulcer in their office. They will take disinfectant and gently wash out the ulcer. In order to keep it clean, you may have to soak your feet at home in between appointments. This allows them to be cleaned out and helps speed up the healing process.
  4. A podiatrist will then apply a healing ointment to help the ulcer heal.
  5. After the ointment is applied, a podiatrist or his assistant will put on gauze or another type of dressing to cover up the ulcer so dirt, debris, and other bacteria cannot reach the ulcer.
  6. The gauze will be adhered to the foot with silk tape or medical tape. If the gauze moves around it can irritate the ulcer or allow for bacteria to enter the wound.
  7. In between appointments be sure to change your dressing or bandage multiple times a day. If the ulcer is stuck in the same bandaging or dressing, it will fester due to the bacteria that is built up and rubbing it.
  8. Use a sock to slip over the bandaging or dressing. This secures the dressing and makes sure it does not come loose.

If you find an ulcer on your foot, you should see a podiatrist right away. While it is proactive to clean the ulcer, it is imperative that it is seen by a medical professional to be sure there is no underlying cause or infection that could cause greater damage. Call Dr. Andrew H. Cohen, of Mid-Michigan Foot & Ankle Center, located in Saginaw and Bay City, Michigan. Call 989-790-8009 or make an appointment online today. When it comes to wound care, we are the best.

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