Nail and Skin Care


What are signs of melanoma?

Melanoma is a serious form of cancer that often develops around or under the toenail or on the sole of the foot. There’s a reason why this type of skin cancer on the feet is so dangerous. How often do you look at the soles of your feet? By the time you notice anything, the condition may be too advanced to have a good prognosis. You need to be vigilant for signs of melanoma so you can catch them early and give treatment a chance.

Here’s what to look for:

  • Blue or black skin spots that resemble a mole or look abnormal
  • Pain, tenderness or itchiness that wasn’t at that spot before
  • A sore that doesn’t heal
  • Pigment, redness, or swelling that spreads from a smaller spot
  • Changes in a mole, including oozing, bleeding, scaling, or developing a nodule

Check every area of both feet once a month for unusual signs, and if you see anything, call us right away. Better to find out it’s a simple black toenail than to ignore the problem and reduce your chance of survival. Dial (303) 423-2520 to reach Rocky Mountain Foot & Ankle Center offices in Golden and Wheat Ridge, CO.

Do ganglion cysts require surgery?

Those soft lumps on the top of your feet are benign, but they can still cause pain and problems wearing shoes. Surgery for ganglion cysts is not always necessary, though. The cyst may shrink on its own over time, or even disappear completely without treatment.

If the growth persists, or if it is painful or causes skin friction in your shoes, we can try other methods of treatment for cysts. Sometimes immobilizing your foot with a splint can reduce joint movement enough so the pain of the cyst goes away. We can also try aspirating it—removing the fluid from the sac with a needle. This is done with local anesthetic and sterile equipment, and may involve injecting an enzyme to thin the fluid and a follow-up injection of a steroid to keep the cyst from returning.

However, sometimes these methods don’t take care of the problem, and then we can completely remove the fluid sac and the stem that attaches it with surgery. Call (303) 423-2520 and schedule an appointment at Rocky Mountain Foot & Ankle Center in Wheat Ridge, Golden, Evergreen, or Granby, CO or use our online form to connect with us about your foot problems.

Are ganglion cysts cancerous?

Are lumps always cancer? No, and ganglion cysts are one example. This sac of fluid originates in a tendon or joint and it is benign. It may get bigger, like a cancerous tumor, but that is not due to abnormal cell activity. It is just the way these puzzling growths seem to behave.

The exact causes are not known, but a previous injury or a bulge in the covering of the tendon could be a factor, as the fluid in the sac is very similar. Osteoarthritis is also associated with them, and the cyst can be more painful when movement of the joint it is attached to increases.

At Rocky Mountain Foot & Ankle Center in Colorado, our foot specialists may not know why this benign growth formed on your foot, but we are certainly expert at treating it. Immobilization to reduce joint movement, aspirating the fluid from the cyst with a needle, and removing the entire cyst and its stem surgically are the main treatment options. If you are bothered by a soft lump on your foot or ankle, give us a call at (303) 423-2520 and set up an appointment at our Wheat Ridge, Golden, Evergreen, or Granby, CO location.

Is it safe to pop my blister?

The bubble of a blister forms a barrier against dirt and infection and cushions the tender tissue underneath. Popping and draining it removes these protections and opens your body to bacteria. It is not really safe to pop a blister, so we recommend that you leave it alone.

The best thing to do is simply keep the area clean and cover it with a loose bandage. New skin will form underneath and absorb the extra fluid. Eventually, the outer layer will dry up and loosen on its own accord before dropping off.

The only reason to consider draining a blister is if it is really large and painful. Even in that case, it is better to let a foot expert like the staff at Rocky Mountain Foot & Ankle Center handle it. If you have a disease like diabetes, poor circulation, nerve damage, HIV, cancer or heart issues, you should seek medical help for a blister. If something other than friction—like chicken pox or an allergic reaction—caused it, the problem can spread if it is popped.

For help with your blister, reach our offices in Wheat Ridge, Golden, Evergreen, or Granby, CO by dialing (303) 423-2520, or set up an appointment online.

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