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Phone: 541-776-3338
Southern Oregon Foot & Ankle, LLC
Call Us 541-776-3338
Toll Free 844-899-6826

Southern Oregon Podiatrists Answer Your Top Questions About Foot and Ankle Pain

Stop questioning your foot and ankle pain. Start getting answers! Read our FAQ articles for tips from our Southern Oregon podiatrists to help you feel better and get healthy.

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  • What is a cyst?

    Essentially, a cyst is a pocket of tissue filled with air, fluid, or other substances. These growths can develop virtually anywhere on your body. There are various types of cysts, but the good news is that most are benign (noncancerous). Additionally, they generally tend to be harmless and can go away on their own. That said, it is always best to have any unusual growth properly diagnosed, because treatment might be needed.

    A fairly common type of cyst that can develop on the foot is a ganglion cyst. These growths are noncancerous lumps often found along tendons or joints. They are typically round-shaped and contain a jellylike fluid similar to the lubricating fluid found around tendons and in joints. Ganglion cysts usually do not cause pain, unless they press on nerves.

    Remember, if you ever observe anything out of the ordinary in your lower limbs, it’s best to find out what it is and how it will affect you, and we are here to help. You can reach our Medford, OR office by calling (541) 776-3338, or simply take a moment to request your appointment with Southern Oregon Foot & Ankle online right now.

  • Why is dry skin dangerous with diabetes?

    Having dry skin with diabetes, especially on the feet, can be dangerous. This disease has a negative impact on the immune system, weakening it and diminishing the body’s natural ability to fight off infection. With this being the case, it is important for diabetic individuals to maintain healthy skin to reduce the risk of infection.

    One of the easiest ways for bacteria to attack is through an opening into the body, like a cut or scrape. Another entry point happens when skin becomes excessively dry and cracks. When the fissure run deep enough, they create one of those openings that microorganisms can then use to infect the area. Left untreated, such an infection could potentially result in a necessary amputation.

    If you live with diabetes, it is essential that you contribute to your foot health by taking the proper diabetic foot care steps every day. These are centered on prevention and early detection of issues, and we can help you create an effective plan to keep you safe and healthy. Contact Southern Oregon Foot & Ankle, L.L.C., today online or call our Medford, OR office at (541) 776-3338 to schedule an appointment

  • Should I cut off my wart?

    No, you should definitely not attempt to cut off your own plantar wart. To start with, warts are caused by a virus (HPV) and cutting off the growth will not actually cure it. In time, the wart will likely grow back. More importantly though, performing home surgery puts you at unnecessary risk for an infection that could develop into a serious issue.

    Warts are unsightly and, depending on their location, may lead to discomfort, but they are not harmful and may eventually go away on their own. There are other home care treatments that are considerably safer if you really want to get rid of one sooner, but your best course of action is simply to leave it to the professionals.

    Instead of attempting to cut off your wart, make an appointment with Southern Oregon Foot & Ankle, L.L.C., and let us handle it for you. We provide sterile equipment and trained professionals who will ensure that the procedure is performed correctly and safely. Contact our Medford, OR office by calling (541) 776-3338 or using our online form to request an appointment today.

  • How can I prevent warts on my feet?

    The easiest way to prevent warts on your feet is by protecting the skin from the HPV virus. Walking barefoot is the easiest way to contract warts. Always wear shoes in public areas where the virus can live. Flip flops or shower shoes should be worn in public locker rooms and swimming pools.

    Be mindful not to come into physical contact with areas that are infected. In fact, people react differently to the virus. Someone may have picked up the HPV strains that cause warts, and not exhibit any symptoms. Protect your feet by not sharing shoes or socks with anyone without washing them first. Shoes can harbor viruses and bacteria for extended periods of time, so it is important to wash your socks and shoes regularly. Also, give your shoes time to air out! Avoid wearing the same pair every-day.

    Check your feet often to keep track of changes in the color and appearance of the skin. Make an appointment with Dr. Merrill if you notice any changes. Catching warts early will save you pain and time later!

  • Are plantar warts contagious?

    Yes, plantar warts are contagious. They are not, however, highly contagious. While they can pass from person to person, you are more likely to contract one by picking up the virus in the environment around you. Places with warm, damp atmospheres like public pools or locker rooms are prime grounds for spreading warts, so remember to protect your feet with sandals or shower shoes.

    These growths are caused a strain of the human papilloma virus (HPV). Everyone’s immune system responds to the virus differently, so even if you are exposed to someone’s wart, you are not guaranteed to develop one. It does require a moist environment and a way to enter the body - so if you have frequently sweaty feet and a cut or crack in your skin, you do have a higher risk of acquiring one. If you have noticed a skin growth on the bottom of your foot, don’t wait and let it become uncomfortable before having it investigated and taken care of by Dr. Evan Merrill. Contact Southern Oregon Foot & Ankle, L.L.C. for an appointment or more information today. Your feet will be glad you did! You can easily reach our office by calling (541) 776-3338.

  • What are plantar warts?

    Plantar warts are lesions on the skin that are caused by the human papillomavirus, more commonly known as HPV This virus can enter into the skin on your feet through tiny cracks and cuts, and form bumps with tiny black specks in the middle. These are not the “roots” of the wart like many falsely believe, but are small blood clots. These pesky annoyances may also cause calluses, as they are often located on high pressure areas of the feet.

    Warts can appear as a single lesion or in formations of several. “Kissing warts” are warts that have formed in areas that have contact with each other like in between toes. This is because warts are contagious, and the virus can easily spread to other areas of the foot. Another formation that is common is called a “mosaic.” This develops when several warts are clustered together to form what looks like a single, giant wart.

  • How can I prevent black toenails?

    There are several simple ways you can prevent black toenails. This common runner’s malady is caused by trauma as the tips of the toes repeatedly bump the ends of your shoes. You’ll need to switch to properly fitted running shoes. Their ends should be roughly half an inch longer than your longest toe. Your feet shouldn’t slip forward in them, either. Make sure you trim your toenails regularly. Too-long nails are more likely to bruise. In some cases, you may be gripping the ground too hard when you run and increasing the impact on your toes that way. You may need an orthotic to help correct your foot mechanics and cushion your lower limbs.

    Black toenails are unsightly and embarrassing, but also preventable. If you get them often, contact the experts here at Southern Oregon Foot & Ankle, L.L.C. for an appointment to analyze why. You can reach our Medford, OR, office by calling (541) 776-3338 or filling out the website contact form.

  • What is black toenail?

    This nail condition occurs when the toes collide with the front of the shoe as the foot impacts the ground. This repetitive motion can create a blister under the toenail that causes excess fluid and blood to pool beneath the nail, giving it a blackened appearance. In many cases, this toe problem may go away on its own after 24 hours. If it persists, podiatric assistance is usually necessary. Over the next few months the damaged nail and tissue will grow out and full regrowth of the nail should occur after three months. For the prevention and treatment of black toenail, patients should try to get the right kind of shoes for their activities.

    Our podiatric office in Medford is ready and willing to help patients of all walk of life through any toe or nail problems. Our office can be contacted at 541-776-3338 and appointments with Dr. Evan Merrill can be scheduled online.

  • How do I make my toenails stronger and healthier?

    Healthy toenails are important for protecting the ends of your digits, so taking care of them is worth the investment. Make sure you keep them clean and well-trimmed. Wash them carefully when you scrub your feet every day, and clip the nails straight across so they are less likely to become ingrown. If you file the nail as well, don’t use a sawing or back-and-forth motion. Instead, file from the outside edges toward the center. When you moisturize your feet, rub some lotion or ointment on top of the nails, too. Don’t cut your cuticles at all—that can open your body to infection. Instead, gently push them back from the nail with a cuticle pusher.

    If you’re concerned about the strength of your nails, or notice thickening, discoloration, curling, or other unusual distortions, don’t ignore it. Instead, contact the experts at Southern Oregon Foot & Ankle, L.L.C. for more information or an appointment to check for infections or other problems. Visit the online contact page or call (541) 776-3338 to reach our Medford office./contact.cfm

  • What is the proper way to trim my toenails?

    Cutting the toenails regularly can go a long ways toward the prevention of conditions like ingrown and pincer toenails. It may be easier to cut the nail immediately after bathing, as it will be softer and more pliable. When trimming the nail make sure to cut straight across; a curved edge will promote lateral growth of the nail and will often cause the nail to grow into the surrounding areas of skin. If you find a problem like a hangnail or ingrown toenail, it is best to let our professional staff solve that problem for you. Improper treatment of nail conditions can develop into more serious complications with the onset of infections.

    If you notice any changes in the condition of your nails, call our Medford office at (541) 776-3338. Don’t delay, as nail conditions only worsen with time. Dr. Evan Merrill has extensive training in the treatment of these toe problems.

  • Why do my feet smell?

    Most foot odor has a simple recipe: sweat and bacteria. Our feet and shoes just happen to provide superb conditions for both of these ingredients.

    Feet produce more sweat than any other part of the body. The sweat they produce, though, doesn’t have much odor in itself. When bacteria feed off this sweat, it produces the chemicals we attribute to smelly feet. Different bacteria will produce different byproducts and create different aromas.

    Bacteria thrive in warm, moist environments. When we put our feet in shoes and socks, we’re helping to maintain those conditions. If our shoes remain damp, either through excessive sweating or not providing time for them to dry, the bacteria will thrive and the smelly cycle will live on.

    If your feet excessively sweat or the ways you’ve tried to reduce your odor don’t help, Dr. Evan Merrill and the staff at Southern Oregon Foot & Ankle, L.L.C. can help. Arrange an appointment by calling (541) 776-3338