Skin Conditions

Surgical Removal of a Painful Toenail

Dr. Campitelli No Comments

Suffering from a severely painful toenail that is constantly irritated with shoes and impossible to cut?  Surgical removal is most likely the best option.  Toenail deformities can be the result of trauma to the nail plate which can occur from dropping something on your toe, or simply through years of irritation of the nail plate on a shoe.  Nail fungus can also be the cause of a deformed toenail, so it is imperative to first have the nail tested for fungus before making any decisions to permanently remove the toenail.

Many patients ask if it is possible to temporarily remove the toenail and let it grow back.  While this option may seem possible, if the nail has sustained permanent damage through trauma, then it will grow back with the same deformity.

The best solution in cases of severely deformed toenails is permanent removal of the nail plate by a procedure known as a chemical matrixectomy. The toe is anesthetized in the office and the nail plate is removed.  A chemical called phenol is placed on the cells that form the toenail creating a burn which prevents the nail from growing back.  Recovery is typically two weeks of wearing a band aid with antibiotic ointment.  Most people return to work the next day and runners can usually begin running within two days. 

This is what a toe will look like after removal of the nail:

 


 

Early detection is the best treatment for skin cancer.

Dr. Campitelli No Comments

Skin cancer can present in places where you don’t always think to look.  Dr. Campitelli not only encounters cancerous lesions on the foot, but also treats them on the hand as well. 

This patient had a skin lesion under his finger nail that was present for over a year and eventually started draining and caused loosening of the toenai.  The nail was removed and several samples of tissue were taken from the suspicious lesion.  

If you have something that is new or looks out of the ordinary, don’t wait to get it biopsied.  The only person who can tell weather or not it is skin cancer is the pathologist who looks at it under the microscope. 

Can skin cancer appear on the leg?

Dr. Campitelli No Comments

Skin cancer can arise anywhere on the body. In this particular example a patient presented to me at the University Hospitals Wound Center in The Streetsboro Health Center.  She had a lesion or wound on her leg that had been present for almost one year. Initially she felt that it was a blister although it would never completely heal. She was sent to me for evaluation and treatment for a non healing wound.  The wound did not appear to be a veanous stasis wound and as result of being present for greater than six months biopsy was warranted. 


A small 3mm punch biopsy of the wound was performed on initial presentation which demonstrated a basal-squamous cell carcinoma of the lower extremity. 

Treatment will require wide excision of the lesion.

How can you tell if you have a melanoma?

Dr. Campitelli No Comments

Melanomas on the feet are rare, but I have seen multiple instances of them occur. Some we were able to excise early enough while others were too advanced and amputation was needed.

Here are some simple rules to follow when looking at a suspicious mole or lesion on your skin.

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How to determine if you have a plantar wart. 

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One of the most common questions I’m asked about skin conditions on the foot is, “Is this a wart?”.

Here’s a quick way to tell if you have a wart.

The lesion will appear as a callus but will have interruption of the skin tension lines – your fingerprints. Or, in this case, toe prints!  Look close and see if there are no skin lines running through the lesion. You will also possibly see small black dots. These dots are areas of blood from microscopic blood vessels in the warts. They’re not seeds or viral particles as some people say!!  Finally, warts are painful. If you squeeze the lesion from the sides it will typically be very painful. More so than a callus. 
Treating warts can be as simple as destructing with an acid or more severe requiring surgical excision.  We offer both treatment options in our offices. More severe cases may require surgical excision in an outpatient surgical setting which we can determine after an office visit.

Neonatal Foreskin Skin Grafts for Foot and Leg Ulcerations 

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Foot wounds and ulcerations are extremely common amongst diabetic patients due to their loss of sensation, decreased blood flow and compromised immune system.  These wounds can sometimes take many months to heal and require weekly visits to debride or “clean out” the wounds. Read More

Surgery For Plantar Warts

Dr. Campitelli No Comments

Here is a short video of a surgical excision of a plantar wart that was located on the back of a patients heel. These typically will not respond to topical acid therapy the way that warts on the sole of the foot do. Surgery is performed in office and the sutures are generally removed in 10-14 days. Read More

Malignant Melanoma? How to tell if you should have a “mole” biopsied.

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You probably never thought of seeing a podiatrist for a skin check, right? Although malignant melanomas are not common in the foot, they do occur and I have seen them.  Here are some examples below.

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Allergic reactions to drugs such as penicillin.

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Taking a new medication and you suddenly developed a rash?  It may be an allergic reaction to the medication.  This is not too common, but common enough that it presents to my office.

Here are several examples of the classic eruptions to the skin from a drug allergy.

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What happens when you soak your foot in potassium chloride? 

Dr. Campitelli No Comments

Nope, it’s not nail polish. This Is what happens when you soak your feet in potassium chloride. Well, a solution of it that is. This patient was attempting to use an old remedy to resolve a chronic foot pain by soaking his foot in a solution of potassium chloride and water. He temporarily stained his toenails as you can see.  Although the acid has left a black discoloration, it is only temporary and will grow out. 

Leg and foot wounds can be difficult wounds to heal. 

Dr. Campitelli No Comments

If you’ve ever known someone to have a leg ulcer that took months to heal, then you’ll appreciate how long and complex leg and foot wounds can be.  There are many health variables which play a role in why  some of these wounds take longer to heal which is specialized wound centers exist to care for these wounds. Our practice works at two wound centers in Ohio where we see unimaginable wounds of all complexities and we have an large array of resources to treat these wounds. Hyberic oxygen chambers exist to improve oxygenation of blood in patients who have bone infection or poor blood supply. Sometimes we implant skin grafts or new bioengineered tissue substitutes to close a wound quicker than it would take to heal naturally.

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Topical Nail Solution to soften and clear discolored toenails.
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