FAQs - Skin Care

What are the signs of frostbite?

Frostbite is a serious cold-weather injury that some people underestimate. However, identifying signs of frostbite early could help save your toes. There are three stages to this condition: frostnip, superficial, and severe frostbite.

When you first develop frostnip, the affected areas will feel very cold and possibly prickly. Your feet will slowly go numb. Your skin may appear very pale.

As the damage goes deeper and develops into superficial frostbite, your skin may redden and eventually fade to white. While your skin may still feel soft to your hands, you may notice ice crystals forming. Some people feel like their feet are actually hot at this stage.

In severe frostbite, your feet lose all ability to feel the cold or even pain. Your skin will feel hard or waxy. Your muscles and joints may not work properly.

If you notice any symptoms of frostbite, you need to take care of your feet right away. Anything past frostnip will need professional care. Contact Dr. Gerald Mauriello in Belvidere and Hackettstown, NJ, to get help. You can reach our office by calling (908) 475-8750 or requesting an appointment online.

Is there a right or wrong way to trim toenails?

How you trim your toenails does actually matter. Proper trimming keeps your nails healthy and helps prevent both in-growing and fungal infections. Cutting your nails incorrectly puts you at risk for pain in the long run. If you have a condition that put you at high risk for foot ulcers, like diabetes, it is better to have a physician like Dr. Gerald Mauriello help you clip your nails so you don’t accidentally injure yourself.

To properly trim your nails, clip them straight across with flat-edged clippers or manicure scissors. Don’t round the edges or the sides. Make sure the ends of the nail lines up with the end of each toe. Being too long or too short increases your risk for ingrown nails. If you file the ends, make single strokes in the same direction so you don’t weaken your keratin. Never cut your cuticles, either.

Is it okay to pop my blister?

Many people deal with blisters by popping them, but, in most cases, that is not a good idea. Popping blisters can open your feet to nasty skin infections. The risks are even worse if you have diabetes—in that case, your blister could easily devolve into a dangerous ulcer. If you have that preexisting condition, don’t wait. Seek immediate help for your feet.

For everyone else, do what you can to take care of your blister while leaving the skin intact. Clean the sore with soap and water, then cover it with a bandage. Add a pad over that to help reduce pressure on the bump if you need it. Small donut-shaped pads with holes cut out of the center are best. The fluid-filled bubble might rupture on its own, too. Clean the wound and cover it with a bandage. Leave as much of the damaged skin in place as possible to help protect the sensitive layers underneath.

If you think your blister is infected, or it is extremely painful, let Dr. Gerald Mauriello assist you.