Skin tags are benign skin growths that can develop anywhere on the body. Skin tags are common among women, especially during pregnancy or menopause when hormones are changing rapidly. Individuals who are obese or have diabetes, high blood pressure, Crohn’s disease, polycystic ovary syndrome, or who take certain medications tend to have a higher incidence of skin tags. Although skin tags are harmless, your healthcare provider may recommend skin tag removal if the growth is in an area prone to irritation or if it makes you self-conscious about your appearance.
The most common skin tag removal procedures include burning the tag off with an electric cautery, using liquid nitrogen to freeze the tag, or surgical removal. Depending on the circumstances, a numbing agent may be applied to the area to minimize any minor discomfort. An MD Now provider can recommend the most appropriate skin tag removal procedure based on the size and location of your skin tag.
Following skin tag removal, the area may appear crusty or have a scab for a week to 10 days. At this point, the crust normally falls off on its own to reveal the new skin.
A toenail becomes ingrown when it grows into the skin rather than over it, which can cause pain, swelling, and redness around the nail. Common causes include improper nail trimming, ill-fitting shoes, or an injury to the toe that forces the nail into the skin. Ingrown toenail care typically involves proper nail trimming and wearing shoes that do not place pressure on the toes. You should consult a medical professional for ingrown toenail care if the pain worsens or does not improve within a few days, if the nail appears to be infected, or if the nail is so thick or hard that you cannot trim it properly. Individuals with diabetes should also seek professional ingrown toenail care since they are at high risk for complications from infections.
If your nail does not improve with conservative ingrown toenail care measures, it may be necessary to remove a portion of the nail on the affected side. The procedure is performed using a local anesthetic to minimize any discomfort.
Subungual hematoma is the medical term for a smashed toe with blood under the nail or a smashed finger with blood under the nail. The majority of subungual hematomas occur when the finger or toe is crushed by a heavy object. A subungual hematoma can also occur when a toe is repeatedly jammed into the toe-box of a shoe that is too tight.
The signs and symptoms of a subungual hematoma include nail discoloration that starts out as reddish-purple and transitions to black and pain in the nail area caused by the pressure of the blood pooling under the nail. The pain typically subsides with a few days; however, it can take two to six months for the discoloration to grow out or the nail to fall off and regrow. If the pain lasts for more than a couple of days, you should consult a healthcare provider to see if the hematoma needs to be drained or if you may need X-rays to rule out a fracture.
Debridement is used to remove dead or infected skin tissue from a wound to promote healing, minimize scarring, and reduce complications from infections. The specific method of debridement is based on the type and nature of the wound, the person’s age and overall health, and the risk for complications. The most common type of debridement involves using a moving force, such as pulling off a dressing, or surgical instruments to physically remove the unhealthy tissue.
A common form of mechanical debridement uses wet-to-dry dressings. A burn wound dressing of moistened gauze is applied to the affected area. The gauze sticks to the wound as it dries so that the unhealthy tissue is pulled away when the dressing is removed.
A tick should be removed as quickly as possible by using a pair of tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the surface of the skin as possible, and pulling up on the tick using steady pressure while taking care not to twist or pull so hard that part of the tick remains in the skin. The bite area and your hands should be cleaned with soap and water or alcohol. Never use heat to force the tick to detach or attempt to “smother” the tick by applying fingernail polish or petroleum jelly. Once the tick has been removed, it should be disposed of by placing it in a sealed bag or container, flushing it down the toilet, or wrapping it up tightly in tape.
If you are unable to remove the tick yourself, or you develop a fever, rash, or general flu-like symptoms following a tick bite, you should visit an MD Now provider promptly.
The content provided on the MD Now website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for receiving medical care and treatment from a qualified healthcare provider. Never delay seeking advice, evaluation, and treatment from a medical professional because of what you’ve read on this site, since the information provided may not apply to you or your symptoms.