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Many health conditions, like those you didn’t know you had, can be identified through foot exams.

Here are a few of those examples:

Melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, can appear on your feet — on the sole, especially in people with darker skin tones, and even on the toenails. Unlike other forms of skin cancer, melanoma is not as likely to develop in high-sun areas that might have experienced severe sunburns. Also, it can develop on depigmented parts of the body, such as the sole.

Squamous Cell Cancer can show on the fingertip, nail or nail matrix, and it can look like anything from an ulcer on their fingertip to only a malformed nail.

Cold Feet could be a sign of poor circulation or Raynaud's, a condition that causes some areas of the body to feel numb and extremely cold in response to cold weather or stress. Raynaud’s is a pathological level of vassal constriction.

Athlete’s Foot - a scaly, red rash between your toes is the hallmark symptom of this fungal infection, but you can also get itching and burning symptoms. The infection is contagious but can typically be treated with over-the-counter medications.

Clubbing in the nails can be a sign of heart or lung disease, two of the top causes of death in the United States.  When there’s a reduced amount of oxygen in the blood, it is marked by softened nail beds, red and/or bulging fingertips, and a downward curve of the nail.

Tingling or "pins and needles" in your feet can be a sign of nerve damage from diabetes — one of the dangerous complications of the condition. This type of neuropathy occurs when blood sugar levels are not properly maintained; over time, the excess of glucose in the bloodstream wreaks havoc on the nervous system.

Dr. Birk has offices in Court House and Beesley’s Point. To learn more about foot-related problems, visit or call (609) 465-1644.

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