Category Archives: Family

I Can’t Get Cancer in my Feet…Right, Dr. P?

My Irish descent has given me many wonderful qualities: a great sense of humor, a positive outlook on life, and a happy demeanor. I’ve also hit the jackpot with pasty white, SPF 50 required, porcelain skin. Skin cancer runs in my family so close monitoring is essential to prevent problems. Because the issue is close to my heart, as a podiatrist, I am always on the lookout for skin cancers. It may seem hard to believe, but you CAN get cancer on your feet. It is often difficult to diagnose because a problem can be hard to see or feel.

Skin cancers are often painless but reoccurring cuts or wounds. Sometimes they appear as a freckle, a mole, or bruising in an area where no injury occurred.


This was a bruise that wouldn’t go away.

What should you look for?

Examine any unusual area using the acronym, ”ABC:” Asymmetry, Border and Color. Asymmetry means the abnormal area is not even or symmetrical in shape. The border may be irregular, lacking smooth rounded edges. It may be raised or be even with the surrounding skin. The color of the area lacks consistency; meaning it may have many different colors within the lesion. Finally, the size of the abnormal area/lesion is important. I get concerned when a lesion is bigger than 5 mm. Early detection can SAVE YOUR LIFE.

At Barking Dogs Foot and Ankle Care, we take the time to examine the skin on your feet AND lower legs. If something is suspicious, a simple in-office test can aid in early diagnosis. There is no mole too small, no freckle to light, and no concern too silly. As the saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” With the summer around the corner and the Jersey shore calling your name, be sure to protect yourself with appropriate skin coverage and DON’T FORGET ABOUT YOUR FEET! To make an appointment with Dr. Pagano, DPM, contact us at 484.681.9485 or visit our website at


“Two men enter, one man leaves!” was the chant that I remember when watching Mad Max back when Mel Gibson was a good actor and only thought to be interesting instead of completely crazy.

The summer and vacation seasons bring on alot of foot injuries and pain to many patients. Immediately flip flops come to mind. But is it the flip flops themselves, or is it something else.

1. Too much too soon: The Disney World Injuries.

Many patients come home from a log relaxing vacation and don’t understand why their heels hurt or their toenails are black and blue.  We ALL work hard, but most of our jobs require us to do a fair amount of sitting and grueling it out behind a computer desk. Then we go to Disney World and chase the kids around for a minimum of 22 hours a day.  Proper training is required for any activity, this includes walking.  We often don’t look at walking as exercising, but it is; and an increase in your level of activity. You keep up this pace for a 5-7 day trip, you should expect to have some discomfort.  Believe it or not, when you are gonna go on a long trip that requires a lot of walking; you need to get in shape for it. Light walking leading up to the big trip will make your vacation more enjoyable and foot pain free

2. But Doctor, I look cute in Flip Flops!

Most podiatrists will tell you the negatives of flip flops, and I’m not going to be different.  There are certain flip flops that offer you absolutely no support at all. Unfortunately, there are some feet that need to have support. That is my only problem. Certain people require certain things. If you have the perfect foot type that doesn’t require support, god bless you and your flip flop feet! If you start with your flip flops and don’t break them in: expect injuries. If you require the extra support in your shoes, look into a company called ORTHAHEEL. They offer orthotic like support without sacrificing style. (At least thats what my wife says.)

3. The Vacation Superhero

It’s always fun to go vacation and try something new. While we may work all day and come home and go to sleep when at home, the schedule of a vacation day can be alot different. 6 am yoga class followed by a 10 am tennis lesson (that you haven’t played in ten years) and then follow it up with water skiing for 2 hours. It will be one of the best days of your life, keep in mind, but you should expect to pay some taxes in the currency of foot and joint pain for the remainder of your trip.

What can you do? Prepare.  Strengthen your feet prior to your trip. Simple exercises like marble pickups and light stretching to the foot and ankle can accomplish these things. If you expect to be a vacation superstar, be prepared to come home and still be the same wonderful 9-5 pm superhero that you always were.  There’s nothing wrong with that, but a little prevention can save you alot discomfort post pina colada.

4. Skin protection.

How many times has your friend pointed out their savage tan after a vacation, and watched them limp away due to sunburn on the feet. When your lathering up prior to your trip to the beach (SPF 50 for me, thanks to Mom’s irish skin tone thatI’ve inherited), many times we forget to protect the skin on the top (dorsum) of our feet. This can be EXTREMELY dangerous. Melanoma does not discriminate. I have had an increase in melanoma in my office and this is very preventable. So don’t forget to cover them dogs up before you go out in the sun!

The summer is fun, vacationing is fun, it’s what we all work our tails off to do. Sit back and take a break for a few cherished days. Take the time and use your head this summer and protect, prepare and enjoy your feet. They’re willing to carry you, you need to be willing to pamper.

Let me ask you a question: How many of my readers have ever had sunburn on their feet?

Have a great summer, and will be talking to you soon….the Philadelphia Distance Run is coming up, let’s get training!

New Training Secrets From My Newest Running Partner

Running has always brought me happiness and has been a very spiritual experience.  It has always been a safe place for me.  When I had to think, handle emotions, I could always run and nobody could stop me.  It started at age 11.  It became part of my life in high school. It became my life for four great years at LaSalle.  I’ve had the honor of running with a sub four minute miler, All Americans, National qualifiers, my brother, my best friends and my wife, but today, I found my newest running partner.

My New Training Partner

Today, I strapped up the B.O.B. and went on a short run with my new daughter, Maci.  It was different than any other run.  It was challenging not running with my arms, I never held a steering wheel as tight as I held that stroller handle.  And while I ran, I ran past my past.  I ran by little kids playing little league baseball (watched a kid struck out like I used).  I ran by teenagers crossing over each other and breaking ankles on the basketball court.  I crossed paths with a tall and lanky speedster with curly hair who was 6 months past due on a hair cut. I smiled and I looked down at my new running buddy.  I didn’t care what I looked like, because she was smiling at me.

I felt the excitement I felt running in big races and watching my college friends on the biggest stage. Only today, there was only one person watching me.  And I was happy running again.