My Blog
March 06, 2018
Category: Foot Care

An ingrown toenail is a common and painful condition of the toes. It occurs when one or both sides of the nail break grow into the skin of the toe, rather than over it. As a result, the irritated skin becomes painful, red and swollen. Fortunately, when detected early, an ingrown toenail can generally be treated effectively from home. But when left untreated, an ingrown toenail is prone to infection, as bacteria can enter your body via the penetrated skin. Professional treatment from your podiatrist is necessary to treat the infection. 

Self-Care for Ingrown Toenails

Regardless of the cause, understanding how to care for an ingrown toenail can go a long way to help prevent painful infections. In its earliest stage, an ingrown toenail can generally be cared for and successfully treated from home. For non-infected nails: 

  • Soak your foot in warm water several times a day to relieve swelling and soreness.
  • Wash and dry your foot to keep the affected area clean.
  • Wear comfortable footwear with a wide toe box, or sandals when weather permits.
  • Avoid cutting the nail, as this can make the condition worse.
  • Over-the-counter medications may temporarily ease the pain, though they don’t heal the underlying problem.

Conservative treatments won’t always be successful. When excessive swelling, pain or discharge is present, the toenail is most likely infected and should be treated by your podiatrist.  If you have diabetes or nerve damage, avoid home treatment and see your podiatrist for safe and professional care. 

Preventing Ingrown Toenails is Easy

With a few simple precautions, you can easily prevent ingrown toenails. 

  • Wear properly fitting shoes and socks that allow for adequate toe room.
  • Trim your toenails straight across, and avoid cutting them too short.
  • Keep your feet clean and dry, as this prevents bacteria formation.

Ingrown toenails are a very common condition of the toes. The key to avoiding ingrown toenails is to prevent them from occurring in the first place. Your podiatrist can administer treatment, such as an oral antibiotic or a minor surgical procedure, to stop the pain and remove the infection. Call today to schedule an appointment!

February 07, 2018
Category: Foot Care

During the school year, your children maintain their normal school routine with frequent activities and are constantly on the go. In order to maintain their busy schedules, it is vital that their feet are protected against the aches and pains of non-stop daily activities. From infants and toddlers to high school kids, the need for continual foot relief is constant. Pain in your child’s foot or ankle is never normal, as there is no such thing as "growing pains." Your podiatrist should evaluate any pain that lasts more than a few days, or that is severe enough to limit the child’s walking, as soon as possible.  

Infants and Toddlers

Whether your infant or toddler is in school or daycare, their feet need extra protection early on to promote healthy feet later on in their lives. The size and shape of your baby’s feet change dramatically during their first year. Too much pressure or strain can affect the shape of their feet as a baby’s feet are flexible. When choosing shoes for your baby make sure their shoes and socks do not squeeze the toes as this can cause damage to their precious toes. 

As your infant continues to grow, it is important not to force your toddler to walk before he or she is ready to. Once your toddler does begin to walk, watch your toddler’s gait – the way in which they walk. Many toddlers may have a pigeon-toed gait, which is normal, while some initially learn to walk landing on their toes instead of their heels. Most children will outgrow both of these problems, but other conditions detected early can be treated more easily.  

Proper Shoes for Your Children

Before you head to the store to buy your kids shoes, follow some simple guidelines provided by your podiatrist to prevent or minimize foot problems from poorly fitting or worn out shoes. Your child’s feet can grow up to two sizes in six months, so you need to account for growth when purchasing new shoes. This doesn’t mean that you need to buy shoes that are too big, as oversized shoes cause the foot to slide forward, putting excessive pressure on the toes. A well-fitting shoe has about a finger’s width from the end of the shoe to the tip of the big toe.  If your child’s shoes are too tight, they can cause blisters, corns, calluses, or ingrown nails that become can become infected.  

Shoes will lose their shock absorption over time, so it is important to inspect new and old shoes for proper cushioning and arch support.  If your child’s shoes exhibit wear and tear around the edges of the sole, replace them with new shoes that have adequate support. When buying new shoes, check to see that the toe box flexes easily and the shoe does not bend in the middle of the sole. Worn-out shoes elevate the risk for heel pain, Achilles tendonitis, and even ankle sprains – be sure to replace then as soon as possible.  

Remember to check your child’s shoe size often, as they will continually change shoe sizes as they grow. With your podiatrist’s care, the risk of bone problems can be reduced. Contact your podiatrist today if your child is experiencing any pain in their feet due to injury or abnormal growth.

Fungal ToenailsA fungal infection in one of your toenails can be both uncomfortable and unsightly. To fix the problem, there are both topical and oral treatments that can be used. If you are suffering from a fungal toenail, see your podiatrist as soon as possible. 
Fungal toenails tend to affect older men most frequently. As you get older, there is a diminished flow of blood to your toes and a longer period of exposure to fungi. Here are a few more of the most common factors that can increase your chances of getting a fungal toenail:
  • Walking barefoot in wet public areas. Walking without shoes in swimming pools, showers or gyms can increase your chances of a fungal infection.
  • Sweating heavily. If your feet are constantly sweaty, fungus will be more likely to survive and thrive near your toes in your shoe. 
  • Diabetes. Diabetes restricts the flow of blood to the extremities. Because of this, your immune system will be less prepared to fight off the fungal infection.
  • Poor shoes. If you wear shoes that do not ventilate or effectively absorb perspiration well, fungus will be able to thrive near your feet. 

Options To Treat Fungal Toenails

There are over the counter creams and ointments available, but they are generally not as effective as prescribed medications from your podiatrist. When you see your podiatrist, depending on the severity of the infection, they will usually prescribe either an oral medication or a topical cream. 
Oral medications are generally taken for 6 to 12 weeks. They work by helping a new nail to grow without any infection, and because of this, the infection resolves somewhat slowly. It will take roughly four months for the nail to truly heal. Your podiatrist may also prescribe a topical medication that you will apply directly to your toenail. 
In the most extreme cases, your podiatrist may perform surgery to remove your nail. If this happens, your nail will grow back very slowly, possibly taking up to a year to fully grow back.
To learn more about how to treat your fungal toenail or to schedule an appointment, contact your podiatrist today!
December 04, 2017
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Bunions   Foot Pain  

One of the most common foot problems we see is bunions, which also referred to as Hallux Valgus. The bunion is a prominent bump on the inside of the foot around the big toe joint. The bone, whichBunions protrudes towards the inside of the foot, can sometimes push the big toe under or over the second toe.  

Although bunions are a common foot deformity, there are many misconceptions about them. People may even go about their lives not realizing they have a bunion, because it does not initially cause pain. Bunions are a progressive disorder in which the bump becomes increasingly prominent. Symptoms usually appear at later stages, but some people may not exhibit any.

Treating Your Bunion: Tips from Your Podiatrist

Since bunions are bone deformities, they do not resolve by themselves. The first goal of bunion treatment is to relieve the pressure and pain that is caused by irritations, while the second is to stop any progressive growth of the enlargement. Some common methods used for treating your bunion and reducing pressure include:

  • Protective padding to eliminate the friction against shoes and help alleviate inflammation and skin problems.
  • Removal of corns and calluses on the foot. 
  • Carefully fitted footwear designed to accommodate the bunion and not contribute toward its growth.  
  • Orthotic devices to help stabilize the joint and place the foot in the correct position for walking and standing.
  • Exercises to maintain joint mobility and prevent stiffness or arthritis.
  • Splints for nighttime wear to help the toes and joint align properly.

When early treatments fail, or your bunion begins to worsen over time, a consultation with your podiatrist will be needed. Depending on the size of the enlargement and pain, your podiatrist may recommend surgery. It is important to not ignore foot pain, as it can worsen over time. Protect your feet and seek treatment immediately. 

November 03, 2017
Category: Foot Care
Is heel pain keeping you down? Pain that occurs following an injury or early in an illness may play a protective role, warning us about the damage we have suffered. So what causes heel pain?
Plantar fasciitis is a foot condition in which a band of tissue in the sole of the foot becomes inflamed, leading to severe heel pain. The pain can be so bad that it hurts to walk, much less exercise or perform daily activities. If one step causes shooting pain in your heel—especially when you first get out of bed in the morning or stand up after sitting for a long period of time—plantar fasciitis may be to blame. Contact your podiatrist immediately for proper diagnosis and treatment of your pain. 

Understanding Heel Pain with Help from Your Podiatrist

Plantar fasciitis, or heel pain, occurs when the plantar fascia is strained over time beyond its normal extension. This causes the soft tissue fibers of the fascia to tear or stretch at points along its length, leading to inflammation, pain and possibly the growth of a bone spur where it attaches to the heel bone.
Inflammation may become irritated by shoes that lack appropriate support, mainly in the arch area and by the constant irritation associated with an athletic lifestyle. Resting may provide temporary relief, but when you resume walking you may experience a sudden elongation of the fascia band, which stretches and pulls on the heel. As you walk the pain may lessen or even disappear, but that may just be a false sense of relief, as the pain will often return after prolonged rest or extensive walking.  
You can take steps now to avoid heel pain, including:
  • Wear shoes that fit well
  • Wear proper shoes for each activity
  • Do not wear shoes with excessive wear on heels or soles
  • Prepare properly before exercising by stretching and warming up
  • Pace yourself when you participate in athletic activities
  • Don’t underestimate your body’s need for rest and good nutrition
  • Lose excess weight
If pain and other symptoms of inflammation persist, you should limit your normal daily activities and contact your podiatrist immediately.  

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