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Posts for: May, 2012

By contactus
May 21, 2012
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As I sit in my office looking out the window and observing the puddles forming from the rain, I feel the urge to educate the public on the importance of drying one's feet well.  Our feet are often wet from bathing or showering, swimming, stepping in a puddle or most often, sweating.  A persistant wet state creates a great environment for fungus to thrive.   This often leads to Athlete's Foot and/or toenail fungus.  Blisters may also result from moisture combined with skin rubbing in a shoe.

Podiatrists all have offices filled with patients seeking relief from these conditions.   These conditions are treatable but can be stubborn, especially toenail fungus.   So the moral of today's blog entry is to dry those feet well and let them "air out" whenever possible. If necessary change your socks during the day.  So stay dry and enjoy life without added discomfort.

By contactus
May 14, 2012
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"Ouch.  My toenail hurts even when the sheet touches it at night"  This is a quote often heard in the Podiatrist's office.  Ingrown toenails refer to pressure from the nail on the skin along the nail border.  The great toe is the most common toe affected, but it can occur on any toe.  Causes of ingrown toenails can be genetics, tight shoes, improper cutting of the nails, injury to the nail, fungus in the nail or often is unknown.  The most common presentation will be pain on pressure of the affected nail border. This is usually most apparent while in shoes and on ambulation.   There is often redness and/or swelling present in the area.  In more severe cases, the nail can penetrate through the skin and result in an abscess and infection. 

Treatment requires removal of the offending portion of the toenail.  Here at East Avenue Podiatry, we have specialized nail clippers designed for excision of the ingrown portion of the nail.  Local anaesthesia is often utilized to correct the issue in a painfree manner.  If there is an abscess present, it will be drained at the same time.  Once the offending portion of the nail is removed, a few days of antibiotic ointment and a bandaid daily will usually allow for complete healing.  It is important to see a Podiatrist right away with this condition as it will not usually resolve on it's own and avoiding infection is always desired. 

Proper shoes and nailcare can prevent the problem from reoccuring in many cases.  However, once the nail is growing on an angle, this can become a reoccuring problem.  In these cases, a permanent removal of the nail border may be required and is a relatively simple procedure.

Please remember that foot pain of any kind is not normal and can affect you quality of life.  When your feet hurt, you tend to change your gait and often end up with pain in your knees, back or elsewhere.  East Avenue Podiatry looks forward to helping you maintain your foot health.

By contactus
May 04, 2012
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Sandal season is coming and the appearance of our feet becomes a concern.  Onychomycosis is a fungal infection of the nails.  The nails may appear discolored, thickened, deformed and often are loose with debri under the nail.  This condition can be more than cosmetic, resulting in pain on pressure when in shoes.  Diabetics, as well as people with nerve and/or circulation issues, could be at risk for secondary sores and infections.

Onychomycosis is extremely common in our society.  We are not meant to be walking around with closed shoes.  A dark, moist environment is perfect for the fungal spores to reproduce.  These fungal spores are common on most ground surfaces.  The most common mechanism of obtaining fungal nails is through repeated exposure to the fungal spores under optimal conditions for the fungus to reproduce.  Fungal nails can also occur after a trauma to the nail.  Any weakening of the nail makes it easier for fungus to enter.

So how do we prevent onychomycosis?  At East Avenue podiatry we advise our patients to drive her feet very well after showering or bathing.  We also advised patient to change their socks during the day if they are prone to sweating.  Applying a powder to the feet before putting on socks can also be helpful.  Wearing flip-flops in public showers can also lower the risk of exposure.  For patients that appear to be very prone, it is advisable to apply a topical antifungal medicine once or twice a week as prevention.  At the end of the day, allowing your feet to "air out" is a good policy.

Treatments include topical medications, oral medications and laser therapy.  The topical medications tend to only be successful in very mild cases.  The oral medications are successful in approximately 65 to 70% of the cases, but require bloodwork to monitor the liver enzymes.  A new laser therapy is now approved for treatment of onychomycosis.  However, it usually is not covered by insurance.  Success rates appear to be in the same range as the oral medication.  The reoccurrence rate does appear to be high for people who do successfully clear the fungus from their nails.

A visit to the podiatrist for a proper evaluation of the toenails is helpful to determine the proper course of action.  East Avenue podiatry looks forward to helping you maintain happy and healthy feet.