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Posts for tag: Foot Fungus

By Family Foot and Ankle Center
December 30, 2015
Category: Foot Care

Fashion-Forward ShoesSome people are unfortunately more concerned with the way that their shoes look than what’s happening to their feet due to wearing those shoes on a daily basis. Some “fashion­forward” shoes, as nice as they may look on the outside, can actually be fungus traps, leaving the feet susceptible to the effects of foot and toenail funguses. Talk to a podiatrist about foot fungus and how your shoes can be creating the ideal environment for fungi to live on your feet.

What Is Foot Fungus?

A fungus is an organism that feeds and thrives on other organic matter. When it’s not controlled, it can lead to infections in parts of the body, like the feet. There are two types of fungal infections that commonly attack the feet:

  • Athlete’s Foot
  • Toenail Fungus

In both cases, overgrowth of fungus causes redness, itching, burning sensation and peeling of the skin. Toenail fungus also causes the nail to thicken, become yellow and flake. A strong, unattractive odor is also commonly associated with foot fungus infections.

Those Fashion­Forward Shoes...

The problem with many fashion­forward shoes is that they’re not designed to help your feet—they’re designed only to look a certain way for style. Some shoes don’t allow any room for your feet to breathe. Foot fungus thrives in warm, moist environments, so shoes that are enclosed or made of very restrictive materials (like plastic or pleather) often foster fungal infections. Fashionable women’s shoes often have pointy toes and very high heels (as high as six inches), causing the toes to push up against the front unnaturally. That pressure, combined with sweat, can also cause toenail fungus to develop.

Making Better Shoe Choices

If you are concerned about or have had past problems with foot fungus, it could be due to the choices you’re making in shoes. Here are a few tips for buying better shoes:

  • Whenever possible, wear shoes that have an open toe to allow the toenails to remain dry and cool
  • Pick shoes made of breathable fabric (like leather) and soles (ask your doctor about orthotic inserts that best manage moisture)
  • Do not share your shoes with other people who may have fungus problems
  • Ask your podiatrist about SteriShoe, an ultraviolet light that can kill fungus and bacteria that can form inside of your shoes

Your foot health should always trump your desire to wear fashionable shoes. Consult your podiatrist about better footwear choices that will both look good on your feet and prevent problems with fungal infections.

By Family Foot and Ankle Center
April 03, 2015
Category: Foot Care
A 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, visit one of our locations in Ashburn, Fairfax, Reston and McLean, VA as soon as possible to find out the best way to fix your problem. 
 
Fungal toenails tend to affect older men most often, because 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

To learn about what treatment options you have, schedule an appointment with your local podiatrist. Currently, there are over the counter creams and ointments available, but they generally are not as effective as prescribed medications from your podiatrist. When you see your podiatrist, depending on the severity of the infection, he or she 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. Because of this, the infection is removed very slowly. You won’t be fully rid of the infection for four months or longer. Your podiatrist may also prescribe a topical medication that you will apply directly to your toenail. 
 
Generally this medication is used in conjunction with oral medication. In the most extreme cases, your podiatrist in 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, call our Ashburn, Fairfax, Reston or McLean, VA offices today. 


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