As the weather heats up, you may begin pulling your summer clothing and sandals out from the back of your closet. However, after keeping your feet in socks and slippers all winter, you may notice that your toenails look a little “funky”. Luckily, your podiatrist can help. Toenail fungus is a common and treatable condition which affects many people everywhere. Learn more about toenail fungus with help from your podiatrists at Family Foot and Ankle Center with offices in Fairfax, Reston, McLean, and Ashburn, VA.
What causes toenail fungus?
Fungi love moist, warm environments and do not need light in order to grow. This makes your toes and feet, routinely tucked inside socks and shoes, the perfect breeding ground for fungi. The fungi enter the skin through tiny cuts or scrapes and through tiny separations between the nail bed and toenail. Those who are often in warm, moist environments like gym locker rooms and public pools are more at-risk for toenail fungus. Additionally, males, those with decreased blood flow, and individuals who are of older age are at-risk for toenail fungus.
Identifying Toenail Fungus
Toenail fungus has some tell-tale symptoms. It begins as a white or yellow dot on the toenail and presents more symptoms over time. They include:
- a thickened nail
- a yellowed nail
- a nail with crumbling edges
- a nail with a dull or matte finish instead of shine
- distorted shape
- separation of the nail and nail bed
How can lasers treat toenail fungus?
There are many over-the-counter remedies for toenail fungus. However, these remedies work over long periods of time with continued use. If over-the-counter medications do not yield results, it may be time to see your podiatrist. FDA-Approved laser treatment for toenail fungus, available at Family Foot and Ankle Care, has proven effective and has no known side effects. The laser generates heat. The pigments in the affected toenail absorb the heat, which kills the fungal cells.
For more information on laser treatments for toenail fungus, please contact your podiatrist at Family Foot and Ankle Center. Call your local office or visit www.familyfootandankle.com to schedule your appointment today!
Fairfax, VA - (703) 273-9818
Reston, VA - (703) 723-2719
McLean, VA - (703) 556-8637
Ashburn, VA - (703) 723-9267
Monitoring your child's foot growth and health is an invaluable part of preparing for their future.
Parents have a lot to worry about from diet to exercise to interaction with peers, their children's health is a constant concern. While their kids' feet might not be at the top of most parents' priority list, it's a vital part of their development. Remember these tips:
Above all else, it is imperative to be sure your growing child is wearing the proper shoes. Their bones are are still very flexible and need to be positioned properly in their footwear. Don't wait for them to complain about discomfort often the contortion of their feet happens so gradually that neither you nor your child may realize it.
This is also true of athletic shoes they should be comfortable and offer proper support for the type of activity your child will be doing. Inquire at your podiatrist's office about their brand recommendations.
Kids outgrow shoes fast
All parents know that feeling: your child has outgrown yet another pair of shoes. Experts advise that younger children's feet tend to grow faster. Therefore, toddlers will generally go up in size every two to three months. By the time your child is three years old, he or she will likely stay in the same size for about six months. Up until kids are in their early teens, parents can expect to replace the children's shoes at least once, if not twice, a year.
No bare feet outdoors
Childhood memories often include the feeling of running through fresh grass in bare feet, but doctors caution against this idyllic rite of passage. Sharp, dirty objects on the ground may be discovered the hard way by stepping on them. Not only are they painful, but deep puncture wounds can harbor harmful bacteria, including tetanus.
Talk to your podiatrist if you have any questions or concerns about your child's foot or ankle health.
Certain foods should be eliminated from your diet if you want to alleviate this condition.
If you have gout then chances are you know it. Gout is a severe and painful attack on the joints, most often reserved for the joint at the base of the big toe. Gout is a form of arthritis that can affect both men and women, but tends to happen more often in men. Those with gout experience symptoms suddenly and may describe the pain as feeling as if their toe is on fire. Gout is anything but pleasant; however, what you eat could help improve your condition and prevent a recurrence.
While it can be challenging to eliminate your nightly glass of vino, if you are suffering from gout you may need to remove alcohol altogether just to be safe. While it’s certainly not a comparable replacement, you should be choosing water over alcoholic beverages. Beer is particularly bad for those with gout, as both the alcohol and the brewer’s yeast can trigger a flare up.
Say No to Sugar
Sugar gets a bad rap, and rightfully so. Besides the laundry list of other issues sugar causes, it can also raise your uric acid levels. As gout is brought about by too much uric acid in the bloodstream, this naturally can lead to more flare ups.
Limit PurineRich Foods
If you have gout your podiatrist has probably already warned you about staying away from purinerich foods like seafood and organ meats. When our body ingests purine, it begins to break it down into uric acid. While avoiding alcohol and sugar are probably your most effective ways to stop gout, it’s not a bad idea to also limit foods high in purines.
No one should have to explain how great regular exercise is for your body; however, for those who are at a greater risk for developing gout, you will want to spend a little extra time making sure you are getting routine exercise. When you work, out you reduce your urate (salt created from uric acid) levels, which in turn reduces the likelihood that you will develop gout.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
When you are overweight your uric acid levels will also be elevated. To ensure that this doesn’t continue, you will want to eat a healthy, balanced diet to help you maintain a healthier weight. Avoid diets that promote high levels of protein and low levels of carbohydrates, as these diets tend to be high in purine consumption.
Sometimes overthecounter pain relievers aren’t enough to reduce your gout pain. If this is the case, talk to your podiatrist about other medications you can take to alleviate your symptoms.
Consider the health of your feet the next time you purchase your running shoes.
If you are an avid runner, nothing sounds better than lacing up your shoes and spending the day outdoors. However, do you think about the health of your feet while you are running your favorite trails? Are you considering how much protection your feet are getting or the stability they need while you pound the pavement? Our feet and ankles play a major role in our ability to enjoy active endeavors like running. Therefore, when it’s time to pick out a new pair of running shoes, here are some tips you should follow.
Figure out your foot type
Do you have flat feet or high arches? When you go in to try on running shoes, go to an athletic store where specialists and experts can help you choose the proper running shoes to fit your foot shape. By choosing shoes based on the arch of your foot, you can easily prevent certain injuries.
Do you pronate?
How your foot hits the ground while you move will also affect the type of shoes you purchase. Those with flat feet often overpronate, which means that the foot rolls severely inward every time your foot hits the ground. Whenever the foot rolls inward it causes pain and strain to the foot. By going to a specialty running store you can talk to someone who will be able to determine whether you pronate so you get the best running shoes for your feet.
By a half size up
This might sound a bit odd, but did you know that your feet actually swell while you run? Therefore, if your shoes just fit or even fit a little snug, this can cause blisters and other foot problems due to overcrowded toes. In order to combat swollen feet, it’s not a bad idea to go up a half size in your shoes than you normally would.
Know when to replace your old shoes
No one likes to say goodbye to their old running shoes, especially if a lot of great memories were formed and races were won while wearing them; however, shoes don’t last forever and the longer you wear wornout shoes the more damaging it could be for your feet. A good rule of thumb is to replace your shoes every 300 to 500 miles.
If you have any questions about what running shoe is best for you, call your podiatrist today!
For some women, there’s nothing quite as exciting as getting a brand new pair of elegant high heels. High heels come in a number of attractive styles, including pumps, stilettos, wedges, Mary Janes, platforms and sling backs. But those pretty heels can hide some pretty ugly truths. Take a moment to learn more about the hidden dangers of high heels and how they can cause serious problems for your feet.
Heel spurs are bumps that form on the heel bone over time due to continuous friction or pressure. The design of many high heeled shoes puts a strain on the back of the foot, leading to complications with heel spurs and irritation of the skin.
Women who wear very high heels also put their ankles at risk of injury. If the wearer falls or has a sudden movement in the wrong direction, it could cause a sprained ankle. The higher the heel, the worse the potential effects of a fall.
One of the most commonly reported problems that podiatrists receive from women who wear high heels is the appearance of hammertoes. A hammertoe develops as the toes are pinched and squeezed forward in the front of the heel—the toes begin to bend at the joints into an unnatural shape. In some cases, the joints are aggravated to the point where the wearer can no longer bend the toes back up.
Corns and Calluses
Hammertoes are often seen in combination with unsightly corns that develop on the tops of the toes due to friction with the shoe. Calluses also often develop on the sides of the feet and on the bottom, where the ball of the feet meets the ground each time you take a step.
As gorgeous as those high heels on the rack may look, it’s also important to think about how your feet could look after a while if you wear them often. If you enjoy wearing high heels, protect your feet by maintaining regular appointments with your podiatrist. A number of modern solutions and foot therapies are available, so if you have any of the symptoms mentioned above, call your podiatrist today to schedule an urgent consultation.
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