Nail fungal infections are common. It is caused by the fungus attacking the nails. The early signs of nail fungus include thickening of the nails, discoloration, foul odor, brittle, ragged, and crumbly nail edges. Both fingernails and toenails are vulnerable to infection. However, they are more common in toenails.
Do you suffer from nail fungal infections? Are you embarrassed to show off your feet in public during the summers? Early diagnosis and treatment can help you avoid serious complications.
Here are some key preventive measures that can help your feet get rid of these infections for good.
- Wash your feet with mild soap and water every day. Make sure to dry them thoroughly especially between the toes. Once they are completely dry, only then put on a fresh pair of socks or the necessary footwear.
- Always remember to cut your nails straight across. Do not cut them too short or at an angle to avoid ingrown toenails.
- Inspect your feet daily for anything unusual such as fungal infections, cuts or bruises. Use a mirror if necessary.
- Choice of footwear is important. Wear fitted shoes and avoid shoes with narrow toe boxes. Wearing proper footwear can make a great difference in avoiding many toe and nail disorders.
- Wear moisture-wicking socks which absorb moisture and wick it away.
- Avoid going barefoot to public places such as a gym, swimming pool, showers, or locker rooms as they are breeding grounds for bacteria and fungus.
- For someone who is getting a pedicure, make sure it’s a reputable salon that properly sterilizes its tools.
- Use antifungal powder or sprays on your footwear. Fungus thrives in warm, dark and moist settings, three things that your footwear provides.
- Avoid sharing shoes and socks.
- Avoid sharing nail clippers.
If you are experiencing worrisome nail symptoms, you might want to go see a podiatrist before the infection gets any worse as it can very quickly spread to other parts of the body.
If you suspect that you have developed symptoms of nail fungus, visit Mid-Michigan Foot & Ankle Center located in Saginaw and Bay City, Michigan. Our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Andrew H. Cohen and his team of professionals can help you to always be a step ahead of nail fungus. You can schedule an appointment online or call our office at 989-790-8009.
Are you experiencing numbness, tingling, or discolorations in your feet?
Even though poor circulation isn’t a condition, if you are experiencing poor circulation in your feet this is often a symptom of a much larger issue. This is why it’s important to understand the warning signs of poor circulation and when to see a podiatrist, as many of these conditions can be serious or cause further complications to your health.
Causes of Poor Circulation
There are many reasons why someone may have poor circulation. The most common conditions include:
1. Peripheral artery disease (PAD)
This causes poor circulation in the legs due to a narrowing in the arteries and blood vessels. Over time this condition can cause damage to nerves or tissue. While this condition can occur in younger people, particularly smokers, it’s more common for people over 50 years old to develop PAD.
2. Blood Clots
A blood clot causes a block or restriction in blood flow and can develop anywhere in the body. The most common places for a blood clot include the arms or the legs, which can lead to symptoms of poor circulation. In some cases, a blood clot can cause serious complications such as a stroke.
While this condition does affect blood sugar levels, it is also known to affect circulation within the body. Those with circulation issues may experience cramping in the legs that may get worse when you are active. Those with diabetic neuropathy may experience nerve damage in the legs and feet, as well as numbness or tingling.
4. Raynaud’s Disease
A less common condition, Raynaud’s disease causes chronic cold fingers and feet due to the narrowing of the arteries in the hands and toes. Since these arteries are narrow it’s more difficult for blood to flow to these areas, leading to poor circulation. Of course, you may experience these symptoms in other parts of the body besides your toes or fingers, such as your nose, ears, or lips.
Warning Signs of Poor Circulation
You may be experiencing poor circulation in your feet if you are experiencing these symptoms:
- Pain that may radiate into the limbs
- Tingling (a “pins and needles” sensation)
- Muscle cramping
If you are experiencing symptoms of poor circulation that don’t go away it’s best to play it safe rather than sorry and turn to a podiatric specialist who can provide a proper diagnosis and determine the best approach for improving circulation. Don’t ignore this issue.
If you’ve noticed that your toes have become strangely rigid or curled, you may have a foot deformity called hammertoes.
A hammertoe gets its name from the way the bent toe resembles the shape of a hammer. Corns or calluses may appear in response to pressure and friction from repetitive actions, such as the toes rubbing against footwear.
In many people, the tendency for hammertoes is hereditary which may worsen by wearing ill-fitted shoes. Conditions such as trauma and arthritis can also worsen this condition. Hammertoes are more flexible at the beginning which is why early treatment can help yield better results.
Hammertoes seldom improve on their own, thus it is necessary to visit a foot doctor for proper diagnoses and treatment.
Here are some of the early hammertoe treatments that a podiatrist may suggest:
- Stretching and strengthening. Proper stretching and strengthening exercises can help you reverse the muscle imbalance that causes a hammertoe.
- Splinting. Toes can be realigned with the help of splints or tape to avoid further bending.
- Orthotic shoe inserts. Inserts can help reposition the foot and toe while wearing shoes.
- Padding. Corns and calluses that may appear on the top of hammertoes can be isolated by using pads which help to reduce pressure and stress and lessen pain.
- Footwear. Choice of proper footwear is important. Tight shoes and high heels should be avoided.
If you are suffering from hammertoes or any other foot and ankle condition, then it is time to call a podiatrist. Call our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Andrew H. Cohen, of Mid- Michigan Foot & Ankle Center, located in Saginaw and Bay City, Michigan. Dr. Cohen and his team of highly qualified professionals can be your go-to team in helping you get rid of hammertoes and put an end to all your foot and ankle problems. You can reach our office at 989-790-8009 or make an appointment online today.
For hundreds of years, high heels have been a major fashion statement. Although they are extremely stylish, many high heels are not designed to support the foot in a healthy manner. Anyone who wears a pair of high heels can tell you how painful they can make your feet feel after walking in them all day, but the damage a heel does goes deeper than that. High heels can hurt your feet, legs, posture and back.
Our feet are designed to be flat against the ground. The ground naturally keeps our feet firm and in the proper shape with the forefoot and heel planted firmly on the ground. Now that we wear shoes, our natural foot shape has changed over time. This is especially true with high heels. High heels make the feet feel as if they are constantly walking uphill which adds additional pressure. Constant uphill pressure can lead to pain and metatarsalgia. Other common risks are hammertoes and bunions.
High heels also change your center of gravity. They make your body lean unnaturally forward to compensate for the higher heel, and this overcompensation can cause the shortening of your calf muscles as well as very painful shin splints.
Your knees can also be affected by high heels and their extra pressure. When we walk in a typical manner, our knees do not constantly bend. With high heels, it has been shown with studies that the knees constantly bend. This constant pressure can lead to swelling, pain and osteoarthritis later on.
Because your center of gravity has changed due to high heels and the muscles begin to shorten, your back can become affected. When the lower back muscles are affected, you may experience painful spasms that make it hurt to walk.
High heels can be very detrimental to the health of your feet and your ankles. Not only can they hurt muscles in the body permanently, but they can also cause deformities of the feet. Instead of a pair of high heels, opt for a short-heeled wedge sandal. Not only are they fashionable, but they have less painful long-term effects to the body.
If you hurt your feet by wearing a pair of high heels, then it is time to call a podiatrist. Call Dr. Andrew H. Cohen, of Mid-Michigan Foot & Ankle Center, located in Saginaw and Bay City, Michigan. You can reach our office at 989-790-8009 or make an appointment online today. High heels do not have to cause you grief.
A foot blister is a small pocket of fluid that forms on the foot. Blisters can be painful while they heal. Foot blisters are caused by several things, including friction, burns, contact with irritants, and autoimmune diseases. Treatment can alleviate your pain, prevent infection, and help heal your blister. Here's what to do when you keep getting blisters on your feet.
1. See a podiatrist- When foot blisters interfere with your normal activities, you should see a podiatrist. Podiatrists specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of foot and ankle problems, including blisters. Depending on the cause of the foot blister, your podiatrist will form a treatment plan for you.
2. Cover your blisters- If a blister does occur, do not pop it. A blister should be covered to reduce irritation and cut back on the risk of infection. Wash your blisters with soap and water and cover them with dressings, like bandages or gauze pads. Your dressings should be changed every day.
3. Use antibiotic ointment- Antibiotic ointment helps prevent infections in blisters. You can purchase antibiotic ointment at a local pharmacy. Apply antibiotic ointment to the foot blisters as directed, especially before you put on your socks or shoes.
4. Keep your feet dry- Keep your feet dry at all times. After you shower, dry your feet thoroughly. Wear socks every day to keep moisture away from the skin of your feet. For sweaty feet, use products that help control moisture.
5. Use custom orthotics- Orthotic devices are molded pieces of rubber, leather, or other material that are inserted into shoes. You can get custom-made orthotic devices from your podiatrist. Orthotic devices can be helpful in preventing and treating foot blisters. Orthotic devices can reduce friction on foot blisters and alleviate your pain.
6. Wear the right shoes- Rubbing and pressure from shoes that are too tight often cause blisters on the feet. Avoid wearing shoes that cause foot blisters. Wear good-fitting footwear that fit comfortably and leave your feet with some wiggle room, especially on long walks or runs. Wearing the right footwear can prevent future blisters.
7. Use foot powders- Friction can make foot blisters worse and increase your pain. In order to reduce friction on blisters, buy a powder designed for your feet at a pharmacy. Pour it into your socks before putting on your shoes to reduce pain. If a powder causes your foot blisters to become irritated, stop using it.
Don't let foot blisters knock you off your feet. Find a podiatrist in your area and schedule an appointment. A podiatrist can help you get rid of those foot blisters once and for all. The journey to healthy feet starts with you!
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