Are you embarrassed by cracked, yellowish nails? Are your nails thick and difficult to trim? If you answered yes, you may have a fungal nail infection. You may be surprised to know that fungus is the cause of up to 50 percent of all nail infections. Dr. Charlotte A. Reisinger and Dr. Dusky R. Farmer are board-certified podiatrists located in Evansville, IN. They are experts at treating nail fungus.
What You Should Know about Nail Fungus
Nail fungus is most common on toenails, but it is possible to get it on your fingernails as well. While it seldom affects young people, nail fungus is common in people who are over the age of 60. If you suffer from type 2 diabetes and you begin to see signs of nail fungus, you should talk to a podiatrist immediately as it could lead to more serious complications. If left untreated, in combination with diabetes, nail fungus could lead to amputation.
Nail Fungus Symptoms
Signs and symptoms of nail fungus include:
- White spots on the nail’s surface
- Nails that turn yellow or brown
- Nails that grow thicker than normal
- Brittle nails
- Nails that curl up or down
- Nails that lift from the nail bed
- A bad smell from your nails
- Pain from the nailbed
You should see a podiatrist if you are experiencing any of these symptoms. The sooner you receive treatment, the easier the issue will be to alleviate.
Preventing Nail Fungus
To reduce your risk of contracting nail fungus, you can:
- Make sure your hands and feet are dry after you have bathed
- Trim your nails regularly
- Avoid walking barefoot on pool decks or in locker rooms
- Change your socks regularly
- If your feet sweat, use foot powder
- Keep a spare pair of sneakers so sweaty ones can dry out.
If you have nail fungus, your podiatrist can treat often the issue with cream or with oral medication.
Living in or around Evansville, IN and have fungal nails? Don’t suffer in silence—contact Dr. Reisinger or Dr. Farmer at (812) 421 8555 and take the first step on the road to healthy nails.
Athlete’s foot is a common fungal infection of the feet that is typically characterized by itchy, burning patches of skin between the toes that may also crack or bleed. Since untreated athlete’s foot can spread to the toenails, it’s particularly important that you treat this problem as soon as you notice it. Athlete’s foot won’t typically clear up by itself; however, home remedies and treatments may be all you need to eliminate the fungal infection.
Treating Athlete’s Foot
If you are an otherwise healthy individual who is just dealing with an unfortunate bout of athlete’s foot chances are pretty good that you’ll be able to treat the problem on your own. There are a variety of over-the-counter antifungal creams and ointments that can be applied directly to the skin. Make sure to read and follow all instructions to ensure that the medication gets rid of the infection.
Along with properly treating your athlete’s foot it’s also important to keep feet as dry as possible. After all, fungus thrives best in warm, damp environments. By keeping feet dry you make it a less hospitable environment for this infection. This means wearing clean socks and shoes every day. Opt for socks with natural fibers, which are breathable and can wick away sweat. If your feet are particularly sweaty you can also apply an antifungal powder throughout the day.
When to See a Podiatrist
If you find that cracked, painful feet are making it difficult to stand or move around then this means it’s time to see a podiatrist for treatment; however, if the fungal infection isn’t impacting mobility then you may be able to treat the problem on your own with over-the-counter medications.
If you notice signs of an infection such as a swollen foot, pus draining from the foot, increased redness, or open sores it’s also important that you see a doctor right away. Antibiotics will be necessary in order to treat the infection.
If you are dealing with diabetes, nerve damage in your feet or other problems that impact the health of your feet it’s even more important that you see a podiatrist right away if you notice symptoms of athlete’s foot or other problems. Do not try to treat the infection on your own, as this could lead to more serious complications.
If you are dealing with persistent or recurring athlete’s foot it’s important that you also have a podiatrist that you can turn to for answers. While this condition may seem harmless it’s important that you don’t leave it untreated. A podiatrist can provide you with the treatment you’re looking for.
There are 52 bones in your feet and ankles, which means that feet contain about 25 percent of the bones in our bodies. Our feet also contain about 20-25 percent of the total joints in our body; therefore, it’s not too surprising to find out that your feet and ankles are unfortunately more likely to deal with tendon and joint pain at some point, whether through injury or certain conditions such as arthritis. When pain and other foot problems arise it’s important that you have a podiatrist you can turn to.
Common Causes of Tendon and Joint Pain in the Feet
Tendons are soft tissues that connect the muscles to the bones. Everything from overuse and foot injuries to structural imbalances can lead to pain. Common causes of tendon and joint pain include:
- Tendonitis: inflammation of the tendon caused by injury or overuse
- Sprains and strains: a common but usually minor foot and ankle injury, typically caused by physical activity
- Arthritis: a chronic, progressive condition that leads to joint pain, stiffness, and damage (osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis to affect feet and ankles)
- Obesity: being overweight or obese can also put excessive pressure on the joints and tendons of your feet and ankles, leading to pain and other problems
Treating Tendon and Joint Pain
Visiting a podiatrist is the best choice you can make if you are dealing with severe, persistent, or new foot and ankle pain. Since some conditions can get worse without proper care and rest it’s important to find out what’s causing your pain so you know how to effectively treat it.
If you are dealing with pain caused by a sports injury or strain it’s a good idea to see a medical professional so you know the extent of the injury. More severe sprains may require protective boots or crutches to reduce the amount of weight being placed on the injured ankle or foot.
Arthritis is also a surprisingly common cause of foot pain. If you notice joint pain and stiffness that affects functionality, range of motion and mobility in your feet then you could be dealing with arthritis. Since arthritis can get worse without treatment, it is important that you work with your pediatrician and a team of medical professionals to determine the best medications and course of action to help manage your foot pain and to prevent permanent joint damage.
If you are experiencing foot pain it’s important to see a qualified medical professional that can determine the best way to treat your symptoms. Call your podiatrist today for a comprehensive evaluation.
Did you know that the metatarsals, or bones in the foot, are the most commonly broken bones in the human body? These long bones run the length of the foot and a fractured metatarsal means that there is a break in at least one of these five bones (the fifth metatarsal is the most commonly fractured metatarsal bone). If you suspect that you’ve broken a bone in your foot it’s important that you see a podiatrist right away.
Broken metatarsals most commonly occur as a result of a sports injury; however, this fracture can also occur over time due to overuse and wear (this is commonly known as a stress fracture). Dropping a heavy item on the foot or experiencing a bad fall can also cause broken metatarsals. Signs and symptoms of a broken toe caused by trauma to the foot include:
- Hearing a snapping or popping sound at the moment of injury
- Severe and sudden pain in the toe immediately after impact or trauma
- Bruising or swelling of the toe (this may not appear until the day after the injury)
- Changes in the alignment or appearance of your toe
Symptoms of a stress fracture will be a bit different from traumatic fractures. Since stress fractures occur over time as a result of overuse you may start to notice foot pain with your routine activities or pain that goes away with rest but is exacerbated by physical activity. A metatarsal that has sustained a stress fracture may also be tender to the touch.
Some people assume that if they can walk on their foot then they must not be dealing with a broken metatarsal, but this is simply not true. This is why it’s always best to play it safe and to schedule an immediate evaluation with a foot and ankle specialist if you have experienced a traumatic foot injury that you suspect has led to one or more broken metatarsals. Not treating the broken bone could lead to certain deformities, which can greatly impact mobility. You may also experience chronic pain or be at an increased risk for arthritis.
Treating Broken Metatarsals
Common ways to treat a traumatic fracture include rest, splinting, or tapping toe affected toe, custom-made shoe inserts and wearing rigid footwear such as a special boot or shoe that provides the foot with protection, support, and cushioning.
If the break is severe enough your podiatrist may recommend surgery, but surgery is rarely necessary for treating broken toes. Those with stress fractures will want to avoid any activity that causes repetitive stress on the foot, to prevent the stress fracture from getting worse.
If you are experiencing symptoms of a broken bone after a fall, accident or injury then it’s time to schedule an immediate appointment with a podiatrist. The sooner you seek treatment the sooner you can begin your road to recovery.
Know how to properly care for diabetic feet to prevent complications.
When you have diabetes it’s even more important that you are giving your feet the care they need to prevent serious health complications. From the office of our Evansville, IN, podiatrists Dr. Charlotte Reisinger and Dr. Dusky Farmer, here are some guidelines to follow for diabetic care:
Control Your Blood Sugar
When blood sugar levels are elevated this is when problems occur. Symptoms only occur as a result of untreated conditions. If your diabetes isn’t being controlled through lifestyle changes and medication then you are likely to deal with health problems down the road. This is why you should have a doctor that you work with to manage your condition with medication. Keep your blood sugar levels in check and you’ll greatly reduce your risk for diabetes-related foot problems.
Perform Daily Self Exams
In order to be able to pinpoint problems, you have to know your feet and what you’re looking for. Any redness, swelling, pain, calluses, ingrown toenails or other issues require a checkup from our Evansville, IN, foot doctor. Early detection of problems is key to preventing complications. Use a hand mirror or ask a family member for help if you have trouble performing these exams on yourself.
Keep Feet Clean
It’s important that you wash your feet every day with soap and warm water. Remember that once you get out of the shower to immediately and thoroughly dry off your feet (especially between your toes). Damp feet create a breeding ground for fungal infections. When you trim your nails you’ll also want to trim them straight across and not at an angle.
Always Wear Shoes and Socks
You’re in the comfort of your own home, so it’s time to take off those socks and shoes, right? Not so fast. Since many people with diabetes are prone to ulcers and other issues it’s important that you wear shoes and socks everyday (both indoors and outdoors) to prevent trauma, injury and infection. Wearing compression stockings can also improve blood flow to the feet and ankles.
Reisinger Farmer Podiatry in Evansville, IN, wants to make sure that everyone gets the proper and individualized care they need, especially when dealing with diabetic feet. Our team knows what you need to keep your feet healthy. Call our office today at (812) 421-8555 to schedule a consultation.
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