Toenail fungus (onychomycosis) is an infection that lives underneath the nail, in the skin of the nail bed. It is an infection of the nail caused by fungi such as dermatophytes, non-dermatophyte molds and yeasts.
Some contributing factors that can increase the risk of developing toenail fungus include: Wearing closed-toe shoes. Getting pedicures with improperly sanitized tool. Having a chronic illness, such as diabetes or HIV.
It is important to be evaluated by a podiatrist to appropriately diagnose nail changes. A piece of the nail is usually sent to a lab for evaluation of organisms for proper treatment. If the nail comes back fungal, the following options are available:
- Topical preparations in the form of a lacquer or solution applied to the nail plate. However, success is limited with this option. This option is best for a nail that is not completely affected by a fungus.
- Oral Lamisil. This is the most effective systemic therapy. This treatment is reserved for certain patients, which can be determined by your podiatrist if you are a candidate.
- Laser therapy. This usually improves effectiveness of topical preparations and can have a similar outcome to oral medication. Talk to your podiatrist for your options
Treatments will help your nail grow in healthy. Toenails, on average, require about 9-12 months for full re-growth. If you think you have a fungal infection in your nails, come get them evaluated at Gentle Touch Foot Care! Call today to make your appointment at 973-673-3668. Get your nails looking healthy again!
Joe Biden was playing with his dog, Major, last week when he slipped and fell and injured his foot. When he went to get it checked out, x-ray showed no fractures. However with the severity and location of the pain, getting further imaging was not a bad idea. His CT scan, which shows the bones in great detail, proved to show that he did in fact have stress fractures in the foot. Luckily, a simple treatment of wearing a walking boot for a few weeks will do the trick!
Stress fractures are not always visible on x-ray depending on when the injury occurred. Sometimes a fracture is only visualized in more advanced imaging such as CT scan or MRI. In order to see a stress fracture on x-ray, the bone will have had to start healing already, which takes 2-3 weeks to show up. At this point, a bone callus around the affected bone will be visible as clouded fuzzy area. However, if someone is in enough pain, getting advanced imaging to prove a stress fracture sooner will help with treatment.
Usually, stress fractures do not need surgical intervention. They require a stiff soled shoe or walking boot with weight bearing as tolerated for 6-8 weeks. In the event that a stress fracture gets worse and becomes a displaced fracture, it may then require surgical intervention to realign the bones. So, when in doubt, it is important to have your podiatrist examine any injury you endure to prevent any further complications!
Give us a call at Gentle Touch Foot Care to make an appointment!
November is National Diabetes Month. As we come to the end of the month, I think it is important to have a quick discussion regarding diabetes and the feet. Problems with the feet are very common, but diabetics have a higher likelihood of complications, especially if blood flow and sensation has been affected. A concerning complication of diabetes is limb loss. This is a real concern being that 50-70% of all non-traumatic amputations in the US are performed on diabetics. However, there are steps that can be taken to prevent this from occurring.
- Do NOT walk barefoot.
- Wear properly fitting shoes and break them in slowly to prevent blisters/sores.
- Always thoroughly dry your feet, especially between the toes.
- Do not pull loose pieces of skin off.
- Wear clean socks daily and throw them away when they get old.
- Keep toenails trimmed, but visit your podiatrist for evaluation and trimming as to avoid any problems.
- Do NOT attempt to trim/cut your corns and calluses on your own. Avoid commercial wart/corn removers as they may be dangerous with the chemicals included.
- Avoid smoking. This further constricts and negatively impacts blood flow to the feet.
- Avoid extreme heat or cold as diabetics are not as sensitive to the temperatures and this can be dangerous.
- MOST IMPORTANTLY, examine your feet daily, including between your toes. If you cannot do it yourself, have someone help you. Always call your podiatrist immediately with anything concerning, especially openings in the skin, EVEN IF YOU HAVE NO PAIN.
If you have any questions regarding diabetes or would like to make an appointment with the office for a Diabetic Foot Check, please do not hesitate to call. Call Gentle Touch Foot Care at 973-673-3668 to make your appointment today!
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