What Causes Bone Spurs?

Bone spurs are overgrowths of bone on parts of the body. Bone spurs often form due to osteoarthritis but also can be caused by genetic conditions. They can be painful and hard to tolerate if they are bad enough but can sometimes be managed with healthy lifestyle choices.

Bone spurs form where irritation and inflammation occur in our joints. Over 50% of adults have some bone spurs in their body that never become a medical issue. The most common places for bone spurs to occur are in the feet, hips, neck, and knee area, where a lot of friction occurs when moving.

How Bone Spurs Occur

As we move about during the day, our joints are lubricated with cartilage, an oily and slippery substance that keeps movement friction-free. But as we age our production of cartilage drops, and if we are susceptible, bone spurs can occur.

Bone spurs form when the body improperly produces new bone. A bone spur may develop along the side of the foot. If an individual improperly stands on the side of their feet, then over many years a bone spur may form on the side of their foot to offset balance.

In individuals with osteoarthritis, the reduced cartilage in their joints may prompt their system to improperly produce a bone spur in the affected area to try to offset the lack of cartilage.

A Recent Development

Recently, researchers looking at the skull x-rays of youths in Australia discovered bone spurs on the back of their skulls among a large cohort of individuals. The researchers surmised that this was the result of them using screen devices for large periods of time and that the bone spurs were a recent development that helps offset the frontal tilt of the head when looking at a screen.

This is another example of how bone spurs occur and shows just how our bodies,in their attempt to help us, sometimes end up making another problem. Bone spurs can sometimes be prevented through healthy lifestyle choices. They can be treated and managed with a variety of medical treatment options. Talk to your doctor in Austin, TX about your concerns if you have a bone spur forming, or if you have an existing bone spur that is causing you problems.

 

What Causes Achilles Tendonitis And How Is It Treated?

The Achilles tendons, the largest tendons in your body, join the muscles of your lower legs to the heel bone of your feet. While tendons are certainly strong, they’re not particularly flexible, which means your Achilles tendons stretch only so far before they tear or get inflamed, which is called tendonitis.

Achilles tendonitis can range from slightly uncomfortable to severely painful, and it often develops in runners and other active people.

Let’s take a look at what causes tendonitis and how to treat it.

The most common causes of Achilles tendonitis

Achilles tendonitis is commonly an overuse injury. It’s usually the result of repetitive actions that lead to gradual wear and tear of your tendon, but an Achilles tendon injury can also happen suddenly.

Achilles tendonitis most often comes about with overuse. When pushed beyond their limit, the tiny fibers that make up the tendon can tear, causing pain, swelling, and inflammation. This is one tendon that has a particularly poor blood supply, making it more susceptible to overuse or wear-and-tear injuries.

Insertional Achilles tendonitis can be associated with a heel bone spur. The spur rubs against the tendon, resulting in smaller tears. Think of a rope constantly rubbing against a sharp, pointy rock.

Some of the most common causes of Achilles tendonitis include:

  • Overpronated, or very flat, feet
  • Sudden changes to your training surface, like from grass to tar
  • Doing too much training
  • Frequent hill running
  • Exercising without warming up
  • Not wearing the right supportive footwear
  • Tight calf muscles and hamstrings
  • A high foot arch
  • A traumatic injury to your Achilles tendon
  • Constantly wearing high heels or walking on your toes

As many as 10 in 100,000 people suffer from Achilles tendonitis. While recovery can be slow, it is a treatable condition.

How we treat Achilles tendonitis

Doctors can choose from a variety of treatments for Achilles tendonitis. These range from anti-inflammatory medications to platelet-rich plasma injections, and even surgery depending on the severity of your condition. Most of the time, Achilles tendonitis doesn’t require medical intervention. In cases of chronic Achilles tendonitis, it becomes necessary to seek medical attention to end your pain and suffering.

Common suggestions include:

  • Taking a break from physical activity or at least reducing how much you do
  • Gentle stretches
  • Trying a less strenuous activity

The RICE method proves particularly helpful when it comes to treating Achilles tendonitis, provided you follow the method right after you’re injured. Here’s how it works:

  • Rest: Keep the pressure off your tendon for a couple of days.
  • Ice: Hold a bag of ice against your skin for 20 minutes at a time. This can help ease swelling and inflammation.
  • Compression: Wrap athletic tape or a bandage around your tendon to compress the injury and keep swelling down.
  • Elevation: Keep your foot raised above chest level to keep the swelling down.

Another option is called extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT). During treatment, Dr. LaMour uses high-energy shock waves to stimulate healing. ESWT is often used when other conservative treatment options have failed, and if it’s successful, it could save you from needing surgery.

Noticing the symptoms

Achilles tendonitis feels like a burning pain as you begin an activity. The pain lessens during your activity and then gets worse again afterward. Your tendon might feel stiff when you wake up in the morning, too.

Common Achilles tendonitis symptoms include:

  • Pain that gets worse when you use your tendon
  • Loss of strength, stiffness, and pain in the affected area
  • More stiffness and pain during the night or first thing in the morning
  • A crunching sound when you use the tendon
  • The area may feel warm and tender and appear red and swollen

If you’re suffering from Achilles tendonitis that is not getting better with home remedies, it’s time to book an appointment with Dr. LaMour, who has two offices conveniently located in Austin and Pflugerville, Texas.

Do I Have to Get My Bunions Removed?

If you’re having foot pain from a bunion that’s beginning to appear, there are a variety of solutions to try before even thinking of surgery. Many times bunions are hereditary, although some can result from the shoes you wear. Even if your bunions are in your genes, there are remedies to slow their progression and avoid severe discomfort.

It’s important to get treatment early. Left untreated, bunions can lead to foot deformities and additional problems that interfere with walking and daily life. Following are the most effective bunion treatments, ranging from simple home remedies to surgery, which is a last resort.

Home Remedies: Icing and Pain Relievers

Apply an ice pack at the end of a long day to ease discomfort or swelling. Take over-the-counter pain medication for temporary relief; long-term use can damage internal organs and lead to other complications.

Proper Shoes

Examine your shoe collection. If you have a lot of high heels with pointed toes and wear them every day to work, you may need to give your feet a break. Try saving the stilettos for an occasional night out and give your feet a rest the remainder of the week. Choose shoes with ample width in the toe area. Many stylish shoes now have elastic slits on the sides to allow breathing room for your foot. Open-toed shoes or sandals that have elastic or cloth on the upper part are an option for warm months. You may be able to stop your bunion’s progression by choosing better foot support.

Orthotics

Dr. LaMour examines your walking gait and determines if the way you move is contributing to the bunion. If your gait is a culprit, the shoe inserts you find in stores may cushion your walk, but they won’t correct what’s causing the bunion.

Dr. LaMour may suggest orthotics, which are prescription shoe inserts. In Dr. LaMour’s office, a machine records an impression of your foot. He sends that impression to a lab that makes the orthotics. The orthotic may have extra support for your toe joint; it’s made to help correct your gait and better support your foot.

Exercises

Dr. LaMour may prescribe daily exercises to keep your joint supple and maintain your flexibility. These are easy to do at home and can even be fun; one example is picking up marbles with your toes.

Night splints

Dr. LaMour may provide you with a night splint to keep the toe straight at night. At first it may feel odd, but just as with a retainer for your mouth, after a while it feels normal.

Injections

Depending on the case, Dr. LaMour may inject cortisone into the joint. Cortisone may provide medium to long-term pain relief. However, without remedying what is causing the bunion, the pain is very likely to recur, and the bunion may progress to a more severe stage.

Surgery is a last resort

If nothing else has helped you, surgery might be required. If your toe is severely deformed and if you’re having pain when you walk, Dr. LaMour performs a bunionectomy.

Many people who need bunion surgery are retirement age or older, having put decades of wear and tear on their feet. Bunions, if untreated, can cause hammertoe and arthritis, exacerbating your foot problems. Surgery corrects the malformation of your big toe, removing the bump. It involves correcting the position of bones, ligaments, tendons, and nerves.

Call or book an appointment online with Jeffery W. LaMour, DPM, PA for relief from your foot pain today.

Why Are My Feet Always Sweaty?

Sweaty feet can be uncomfortable and embarrassing. There’s nothing worse than sliding around in your shoes, soaking through your socks, or feeling self-conscious about your foot smell. Especially in the summertime, when the temperatures are at their peak and open-toed shoes become more popular, excessive sweating can become a real problem. If you’ve been struggling with sweaty feet, you might think you just have to live with this problem. At our Austin podiatry practice, Dr. Jeffery LaMour and our team understand that your feet are the foundation of your overall well-being. We’re here to assist you with any and every podiatric problem you might encounter, including sweating. In the following blog, we answer the question: “why are my feet always sweaty?” and offer our recommendations.

Why Do Feet Sweat So Much?

Have you ever felt like your feet sweat more than any other part of your body? Well, you’re right—they do! WebMD explains: “the function of sweat glands is to keep the skin moist and therefore supple, and to regulate temperature when the weather is hot or while you are exercising.” Since your feet take a real beating from being walked on all day and are key to most forms of exercise, it makes sense that “there are more sweat glands in our feet than anywhere else in the body.” It turns out that, not only are there more sweat glands in your feet, they’re also particularly active: “unlike sweat glands elsewhere in the body, the sweat glands in the feet secrete all the time, not just in response to heat or exercise.” In short, even healthy feet sweat a lot. It’s just a part of our anatomy!

Could It Be Hyperhidrosis?

We expect feet to sweat, but how much is too much? If excessive foot sweat begins to interfere with your daily life, we recommend coming in to see Dr. LaMour for a consultation. You could be suffering from a condition known as palmoplantar hyperhidrosis. WebMD defines this condition as “a common disorder which produces a lot of unhappiness,” noting that “an estimated 2%-3% of Americans” deal with either axillary hyperhidrosis (excessive armpit sweat) or palmoplantar hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating in the palms and feet). WebMD points out that this condition can have a major impact on a patient’s quality of life: “sweating is embarrassing, it stains clothes, ruins romance, and complicates business and social interactions.” This is why you should not suffer in silence if your feet are overly sweaty.

Is It Just the Heat?

During the summer, it can be particularly hard to tell if you’re struggling with hyperhidrosis, or if your feet are simply sweating more to accommodate the hotter weather and higher humidity. You may have hyperhidrosis if:

  • Your feet sweat excessively in all seasons, not just during the summer heat. Patients with hyperhidrosis may experience sweating even when cold.
  • Your foot sweat is truly excessive. Yes, sweat can always be irritating and uncomfortable, but hyperhidrosis interferes with your day-to-day activities. As the American Podiatric Medical Association explains: “some people [with hyperhidrosis] sweat so much that their feet may slip around inside their shoes.”
  • Your feet look lighter or take on a white hue. According to the American Podiatric Medical Association, “the feet may also have a whitish, wet appearance” due to overproduction of sweat.
  • Your feet have a particularly foul odor. Of course, your feet can stink even if you don’t suffer from hyperhidrosis but in many cases, “foot infections are present” along with excessive sweating because “constant wetness breaks down the skin, allowing infection to set in” and making “foot odor…common.”
  • You feel anxious about your foot sweat and odor on a regular basis, even to the point of avoiding social outings. “Those suffering from hyperhidrosis may also experience emotional stress and worry regarding foot odor. Sweat-related anxiety and isolation can be particularly severe among teens with plantar hyperhidrosis.”

The bottom line is this: if extreme foot sweat is having a negative impact on your life, you should see Dr. LaMour and our team for assistance as soon as possible.

Our Sweat Suggestions

If your feet are sweating normally during the heat, you can help alleviate discomfort by keeping as cool and dry as possible. We also recommend maintaining excellent podiatric hygiene, carefully washing your feet every day. Also, if you are sweating due to heat, we recommend making sure you stay appropriately hydrated to maintain your general health.

Dr. LaMour can create a customized treatment plan for those suffering from hyperhidrosis. This could include:

  • A more rigorous daily grooming routine using “antibacterial soap” to wash and, when dried, applying “cornstarch, foot powder, or an antifungal powder,” as per the American Podiatric Medical Association’s recommendations.
  • Wearing “wicking socks made of natural or acrylic fiber blends that draw the moisture away from your feet instead of trapping it.” You may also want to bring a change of socks and/or shoes with you to work or school.
  • Topical antiperspirants designed for your feet.
  • Targeted treatment to handle any bacterial or fungal infections (such as athlete’s foot) resulting from hyperhidrosis.
  • “Oral medications” such as “anticholinergics” to “reduce sweating,” as WebMD advises.
  • An advanced technology called “iontophoresis” in which “a device passes ionized tap water through the skin using direct electricity.”
  • ·Surgery, in very severe cases.

Dr. LaMour will go over your particular symptoms, needs, and preferences to determine which treatments may be most appropriate for you. We are committed to helping you manage your hyperhidrosis and get back to your life.

Are You Suffering from Excessive Foot Sweat?

We can help! Don’t wait to seek treatment! Contact our Austin podiatry practice today to schedule an appointment with Dr. LaMour.

Original Source: https://www.drjefflamour.com/foot-care/why-are-my-feet-always-sweaty/

Why Do My Feet Smell?

No one wants to smell badly. A foul odor fuming up from your feet can make you feel self-conscious on a date, at a business meeting, or even just walking down the street. In addition, while stinky feet may be common, they can also be symptoms of more serious podiatric problems, so it’s best not to ignore them entirely. At Dr. Jeffery LaMour’s Austin podiatry practice, we help patients deal with all sorts of foot-related difficulties, including smelly feet. Of course, if you want to tame the stench and give your feet a sweeter scent, you first need to figure out what’s causing them to smell at all. In the following blog, Dr. LaMour details exactly why your feet might smell and what you can do about it.

Bromodosis Basics

You’ve almost certainly noticed a less-than-rosy smell when taking off your shoes or washing your socks at some point, but you might not know the science behind this stink. As WebMD explains, the “medical name” for this condition is “bromodosis, [and it] can affect anyone.”

As you might have suspected, stinky feet have a lot to do with sweat and bacteria: “the function of sweat glands is to keep the skin moist and therefore supple, and to regulate temperature.” While they have their purpose, sweat glands can also get out of hand, and your feet are particularly prone to odor because “there are more sweat glands in our feet than anywhere else in the body.” Adding further power to your podiatric stench is the fact that “the sweat glands in the feet secrete all the time, not just in response to heat or exercise.” This means that, to some degree, your feet’s many glands are always sweating.

Sweat on its own can have a mild odor, but it’s when bacteria enter the picture that foot smells get more serious. WebMD notes: “feet smell when bacteria on the skin break down sweat as it comes from the pores. A cheesy smell is released as the sweat decomposes.” Ultimately, it’s the synthesis between many sweat glands and the bacteria on your feet that creates a truly remarkable reek.

Common Causes

As it turns out, the formula for smelly feet is pretty simple—sweat plus bacteria equals stink. There are many situations that could cause this equation to add up to odor. A few of the most widespread factors in bromodosis include:

  • Footwear. Your shoes could be the source of your stinky feet. As Fox News reports: “when the foot sweats, ‘usually it is trapped inside a shoe, and the sweat can’t evaporate’…this is true of most types of shoes, especially those made with synthetic materials and closed toes. As shoes get worn, dead skin and bacteria can build up inside, holing that pungent smell hostage.” Basically, your favorite cloth ballet slippers or gym shoes could be serving as incubators for odor, allowing bacteria to further infect your feet every time you put them on. If you’ve noticed that your feet tend to stink in certain shoes, you might consider either cleaning them or throwing them out. Old socks can also perpetuate the same vicious, smelly cycle, particularly if you don’t wash them appropriately.
  • Infection. Without bacteria to decompose your sweat, your feet wouldn’t really stink much. Fungal infections like athlete’s foot could also be to blame.
  • Stress. Anxiety and high-pressure circumstances can cause you to sweat more, providing more material for bacteria to break down into their stinky components.
  • Activity. Since stress is a major component of bromodosis, it makes sense that walking or running all day could worsen this condition. If you spend a lot of time on your feet, it’s particularly important to clean your feet regularly, wear breathable socks, and choose the right shoes.
  • Hormonal changes. WebMD explains: “teenagers and pregnant women are especially prone” to stinky feet, given the changes their bodies undergo.
  • Podiatric hygiene. It makes common sense that cleaning up your feet could help them smell a bit better. Scrubbing your feet with soap and water on a daily basis help wash away bacteria and sweat. On the flip side, poor podiatric hygiene can lead to or worsen bromodosis.

If you suffer from stinky feet, chances are, one or more of the above elements are affecting your podiatric health.

Fending Off Foot Smell

Once you understand the causes of bromodosis, the solutions to foot stench become relatively simple. While overall health factors like hormonal changes can be more difficult to address, you can do a lot for your foot odor by taking a closer look (or sniff) at your footwear, minimizing foot activity if possible, cleaning your feet appropriately, and treating any infections.

If you suffer from bromodosis, you should see Dr. LaMour for a consultation, since a bacterial or fungal infection may require professional podiatric care. Furthermore, we can recommend footwear and teach you podiatric hygiene tips to help you better care for your feet. With a full suite of outstanding foot and ankle services, we’re available to assist you in any way we can.

Do Your Feet Smell?

You don’t have to simply live with this embarrassing, uncomfortable, and potentially unhealthy condition! Contact our Austin podiatry practice today to learn more and schedule an appointment with Dr. LaMour.

Original Source: https://www.drjefflamour.com/foot-care/why-do-my-feet-smell/

How to Bandage a Toe Properly

Unfortunately, since they’re always on the ground helping you move about, your toes can really take a beating. From painful stubs to stinging cuts, annoying bruises, or even fungus, your toes can develop any number of injuries. Having a wounded toe can also take a toll on your life. Occupational Health & Safety Online reported: “According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 60,000-foot injuries per year result in lost work days.” Of course, if you’ve experienced toe trauma, you should see a podiatrist like Dr. Jeffery LaMour as soon as possible. Our Austin team can examine your toe, run diagnostic tests, and provide appropriate treatment to get you back on your feet. However, in the short term, you can begin the healing process by bandaging your injured toe. In the following blog, we explain how to do this, why it’s so important, and what else can be done to get your toe back in top-notch condition.

Why Bandage?

Unfortunately, since they’re always on the ground helping you move about, your toes can really take a beating. From painful stubs to stinging cuts, annoying bruises, or even fungus, your toes can develop any number of injuries. Ht your toe, you might be tempted to just leave it be, thinking that the protection of a shoe alone is good enough or that exposure to the air will help it heal. When you’ve cut, bruised, bumped, or even potentially broken a toe, it’s crucial to bandage it. You should dress any toe wounds immediately because: When you hurt your toe, you might be tempted to just leave it be, thinking that the protection of a shoe alone is good enough or that exposure to the air will help it heal. When you’ve cut, bruised, bumped, or even potentially broken a toe, it’s crucial to bandage it. You should dress any toe wounds immediately because:

  • Covering an open cut or sore can help you protect your toe from infection. Your toe will inevitably come in contact with less-than-sanitary surfaces such as the inside of your shoes, floors, or even the ground. A bandage provides a layer of defense against dirt and germs that could make your injury worse.
  • Compresses can help hold your toe in the proper position. Livestrong points out: “your toes are made up of 19 different small bones that can easily be injured and even broken…taping them limits any movement that can cause further pain or worsen the injury.” If there’s a chance your toe may be broken, bandaging it can help it set at the right angle to expedite the healing process.
  • Bandaging your toe can make life more comfortable while you cope with your injury. While it isn’t a permanent solution, covering your injury can make it easier to walk, drive, and go about your daily activities until you can see a podiatrist for professional care.

In short, you’d be remiss not to bandage a toe injury.

Toe Bandaging: Our Step-By-Step Guide

So, let’s say you’ve hurt your toe. Whether you’ve banged it into a wall, bruised it in ill-fitting shoes, cut it against sharp gravel, fallen down the stairs, or had some other sort of accident, the basic guidelines are the same. Dr. LaMour and our team recommend that you:

  1. Press gauze into the injury to stop bleeding, if you are.
  2. Clean the area with water and antibacterial soap, hydrogen peroxide, alcohol, or another sanitizing agent to ensure the area remains sterile. You may also want to “spread on antibiotic ointment,” to continue treating the toe beneath the bandage, according to Livestrong.
  3. If necessary, put an appropriate adhesive bandage over any cuts or scrapes. This will help seal the open skin against bacteria.
  4. If your toe is bruised, inflamed, or appears at an odd angle, it may be broken or sprained. In this case, you should wrap sterile gauze around the toe and a healthy toe next to it, which will help keep it in proper position while it heals. Don’t wrap the gauze too tight, and leave the end of the toe exposed, to ensure proper circulation during healing.
  5. Wear comfortable, loose-fitting shoes and socks to accommodate the bandage and limit pressure on your injury.
  6. Change your bandages at least twice per day and monitor the condition of the injury. If it worsens, it is even more important to see Dr. LaMour immediately.

Long-Term Solutions

Of course, bandaging your toe is only a temporary fix. To truly restore the health of your toe, Dr. LaMour and our team need to diagnose the exact cause of your condition and create a customized treatment plan for you. We can help remedy toe fractures, ingrown toenails, toenail fungus, and all sorts of podiatric injuries. The most important thing for you to do is take your toe injury seriously and come see Dr. LaMour so we can assist you.

Are You Suffering From a Toe Injury?

Our team can help! To learn more about toe injuries, find out additional bandaging tips, and schedule an appointment with Dr. LaMour, contact our Austin podiatry practice today!

Original Source: www.drjefflamour.com/foot-care/how-to-bandage-a-toe-properly/

Is it Okay to Wear Socks to Bed?

Since feet are an oft-ignored body part, it can be difficult to figure out how to best care for yours. Patients often come to our Austin podiatry practice with questions about what to do with their feet. While you could let social media comments, friends’ unqualified advice, or your own guesses define your answers, Dr. Jeffery LaMour and our team would be delighted to help. One of the most common queries we get is what to do with your feet during sleep. The important inquiry: socks or no socks? In the following blog, we answer the question, “Is it okay to wear socks to bed?”

Sleeping in Stocking Feet?

Cozying up in socks for slumber actually has quite a few health advantages. By making this a habit, you could:

  • Fall asleep faster. According to the National Sleep Foundation, “heating cold feet causes vasodilation—dilation of the blood vessels—which may tell the brain that it is bedtime. After the blood vessels open in the hands and feet, heat is redistributed throughout the body to prepare for sleep. In fact, some research has shown that the more vasodilation in the hands and feet, the less time it takes to fall asleep.” A little feet heat could help you sleep the whole night through.
  • Improve your circulation. As Healthline points out, “wearing socks at night can help prevent [Raynaud’s disease, which creates inflammation and discomfort due to lack of circulation] by keeping your feet warm and blood circulating.” Keeping blood flowing well can keep your feet healthy.
  • Regulate your temperature. Some people may worry that wearing socks might make the too warm, but Healthline explains that this can “prevent hot flashes. Some women find wearing socks helpful for cooling their core body temperature.”
  • Moisturize your skin. Overnight and exposed to the air, your feet could be more likely to dry out. For this reason, Healthline argues that sleeping with socks on could “improve cracked heels” if you put cotton ones on “after you moisturize.”

These are all convincing arguments for nighttime sock-wearing.

The Argument Against Socks

Despite the potential medical advantages of socked sleeping, some remain staunch supporters of stripped feet for slumber. In a passionate opinion piece, entitled “Sleeping with Socks on Is a Crime Against Humanity,” Dan Katter writes: “the heat, the toenail scratch against cotton, the inevitable morning footbath of sweat.” In addition to arguing that this habit is uncomfortable, Katter cites centuries of popular culture: “sockless sleeping has been the standard for quite some time. Pajamas come from Bengal, where the hot climate made socks unnecessary. When Victorian colonists brought pajamas back to Britain, they kept socks out of the picture…Looking through sleepwear advertisements from the 1870s to the present, virtually every ad features exposed feet or the occasional pair of slippers.” Basically, Katter asserts that you shouldn’t wear socks to bed because most people don’t.

The common reasoning against socks seems to be primarily one of comfort and popularity. Of course, there are additional arguments. If you don’t wash your socks or feet regularly, these garments could harbor infection. Furthermore, tight socks can constrict your feet, cutting off circulation.

Our Advice

Our recommendation for sockful or sockless sleep will depend on your particular feet. Dr. LaMour will examine your feet, diagnose any conditions, and provide customized counsel on daily foot care. For example, if you are prone to Athlete’s Foot, we might suggest keeping your feet bare, but if you need assistance with poor circulation, we’ll probably advise you to keep your stockings on all night.

Do You Have More Questions About Your Feet?

Dr. LaMour and our team are available to answer any and all of your podiatric queries. To find out more and schedule an appointment, contact our Austin practice today!

Original Source: https://www.drjefflamour.com/foot-care/is-it-okay-to-wear-socks-to-bed/

Are Calluses Good For You?

Most of us have had a callus at some point in time. You might develop them after a particularly hard workout, from wearing the wrong size shoes, or you may continually have small calluses on your feet. These thick, dry patches can be unsightly and perhaps uncomfortable, but are they really unhealthy? Could calluses actually be good for your feet? There are many schools of thought on this topic. Fortunately, rather than debating it with your friends or conducting endless online searches, accomplished Austin podiatrist, Dr. Jeffery LaMour, can help. In the following blog, we get candid about calluses. Read on to learn more about what they are and find out about their benefits versus disadvantages.

What Are Calluses?

Before we discuss their pros and cons, it is important to understand what calluses actually areFootVitals explains: “calluses, also called tylomas or keratomas, are protective layers of compacted, dead skin cells or patches of skin that thicken, especially in bone areas [such as the soles and balls of the feet], to protect the skin from damage or injury.” Calluses can often get confused with corns, which look and feel similar, except that corns are smaller, have tough centers, and involve more inflammation. Corns often occur on the sides of the feet or the toes, while calluses typically affect weight-baring regions, like the ball of the foot, sole, or heel.

Calluses are quite a common condition. Harvard Health Publications notes: “According to the Podiatric Medical Association, painful…calluses affect about 5 percent of people in the United States every year, and many people never seek help.” Learning more about the good and bad aspects of calluses can help you take charge of your podiatric health.

The Pros

Generally, calluses develop as a response to friction and weight. Your body wouldn’t do this if it didn’t have some benefit. As Everyday Health’s Dr. Ava Shamban describes: “they’re your body’s natural bumper…Calluses often begin as blisters and are a function of the body’s immune system.” Basically, if a blister isn’t enough to get you to stop putting so much pressure on that area of your skin, your body builds a shield over it. As Dr. Shamban puts it: “the body is protecting you from yourself.”

If you’re an athlete, calluses might be a welcome advantage, toughening up your skin so you can continue pounding the pavement. If your calluses come from improper footwear, bad posture, or podiatric injuries, their placement can help you determine which areas of the foot you need to treat.

Callus Cons

Calluses do have their fair share of drawbacks.

First of all, they can be uncomfortable. They may sting, burn, throb, or ache. This discomfort could interfere with your daily activities. Some people may also be embarrassed by the appearance of calluses.

Furthermore, the changes in tissue that occur with a callus could leave the skin more vulnerable to infection. FootVitals warns: “if proper treatment steps are not taken, the callus can become infected, which may lead to additional symptoms. WebMD adds: “Feet spend most of their time in a closed, moist environment—ideal for breeding bacteria.” If you notice swelling, pus, redness, or any other symptoms of infection in or around your callus, you should see Dr. LaMour as soon as possible.

While a relatively minor issue on its own, a callus could also be a symptom of a larger podiatric problem. For example, WebMD notes: “If you or your child develops a callus that has no clear source of pressure, have it looked at by a doctor since it could be a wart or caused by a foreign body, like a splinter, trapped under the skin.” More general podiatric conditions like flat feet or bunions can also cause calluses. Patients who have diabetes should also pay particular attention to any changes in their feet, including calluses.

Do You Have a Callus?

If this condition is bothering you or you notice any other symptoms, you need to see Dr. LaMour. He can examine your feet, provide an accurate diagnosis, and create a customized callus treatment plan just for you.Contact our Austin podiatry practice today to find out more and schedule an appointment!

Original Source: https://www.drjefflamour.com/foot-care/are-calluses-good-for-you/

Why Do Toenails Fall Off?

Our toenails protect the delicate skin underneath them and serve as a layer of defense against the elements as we use our feet all day. In healthy feet, we expect them to stay put. However, they can become separated from the foot and fall off. If this happens, it can be quite surprising and shocking, as well as uncomfortable and embarrassing. However, if you’ve had a toenail fall off, don’t worry—Dr. Jeffery LaMour and our team are available to assist you. Our podiatry practice is here to help with all sorts of foot concerns. We can help you understand why your feet look and feel the way they do, then provide treatment options so you can enhance your podiatric and overall well-being. We are committed to answering our patients’ questions, so in the following blog, we’ll respond to one of our most commonly heard queries: “Why do toenails fall off?”

Know the Signs

The most evident symptoms of a toenail falling off is the nail detaching from its bed, floating loose into your shoes. However, there are a variety of symptoms you can spot even before the nail begins to wriggle free from the foot. If your toenail may fall off, you might experience the following:

  • A shifting of the nail as it loosens.
  • A “collection of blood under the nail,” according to Foot Vitals.
  • Bleeding, once this blood begins to run.
  • A darker, brown greenish, or yellowed hue.
  • Discomfort.
  • “Thickening of the nail.”
  • Inflammation.
  • “Redness of the surrounding tissue.”
  • A “foul odor.”
  • “Discharge from under the nail,” as in liquid or pus.

If you notice any of the above, we recommend making an appointment with Dr. LaMour as soon as possible. We may be able to prevent your toenail from falling off, saving you discomfort, effort, time, and embarrassment while maintaining your podiatric well-being.

The Reasons Why

There are two main causes for a lost toenail. Go Ask Alice explains, “The loss of a toenail, also called onychoptosis (which literally means ‘falling nail’ in Greek), can be largely blamed on two major culprits—fungus and injury.

Toenail fungus is unfortunately common, but it can be quite devastating to the nail structure. Go Ask Alice describes how “several different types of microscopic fungi” literally eat “keratin, the tough protein that makes up toenails.” In this case, the nail becomes discolored, thickens as the fungi build up, and eventually “crumble[s] and falls off.” In this case, the toenail doesn’t so much pop off as it disintegrates. Unfortunately, Go Ask Alice reports, “Onychoptosis caused by fungus isn’t that rare a problem—three to five percent of Americans are affected, as are up to 18 percent of people worldwide.”

Toe trauma is a bit simpler as an explanation. If you accidentally kick too hard, slam your foot against a wall, trip and fall, or in any other way injure your foot, this could crack your nail or, in certain cases, case a “subungual hematoma—painful bleeding under the toenail that can…cause the nail to fall off.” If you have one intense injury, it may be easy to pinpoint the exact moment you damaged your nail, but if you suffer from repeated or chronic pressure to the toenail, you might not realize you’ve loosened it until you begin noticing specific symptoms.

Our Recommended Remedies

Dr. LaMour and our team are happy to aid you if you’ve had a toenail fall off or believe that your toenail could be in danger.

We can treat toenail fungus quickly and easily with our sophisticated PinPointe™ FootLaser™, using advanced light therapy to kill the fungi. We may recommend this treatment even if your nail has already fallen off, since the underlying fungal infection could doom the next, newly grown toenail to the same fate. Go Ask Alice explains, “Since the condition rarely goes away on its own, it’s smart to talk with a health care provider about an accurate diagnosis and then possible treatments.”

She also warns, “The fungi that cause onychoptosis thrive in dark, moist environments, so wearing tight shoes, socks, and stockings, as well as thick nail polish, can increase your risk of developing the condition.” She also recommends wearing “sandals or shower shoes” in locker rooms, which are common breeding grounds for fungi. Dr. LaMour can provide further recommendations for fortifying your feet against fungus.

If your toenail has been loosened due to injury, Dr. LaMour will examine it to determine the best course of action. If a subungual hematoma or bleeding has developed, we will likely need to drain the blood out from underneath the nail, apply appropriate pressure to it, and bandage it to attempt to save it. If the toenail is already lost, Dr. LaMour will help sanitize the surrounding areas and protect the rest of your foot against further injury. We can also provide tips for avoiding future trauma to your toes.

Has Your Toenail Gone Missing?

Dr. LaMour and our team can help! Contact our Austin podiatry practice today to find out more and schedule an appointment.

Original Source: https://www.drjefflamour.com/foot-care/why-do-toenails-fall-off/

What Does it Mean if My Feet Burn?

Most people don’t think much about how their feet feel. They might get a bit sore from running around all day, itchy from rough socks, or cold in chilly weather, but these sensations are understandable. It can be especially unnerving when your feet begin to feel something unusual and you can’t figure out why. Fortunately, Dr. Jeffery LaMour and our Austin podiatry practice are here to help you handle any and all concerns regarding your feet. Patients often ask us about a burning sensation in their feet. While it may seem to be a strange symptom, there are actually many potential causes for this condition. So, when your toes are tingling or your feet feel like they’re on fire, we can help. Read on to learn what it means if your feet burn.

Symptoms

The clearest symptom of burning feet is a warm sensation throughout any portion of the skin or muscles in your foot. This might feel very slight, as if you’re standing on a warm surface, or more extreme, as if your feet are in a flame. However, there are other, less obvious sensations that might come along with this, as well. For example, Mayo Clinic explains, “With certain conditions, burning feet may also be accompanied by a pins and needles sensation (paresthesia) or numbness, or both.” If your feet don’t feel warm, but they do prickle, sting, or lose sensation altogether, you may still be suffering from “burning feet.”

Common Culprits

So, what is the source of this strange sensation? There are a few different reasons your feet might burn. These include:

  • Exhaustion. Overusing your feet or putting too much pressure on them in a given day or week can cause swelling. As blood rushes to your feet, they might feel hot.
  • Infection. If you contract a bacterial, viral, or fungal infection on the skin of your feet, your body might flow extra blood to the area, making it feel warm.
  • Neuropathy. WebMD explains, “Damaged nerve fibers are more likely to become overactive and misfire. The damaged nerves send pain signals to the brain even though there is no wound.” In these cases, most of the time “the leg nerves become damaged first,” and then the tingling, numb, burning sensation spreads to the feet. In addition, many people with neuropathy “complain that their feet are overly sensitive to touch (hyperesthesia).” Neuropathy is a complicated condition, which in and of itself has many possible causes, including kidney disease, alcohol abuse, thyroid issues, Lyme disease, HIV/AIDS, heavy metal poisoning, drug side effects, and more.
  • Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD). WebMD notes, “The poor circulation of blood to the feet may frequently cause pain, tingling, and burning feet, especially while walking.”
  • Gastric Bypass Surgery. It may sound odd that a gastrointestinal procedure could case a foot symptom, but this just goes to show how your feet are a part of and can reflect your overall health. According to WebMD, “poor absorption of B vitamins after gastric bypass can cause neuropathy in the legs and a sensation of burning feet.”

These are some of the most prevalent causes for burning feet, but this list is by no means comprehensive. If you suffer from burning feet, we urge you to see Dr. LaMour for a consultation, diagnosis, and customized treatment plan. This symptom may be temporary and even harmless, but it could be a sign of something more severe, so it is worth taking seriously.

Our Treatment Options

The remedies for burning feet are as varied as this condition’s potential causes. If foot fatigue is the source of this sensation, Dr. LaMour can help you find better-fitting shoes, or custom fit you for orthotics to provide outstanding support for feet. If the heat in your feet is a sign of athlete’s foot, we can provide appropriate topical medication prescriptions. If a more holistic circumstance such as neuropathy, PAD, or side effects from gastric bypass surgery is the reason for your burning feet, Dr. LaMour will refer you to a specialist who can help you treat the underlying condition, and work with you throughout your recovery to ensure your feet remain healthy.

Do Your Feet Burn?

This isn’t a symptom you should ignore! To learn more or schedule a consultation with Dr. LaMour, contact our Austin podiatry practice today.

Original Source: https://www.drjefflamour.com/foot-diseases/what-does-it-mean-if-my-feet-burn/