Why You Should Never Ignore Ingrown Toenails

According to the Institute for Preventive Foot Health® about 18% of adults in the United States have had an ingrown toenail. Unfortunately, some of those people experienced complications as a result of not seeking medical care quickly. Not only does Dr. LaMour treat ingrown toenails, he wants you to know how to avoid getting them in the first place.

Why some people have ingrown nails

Normally, your toenail grows inside your nail bed. When you get an ingrown toenail, the nail curves slightly at the edge and grows into the fold of skin next to your nail bed. It’s painful, and can be serious.

There are many reasons you might get an ingrown toenail. One is simply genetics. You may have inherited a tendency for your toenails to curve and become ingrown.

Another common cause is poorly fitting footwear. If you wear high heels or narrow shoes that don’t have enough space in the toe box, the pressure on your toes can cause your nails to become ingrown. The same is true of wearing tights or hose often.

Stubbing your toe may lead to an ingrown toenail, as can other types of trauma, like dropping something heavy on your toe. Some types of activity amount to trauma that can lead to ingrown toenails. For example, runners have more ingrown toenails than other people.

By far, though, the most common cause of ingrown toenails is improper trimming. Cutting your nails too short can lead to ingrown toenails, as can cutting them any way other than straight across.

The dangers of ingrown toenails

Although we use words like “tender” to talk about ingrown toenails, the truth is that they hurt, and the worse they get, the more they hurt. Aside from the pain, which can make it difficult to wear socks and shoes, or even to walk comfortably, ingrown toenails can lead to other problems.

An ingrown toenail can get infected, and the infection can easily spread to the bones of your foot and cause serious complications.

Trying to care for your ingrown toenail at home increases your risk of infection even more. If you’ve ever been told to put a piece of a cotton ball between your nail and your skin, you’ve received poor advice. The cotton ball is an excellent host for bacteria, so it increases your chances of developing an infection.

Cutting your nail shorter is another common, but inadvisable, approach to dealing with an ingrown toenail, because trimming it won’t change the way it grows. Cutting a notch in your nail won’t help either.

How we treat ingrown toenails

Most of the time, Dr. LaMour treats ingrown nails right here in the office. Every person is different and your treatment depends on the severity of your ingrown nail, whether or not it’s infected, and your medical history. Some people, such as those who have diabetes, need different care than others.

Ingrown toenail treatment may include:

  • Lifting the nail
  • Partial removal of the nail
  • Removing the entire nail
  • Treating the nail bed to prevent future growth

If you have an ingrown toenail, don’t take chances with home remedies that are likely to be ineffective and may even make things worse. Instead, come in to see Dr. LaMour for an expert opinion and treatment. Just call one of our offices in Austin or Pflugerville or book your appointment online.

What To Do About Plantar Warts

Most people have plantar warts at some point. The clinical name is verrucae warts, and they are caused by human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV thrives in warm, damp areas, such as locker room floors and puddles around swimming pools.

There are many varieties of HPV, but types 1, 2, 4, 60, and 63 specifically cause plantar warts. The virus enters your body through cracks in your skin, and even a tiny crack that you can’t see or didn’t know was there is an open door for HPV.

What to look for

Sometimes, plantar warts grow up into your skin, so that you don’t see them. They may be covered by a callus or thick layer of skin. Plantar warts can be painful, but they are likely to resolve on their own, eventually. If they hurt, you should book an appointment with Dr. Jeffery LaMour for treatment.

Usually, plantar warts are located on your heels or on the balls of your feet. If you see black dots that look like pin points, you probably have plantar warts that have grown inward. The points are clotted blood vessels.

At-home treatments

If your plantar warts don’t hurt, you may want to try some home remedies. A few studies have investigated whether or not placing a piece of duct tape on the plantar wart for a few days, but the results have been mixed.

There are some over-the-counter medications available. And, there’s a chance the plantar warts will resolve themselves and go away.

When to book an appointment

There are some instances when plantar warts need medical care. Make an appointment with Dr. LaMour if any of the following applies to you:

  • The warts are painful or bleeding
  • Home remedies and over-the-counter medicines don’t work
  • The warts stop you from doing your normal daily activities
  • You have diabetes
  • Your immune system is suppressed due to illness or medications
  • You’re not sure what you have are plantar warts

Possible treatments

There are several different methods for treating plantar warts, and the one that will work best for you depends on several factors. Usually, plantar warts are treated first with medications similar to, but stronger than, those available over-the-counter.

Salicylic acid is the active ingredient in most of the medications for treating plantar warts. It works by peeling away layers of the wart with each application. You’ll need to apply the medication regularly, and likely come in for office visits so Dr. LaMour can monitor your progress.

Cryotherapy, or freezing, may be an option, especially if the salicylic acid doesn’t work or you can’t use it for some reason. Cryotherapy involves Dr. LaMour applying a small amount of liquid nitrogen to the wart which creates a blister around the wart. You may need multiple treatments for cryotherapy to be effective.

If neither salicylic acid or cryotherapy works, other treatments could be necessary. For example, other types of acids may be applied, medications to stimulate your immune system could help, and either laser treatments or minor surgery may be necessary. The HPV vaccine has been successfully used to resolve plantar warts, although it is designed to prevent different strains of the virus than those that cause plantar warts.

Dr. LaMour is happy to answer your questions about plantar warts, so if you have painful bumps on your feet, book an appointment with the Family Foot & Ankle Clinic in Austin, Texas, online or by phone today!

How Diabetes Affects Your Feet

Long-term high blood sugar can cause dangerous complications in people with diabetes, and your feet are particularly at risk. Diabetes complications, like foot ulcers, are responsible for nearly 70% of limb amputations in the United States. If you have diabetes, keeping your blood sugar within the target range your doctor sets for you plays a crucial role in avoiding foot problems. Find out how diabetes affects your feet and what you can do to protect them and live well with diabetes.

Diabetes can damage nerves

Your body relies on glucose to function properly, but damage occurs when it remains in the blood at high levels instead of being transported into the cells. Your nerves are especially vulnerable to damage caused by high blood sugar.

Diabetic neuropathy is a type of nerve damage that results from uncontrolled or poorly controlled diabetes. It most often damages nerves in your legs and feet. When you have diabetic neuropathy, your body has trouble interpreting signals sent from your nerves to your brain. You may experience numbness, tingling, or pain, and you may lose some sensation in your feet.

How nerve damage affects your feet

It’s important to work closely with a podiatrist to take special care of your feet if you have diabetic neuropathy. The nerve damage sustained with this condition can make it difficult for you to know if you get a cut or sore on your foot. Without realizing it, a small cut can become infected, and you may not feel anything to alert you to a problem. You may even develop a very serious infection that requires amputation of your toe, foot, or lower leg.

Diabetes can reduce circulation

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a condition where blood vessels become narrow, decreasing circulation to parts of the body, especially the legs and feet. PAD commonly occurs in people with Type 2 diabetes who have high cholesterol. The combination of high blood sugar and elevated cholesterol contributes to PAD development.

Some signs that you have PAD include numbness and tingling in your legs and feet, as well as pain in your calves when you’re walking or exercising that goes away when you rest. The symptoms of PAD aren’t always obvious, making it easy to miss subtle signs. Here at Family Foot & Ankle Center, Dr. LaMour often diagnoses and manages PAD in patients with diabetes.

How reduced circulation harms your feet

Not having enough blood circulating to your feet can make it hard for cuts or infections to heal. It can also make it difficult for diabetic foot ulcers to heal. Foot ulcers are a serious complication of diabetes. These open sores often occur on the ball of the foot or the bottom of the toe.

Reduced blood flowing to your feet increases the risk that a foot ulcer will become infected. If the infection doesn’t heal, it can lead to a type of tissue death called gangrene, which requires immediate care to lower the risk of amputation.

Caring for your feet

Good control of your blood sugar can prevent many diabetes complications, including those that affect your feet. In addition to controlling your blood sugar levels, taking the following steps will help keep your feet healthy:

  • Inspect them daily. Check your feet for cuts, bruises, nail problems, swelling, or any sign that something is amiss.
  • Wear the right shoes. Choose loose-fitting shoes that don’t rub against your feet.
  • Wear clean socks. Make sure your socks are dry and change them daily.
  • Avoid walking barefoot. Even at home, you should wear comfortable slippers.
  • Moisturize. Use a moisturizer to avoid dry skin that may crack.
  • Keep your feet dry. Too much moisture can encourage fungus.

Dr. LaMour is dedicated to changing lives through excellent foot care. To keep your feet healthy and avoid diabetes-related foot problems, call our office or book online today to schedule a consultation.

Foot Fungus Facts: Types, Causes, & Treatments

You may have heard of foot fungus, but assumed that this disease couldn’t possibly affect you. After all, you’ve probably never seen anything growing on your toes or sprouting from your soles. However, foot fungus is actually much more common than you might suppose. According to a recent study, up to 18 percent of all people suffer from toenail fungus, and this condition is just one of many potential fungal infections that could affect your feet.

At Dr. Jeffery LaMour’s Austin podiatry practice, we regularly help patients with foot fungus. These infections can be uncomfortable, embarrassing, and unhealthy. The good news is that, in large part, foot fungus is easily avoidable if you simply know what it is and what to look out for. That’s why we’ve dedicated this week’s blog to going over foot fungus facts. Read on to learn more about the two most common types, their causes, and our treatment options.

Fungal Fundamentals

Before we dive into foot fungus, you should first understand what exactly a fungus is, and how it can affect your body. When you think of fungi, you might imagine mushrooms and spores. You’re not wrong! Medline Plus points out: “A fungus is a primitive organism. Mushrooms, mold, and mildew are examples. Fungi live in air, in soil, on plants, and in water.” While many are external to and separate from us, “some [fungi] live in the human body” but “only about half of all types of fungi are harmful.” So, how can you become host to fungi? Medline Plus explains: “some fungi reproduce through tiny spores in the air. You can inhale the spores or they can land on you. As a result, fungal infections often start in the lungs or on the skin. You are more likely to get a fungal infection if you have a weakened immune system or take antibiotics,” since your body would be weaker and less able to fight off the spores in these situations.

For certain kinds of fungi, your feet are the ideal environment. Spores take up residence on your moist, warm skin, growing on top of and into your skin. You can help ward off foot fungus by keeping your feet as clean and dry as possible, avoiding going barefoot in public areas that could be contaminated with fungus, and using a preventive anti-fungal topical treatment on your feet.

Toenail Fungus

One of the most typical forms of foot fungus is onychomycosis, or toenail fungus. In this case, fungal spores invade the area beneath and around your toenail, where they cause it to take on a green, yellow, or black color, cause it to crumble, and, in some cases, split the nail with their growth. Toenail fungus can be quite uncomfortable, as the fungus puts undue pressure on your toenails, making it difficult to clean your feet, wear shoes, or even walk.

Fortunately, at Dr. LaMour’s office, we have a simple, state-of-the-art solution for toenail fungus: our Pinpointe™ FootLaser™. Using an intense beam of light, we kill the fungi that have infected your toenail without damaging the nail or surrounding tissue. In as short a time as two months, you can begin growing healthy nails again.

Athlete’s Foot

If you think only jocks suffer from this condition, think again: athlete’s foot is one of the most widespread fungal infections. As WebMD explains, this infection, “also called tinea pedis…causes peeling, redness, itching, burning, and sometimes blisters and sores.” These uncomfortable symptoms can interfere with your daily life and, unfortunately, leave your feet more vulnerable to other infections (fungal, bacterial, and viral). There are several spores that cause athlete’s foot, but they tend to “[live] on dead tissue of the hair, toenails, and outer skin layers.” In addition, this form of fungus “grows best in a warm, moist environment such as shoes, socks, swimming pools, locker rooms, and the floors of public showers,” which is where “athlete’s foot” gets its name. To avoid the athlete’s foot, you should take caution not to walk barefoot in these circumstances.

If you do find yourself with symptoms of athlete’s foot, Dr. LaMour can diagnose and treat this condition. Typically, we prescribe appropriate anti-fungal medications, suggest soothing topical ointments to help with itching and swelling, recommend soaking your feet for sweating caused by the fungus, and advise more rigorous foot hygiene.

Are You Suffering from Foot Fungus?

While toenail fungus and athlete’s foot are two of the most prevalent conditions, there are dozens of fungi that can infect your feet. If you notice any changes to your foot color, texture, smell, or any other aspect, we recommend you come and see Dr. LaMour as soon as possible. The earlier we catch the fungal infection, the easier it will be to treat. Contact our Austin podiatry practice today to schedule your appointment!

Original Source: https://www.drjefflamour.com/foot-diseases/foot-fungus-facts-types-causes-treatments/

Nighttime Foot Cramp Causes

Imagine this: after a long day of work, you finally get in bed and begin to drift off to sleep…only your foot begins to cramp. Muscle spasms can interfere with your relaxation, enjoyment, and general lifestyle, especially if they occur in the evening. At our Austin podiatry practice, Dr. Jeffery LaMour and our team are committed to helping patients enjoy excellent podiatric and general health. After all, your feet are the foundation for your well-being. Understanding more about podiatric conditions can help you take better care of your feet. In the following blog, Dr. LaMour and our team explain what causes nighttime foot cramps and how we can assist you with them.

Cramping 101

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons notes, “just about everyone will experience a muscle cramp sometime in life.” You’ve probably suffered through one yourself, but you may not have understood exactly what was happening. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, “a cramp is an involuntary and forcibly contracted muscle that does not relax. Cramps can affect any muscle under your voluntary control (skeletal muscle). Muscles that span two joints are most prone to cramping.” Given that there are 33 joints in the foot, your feet are particularly susceptible to this condition.

Nighttime Cramp Culprits

So, we understand why your feet are more likely than other body parts to cramp at all, but what causes this to happen at night in particular? Of course, there are many elements that can contribute to nighttime foot cramping. A few of the most common reasons include:

·      Dehydration. If you don’t drink enough water throughout the day, dehydration can come back to haunt you (and your feet) at night. Sweating during sleep could also worsen this scenario. If you suffer from nighttime foot cramps, make sure to drink plenty of water in the evening and try to cool your bedroom to minimize perspiration.

·      Circulatory issues. Livestrong explains: “the general reason for foot cramps while sleeping is decreased circulation [blood flow] in the foot. The drop in oxygen to the foot muscles [during sleep] causes them to constrict or spasm, sometimes painfully.” If this is the cause of your nighttime cramping, you may need to see a general physician for assistance, but you can also minimize circulatory problems by making lifestyle changes like avoiding tight socks during sleep.

·      Overexertion. Exercising is great for your health, but pushing your foot muscles too hard on long walks or at the gym during the day could lead to foot cramps at night. Try to take it easy on your feet when working out, especially right before bed.

·      Electrolyte imbalance. Your muscles require a carefully calibrated combination of vitamins and minerals to work correctly. Livestrong notes: “electrolytic imbalance is a major factor in foot cramps. There must be a proper balance in the salts of sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium. A dip in potassium is the chief culprit for stopping the proper electrical signals from being transmitted to your muscles.” If you fail to take the right vitamins or eat the right foods throughout the day, your electrolytes could become depleted during the night, causing foot cramps. Taking electrolyte supplements or eating a potassium-rich snack like a banana in the evening could help combat these cramps.

·      Irregular positioning. Sleeping in strange configurations can also cut off circulation to your feet and lead to cramps. WebMD describes how “standing on a hard surface for a long time, sitting for a long time, or putting your legs in awkward positions while you sleep” can result in nighttime cramps. If you’re suffering from nightly foot cramps, you might consider how you position your legs while you drift off.

·      Medications. Nighttime foot cramps may also be a side effect of certain drugs. According to WebMD, “antipsychotics, birth control pills, diuretics, statins, and steroids” can cause this condition. If you are on this type of medication and suffering from nighttime foot cramps, you may consider speaking to your doctor about your options.

These are just a few of the potential causes for nighttime cramps, but remaining aware of these considerations can help you take more control over this condition.

How We Can Help

If you’re experiencing moderate to severe foot cramps on a daily (or, in this case, perhaps nightly) basis, you don’t have to simply live with the discomfort. Dr. LaMour and our team are available to examine your feet, perform diagnostic tests, pinpoint the source of your symptoms, and create a customized treatment plan to suit your needs. We offer a full suite of podiatric treatments and services.

Contact Our Austin Podiatry Practice Today

Are you experiencing nighttime foot cramps? Do you want to learn more about your condition and enhance your podiatric well-being? Contact us today to schedule an appointment with Dr. LaMour!

Original Source: https://www.drjefflamour.com/foot-diseases/nighttime-foot-cramp-causes/

Toenail Fungus Relief at Home

It’s time to talk about toenail fungus. According to the British Medical Journal, up to 5% of the general population and 15-20% of patients over 40 years old suffer from fungal nail infections. This condition can be both unsightly and uncomfortable, but it’s unfortunately common. Thankfully, Dr. Jeffery LaMour and our Austin podiatry team are here to assist you. We can utilize our extensive experience, comprehensive knowledge, and sophisticated technology to remedy your toenail fungus. Of course, we also recognize that you might want to try treating milder cases of toenail fungus at home, to begin caring for your toes before you have the chance to come in or enhance our professional treatments with additional methods. That’s why we’ve put together this week’s blog on toenail fungus relief at home.

Fungal Fundamentals

To help handle toenail fungus at home, you first need to understand what it is. WebMD explains: “toenail fungus is an infection that gets in through cracks in your nail or cuts in your skin.” Basically, these tiny organisms find a way into your nail and make their home there, creating a whole host of issues. According to WebMD, “[toenail fungus] can make your toenail change color or get thicker…hurt…[and] left untreated, an infection could spread to other toenails, skin, or even your fingernails.”

If you’ve never suffered from or seen toenail fungus before, you might imagine tiny mushrooms growing out of your toes or brightly colored skin surrounding them, but in reality, the symptoms are much subtler. Toes inhabited by fungus are “usually thicker than normal and could be warped or oddly shaped…break easily…look yellow… [and have] a white dot [that] shows up on the nail and gets bigger.” In extreme cases, the fungus “can loosen and even separate the nail from the bed.”

In treating toenail fungus, the basic idea is to destroy the tiny organisms wreaking havoc on your nail while preserving your own healthy tissue. Typically, you can attack the fungus topically (with ointments, creams, and liquids applied directly to it), surgically (with whole or partial removal of the affected nail), or orally (through prescription medications to eliminate the fungus from the inside out).

At-Home Remedies

As we’ve explained, many people suffer from toenail fungus. On the plus side, this means that they’ve come up with numerous ways to help resolve it, and some of them are quite effective. A few of the at-home remedies Dr. LaMour and our team recommend include:

  • Oregano oil. As it turns out, this fragrant substance is useful for more than just recipes. Healthline points out: “oregano oil contains thymol. According to a 2016 review, thymol has antifungal and antibacterial properties. To treat toenail fungus, apply oregano oil to the affected nail twice daily with a cotton swab.” This topical treatment is easy to apply and can help kill off the pesky fungus.
  • Listerine. That’s right: Listerine! It may seem silly to soak your fungal feet in mouthwash, but it may also work. According to Healthline, “Listerine contains ingredients such as menthol, thymol, and eucalyptus, which have antibacterial and antifungal properties.” If you’re ready for minty-fresh, fungus-free toes, you can try “soaking the affected foot in a basin of amber-colored Listerine for 30 minutes.”
  •  Vick’s VapoRub. Just as with the Listerine, this common cough treatment may also help alleviate toenail fungus. As Healthline reports, “its active ingredients, camphor and eucalyptus oil, may help treat toenail fungus. A 2011 study found Vicks VapoRub had a ‘positive clinical effect’ in the treatment of toenail fungus,” when put on the toenail daily.
  • Toenail trimming. Simply cutting the affected nail may help with symptoms. The Mayo Clinic encourages patients to “trim and thin the nails. This helps reduce pain by reducing pressure on the nails. Also, if you do this before applying an antifungal [topical treatment], the drug [or substance] can reach deeper layers of the nail.”
  • Garlic. For an at-home oral treatment, you might try garlic. “Garlic has some antifungal and antimicrobial capabilities…[you can] treat [toenail fungus] from the inside out with garlic capsules. Take as directed by the manufacturer,” per Healthline.

These solutions may help relieve your pain and speed up your healing.

Our State-of-the-Art Solution

Home remedies are excellent, but should not completely replace professional podiatric care. At our Austin podiatry practice, we offer a high-tech, sophisticated treatment option: our Pinpointe™ FootLaser™. This device sends powerful light beams to destroy fungus while safeguarding the nail bed and skin around it. This treatment is minimally invasive and quite effective, allowing healthy nails to begin growing in just two months. Dr. LaMour can further describe this advanced treatment system at your initial consultation.

Do You Have Toenail Fungus?

Dr. LaMour and our team can help! Contact our Austin podiatry practice today to discover more home remedies, learn about Pinpointe™ FootLaser™, and schedule an appointment.

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/

How to Wear Shoes When Your Feet Are Sunburned

We hope you had a wonderful Memorial Day yesterday! Summer will be here before you know it, and with the weather heating up, holidays are a great time to go swimming, sunbathing, and picnicking. As fun as it is, flip-flopping around in sandals or going barefoot through the grass can put your feet at risk for sunburn. Dealing with burnt, blistered, red skin is no fun anywhere on your body, but it can be particularly tough on your feet, since you’ll probably have to put on shoes and walk around even while they’re still healing. At our Austin podiatry practice, Dr. Jeffery LaMour and our team are here to help you with every facet of your foot health, including sunburns. We provide practical advice to assist with your podiatric health through every season and holiday. In the following blog, we’ll cover how to wear shoes when your feet are sunburned and give our tips for healing that frustrating condition.

Shoe Suggestions

Chances are, you won’t be able to drive your kids to school, go grocery shopping, or waltz into the office barefoot. It can be difficult or even seem downright impossible to strap on shoes over your burnt skin. To get through this tough stage of healing, we recommend:

  • Wearing flip-flops or other open shoes such as sandals, if appropriate. The less pressure you can put on your skin and the more you can leave it open to the air, the better. Steer clear of tight straps or textured materials that could rub against the burn.
  • Wearing loose socks and relatively roomy shoes, if you must wear close-toed footwear. Ideally, you can strike a balance between shoes that are too tight, which will pinch the burn, and those that are so big that your feet slide around in them, which could create much-unwanted friction for your sensitive feet.
  • Test out your shoes before you leave the house. While you might want to remain barefoot for as long as possible with a burn, it’s a good idea to try out your footwear for five to ten minutes before you head out. This gives you time to realize that the straps on those sandals are actually too tight, or switch out those textured socks for a smoother pair.

In addition to the above, you may want to take a low dose of an anti-inflammatory medication while you’re out and about to diminish discomfort and swelling. Also, see if you can minimize your time in shoes during the first few days after your sunburn. You should also avoid sun exposure as much as possible (so, if you need to work or run errands outside, you might want to go for close-toed options). This will give your feet the opportunity to heal faster.

Treating the Sunburn

Following the right steps at home can also make wearing shoes out more bearable, even with a bad burn. WebMD suggests: “apply cold compresses to your skin or take a cool bath to soothe the burn.” You can also utilize special “creams or gels” such as those with “menthol, camphor, or aloe.” These ingredients can help relieve discomfort and moisturize the area. For even greater relief, WebMD suggests: “refrigerating the cream first” so it’s nice and cool. You can also help treat your sunburn from the inside out by “drink[ing] plenty of water and other fluids so that you don’t become dehydrated.” Prevention also advises avoiding soap or using only a mild brand, since it “can dry and irritate skin with a sunburn” and instructs sunburned patients to “gently pat your skin dry with a clean towel” after wetting them, since rubbing the skin too vigorously with a towel can “irritate it further.”

Podiatric Prevention

Of course, we’d all rather just not get sunburns on our feet in the first place. In addition to avoiding the discomfort of a burn, a proactive approach can help you avoid more serious health risks. Care2 reported: “Members of the New York State Podiatric Medical Association (NYSPMA) were recently polled to find out if they’d ever found melanoma or skin cancer during a routine foot examination. Seventy-five percent said they had.” To save your feet and, potentially, your life, we recommend that you always remember to put sunscreen of at least 30 SPF on your feet, reapply it every two hours, and avoid excess sun exposure. We also recommend you see Dr. LaMour at least annually for podiatric examinations. During these appointments, he will check your feet for any abnormalities and provide further foot care advice.

Are Your Feet Sunburned?

Did your feet have a little too much fun in the sun this Memorial Day? Do you want more recommendations for handling sunburned feet and other summer foot care tipsContact our Austin podiatry practice today to find out more and schedule an appointment with Dr. LaMour.

Original Source: https://www.drjefflamour.com/foot-care/how-to-wear-shoes-when-your-feet-are-sunburned/

March 30th is National Doctors’ Day! Celebrate Doctors with 4 Ideas

National Doctors’ Day is just two days away! Physicians, surgeons, and other types of medical practitioners are an important part of all of our daily lives. They help us stay healthy so we can take care of our families, enjoy our favorite activities, and accomplish our goals. National Doctors’ Day is a time for all of us to honor this important role in our society.

At our Austin podiatry practice, Dr. Jeffery LaMour and our team are delighted to serve each and every one of our valued patients. We look forward to National Doctors’ Day as a time to remember the important relationships we share with our clients. In the following blog, we provide four ideas for celebrating this holiday. Read on to learn our suggestions for showing your doctors that you appreciate them.

1. Write a handwritten card.

One of the best ways to show you care is to write a nice note to your doctor, telling him or her how much you appreciate his or her help. You can explain how medical care has impacted your well-being or simply send good wishes to your physician. Ask an MD provides his firsthand experience: “trust me, doctors are normal people: we always love it when people thank us for a job well done.” Just in case you’re worried about how to phrase your thanks or word your appreciation, Ask an MD adds: “trust me, your doctor will be thrilled any way you say it.”

Furthermore, a handwritten card could benefit your doctor in other ways. Will, a New York Times user, advises: “the best thing you can do to show appreciation to a physician is to write to their superior or department chairperson (if they are at an academic center) or the chief of staff at their hospital (if they are in private practice) and tell that person how great the physician is.” We all love it when our boss is pleased with us, including doctors!

2. Send a small gift.

Especially during the holidays or on a special day like National Doctors’ Day, it can be appropriate to send a gift to express your gratitude. In her New York Times article, “When Your Doctor Is on the Gift List,” Tara Parker-Pope explains the etiquette of doctor presents: “Although small tokens like cookies or fruit baskets don’t usually pose a problem, physicians struggle with the ethics of accepting more costly or more personal gifts from patients.” A little present is an inexpensive but thoughtful way to show your doctor that you care.

3. Come in for a routine appointment.

You may have heard the adage: “prevention is the best medicine.” Coming in to see your doctors for regular examinations and consultations can help you catch conditions before they worsen and learn how to avoid future problems. For example, many patients don’t realize that it is very important to come and see your podiatrist at least once a year. Your feet are fundamental to your overall health, and your daily life would be very different without their proper function. Dr. LaMour and our team would be thrilled to see you. We offer a wide variety of foot and ankle services to help you keep your feet in excellent condition.

4. Take care of yourself.

It might sound cheesy, but as medical professionals, we know it’s true: the best gift you can give your doctor is taking care of your health! Our ultimate goal is for our patients to lead happy, healthy lives.

Celebrate National Doctors’ Day With Us!

We’d love to see you at our Austin podiatry practice to enjoy this doctor-full holiday! Contact us today to find out more and schedule your next appointment.

Original Source: https://www.drjefflamour.com/foot-care/march-30th-is-national-doctors-day-celebrate-doctors-with-4-ideas/

Did I Break My Foot? Signs You Need to See a Doctor

Have you ever broken your foot? Chances are, you may have. According to WebMD, “about 1 out of every 10 broken bones occurs in the foot.” This may seem unrealistic, but not when you consider that “25 percent of all the bones in the human body are down in your feet,” according to Foot.com. Furthermore, “when these bones are out of alignment, so is the rest of your body.” Unfortunately, many people ignore problems with their feet because they don’t consider them important, but, as Foot.com points out, your feet are the foundation of your well-being. Read on to learn about the signs of a fracture and find out when you need to see a doctor like Austin podiatrist, Dr. Jeffery LaMour.

Broken Foot Basics

As WebMD describes, “the human foot has 26 bones.” If one or more of these fractures, you have a broken foot. You may think that a break would be obvious, but this is not always the case. Of course, you may have a dramatic crack in the bone, shifting part of it to the side and making the nature of your injury clear. However, it’s also possible to develop a thin, tiny fracture, subtle enough to ignore, but unwise not to treat, as it will most likely worsen as you continue to put pressure on your feet. WebMD labels these “stress fractures…small cracks can form in bones over a longer period of time from repeated stress on the bones.”

There are many potential reasons your foot may break. WebMD reports: “bones usually break when something happens to crush, bend, twist, or stretch” them. Kicking too hard, tripping, falling, or misaligning your feet could all be the culprits of a fracture. You can minimize your risks for a broken foot by avoiding strenuous exercise, wearing appropriate footwear, and seeing your podiatrist for regular checkups.

Sprains Explained

If you’ve ever injured your foot, you may have found yourself pondering: “is it a sprain or a fracture?” These can be difficult to distinguish from each other, and they often occur at the same time. So, what exactly is a sprain? The American Podiatric Medical Association explains that unlike a broken bone, “a foot or ankle sprain is a soft tissue injury. Most often, a sprain occurs when an injury pulls, stretches, or tears the ligaments that connect bone to bone.” If you sustain enough damage to your foot to break a bone, chances are, you’ve also injured your soft tissue, as well. Sprains share many symptoms with fractures (particularly discomfort and swelling), so it can be difficult to tell them apart. However, even if your injury is “just a sprain,” it’s crucial that you see your podiatrist for treatment to heal properly.

See Your Austin Podiatrist If…

When is it time to see your doctor? We recommend coming in for a consultation if:

  • You experience discomfort when walking, running, or putting weight on your foot. However, WebMD points out: “broken bones in the toes cause less pain, and you may be able to walk with a broken toe.”
  • You notice blue, purple, or red discoloration in one or more areas of your foot. Changes in blood flow can indicate damage to the bone.
  • Your foot appears larger. Inflammation is also a symptom of fractures.
  • You notice a loss of sensation in your foot, which may manifest as a cold feeling.
  • Your foot appears visually “misshapen, deformed, or pointing in the wrong direction.”
  • You have other severe injuries to your foot, such as “a large cut or wound near a possible broken bone.”

If you believe you’ve broken a bone in your foot, we are here to help you! We can assist you with any type of fracture. We will take x-rays of your foot to ascertain if it is, indeed, broken, and recommend an appropriate treatment to help you recover.

Did You Break Your Foot?

If you believe you may have broken your foot or suffer from any of the above symptoms, we encourage you to come in to our Austin podiatry practice. Contact us today to find our more and schedule your appointment.

Original Source: https://www.drjefflamour.com/sports-injuries/did-i-break-my-foot-signs-you-need-to-see-a-doctor/