Odd Toenail Issues and What They May Mean

You probably clip them, paint them, and try to keep them clean, but you may not realize that your toenails can be a direct indicator of your health. Check out some of the odd toenail issues and what they may mean.

Your toenails break easy and seem extremely brittle.

Toenails should be thick enough to protect the tip of your toe, so if they are brittle and break easily, it can cause some concerns. Brittle toenails can be a sign of overexposure to certain detergents, chemicals, or moisturizers. Toenails can actually take in too much moisture and get thinner due to overexposure to certain agents. Likewise, toenails can become brittle and dry if you are not staying hydrated enough.

Your toenails are extremely thick and difficult to trim.

Toenails are naturally thicker than fingernails, which can mean they are a bit harder to trim. However, your toenails should not be so thick that they are practically impossible to trim with ordinary clippers. If they are, it can be a sign that something else is going on. For example, people with high blood sugar levels related to diabetes can develop thick toenails and toenail fungus can also be to blame.

Your toenails frequently fall off.

Toenails fall off when they separate from the nail bed, and once a toenail does fall off, it cannot reattach. You have to wait for a new nail to grow in its place, which can take as long as 18 months for toes. Losing your toenails can come from a lot of causes, such as:

  • Direct injury to the affected toenail
  • Taking certain medications
  • Exposing the toe to certain types of chemicals
  • Untreated toenail fungus
  • Psoriasis on the toes
  • Ringworm
  • Poor blood flow to the toenails

Talk to an Austin Podiatrist About Odd Toenail Issues

Your toenails may seem like a small part of your feet and the health of your feet, but even small problems can be a big deal, so you should seek professional advice. Reach out to us at the office of Dr. Jeffery LaMour, DPM, PA, a podiatrist in Austin, TX, to schedule an appointment if you have odd toenail issues.

Home Remedies for Athlete’s Foot That can Actually Help

Itching, redness, inflammation between your toes—it sounds like you may have an issue with athlete’s foot. This irritating podiatric condition is not one to overlook; it can lead to a host of other issues beyond just being uncomfortable. While the foot doctor can always help you with the condition, you may be able to get some relief with a few home remedies that can actually be effective for some people.

Pour Hydrogen Peroxide on the Affected Area

Hydrogen peroxide can be used to kill certain types of fungus, including the fungi that cause athlete’s foot. You may be able to find a bit of relief from your irritating problem by pouring a bit of store-bought hydrogen peroxide over the affected area. You may feel a bit of stinging, but you should see the peroxide bubble just a bit as it works to kill the fungus.

Rub Tea Tree and Coconut Oil On the Affected Area

Tea tree oil is effective against the types of fungus that can be the root cause of athlete’s foot. Mix a bit of tea tree oil with a mild carrier oil like coconut oil or almond oil and apply the mixture to the affected area a few times every day. Keep in mind that tea tree oil all by itself can be a bit more potent, and it can cause skin irritation for some people.

Soak Your Feet in Rubbing Alcohol and Water

Rubbing alcohol also has the potential to kill fungus, even the type that causes athlete’s foot. It is not recommended to directly apply alcohol to the affected area because it will burn, but you can soak your feet in a water bath with alcohol. The best ratio to use to try this method is 70 percent rubbing alcohol and 30 percent water.

Get Help with Athlete’s Foot in Austin, TX

Even with some effective home remedies, athlete’s foot can be hard to completely get rid of without medical attention. If you have a stubborn case of athlete’s foot, i can lead to other risks to the health of your feet. Reach out to us at the office of Dr. Jeffery LaMour, DPM, PA.

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.

 

From Childhood and Beyond: The Importance of Properly Fitting Shoes

A 2018 study found that 65 percent of children are walking around in ill-fitting shoes. When you consider that wearing shoes that are too small or too large can lead to serious health issues, some of which last a lifetime, this study’s findings are disturbing.

The Effects of Ill-Fitting Shoes

There are numerous factors that influence how a child’s foot develops. These factors include gender, age, physical activity level and the child’s body mass index (BMI). When a child wears a pair of shoes that fit properly, his or her feet are protected from sustaining injuries while walking across different ground textures (e.g., rocks, grass, concrete, etc.) as well as from temperature variances (e.g., hot pavement during the summer months, frozen ground during winter, etc.).

7 Health Issues Resulting from Wearing Ill-Fitting Shoes

  1. Ingrown Toenails

When a shoe is too tight, the pressure is placed on the corners of the toes. This pressure can cause the toenail to grow into the flesh, which causes inflammation and pain. Sometimes, the ingrown toenail needs to be addressed at the doctor’s office.

  1. Minor Foot Problems

Wearing shoes that are too small for a lengthy period of time can cause blisters to develop. In addition, sore spots, reddened skin and cuts are possible.

  1. Injuries from Frequent Falls

When shoes are too tight or too loose, the risk of tripping and falling increases. Therefore, the likelihood of the child sustaining some type of injury rises.

  1. Joint Pain or Arthritis

Shoes that fit incorrectly do not provide an adequate amount of support, this lack of support could increase the potential of the individual developing joint pain and/or arthritis later in life: The joints that are frequently affected include the knees, hips, feet and/or ankles.

  1. Foot Deformities

When a shoe is too tight, the shoe materials, which are neither bendable nor breathable, frequently rub against the foot. As time passes, bunions, calluses, hammertoes and corns may develop.

  1. Anxiety

Wearing painful, uncomfortable shoes while dealing with frequent trips and falls, can lead to an individual becoming anxious. This anxiousness and frequent falling could negatively affect the child’s self-esteem as well as his or her quality of life.

  1. Nerve damage

Consistently wearing tight-fitting shoes repeatedly places excess stress on the foot, which puts additional pressure on the nerves. Once nerve damage occurs in the feet, several different sensations result; These sensations include tingling, numbness, pain and muscle weakness in the foot/feet.

If you or your child is experiencing a foot problem, Dr. Jeffery LaMour can help. To schedule an appointment, contact the office today at 512-451-3668. Dr. LaMour’s Austin, Texas, office is located at 8015 Shoal Creek Boulevard, Suite 119.

The Importance of Good Shoes as a Diabetic

Diabetes is one of the most commonly diagnosed medical conditions in the United States, and it is no secret that the disease can bring along a lot of risks for your feet. One thing any good podiatrist will tell you about taking care of your feet as a diabetic is that the shoes you wear are extremely important. Here is a look at why good shoes are so important if you have been diagnosed with diabetes.

Good shoes will protect your feet from corns and calluses.

Corns and calluses occur because of pressure on certain points of the feet when you walk. While this can be the body’s way of offering more support or protection for pressure points, it can cause issues if you have diabetes. These growths do not get a lot of blood flow, and they can be damaging to the underlying healthy skin. Wearing shoes that evenly distributes your body weight on your feet will lessen issues with corn and callus development.

Good shoes will prevent stress on the rest of your body.

When you have been diagnosed with diabetes, you have to take extra care of the rest of your body, including the musculoskeletal system. Wearing ill-fitting shoes that do not provide the proper level of support doesn’t just stress the feet; it can also put undue stress on ankles, knees, hips, and even your spine.

Good shoes will protect your feet from direct injury.

People with diabetes can have problems with injuries and wounds healing much slower. If the foot sustains an injury due to poor shoe choices, it can leave you at risk of developing an infection in the wound that could put your feet and the rest of your body at risk. Well-made shoes without open toes or materials that are easy to puncture will help protect your feet from direct injury.

Find Out More About Protecting Your Feet as a Diabetic in Austin, TX

Individuals who have diabetes should have their feet examined by a doctor about once a year to ensure they are not developing worrisome issues. If you are diabetic and you have never had a proper foot health evaluation, reach out to us at the podiatry office of Dr. Jeffery LaMour, DPM, PA in Austin, TX to schedule an appointment.

 

Summer Flip-Flops: Foot Friend or Foot Foe?

The days are getting warmer in Austin, TX and those flip-flops are calling your name from the closet. With the ability to slip them on quickly, allow your feet to stay cool, and outfit your feet for just a few bucks, flip-flops definitely have their positive qualities. But are these good for your feet? Here’s what you need to know.

Cheap flip-flops don’t offer support for your feet.

One of the things people love about flip-flops is they’re cheap. You can easily invest in ten different pairs in different colors. However, flip-flops also don’t offer a lot of support for the shape of your foot. Most of the inexpensive versions are made out of a piece of foam rubber and a strap. The foam rubber doesn’t have any arch support, which can put a lot of stress on your feet, ankles, and legs when you walk.

Flip-flops leave your feet open to injury.

Flip-flops that are made from cheaper materials do not offer a lot of protection for your feet. Something as simple as a sharp rock could easily pierce the base of the sandal and cause a severe injury to your foot. Many visits to a podiatrist every year stem from injuries to the feet caused by wearing flip-flops. Even though flip-flops can be comfortable, they are not the best footwear when you are out and about.

Not all sandals are bad.

Even though the majority of flip-flops do not offer much in the way of support for your feet, there are some sandals that can be suitable for wear, so you don’t have to toss them all. Look for sandals that:

  • Offer some level of arch support for your feet
  • Have secure straps around your toes to prevent bending your toes to keep the shoe in place
  • Provide a dense enough sole to protect the bottom of your foot

Let Us Help You with Your Feet in Austin, TX

Protecting your feet is vital, even if it means letting go of ill-fitting and ill-protecting footwear. If you are having problems with your feet, reach out to us at the office of Dr. Jeffery LaMour, DPM, PA.

 

Got Toenail Fungus? Get the Facts!

Unsightly and embarrassing, many people suffer from toenail fungus, even though it is a subject that likely will not come up in general conversation. Toenail fungus is usually characterized by yellowed or discolored, thickened toenails that may grow misshapenly or be more brittle than usual. Toenail fungus is especially hard to treat, and you can find a ton of myths about the condition online. Here is a look at a few of the most common.

Myth: You only get toenail fungus if you don’t keep your feet clean.

Toenail fungus is not related to how clean you keep your feet or how often you shower, but it can be related to how often you change your socks or clean the inside of your shoes. And, people who do not wear any socks may be more susceptible to toenail fungus. People can get toenail fungus from an overabundance of yeast in the shoes that encourages fungus to grow, for example.

Myth: Toenail fungus usually goes away on its own.

Toenail fungus does not usually just go away without the proper kind of treatment. In fact, the condition is extremely stubborn, which means it can take quite some time with the proper treatment just to see some improvement in the toenails in general. It is important to not get discouraged with treatment, however, because sticking with a treatment plan can help eradicate the condition.

Myth: Toenail fungus can be scraped out.

You may be able to scrape out some of the fungi, but you do have to be careful in the process. If you accidentally pierce your nail bed in the process, you can risk the fungus getting into your body, which can bring about other health concerns. Your podiatrist can help with scraping the toenails and trimming away as much of the nail as possible to get rid of some of the fungi that are present.

Talk to Us About Toenail Fungus Treatment

Toenail fungus can make you really self-conscious about your feet, but there may be treatments available that can help. Talk to us at the office of Jeffery LaMour, DPM, PA to find out about the latest treatment methods for fungus in the toenails in Austin, TX.

 

Diabetic Neuropathy Study

Dr. Jeff LaMour, DPM (512) 451-3668 is looking for people with diabetes and foot pain. We are running a clinical study on our product NoxyPure. The study evaluations and treatments will be free to those who qualify and participate. Must be a non-smoker between 20-85 years old and have diabetes with HbA1C under 11% for the last six months. Must also have pain associated with diabetic peripheral neuropathy. This study does not use medication but rather a therapeutic gel with Nanobubbles of O2 and CO2. This could be revolutionary for diabetic foot pain.

Please contact Dr. Jeff LaMour, DPM (512) 451-3668 office, if you or anyone you know is interested in more information or coming into the office to see if you qualify.

Got Bunions? A Few Important Facts to Know

Studies suggest that about 23 percent of people from 18 to 65 have bunions. What are these growths on the feet and how are they treated? Here is a look at a few important things every person with bunions should know.

Bunions are caused by several things.

Bunions can have several causation factors, such as:

  • Deformities that were present when you were born
  • Injuries to the foot or repeated foot stress
  • Genetics or having a certain foot type

Wearing tight shoes can cause a problem.

People who spend a lot of time in high heels, shoes that come to a narrow point, or shoes that are too narrow for their feet are more prone to having bunions. The pressure on the foot can cause a deformity related to the bones of the feet being pushed forward. Make sure you wear shoes that allow your toes a little room to move. There should also be a little space between the end of your big toe and the edge of your shoe.

Corns and calluses can actually be related to bunions.

If you have a lot of issues with corns and calluses, it can be a sign that you are also dealing with bunions, so take a good look at your feet. Corns and calluses are indicative of high points of localized weight or pressure, which can be related to a bunion. Some people who have bunions naturally shift weight to other parts of their feet, which can cause corns and calluses to form.

Complications of bunions are common.

If you never have any issues with your bunions, consider yourself lucky. Some people develop more serious conditions with their bunions, such as hammertoe, bursitis, or even metatarsalgia, which causes severe pain, tenderness, and swelling in the ball of your foot. Bunion surgery may be necessary if the bunion grows too large, which can happen in some cases.

Contact Us for Help with Bunions

Bunions can be unsightly and painful, and there are treatment options available with the help of a qualified podiatrist. If you have issues with bunions, reach out to us at the office of Dr. Jeffrey Lamour DPM, PA to schedule an appointment or to get further information.

Frostbite: What You Need to Know

Frostbite is the most severe kind of cold-related injury and the fingers, and toes are at the highest risk of becoming frostbitten. There are a variety of symptoms associated with frostbite. Recognizing and then treating frostbite as soon as possible is vital, but preventing frostbite in the first place is even better.

Recognizing, Treating and Preventing Frostbite

Knowing the symptoms associated with frostbite is the first step in properly treating this injury. Sometimes, people confuse chilblains with frostbite; however, the symptoms are different. Chilblains occurs when the skin is exposed to wet, cold and windy weather conditions. It causes swollen, dry, red and rough skin with tiny red bumps, which may ulcerate.

There are three degrees of frostbite:

  • First degree (frostnip) — skin becomes red and irritated. Toes will feel cold to the touch. If not addressed soon, numbness sets in. Warming the toes may cause some tingling type of pain. Chilblains may be present once the toes are warm.
  • Second degree — blisters and inflammation, but no tissue damage. Redness dissipates and the toes become pale (white or grayish-yellow in color). Although the skin may remain soft, ice crystals have probably formed within the tissue. All sensation in the affected toes may be lost. If the toes are warmed and treated, stinging and burning should be expected. Inflammation is likely and blisters may form over the next day or two.
  • Third-degree — all skin layers are affected, resulting in permanent damage to the skin and its underlying tissues. The toes are completely numb; therefore, pain and discomfort are no longer an issue. However, the absence of these senses occurs because the nerves have sustained serious damage. Skin feels waxy, functioning of the muscles and joints is poor or non-existent. Tissue death is likely.

Treating Frostbite

Seek medical assistance if you think you have frostbite. If you have frostnip of the toes, remove any clothing that is wet and/or may prevent blood flow to your toes. To keep your blood vessels from constricting, do not smoke or drink any beverages that contain alcohol or caffeine. If there is no chance that they will re-freeze, you can use water that is not too hot to warm your toes. Warming them as soon as possible is essential to preventing damage. Remain in a warm area and avoid walking around. You can reduce inflammation by keeping your feet elevated. Once warmed, apply a sterile bandage or cotton to the affected toes, this helps prevent rubbing.

Preventing Frostbite of the Toes

When spending time in the frigid outdoors, warm-up sessions are important. Be sure to keep an eye on your toes because sometimes you will not even know that frostnip or frostbite is setting in.

Prevention tips:

  • Wear two pairs of socks. Your inner sock should consist of synthetic fiber because these fibers wick water away from the skin. Your outer sock should be wool because it offers a great deal of insulation.
  • The boots or shoes you wear need to be insulated and waterproof.

If you are experiencing any type of foot problem, contact Jeffery LaMour, DPM, PA, today at 512-451-3668. We can help.