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.

3 Surprising Facts about Orthotics

Whether it’s foot or ankle pain or foot ulcers related to diabetes, when you have difficulty with your feet, it can stop you from doing the things you love. At Family Foot & Ankle Clinic, we understand mobility issues and are here to discuss a nonsurgical and noninvasive solution to your foot and ankle problems: Orthotics.

Sometimes referred to as orthosis, orthotics are devices prescribed by podiatrists and other medical doctors that either correct or accommodate your walking pattern, helping to improve your gait and posture. Orthotics can increase how comfortable your feet are and how efficiently you move. What’s more, these podiatric appliances can alter the angle that your foot strikes the ground, absorbing shock, improving balance, and taking pressure off of sores and irritated areas of your foot.

While many people take walking without discomfort for granted, those who struggle with foot and ankle pain, diabetes, or other foot issues understand how frustrating and debilitating it can be. It’s estimated that 12-15% of the American population can benefit from orthotics, including those who want to reduce pain or protect their joints. And with a growing industry that’s expected to reach $3.5 billion by 2020, it’s no wonder more and more people are considering orthotics to assist with their mobility issues.

That’s why at Dr. LaMour’s office, we talk to men and women about orthotics and the benefit they can bring. Here are three facts about these mobility devices that many people are surprised to learn.

Orthotics are Custom Made

Unlike store-bought insoles, prescription orthotics are custom made to fit your foot and tailored to address your specific needs and foot issues. When you visit us at Family Foot & Ankle Clinic for an orthotic, we take a casted mold of your foot, guaranteeing that you get the most benefit.

No matter your foot concern, we can address your needs and find a solution to reduce your discomfort. Since no two people have exactly the same foot problem and structure, each case is handled on a one-on-one basis, and we make each orthotic independently.

Orthotics are Multifunctional

Too many people compare prescription orthotics to over-the-counter shoe insoles and arch supports. While custom-made orthotics can also help with arch support, they do so much more than over-the-counter inserts.

Orthotics are multifunctional. They can offload weight from certain parts of your foot that are impacted by bursitis, calluses, or foot ulcers. They can improve your foot’s function, especially when it comes to hypermobility associated with tendonitis and fasciitis. Orthotics can also support and align your foot, as well as the rest of your lower extremities, which reduces the frequency and severity of foot, ankle, leg, and lower back pain.

Orthotics are not Just For Athletes

When it comes to orthotics, most people associate them with athletes and distance runners. And, sure, orthotics can improve issues these people suffer from, but that’s not all they do. As a matter of fact, orthotics address a wide range of common foot and mobility issues from bunions and hammertoes to plantar fasciitis and flat feet.

They can also assist those who suffer from frequent sprains, people whose toes aren’t straight, and those whose feet come in or out when they walk. Depending on your issue, we may recommend orthotics if you have a chronic heel, knee, or lower back pain, or if you wear one side of your shoe’s sole more quickly than the other.

To learn more about the many benefits of orthotics and how they can help you, call us at Family Foot & Ankle Clinic or book an 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.

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.

10 Shoe Shopping Tips for Happy Feet

Your feet serve you well, carrying you where you need to go, all while bearing the entire weight of your body. It’s a tall order and these relatively small body parts are usually up to the task. If you hinder their function in any way, however, you run the risk of creating painful foot and ankle problems.

The better option is to provide critical support for your beleaguered feet in the form of good footwear that’s an asset rather than a liability. At Family Foot & Ankle, we aim to help our patients in Pflugerville and Austin, Texas, take the best care of their feet and that means choosing the right shoes.

Here are 10 shoe shopping tips that will keep your feet happily skipping along.

1. Take it down a notch

If you’re a woman, you probably guessed that we need to address the elephant, or the heel, in the room. High heels are bad for your feet and ankles, and there’s no getting around that. Since we know that fashion wins out more often than it should, we advise you to choose your heels wisely. Opt for heels that have a wedge shape to them and a raised platform at the toe. Wedges are far more sturdy than stilettos, and the platform at the toe gives you the height you want without the added pressure on the balls of your feet.

2. Size matters

It may seem obvious, but when you go shoe shopping, make sure the shoe is the proper size for your feet. While you may have been a 6 a few years ago, you could now be a 7 (not to mention different manufacturers may size shoes differently). Better yet, go to a shoe store that still measures your feet to be sure. And be sure to measure both feet, since one may be slightly larger than the other.

3. A little breathing room

While those pointy shoes may add just the look you want, they’re incredibly bad for your feet. These shoes can lead to metatarsalgia (pain in the ball of your foot), hammertoes, and neuroma, a painful nerve inflammation between your toes. Opt instead for a shoe with a wider toe box, allowing your toes to spread out and do their job. In fact, the rule of thumb is that you should have at least a ¼-inch space between the end of your toes and the shoe.

4. Leave flip flops for the beach

Flip flops are easy to throw on and run around in, but these shoes provide little in the way of arch support, and they’re highly unstable. We see many ankle injuries in people who wear flip flops at inappropriate times.

5. The right tool for the job

It’s important that you chose the right footwear for the activity you’re engaged in. Hiking out on a trail in treadless street shoes can be a recipe for disaster. Make sure that your shoes match your activities in terms of tread, support, purpose, and coverage.

6. Try it out

When you go shopping, walk around in the shoe as much as you can. Designer warehouses provide ample room with carpeted floors, but you’ll have more difficulty in a smaller shop. Still, the more you wear the shoe, the more you can determine how well it fits. You’d be surprised to find how many shoes start to pinch or hurt when you take them for a real spin.

7. Timing and preparation matter

If it’s the middle of the summer, and you’re shopping for hiking boots while wearing sandals, plan ahead and bring along the socks you would use for the shoe you’re shopping for. As well, avoid shoe shopping first thing in the morning. As you go about your day, your feet expand, so try and do your shopping in the afternoon.

8. Attention to detail

While the shoe you want may look great on the outside, it’s the inside that matters when it comes to your feet. Check and make sure that there aren’t any seams or hardware that might irritate your feet.

9. Be sensible

It used to be that sensible shoes were ugly shoes. That’s no longer the case, as shoe manufacturers are answering the call for fashionable and comfortable shoes. So, even though it’s a brand your mother wore, take another look — you might be pleasantly surprised.

10. Get help

To maximize just about any shoe, custom orthotics can make good shoes even better by providing support where you need it most, from your arches to your ankle. At Family Foot & Ankle, we offer thin custom orthotics that are crafted to fit your feet in most any shoe you want to wear. With custom orthotics, your shoe options may even get broader.

To learn more about finding the right shoes for your feet, feel free to call us at Family Foot & Ankle, or book an appointment online.

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/

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/

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/