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/

Do Animals Get Ingrown Toenails, Too?

If you’ve ever shared a home with a pet, tuned into Animal Planet, or even taken a stroll through the dog park, you know that animals and humans have a lot in common. Our cuddly friends also enjoy spending time outdoors, eating cookies, and taking cozy afternoon naps, but do they suffer from the same podiatric struggles? Anyone who’s ever suffered from an ingrown toenail knows that it isn’t exactly a pleasant experience. This condition can make daily activities difficult. Fortunately, the more you know about your podiatric health, the better you can care for your feet. In the following blog, Austin podiatrist, Dr. Jeffery LaMour, goes over ingrown toenail basics, explains which animals get them, and how we assist you.

What is an Ingrown Toenail?

When you imagine an ingrown toenail, you may think of bent or mangled toe. In fact, the condition is much subtler, but no less serious. Mayo Clinic explains: “Ingrown toenails are a common condition in which the corner or side of a toenail grows into the soft flesh. The result is pain, redness, swelling and, sometimes, an infection. Ingrown toenails usually affect your big toe.” This condition can be unsightly, uncomfortable, and unhealthy, putting the toe at risk for other conditions, such as infection. According to WebMD, “people with curved or thick nails are most susceptible,” as well as those with “an injury, poorly fitting shoes, or improper grooming of the feet.” It’s easy to see how animals might be vulnerable to these conditions, since they often have thicker, curvier nails, their play may lead to injuries, and it’s not always easy to keep their feet perfectly groomed.

In addition, it’s worth noting that while ingrown toenails may be annoying and certainly merit treatment for most, patients with “diabetes, vascular problems, or numbness in the toes need to be aggressive in treating and preventing ingrown toenails because they can lead to serious complications, including the risk of losing a limb.” Similarly, animals who are already dealing with health issues may be more at risk for complications if they suffer from ingrown toenails.

Which Creatures Get Them?

The most basic answer to “Do animals get ingrown toenails, too?” is a resounding “yes!” Of course, the next question we know you’ll have is: “which ones?” Generally, any animals with feet similar to ours could get ingrown toenails.

For example, both cats and dogs are susceptible to this condition. Petful explains that ingrown toenails do occur occasionally with these furry friends, particularly with cats. Felines’ claws can begin to grow into their pads. Petful points out that “pesky dewclaws” are often to blame. “Even if you aren’t diligent about nail trims, most pets will wear their nails down from normal walking so as to avoid an ingrown nail. But the dewclaws (nails comparable to our thumbs) don’t hit the pavement—and they especially need trimming.” To add to the risk of the dewclaws, Petful notes: “cats in particular can be born with common congenital toe anomalies, which can cause problems.” These abnormalities may increase the chances of an ingrown claw.

Ingrown toenails don’t just affect domesticated cats and dogs. Cheetahs and foxes, wolves and leopards alike can also be affected by this condition. The similarities between humans and primates suggest that animals such as monkeys might also be prone to ingrown toenails, although this is less documented.

Treating an Ingrown Toenail

Although widespread, an ingrown toenail can cause significant discomfort. If you’re suffering from this condition, Dr. LaMour and our team can perform a basic, outpatient procedure to remove part of the nail, then bandage your toe so it can heal and grow back properly. At our Austin podiatry practice, we only work with human patients, but Petful similarly recommends seeking professional veterinary assistance for any animal with symptoms of an ingrown toenail: “the vet may have to remove a nail, treat a deeply infected wound, or take a biopsy.”

Original Source: https://www.drjefflamour.com/foot-care/do-animals-get-ingrown-toenails-too/

It’s National Bike Week! Learn to Address Heel Pain While Cycling

Get excited about cycling! This week is National Bike Week! As The League of American Bicyclists explains, this is “a chance to showcase the many benefits of bicycling—and encourage more folks to give biking a try.” This year’s emphasis is on biking to work, so the league particularly encourages you to pedal professionally. Of course, bicycling provides excellent exercise, gives you a chance to spend some time outdoors, and can save on gas, but it can be tough on your feet. In some cases, bicyclists’ heels take the brunt of this activity. In celebration of National Bike Week, Austin podiatrist, Dr. Jeffery LaMour, is here to help you address heel pain while cycling. Read on to find out how you can enjoy this special week while protecting your heels from harm!

How Can Biking Affect the Heel?

Riding a bike involves moving your legs and feet in ways you might not regularly. This can put your heel at an odd angle. In addition, the repetitive action of pedaling can put undue pressure on your feet. When riding a bike, you can stretch and impact your heels and the surrounding tissue.

Achilles Answers

According to the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine (or, the AAPSM), cycling can lead to Achilles tendinitis: “irritation and inflammation of the tendon that attaches to the back of the heel bone can be caused by improper pedaling, seat height, lack of a proper warmup, or overtraining.” The Achilles tendon spans from the calf to the heel. If it becomes swollen, stretched, or otherwise damaged, this can cause heel pain. The AAPSM advises that Achilles tendinitis “can be treated with ice, rest, aspirin, or other anti-inflammatory medications. Chronic pain or any swelling should be professionally evaluated.” If you are suffering from symptoms of Achilles tendinitis after biking, we recommend that you see Dr. LaMour for a professional diagnosis and customized treatment plan. This could include a regimen of special stretches, custom-fit orthotics, medications, and other therapies.

Pedaling with Plantar Fasciitis

Biking can also lead to a common condition called plantar fasciitis. Livestrong explains, “The plantaris muscle is a small, thin ankle muscles that attach to the inner, or medial aspect of the heel bone. It assists the larger calf muscles in flexing the ankle downward and works to increase lower leg proprioception, or the body’s awareness of where it’s at in nature.” This area becomes particularly vulnerable during rigorous bicycling. Livestrong goes on: “Incorrect pedaling technique and poor body mechanics are the source of the plantaris muscle creating heel pain from bike riding.” Plantar fasciitis is the number one reason for pain in the heel, whether on or off of a bicycle. Fortunately, similar to Achilles tendinitis, we can usually help you treat it with ice, stretching, physical therapy, orthotics, and anti-inflammatory medications.

Biking Injuries

Especially if you’re hopping back on the bike for the first time in awhile for National Bike Week, it’s important to do so cautiously. If you ride over some rough ground or lose your balance, you could fracture one of the bones in your heel, pull a muscle, or injure your heel in some other way. Fortunately, if you are suffering from heel pain due to a bicycling sports injury, Dr. LaMour and our team can help. We will examine your foot carefully, diagnose the trauma, and design a treatment plan to have you back on your bike in no time.

Have Healthier Heels!

Whether or not you’re partaking in National Bike Week (and we hope you do!), it’s important to take care of your feet. Contact our Austin podiatry practice today to learn more and schedule an appointment with Dr. LaMour.

Original Source: https://www.drjefflamour.com/heel-pain/its-national-bike-week-learn-to-address-heel-pain-while-cycling/

Is it Okay to Wear Socks to Bed?

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

Sleeping in Stocking Feet?

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

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

These are all convincing arguments for nighttime sock-wearing.

The Argument Against Socks

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

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

Our Advice

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

Do You Have More Questions About Your Feet?

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

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

Are Calluses Good For You?

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

What Are Calluses?

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

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

The Pros

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

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

Callus Cons

Calluses do have their fair share of drawbacks.

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

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

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

Do You Have a Callus?

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

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

Why Do Toenails Fall Off?

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

Know the Signs

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

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

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

The Reasons Why

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

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

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

Our Recommended Remedies

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

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

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

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

Has Your Toenail Gone Missing?

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

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

What Does it Mean if My Feet Burn?

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

Symptoms

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

Common Culprits

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

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

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

Our Treatment Options

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

Do Your Feet Burn?

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

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

The Best Types of Shoes for Flat Feet

According to the Institute for Preventive Foot Health, “8 percent of U.S. adults ages 21 and older (about 18 million people)” suffer from flat feet. This problem may be prevalent, but that doesn’t make it healthy. Your arch is the baseline for your podiatric well-being and the foundation of your general health. However, you might not even realize you have this condition or have a clue how to handle it. At our Austin podiatry practice, Dr. Jeffery LaMour and his team often assist patients with flat feet. While severe cases may require more intensive treatment or even surgery, flat feet can typically be managed with lifestyle modifications. One of the most important factors to consider in handling flat feet is your footwear. Your shoes could make or break your arch health. In the following blog, we go over the basics of flat feet and provide our recommendations for the best shoes if you suffer from this condition.

Flat Feet Fundamentals

Many people suffer from flat feet without knowing it. The Institute for Preventive Foot Health offers this definition: “Flat feet (pes planus) is a fairly common condition in which the foot does not have a normal arch, and so the entire foot touches the floor when you’re standing.” WebMD explains further, “Tendons—tight bands that attach at the heel and foot bones—form the arch…when the tendons do not pull together properly, there is little to no arch. This is called flat foot or fallen arch.” Basically, the inner middle portion of your feet should be slightly raised to properly support your body weight and maintain a healthy foot structure. If it has collapsed, you suffer from flat feet.

There are a variety of factors that can lead to flat feet, including genetic conditions, tendon damage, foot fractures, aging, obesity, arthritis, and many others. If you suffer from flat feet, WebMD explains, your feet might

  • become tired easily
  • be “painful or achy, especially in the areas of the arches and heels”
  • swell at the heel
  • cause leg and back discomfort
  • strain or be unable to move in certain ways, such as “standing on your toes.”

If you have experienced any of the above, we recommend that you Dr. LaMour for a complete diagnosis and customized treatment plan.

Footwear Characteristics to Consider

If you have flat feet, what kinds of shoes should you be wearing? In her Livestrong article on this topic, Deborah Dunham highlights three features your footwear should have if you’re flat-footed:

1. Support. She advises against “shoes without any support such as flip-flops, sandals, or high heels,” since “these do not give the arch any lift.” At a minimum, she recommends purchasing footwear with “added support” which simply means the shoes “are technically designed to do what a normal arch is supposed to do.”

2. Stability. Dunham describes, “People with flat feet tend to pronate, or turn their ankle inward when they walk or run.” Stability shoes are specially designed to control the angle of the foot within the shoe and “correct this pronation.”

3. Motion Control. Particularly for those with flatter feet, Dunham suggests, “motion control shoes…a step above stability shoes with additional support and control to keep the ankle straight when moving forward.” These shoes are jam-packed with extra material to support your feet and lift your arches up as you exercise.

Keeping these three points in mind should help you make better choices when you pick out your next pair of shoes.

Our Recommendations

If you have flat feet, it might feel like there simply aren’t any good shoes for you, but that isn’t true! Dr. LaMour and our team can assist you in finding great footwear that suits your needs and boosts your podiatric health. For example, FootSmart has a wide selection and allows you to sort by ailment, so you can look for shoes designed specifically for flat feet. Riley Jones’ Complex article suggests the “10 best sneakers for runners with flat feet.” For an elegant, pretty look, Barking Dog Shoes spotlights five different styles of gorgeous flats for women with flat feet, including a pair from Taryn Rose footwear, which was “founded by an orthopedic surgeon…designed with room for the toes to wiggle, substantial arch support, and a layer of PORON® Performance Cushioning which is breathable and won’t break down with wear.” If you know what to look for, your options are virtually limitless!

How We Can Help

In addition to diagnosing your condition and helping you find appropriate footwear, Dr. LaMour can custom fit you for orthotics. These inserts can support your arches, enhancing your existing shoes or adding an extra layer of protection to already-supportive footwear.

Do You Have Flat Feet?

Dr. LaMour and our team can help you enjoy healthier, more comfortable feet. Contact our Austin podiatry practice today to learn more and schedule your appointment!

Original Source: https://www.drjefflamour.com/foot-diseases/the-best-types-of-shoes-for-flat-feet/