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/

Do My Toenails Need to “Breathe”?

If you frequent the nail salon, you may have heard from friends or family that you need to take regular pauses from pedicures to “let your toenails breathe.” In theory, this seems plausible—after all, the rest of your body wouldn’t do so great if it were constantly covered in paint. However, many professional pedicurists beg to differ. Clearly, you care enough about your feet to keep them looking attractive, so who are you to believe? Is the idea that your toenails need some air an old wives’ tale, or scientific fact? Fortunately, when it comes to podiatric problems like these, Dr. Jeffery LaMour and our team are here to help. In the following blog, we answer the common question, “Do my toenails need to breathe?” so you can stride into the nail salon with confidence and maintain your foot health.

Do Toenails Actually Breathe in the First Place?

The short answer is: no! In her Huffington Post piece on the topic, Dana Oliver explains, “The reality is that nails do not actually ‘breathe,’ as they receive their nutrients and oxygen from the blood stream and not the air.” Basically, whether you put on polish or not, your toenails will get the same amount of oxygen. So, suggesting that keeping your toenails au natural lets them “breathe” is a bit of a misnomer. However, having polish-less periods are a good idea for several other reasons.

The Benefits of Pedicure Breaks

Most likely, the reason the myth of “breathing” toenails became popular is because it actually can be detrimental to keep them constantly covered with polish. Letting your toenails go au natural from time to time can help you avoid the following conditions:

  • Keratin granulation. Have you ever taken off your nail polish only to discover white, dry patches underneath? Foot Files defines keratin granulation as “rough, white patches on the nail that form when old polish is removed and ends up taking superficial layers of the nail with it.” In this case, you’re actually scraping off the top part of your nail, removing important nutrients and tissue. This is much more likely to happen if you get frequent pedicures or often change out your colors. Taking a break from polish can help your toenails heal.
  • Acetone overuse. Anyone who’s ever put on nail polish knows that it takes more than just soap and water to take it off. Foot Files warns, “Frequently removing nail polish with acetone remover can dry out the nail, causing it to crack, peel, separate, and become brittle.” This isn’t the cutest look for your nails, with or without a layer of polish over them, plus it “leaves your nails more susceptible to bacterial and fungal infections.” Don’t think that you’re safe with gel nails – these actually “[require] extra time and scrubbing with the acetone.” If you do end up damaging your toenails with acetone and contracting an infection, Dr. LaMour and his team can help you restore your nails with our advanced laser toenail fungus treatment. However, it’s easier just to avoid acetone in the first place by taking pedicure vacations.
  • Discoloration. Vibrant toenail colors can be playful, fun, and stylish, but they also leave behind residues. Yesterday’s bubbly pink can become today’s yellowed nail. Going polish-free for a week or two can help your toenails return to a healthy hue.

Although they don’t exactly “suffocate” your nails, polishes, gels, and other nail products often contain chemicals that can be harmful to the appearance, texture, and health of your toenails. The old adage “everything in moderation” applies to pedicures, too.

Other Foot Factors

Of course, polish isn’t the only element of toenail health. You should also let your feet “breathe” by wearing appropriate footwear that isn’t too constricting. Tight shoes can put undue pressure on your feet, increasing your risk for infection or even cracking your toenails. Wearing supportive, roomy footwear that gives your feet space to move and “breathe” is especially important if you have longer nails.

Our Recommendations

For top-notch toenails, Dr. LaMour and our team suggest:

  • Taking 1-2 week breaks every couple of months from toenail polishes.
  • Avoiding excessively tight shoes, especially those that could pinch your toes.
  • Working with a pedicurist who properly prepares your toenails, including addressing your cuticles, applying a clear, protective base coat, and using moisturizers throughout the pedicure process.
  • Seeing your podiatrist for annual checkups and advice! We can help you diagnose issues before they become difficult to treat, and give you excellent suggestions to further enhance your podiatric well-being.

Taking care of your feet can help you enjoy the perfect pedicure!

Do You Have Other Toenail Questions?

Dr. LaMour and our team would be delighted to assist you. Contact us today to find out more and schedule an appointment at our Austin practice.

Original Source: https://www.drjefflamour.com/foot-care/do-my-toenails-need-to-breathe/

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

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

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

1. Write a handwritten card.

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

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

2. Send a small gift.

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

3. Come in for a routine appointment.

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

4. Take care of yourself.

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

Celebrate National Doctors’ Day With Us!

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

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

Icing Your Ankle After a Sprain

Approximately 850,000 Americans suffer from ankle sprains every year, according to Right DiagnosisUnfortunately, this common injury can be quite uncomfortable, limiting your ability to walk, run, move, and go about your daily life. Since sprains are so widespread, everyone seems to have a different remedy for them. One simple but effective solution is to ice your ankle. We speak from experience on this issue—Austin podiatrist, Dr. Jeffery LaMour, and our team frequently assist patients with ankle sprains. In the following blog, we go over the basics of sprains, explain how icing your ankle can help, and describe how we can help you.

What is a Sprain?

Many people refer to any sort of ankle injury as a “sprain”, but this disorder actually has a more specific definition. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons’ Ortho Info page explains: “an ankle sprain occurs when the strong ligaments [the bands of connective tissue that hold a joint in place] that support the ankle stretch beyond their limits and tear.” Chances are, you’ve suffered a sprain: “Ankle sprains are common injuries that occur among people of all ages. They range from mild to severe, depending upon how much damage there is to the ligaments.”

All sorts of situations can lead to a sprain. You could harm your ankle in this way by tripping, falling, wearing inappropriate shoes, exercising too hard, stumbling, or simply holding your foot at the wrong angle. Any activity that twists your leg or foot could put you at risk for a sprain. Everyone should know the signs of this prevalent condition and learn how to care for their ankles.

Sprain Symptoms

You may have suffered a sprain if:

  • Trouble putting weight on the affected ankle. This could be slight (a mild limp or discomfort only at certain angles) or severe (a complete inability to engage in everyday activities).
  • Inflammation. Your ligaments and other tissue may swell as your body attempts to repair the sprain.
  • Discoloration and tenderness due to bruising.
  • “Coldness or numbness in your foot” due to reduced blood flow, according to Family Doctor.
  • “Stiffness” or loss of mobility, due to the discomfort and the fact that damaged ligaments can limit your range of motion.

If you experience any of the above, we recommend that you come and see Dr. LaMour for treatment.

A Cool Cure

Ice is one of the most widely recommended remedies for sprains, and for good reason. Chilling the tissue can be highly beneficial. This simple treatment can:

The Faster Skier blog describes just why icing can be crucial to healing a sprain: “when the body is hurt…physiological reactions begin to take place automatically. The five most recognizable signs of inflammation are: redness, swelling, loss of function, warmth, and pain. Visualize a large flame coming from the injured body part…Icing is a way to ‘put out the fire’ that is occurring in your body.” It helps alleviate uncomfortable symptoms and limit cell degeneration to keep your tissue in top shape.

However, you should ice your ankle with caution and make sure to cool it properly. Family Doctor points out: “the cold can damage your nerves if you leave ice in place too long. You should only use ice for up to 20 minutes at a time.” Dr. LaMour can provide more information about proper icing protocols at your appointment.

Contact Our Austin Podiatry Practice Today

Have you injured your foot? Dr. LaMour can assist with ankle sprains, fractures, athlete’s foot, and a variety of other podiatric conditions. Contact us today to find out more and schedule an appointment.

Original Source: https://www.drjefflamour.com/foot-care/icing-your-ankle-after-a-sprain/