Why Are My Toenails Yellow?

Have you ever noticed your toenails taking on a yellow hue? You might have assumed that this is normal, but it isn’t. This discoloration could be relatively harmless, but it could also originate under the surface of your toenails and might become more serious if you fail to treat it. Fortunately, Dr. Jeffery LaMour and the rest of our Austin podiatry practice are here to help you better understand and care for your feet. You spend a good portion of every day on them, and they can have an impact on your overall well-being, so you ought to keep them healthy! In the following blog, Dr. LaMour and our team will answer a question patients often ask us: “why are my toenails yellow?”

Symptoms

Most probably, if you have yellow toenails, you’ll know it just by looking down at them. However, there are certain symptoms that often accompany this toenail transformation. Yellowing often occurs alongside:

  • Harder, denser nail texture. Nails might begin to feel heavier, become more difficult to cut, and become visibly thicker.
  • A reduction of shine in nails. Yellow nails also tend to be dull.
  • Changes in nail shape. Your toenails may begin to deviate from their usual form.
  • Small cracks or breaks in the nails. Your nails may appear as if they’re falling apart.
  • Jagged or deteriorating edges.
  • Other health concerns. This may seem odd, but Livestrong reports: “The color and overall health of your nails can be a reflection of your overall health.” The reverse is also true; more general body conditions can cause symptoms related to your toenails.

If you experience any of the above, contact our office for an appointment with Dr. LaMour.

Common Culprits of Color Changes

There are a variety of reasons your nails may become yellow. These include:

  • Fungus. This is by far the most common cause of yellow nails. Livestrong explains: “Yellow toenails are characteristic of a common fungal nail infection called onychomycosis, which affects some 12 percent of the U.S. population, according to the AAD.” In moist conditions—such as within a sweat-filled sock, or walking across a wet, dirty locker room floor—fungi can thrive and infect the tissue beneath your nail. If you don’t treat foot fungus early on, it can eventually take over your toenail, even cracking it.
  • Yellow Nail Syndrome. Yellow nails are the characteristic symptom of a rare systemic disease believed to be genetic. Rare Diseases describes: “Yellow nail syndrome is an extremely rare disorder characterized by malformations affecting the fingernails and toenails, abnormalities affecting the lungs and the airways…and swelling or puffiness.” This is just one of many reasons to contact a podiatrist quickly if you begin to notice yellowing. Enki Village points out: “people with conditions like bronchiectasis, sinusitis, rheumatoid arthritis, and cancer are more likely to develop yellow nail syndrome.”
  • Polish. The most benign beginnings of yellowing nails lie in small, shiny beauty bottles. Red, blue, black, and purple nail polish may be a bold fashion statement, but it can leave behind a considerably less attractive mustard hue.

These are but a few of the most prevalent possible sources of yellowing nails. For a more customized, complete diagnosis, you should come see Dr. LaMour for an examination.

Treatment Options

The treatment Dr. LaMour recommends will depend on the specific source of your discoloration. We often utilize our advanced Pinpointe™ FootLaser™ to treat patients with toenail fungus. Unfortunately, if you suffer from Yellow Nail Syndrome, the color of your nails may be irreversible, but we can recommend options to better care for them and refer you to an appropriate doctor to help you with your other symptoms. If nail polish is the root of your yellowing, Enki Village describes how you can return them to their original color by “buffing your nails lightly,” scrubbing your feet with a little hydrogen peroxide, putting baking soda on your toenails, or even “[applying] toothpaste” with a “nailbrush to scrub your nails gently.” To prevent this yellow after-effect from recurring, you should use one or two base coats of clear polish, which creates a buffer between the dark color and your natural nail. After Dr. LaMour assesses your feet, he will determine which treatment (or combination of treatments) is appropriate for you.

Are Your Toenails Yellow?

Don’t hesitate to call our podiatry practice! A trip to your Austin foot doctor could help you improve your toenail color and protect your overall health. Contact us today! We look forward to hearing from you.

Original Source: https://www.drjefflamour.com/foot-care/why-are-my-toenails-yellow/

New Years Resolution Ideas- Healthy Feet!

Happy 2017! Chances are, earlier this week, you made some New Year’s resolutions. Perhaps you want to further your career, make better dietary choices, or spend more time with your family. These are all admirable goals! One important New Year’s resolution you might not have considered is improving your foot health. At our podiatry practice, Austin foot doctor, Jeffery LaMour, and our team understand just how crucial caring for your feet is. Your podiatric health can affect your lifestyle, overall well-being, and happiness. We’ve made it our mission to help our patients enhance their lives by repairing, maintaining, and enhancing their feet. In the following blog, find out about our recommendations for starting 2017 out on the right foot.

Don’t Shower Your Feet with Disease

Many people don’t realize just how sensitive and susceptible to infection their feet are. Dr. LaMour always recommends wearing waterproof shoes to protect your feet from the fungi, bacteria, dirt, and who-knows-what-else that lurks in gym showers, on locker room floors, and generally on any public, moist floor. NHS advises: “wear flip-flops to avoid catching athlete’s foot [a type of fungal infection] and verrucas [tough growths similar to warts that can develop on the bottoms of your feet] when you use public areas such as gym showers, swimming pools, or hotel bathrooms.” Of course, if you do become infected with a condition like athlete’s foot, Dr. LaMour and our team can treat you, but prevention is the best medicine.

Practice Good Podiatric Grooming

Having long, dark, hard toenails and feet covered in calluses can be both uncomfortable and embarrassing. Implementing some simple techniques can help you enjoy feet that look and feel great this year. Washing your feet daily cuts down on odor and reduces your risk for infections. You should also trim and file your toenails at least once per month. In addition to making you feel more confident in open-toed shoes, giving yourself a routine pedicure can help save you the discomfort of ingrown toenails.

If you want to go above and beyond for beautiful feet, you can follow Rebekah George’s tips in her Prevention piece, “Secrets of Perpetually Pretty Feet.” She provides easy, at-home solutions for a wide variety of foot maintenance concerns, from thick toenails (“coat nails nightly with Vaseline”) to calluses (“exfoliate daily”).

Get Regular Podiatric Check-Ups

One of the best things you can do for your feet in the New Year is to stay updated with your podiatric care. Dr. LaMour and our team would be delighted to see you for your annual examination. At this appointment, we can teach you more about foot care, catch any conditions before they worsen, and provide more customized suggestions for attractive, healthy feet this year.

Enjoy Healthy Feet in 2017

Are you ready to make a resolution for your foot health? Simply applying any one (or even all) of the above tips could help make this year the best yet for your precious pads. Contact us today to find out more and schedule your next appointment with your Austin foot doctor!

Original Source: https://www.drjefflamour.com/healthy-diet/healthy-foot-challenge/new-years-resolution-ideas-healthy-feet/

How Do Flat Feet Affect Your Body?

As a podiatry practice, we know that your feet are the foundation of your overall well being. Lacking a healthy arch can have an impact on many areas of your body, literally from head to toe. Flat footedness is exactly what it sounds like. Mayo Clinic defines this chronic condition: “You have flat feet when the arches on the inside of your feet are flattened, allowing the entire soles of your feet to touch the floor when you stand up.” Being flat-footed may not cause you immediate issues—in fact, you may not even notice the change in your arches—but this disorder can seriously disrupt your body’s alignment. Austin foot doctor, Jeffery LaMour, strives to educate our patients about their podiatric health so they can take better care of their feet. Read on to learn how flat feet affect your body.

How to Tell if You Have Flat Feet

It may be difficult to tell for yourself if your arch has flattened, so it’s best to come and see Dr. LaMour if you suspect you suffer from this condition. However, Foot Smart offers a few tips to determine the state of your pads. If you “feel discomfort/pain in your feet and ankles…[or] feel uncomfortable walking or standing for long periods of time,” these could be symptoms of flat-footedness. In addition, if your “foot turn[s] outward at your ankle” or your “posture [is] strained, especially in your hips and lower back,” these could be outward indicators.

You can also “do this simple test on yourself: Get your feet wet. Stand normally on a flat surface where you can see the imprint of your feet, such as a sidewalk. Step away from your imprints and look at the wet marks.” The “inside curve of your foot” should be “missing,” since, if your feet are appropriately aligned, it would be elevated off of the ground. If you don’t notice a dry portion in your imprint, you should most definitely contact us for an appointment with Dr. LaMour.

Common Causes

There are many possible sources of flat-footedness. Of course, it is “normal in infants and toddlers, because the foot’s arch hasn’t yet developed,” explains Mayo Clinic. Certain abnormalities can lead the arches never to develop fully. In addition, Foot Smart notes that “weakened muscles in the foot, ankles, and lower leg from aging or weight gain” can flatten the foot, as can “standing or walking for long periods of time” in uncomfortable shoes “without proper arch support.” NHS also warns that you may have flat feet if you notice your” shoes…wear out quickly,” since “the feet rolling inwards to much (overpronation)” is associated with flat-footedness.

Also, failing to properly treat podiatric issues such as ankle sprains or fractures can cause long-term damage and result in flat-footedness. This is why it is particularly important to seek medical attention if you injure your feet or notice irregularities.

A rare but relevant form, called “tibialis posterior tendonitis,” is an adult-acquired flatfoot” that progresses due to swelling or tears in the arch, and typically causes greater discomfort than normal flat-footedness.

The Wide-Ranging Repercussions

Foot Smart describes the holistic effect of flat feet: “Because your feet help support your entire body, having strong arches is important to your body’s health. When those tendons and ligaments weaken, your arch collapses…with a fallen arch, your tendons and ligaments weaken and cause intense pain throughout your feet, ankles, and lower leg muscles,” as well as creating “a weakened posture and discomfort through your hips and lower back.” Improper posture can also cause head and neck problems over time.

In fact, in her Daily Mail article on the subject, Jenny Hudson reports: “many thousands…suffer headaches and other problems as a result of the effect that flat feet have on your posture…poor posture is linked to approximately one in four severe headaches” Furthermore, flat-footedness and its associated symptoms can worsen every time you walk, run, dance, or put any pressure on your fallen arches. Due to its ripple effect throughout your body, flat feet could affect any area.

Treatment Options

If you’re dealing with flat feet, Dr. LaMour will examine your arches, consider your general condition, and devise a customized treatment plan to help you. This could include simpler remedies such as wearing supportive tape or braces, putting orthotics in your shoes, doing physical therapy, or taking anti-inflammatory drugs. In severe cases, caused by bone or tendon damage, surgery may become necessary.

Do You Have Flat Feet?

The sooner you seek treatment for flat-footedness, the better, as it will be easier to address, and help you avoid the far-reaching effects of this condition. Dr. LaMour is here to help you take charge of your foot health and maintain a healthy arch. Contact our podiatric practice today to schedule an appointment and find out more about your feet.

 

Holiday Heels and Heel Pain

With the holiday season in full swing, there’s a lot to look forward to: special sugar cookies, brightly decorated trees, beautifully wrapped gifts, and cheer-filled events. The holidays are a great time to bust our your favorite sparkly dresses, and elegant coats. However, your cute, seasonal holiday high heels could put a damper on the festivities if they hurt your heels. Austin foot doctor, Jeffery LaMour, has made it his mission to help our patients enjoy the holidays without wrecking their feet. Our podiatry practice believes you don’t have to sacrifice your joyful holiday fashion for healthy, comfortable feet. In the following blog, we explain what to avoid in your seasonal shoes and our recommendations for better options.

The Science Behind Heel Pain

Every person’s feet are different, but there are a few key factors that could impact whether or not you suffer from heel pain after a night with your favorite stilettos. These include:

  • Sizing. You may be tempted to take advantage of year-end shoe sales, but if you end up purchasing heels that are too large or too small, you’re only making the problem worse. It’s better to sacrifice a shoe deal than have your feet wobble or be constricted all night. Remember that different brands can vary in their sizes, and it’s important to measure your feet every few years to get an update on your actual size.
  • Understanding your unique feet. Some have wider or narrower feet, while others suffer from calluses or bunions that could interfere with your heels. Style Caster’s Meghan Blalock writes: “a podiatrist would be the best way to know your foot type and what’s going on.” However, if you can’t come to our office right away, she recommends this technique: “Wet your foot and step onto a piece of construction paper. When you make an impression, it will show you how much your foot is flattening or how high of an arch you have. You can look at a person’s foot type and see why they are having pain.”
  • Stability. Sometimes, the most fashionable shoes are barely there at all. Thin little stilettos may be attractive, but they provide little to no support for your feet, virtually guaranteeing heel pain. The less shoe material there is, the more pressure it puts on your unprotected feet. Blalock advises: “the thicker the heel, the better…avoid thin soles, opting instead for a platform…[and] try a shoe with more coverage up top.”
  •  Your heel-wearing activities. What you do after you strap on your stilettos also has a bearing on your heel pain. In an article for Shape, Illinois podiatrist, Megan Leahy, notes: “If you have a choice between standing on a rug or standing on a wood floor, go for the softer surface. Standing on a rug is like having a cushion in your shoe.” If you plan to be standing or walking most of the night, you’d do well to go with a more sensible shoe. In addition, Blalock urges: “take breaks. Kick your shoes off throughout the day and stretch your ankles and toes.”

Paying attention to these elements can help you prevent your holiday heel pain.

Our Pro-Podiatric Picks

Some people say: “beauty is pain.” Dr. LaMour and our team couldn’t disagree more! It’s hard to have a good time when your heels are hurting, and healthy feet are gorgeous. Fortunately, there are many foot-friendly fashions available today. A few of our selections include:

  • Dr. Joan Oloff’s shoe brand. According to ABC News, Dr. Joan Oloff is “a California podiatrist and shoe designer who decided to rethink the structure of her shoes.” While regular heels concentrate your body weight and pressure on certain areas, Dr. Oloff explains: “In my heels, your weight is evenly distributed throughout the foot. So because your entire foot is sharing that load, you don’t fatigue, the muscles don’t fatigue.” Becky Worley at ABC describes Dr. Oloff’s pumps as “beautiful and comfy.”
  • Worley also recommend shoes “from another podiatrist, Marion Parke…designed with intricate buckles and rich suede…exceedingly comfortable for the level of couture they provided.”
  • For a less expensive option, Worley writes highly of “Corso Como 4-inch heels: more reasonably priced in the $100 range and very comfortable…[a] favorite among the corporate dress crowd.”
  • In her TODAY article “Hip, hip, hooray for high heels that don’t hurt,” Charla Krupp names “BEST STILETTO. Kate Spade ‘Karolina,’ $250…[a] four-inch stiletto” that is “so comfy that one of our testers didn’t want to take them off, let alone give them back!” This shoe is also a multipurpose dress shoe dazzler, in “black patent leather” with “rounded toes.”
  • Julie Lopez Shoes. Good News Network reports on this brand, designed for women with bunions, but “a comfortable, fashionable heel for all women!…Hand crafted in Italy…[these heels] are wider in the fore-foot but still look great.” They’re also complete with “tiny slits in the sides that offer a bit of expansion that [Lopez] called Flex Innovation Technology.”

Dr. LaMour can offer further recommendations at your next appointment.

In addition, we can custom-make orthotics to make your heels that much more optimal. These personalized podiatric inserts fill the gaps in your heels and support your feet to help prevent pain.

Your Foot Doctor is Here to Help

With our expert assistance, you don’t have to deal with a “heel hangover” after your holiday events. For more advice and podiatric care, contact our office today. We look forward to scheduling your next appointment.

Top 4 Causes of Ankle Pain

Our ankles are one of the most sensitive areas of our bodies. Most people have probably experienced ankle pain at least once in their lives. It isn’t always easy to identify exactly what’s causing that sharp sting or dull ache in your ankle, however. That’s where your Austin foot and ankle doctor, Jeffery LaMour, comes in. Our experienced, knowledgeable team is happy to help you diagnose and treat any podiatric issue so you can enjoy healthy feet. In this week’s blog, we cover the top four causes of ankle pain, so you can prevent, spot, and treat them.

1. Achilles Tendon Conditions

In the Greek legend, a man named Achilles was completely invulnerable, except for a single spot on his heel. Many modern Americans deal with the same difficult area. The so-called “Achilles tendon” spans from the bottom of he heel up through the calf. Disorders having to due with this tissue often cause ankle pain. Athletes sometimes struggle with Achilles tendinitis, damage and aching due to overuse. A more advanced version of this injury is Achilles tendon rupture. According to Mayo Clinic, this occurs when the “strong fibrous cord that connects the muscles in the back of your calf to your heel bone” tears, or ruptures, “completely or just partially.” Ankle pain is a symptom of both conditions, as well as other injuries relating to the Achilles tendon.

2. Fracture

The ankle is the meeting place of three major bones: the talus, tibia, and fibula. If any one of these breaks, you may experience ankle pain. More severe fractures may be obvious, but if you’re suffering from persistent discomfort and can’t figure out why, you may have a smaller, hairline break in one of these bones around your ankle.

3. Arthritis

Although there are many kinds of arthritis, the vast majority of them can cause ankle pain. The Arthritis Foundation explains: “actually, ‘arthritis’ is not a single disease; it is an informal way of referring to joint pain or joint disease,” and notes: “more than 50 million adults and 300,000 children have some type of arthritis,” making it quite common, regrettably. Since the ankle is a crucial, and often especially sensitive, joint, it is often affected by arthritic conditions. Ankle pain could be a sign that this joint has begun to break down, swell, become infected, or suffer from some other sort of disorder.

4. Sprain

WebMD reports: “Every day in the U.S., 25,000 people sprain their ankle.” This type of injury is so common that patients tend to label virtually any kind of ankle pain a “sprain,” but it does have a more specific, exact definition. Mayo Clinic defines it: “a sprained ankle is an injury that occurs when you roll, twist, or turn your ankle in an awkward way. This can stretch or tear the tougher bands of tissue (ligaments) that help hold your ankle bones together.” Chances are, if you’re dealing with ankle pain, you’ve suffered a sprain. However, since the ankle is a delicate joint and there are many potential causes, it’s important to get it checked out by a foot and ankle doctor like Jeffery LaMour. In addition, a simple sprain could lead to further complications if not appropriately addressed.

Dr. LaMour Can Assist with Your Ankles

Of course, it’s possible that the cause of your particular ankle pain isn’t on this list. If you’re experiencing discomfort at this joint, we strongly recommend you come in for an appointment at our Austin practice. Dr. LaMour will conduct a thorough examination of your ankle, perform any necessary diagnostic tests, pinpoint the source of your discomfort, and provide a customized treatment plan designed just for you.

Do You Suffer from Ankle Pain?

We can help you understand why and provide the treatment you need to find relief. Contact your Austin foot and ankle doctor today to schedule an appointment. We look forward to meeting you!

Healing Cracked Heels and Dry Skin

Most of us never even consider the skin of our heels—that is, until they become dry and cracked. Dealing with scratchy, dehydrated, broken heel skin can be uncomfortable and embarrassing. As the Institute for Preventive Foot Health explains, “cracked heels, also called ‘heel fissures,’ are a fairly common foot condition,” unfortunately. While “for many people they are merely a nuisance or cosmetic problem,” they can also become “painful” or even “bleed.” Austin podiatrist, Dr. Jeffery LaMour, and our team are here to help you handle any foot-related condition you come across. Read on to learn more about cracked heels and dry skin.

The Hassles of Heels

Even people who don’t otherwise have dry skin can suffer from cracked heels. In their article on the subject in Foot Vitals, Dr. Marc Katz and Dr. James Milidantri note: “The skin on our feet is naturally dry, unlike the skin on the rest of the body. The skin on our feet has no oil glands, so it relies on hundreds of thousands of sweat glands to keep our feet moisturized.” Heels are especially prone to this dry sensitivity, which can progress into split skin. Knowing that all heels have this tendency, it’s important to take particularly good care of yours.

Symptoms

Dry heel skin comes in several stages. Foot Smart describes: “One of the first signs of dry, cracked heel is formation of thick, discolored callus tissue that may cause pain with everyday pressure-related activities like walking or running.” Your skin may also turn red, yellow, or white, peel, flake, itch, or develop a rash. At this point, it is incumbent upon you to remedy your skin before it worsens. If you fail to treat this roughening skin, “you may eventually notice small or even deep breaks that may cause bleeding to occur.” This development could make being on your feet uncomfortable or even impossible. Furthermore, if still not handled, this open heel skin may swell or become infected, inflicting further damage on your feet.

Causes

There are many potential sources of dry, cracked feet.

Many include behavioral factors, such as:

  • Bathing in very hot water.
  • Using moisture-stripping soaps.
  • Turning up your home’s heating system, which can dry out the air.
  • Exposing your heels to excessive sun.
  • “Standing for prolonged periods of time, specifically on hard floors,” according to Live Strong.
  • Wearing “thin-soled shoes that expose the heel of the foot,” per LiveStrong.

Fortunately, these are relatively easy to avoid, thus protecting your pads in the process.

Chronic conditions, such as eczema, psoriasis, thyroid disease, obesity, kidney problems, deficiencies in certain vitamins, or diabetes may also contribute to this disorder. In addition, many patients’ heels tend to become drier as they get older.

Healing Heels

Fortunately, dry skin and cracked heels are typically quite simple to treat, especially if you catch this condition early enough. If your skin is beginning to become dry, simply ceasing risky behaviors (such as extra-hot showers or wearing thin-soled shoes) could do the trick. Dr. LaMour also recommends soaking your feet for 15 to 20 minutes in warm water and carefully exfoliating the skin with a loofah. You can also use a foot moisturizing lotion daily, particularly those with peppermint. If you’re willing to try an overnight treatment, you can also apply petroleum jelly to your heels, sealing it with thick socks while you sleep and it soaks in. Dr. LaMour only suggests this approach, however, if your heels have no open skin.

If dry, cracked heels have begun to take a toll on your ability to walk, putting bandages over the affected areas may help them heal. Dr. LaMour can also fit you for a custom-made orthotic to help take the pressure off of your heels.

In severe cases, Dr. LaMour and our team can help you treat bleeding or infection with prescription medications or procedures, as needed. However, we hope to help you handle your feet such that this isn’t necessary.

Contact Your Austin Podiatrist Today

Do you suffer from dry, cracked heels or another bothersome foot condition? Austin podiatrist, Dr. LaMour, can help. Contact our podiatry practice today to find out more and schedule an appointment.

Repair Your Feet with this Advanced Treatment

We live in a time of great technological transformation. It seems like every day brings a new innovation to help us live better lives. In the twenty-first century of medicine, Austin podiatrist, Dr. Jeffery LaMour and our team are committed to using state-of-the-art technology. We want the patients at our practice to benefit from the best our field has to offer. We’re especially excited about a tool or technique if it allows our patients to recover faster, ease their discomfort, and enhance their foot health without taking more invasive measures. That’s why we’re proud to provide platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy. Discover more about PRP therapy and what Dr. LaMour can do for you in the following blog.

The Power of Platelets

Basically, PRP therapy involves harnessing the power of your very own blood to help you heal yourself. As the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society explains, “platelets are small cells in the blood that help form clots to stop bleeding.” Platelets protect you from excessive bleeding when you injure yourself. PRP therapy involves pumping up the platelets in your own blood so that this plasma can be injected into your foot. Concentrated platelets “[contain] a large number of growth factors…[which] stimulate healing.” As the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society notes, “the goal [of PRP therapy] is not only to relieve symptoms but to create actual healing. In some cases, PRP may reduce the need for medication and/or surgery.”

This cutting-edge treatment has been widely discussed in the medical community over the past two decades. In her 2009 Scientific American article on the topic, Carina Storrs highlights how “athletes such as Tiger Woods and the Pittsburgh Steelers Hines Ward have undergone platelet-rich plasma therapy.” She notes: “It is safe. We’re using it. Anecdotally it certainly seems to have some positive effects.” More and more people are experiencing the advantages of this high-tech, minimally invasive treatment every day.

How it Works

Despite the sophisticated systems involved, the PRP therapy process is relatively simple for the patient. First, Dr. LaMour will evaluate your foot health and determine if PRP therapy is an appropriate choice for you. We will create a customized treatment plan for you, possibly incorporating our many other services. Next, we will draw a small amount of your blood. We will then spin it in a centrifuge to heighten the platelet proportion. Other components of the blood will separate out, leaving us with a 93 percent platelet concentration. Finally, Dr. LaMour will inject this beneficial substance into the symptomatic area of your foot and ankle. You’ll need to be gentle with your feet for a few weeks, especially around the injection site. We may recommend that you wear a protective boot. Once you’ve recovered, you can go back to your regular routine, hopefully with much healthier feet.

Who Can Benefit from PRP Therapy?

This trailblazing technique can help treat a variety of conditions. Dr. LaMour recommends it for:

  • Chronic foot and ankle issues (such as persistent pain from an ankle sprain or arthritis).
  • Sports injuries. PRP therapy is popular among athletes because it helps their feet, ankles, and lower legs bounce back from the strain of their activities.
  • Plantar fasciitisIn their Podiatry Today piece on the subject, Dr. Babak Baravarian and Dr. Lindsay Mae Chandler argue that this “heel pain caused by deterioration of the plantar fascia [the ligament in the arch]” is often an ideal case for PRP therapy. They have “seen promising results with the use of PRP in plantar fasciitis for decreasing pain, improving function, increasing activity, and decreasing recovery time.”
  • Tendonitis, or inflammation in the “Achilles” tendon, which runs along the calf to the heel. PRP therapy can help patients more quickly recover from this common condition.

Austin podiatrist Dr. LaMour can examine your feet and ankles to determine if you could benefit from PRP therapy.

Experience Cutting-Edge Podiatry Technology

Would you like to learn more about the latest ways to maintain and improve your foot health? Contact your Austin podiatrist today to schedule an appointment at our beautiful practice.

What are Corns?

When you think of the word “corn,” you might imagine long green stalks, bright yellow kernels, or even a white, fluffy snack at the movie theater. While “corn” is most certainly a favorite food, this term also refers to an irritating and sometimes painful condition that commonly affects the feet. Most people don’t know about this or the many other issues that relate to their podiatric health. Austin foot doctor, Jeffery LaMour, and our team have made it our mission to educate our patients about disorders like these so they can prevent, identify, and treat them. You probably spend a good portion of your day on your feet, so it’s a good idea to learn how to protect your foot health. In this week’s blog, we explain the basics of corns.

Clarifying Corns

Now that we’ve got your attention with this mysterious podiatric predicament, you’re probably wondering what exactly corns are. Basically, these are tiny sections of tightly packed dead skin that create bumps on the side and upper portions of your feet. Mayo Clinic explains that these “thick, hardened layers of skin…develop when your skin tries to protect itself against friction and pressure.” Despite your body’s best efforts to safeguard your skin, corns can actually cause swelling and discomfort. They can also be unsightly and embarrassing depending on their size and visibility.

Corns Versus Calluses

If you think corns sound a lot like calluses, you’re absolutely correct! These two conditions share a lot in common. Many classify corns as a specific type of callus. As Web MD notes, “corns and calluses are often confused with one another,” but they have a few key dissimilarities. Generally, corns are different from calluses in that they:

  • Are smaller. They typically take up much less surface area than calluses.
  • Typically appear only on the feet (although they can, in some cases, develop elsewhere). Of course, you can also get calluses on your feet, but calluses “usually develop on the soles of your feet,” where you put the most weight, according to Mayo Clinic. In contrast, corns “tend to develop on parts of your feet that don’t bear weight.”
  • Hurt. Calluses might reduce the sensitivity of your skin, but they usually don’t cause any discomfort. If you press on a corn or move such that your weight is on that part of your foot, it might feel sore or sharp.
  • Have a different texture. Mayo Clinic explains: “corns…have a hard center surrounded by inflamed skin.” This kernel-like shape most likely gave “corns” their plant-like name.

These distinctive characteristics should help you differentiate corns from calluses so you can tell exactly what’s bothering your feet and receive accurate assistance.

Types of Corns

Corns come in several shapes and sizes. Web MD writes: “a hard corn [has] a central core,” giving it a denser, more bulbous appearance, while a “soft corn has a much thinner surface and usually occurs between the 4th and 5th toes,” looking more like a mini callus. Perhaps the most problematic of all types are “seed corns,” which are “tiny, discrete [calluses]” that “tend to occur on the bottom of the feet.” Their placement makes them much more likely to get pressed and become painful.

How Your Austin Foot Doctor Can Help

In most cases, corns won’t require any treatment. They should go away on their own. In the meantime, wearing soft socks and comfortable shoes can help cushion your corns. You should see Dr. LaMour if pain from corns interrupts your daily life, becomes persistent, or is accompanied by excessive swelling in the area that doesn’t go down quickly. If you have poor circulation or suffer from diabetes, it is especially important to seek professional help. With an advanced suite of services, we can help you find the right treatment.

Do You Suffer From Corns?

Dr. LaMour and our team can help you with this condition and many others. Contact us today to learn more about our practice and schedule an appointment. We look forward to hearing from you!

My Feet Are Too Wide For Shoes

Shoes are a part of daily life; from sneakers on the court to stilettos at a dinner party, we wear them for hours every day. If yours are constantly too tight, this can have a major impact on your overall happiness and well being. Those with larger, flatter, wider feet often have trouble finding well-fitting shoes. Forced to wear an ill-sized pair, those with wider feet might have their toes pinched, their ankles squeezed, and their heels crushed. Austin podiatrist, Dr. Jeffery LaMour, is here to help each and every patient find the right shoes for his or her feet. He can also help treat the conditions that might worsen this issue. If you’re suffering from these symptoms, read on to learn what you can do about it and how we can assist you.

Do You Have Wide Feet?

It turns out that wide feet aren’t at all uncommon. In her recent Wall Street Journal article “Feet Are Getting Bigger and Many People Wear Shoes That Don’t Fit,” Elizabeth Holmes notes: “in a U.K. survey, more than a third of men and nearly half of women admitted buying shoes that didn’t fit right.” In many cases, people purchase shoes that are simply too tight and small to accommodate their feet. Charlotte Kemp’s 2014 Daily Mail piece on shoe sizing suggests that the general population’s feet are getting slightly wider every decade, due to a variety of issues. Kemp writes: “Jane Winkworth [shoe company founder] has confessed that its ballet pumps are broader than they were when she started the business more than 20 years ago.”

Additionally, many people who have wider feet don’t realize that this is the case. In her humorous piece for The Debrief, Madeleine Knight poses the question: “you might not even think you have wide feet—but when was the last time you actually measured them?” She follows this up with a confession: “I forgot about [having wide feet] for 14 years and have been squishing my hugely wide feet into little skinny shoes ever since my mother stopped taking me [shoe shopping].” Even if you don’t think of yourself as someone with wide feet or have forgotten that your childhood shoe boxes had a “W” on the side, you might benefit from looser fitting shoes rather than cramming your toes into the trendiest, slimmest styles.

Finding That “Cinderella” Shoe

Do you remember those metal measurement devices with the foot outlines you used to figure out your ever-changing foot size as a kid? It may be time to bring them back out. Knight advises: “always measure your foot in the evening,” when they’re more likely to be at their widest. If you don’t have a foot-measuring device handy, you can use Knight’s guide or About.com’s instructions. These should allow you to determine a more exact shoe sizes (half sizes can be crucial!) and determine if you need a Narrow, Regular, or Wide fit. Every shoe company sizes slightly differently, so you’ll still want to try on several different pairs of each shoe at the store until you find that perfect fit. If you’re struggling to find shoes that really support your foot and feel comfortable, prescription orthotics may be the right choice for you. Dr. LaMour frequently custom-fits these inserts for our patients.

What’s Causing Widening?

Why do some people have wider feet than others? A few reasons include:

  • Nature: Of course, some people are simply born with wider feet, and there’s nothing wrong with that! You’ll just need to make sure you choose good footwear for your feet.
  • Ill-fitting shoes: That’s right—the tight shoes you curse could actually be making your feet even wider. Wearing constricting shoes can cause your big toe joint and bone to move out of place, creating a bunion. This widens the front part of your foot, potentially making your tight shoes more uncomfortable.  This is one more reason it is important to find the appropriate size shoe for you.
  • Fallen foot arches: While common and even normal in children, flat-footedness can lead your feet to feel wider and make many shoes uncomfortable. Foot Smart explains that this condition “usually develops as an adult because of excessive foot stress” (such as being on your feet all day or gaining weight) or, in some cases, “failing to treat a foot injury (such as an ankle sprain) without proper healing time.”
  • Swelling: Wide feet are often the result of edema, or swelling, according to Foot Smart. Edema has a long list of causes, from diet to “neuromuscular disorders,” injury, and hormonal conditions. If your ankles and lower legs are irregularly large, this is likely the cause.

If your feet simply seem too wide for shoes, Dr. LaMour and our team can help locate the source of your condition. Then, we can create a treatment plan to help you remedy this with our wide array of podiatric services.

Contact Your Austin Podiatrist Today

Do your feet feel too wide? Would you like assistance selecting the proper shoe for your feet? Contact us today to learn more about our practice and schedule an appointment with Dr. LaMour.

Protect Your Feet During Marathon Season

Have you ever thought about running a marathon? According to Running USA, there were “more than 1,100 marathons run across [America]” in 2013 alone, so you’ll have ample opportunities to compete in one of these races. Many of them take place during the fall, when temperatures are cooler and people have more holiday weekends off. While they are a healthy and fun activity, long races can be tough on your trotters. Austin foot and ankle doctor, Jeffery LaMour, is committed to helping our patients lead active lifestyles while safeguarding their podiatric health. In the following blog, we’ll highlight some of the local races happening soon and how you can protect your feet during marathon season.

Upcoming Austin Races

The Austin area will be home to dozens of races this season, so we’ll showcase a few you might find interesting. You can pick which race suits your fancy, or perhaps run all three!

If you’re a hardcore marathoner, you’ll probably want to sign up for Spectrum Trail Racing’s November 5th Wonderland Marathon at MuleShoe Bend in Spicewood, a quick drive from Austin. This event also includes a half marathon and a 10k. Spectrum Trail Racing entices runners to “expect beautiful courses, an amazing community, and a stellar after party full of local flare.”

Perhaps you’d like to start with a half marathon that gives you a little more time to train. In this case, the Decker Challenge Half Marathon right here in Austin might be a good choice. This race has been held every year for nearly four decades. The Decker Challenge is “run on paved surfaces throughout the course” and “features views of the scenic lake for virtually the entire way around.” This hilly race would be a good event to test your skills and enjoy Austin’s beautiful landscape.

If you prefer shorter, more festive races, you might enjoy the Round Rock Rotary Reindeer Run, held the Sunday after Thanksgiving (November 27). This 5K run is perfect as a fun family activity. As you run, walk, or jog, you can check out “the incredible Rock’N Lights; a 2 million light ½ mile must see event of the season.” You can check out the stunning holiday lights display while getting great exercise and raising money for a great cause!

Why Racing is Rough on Feet

Running is good for your body, so why could it be bad for your feet? In his Runner’s World article on this subject, Hal Higdon points out: “our feet absorb more force during running than any other part of the body. Our feet propel us. Our feet have the absolute power to make running comfortable—or miserable.” It’s true; the way you treat your feet can really make or break your running experience.

When you run, you slam your soles repeatedly against the ground. They take the impact of every step, stride, and leap. Without proper care, yours might “ache, blister, sweat, crack, peel, itch, and smell” after running. Active magazine’s Deb Dellapena explains: “ignoring your feet and ankles comes with a price: Plantar fasciitis [torn tissue in the heel, causing a stabbing pain] and Achilles tendinitis [damage to the band of tissue that runs from the calf to the heel] are among the most common issues plaguing runners.”

Fortifying Your Feet

If you were born to run, but don’t want to deal with painful podiatric issues, never fear. There are many ways you can protect your feet so as to minimize this damage and discomfort. Some techniques include:

·      Choosing the right gear. Higdon writes: “proper shoe selection is vital to foot health—not merely the shoe brand and model, but the fit,” adding that “fit is just as critical in your non-running footwear” to maintain your athletic feet. He focuses on fit for socks, as well, noting: “ill-fitting socks are one of the primary causes of blisters.” Taking the time to sort through your options and find the right equipment is well worth it. In addition, Dr. LaMour can help you find optimal orthotics for your running shoes.

·      Taking it slow. This may seem counter-intuitive to speedsters, but in her Women’s Running piece, Jenny Hadfield suggests that you “develop like a fine wine…the general rule of thumb is to increase your mileage by no more than 10 percent each week,” giving your feet time to catch up with your fitness.

  • Finding a good form. Hadfield describes how “increasing your cadence [how often your foot hits the ground] is one of the easiest ways to improve running form.” Similarly, LifeHack advocates for the “POSE Method of running” to “avoid…planar fasciitis.”
  • Stretching. Dellapena highlights “8 exercises to prevent foot injuries” so you can improve your flexibility and strength.

Do You Want More Tips for Marathon Season?

Dr. LaMour and our team would be delighted to help you prepare your feet for your next race with our many services. We can also assist you in treating sports injuries so you can run more safely and swiftly. Contact our Austin foot and ankle practice today to schedule an appointment.