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August 2020

Monday, 31 August 2020 00:00

Fungal Nails 101

When fungus gets under the toenail, it begins to feed on the keratin that makes up the nail. While an infected nail is easy to treat in the early stages, the infection becomes more and more difficult to manage as it grows. Common risk factors for developing a fungal nail infection may include trauma, poor hygiene, sweating, and walking barefoot in moist environments. Toenails that have been infected by a fungus will become brittle, crumble, and turn yellowish in color. Treatments for infected toenails can include topical medications, oral medications, and laser treatment. If you believe that you are afflicted with a toenail fungus, it is important that you consult with a podiatrist for proper care and treatment.

If left untreated, toenail fungus may spread to other toenails, skin, or even fingernails. If you suspect you have toenail fungus it is important to seek treatment right away. For more information about treatment, contact one of our podiatrists of North Bay Ankle & Foot Center. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Symptoms

  • Warped or oddly shaped nails
  • Yellowish nails
  • Loose/separated nail
  • Buildup of bits and pieces of nail fragments under the nail
  • Brittle, broken, thickened nail

Treatment

If self-care strategies and over-the-counter medications does not help your fungus, your podiatrist may give you a prescription drug instead. Even if you find relief from your toenail fungus symptoms, you may experience a repeat infection in the future.

Prevention

In order to prevent getting toenail fungus in the future, you should always make sure to wash your feet with soap and water. After washing, it is important to dry your feet thoroughly especially in between the toes. When trimming your toenails, be sure to trim straight across instead of in a rounded shape. It is crucial not to cover up discolored nails with nail polish because that will prevent your nail from being able to “breathe”.

In some cases, surgical procedure may be needed to remove the toenail fungus. Consult with your podiatrist about the best treatment options for your case of toenail fungus.  

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Petaluma and Sonoma, CA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

 

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Monday, 24 August 2020 00:00

How Does Gout Occur?

Research has indicated that there are millions of Americans who are affected by the foot condition that is referred to as gout. It generally affects the joints in the big toe, and can cause severe pain and discomfort. It can develop as a result of an excess of uric acid that is found in the bloodstream and lodges in the joints of the body. Uric acid can come from specific foods that are frequently eaten, which can include shellfish, red meat, and drinks that have a high sugar content. Many patients have noticed their gout attacks can begin at night, and may subside naturally. In severe cases, it is strongly suggested that you are under the care of a podiatrist who can properly treat this form of arthritis.

Gout is a foot condition that requires certain treatment and care. If you are seeking treatment, contact one of our podiatrists from North Bay Ankle & Foot Center. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Is Gout?

Gout is a type of arthritis caused by a buildup of uric acid in the bloodstream. It often develops in the foot, especially the big toe area, although it can manifest in other parts of the body as well. Gout can make walking and standing very painful and is especially common in diabetics and the obese.

People typically get gout because of a poor diet. Genetic predisposition is also a factor. The children of parents who have had gout frequently have a chance of developing it themselves.

Gout can easily be identified by redness and inflammation of the big toe and the surrounding areas of the foot. Other symptoms include extreme fatigue, joint pain, and running high fevers. Sometimes corticosteroid drugs can be prescribed to treat gout, but the best way to combat this disease is to get more exercise and eat a better diet.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Petaluma and Sonoma, CA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Everything You Need to Know About Gout

Cracked heels can be unpleasant to look at and may also cause a great deal of foot pain if left untreated. In serious cases, the cracks may turn into fissures, which are deep cracks in the skin that can lead to bleeding. While cracked heels are linked to dryness of the skin, they may also form due to a vitamin deficiency. If you aren’t getting the proper vitamin intake, the skin may become dry, dull, and prematurely age. Vitamin E is particularly beneficial in protecting collagen in your skin, and can be found in foods such as avocados, mangos, and salmon. For more information on what vitamins may help the prevention of cracked heels, please consult with a podiatrist.

If the skin on your feet starts to crack, you may want to see a podiatrist to find treatment. If you have any concerns, contact one of our podiatrists from North Bay Ankle & Foot Center. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Cracked Heels

It is important to moisturize your cracked heels in order to prevent pain, bleeding, and infection. The reason cracked heels form is because the skin on the foot is too dry to support the immense pressure placed on them. When the foot expands, the dry skin on the foot begins to split.

Ways to Help Heal Them

  • Invest in a good foot cream
  • Try Using Petroleum Jelly
  • Ease up on Soaps
  • Drink Plenty of Water

Ways to Prevent Cracked Heels

  • Moisturize After Showering
  • Skip a Shower
  • Keep Shower Water Lukewarm
  • Don’t Scrub Your Feet

If you are unsure how to proceed in treating cracked heels, seek guidance from a podiatrist. Your doctor will help you with any questions or information you may need. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Petaluma and Sonoma, CA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Solutions for Cracked Heels
Monday, 10 August 2020 00:00

Why Biomechanics Are Important

In podiatry, biomechanics involves assessing the structure, alignment and function of the feet. The foot provides us with the ability to walk upright and has developed to adapt to whatever surfaces we walk on. Because the average person takes between 5,000 and 18,000 steps in a single day, the foot can experience stress from repetitiveness, resulting in injury. While options such as orthotics can help prevent injury, paying special attention to the strength and flexibility of the feet allow their function to improve. Therefore, if you are actively on your feet, make sure to consult with a podiatrist to help find any predisposed issues.

If you have any concerns about your feet, contact one of our podiatrists from North Bay Ankle & Foot Center. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Biomechanics in Podiatry

Podiatric biomechanics is a particular sector of specialty podiatry with licensed practitioners who are trained to diagnose and treat conditions affecting the foot, ankle and lower leg. Biomechanics deals with the forces that act against the body, causing an interference with the biological structures. It focuses on the movement of the ankle, the foot and the forces that interact with them.

A History of Biomechanics

  • Biomechanics dates back to the BC era in Egypt where evidence of professional foot care has been recorded.
  • In 1974, biomechanics gained a higher profile from the studies of Merton Root, who claimed that by changing or controlling the forces between the ankle and the foot, corrections or conditions could be implemented to gain strength and coordination in the area.

Modern technological improvements are based on past theories and therapeutic processes that provide a better understanding of podiatric concepts for biomechanics. Computers can provide accurate information about the forces and patterns of the feet and lower legs.

Understanding biomechanics of the feet can help improve and eliminate pain, stopping further stress to the foot.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Petaluma and Sonoma, CA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Monday, 03 August 2020 00:00

Foot Changes During Pregnancy

There are many changes women endure during their pregnancy. The feet are generally affected, and swelling is a common ailment. This may be a result of various reasons, which can include an increase in leg pressure from the growing fetus, the development of flat feet, and the arch and ankle may become unstable. Additionally, hormonal changes may be responsible for hot and burning sensations that can occur in the feet. Many pregnant women find relief when their feet are frequently elevated, and it is beneficial to reduce sodium intake. If you would like more information about remedies that can help your feet to feel better during pregnancy, is it suggested that you consult with a podiatrist.

Pregnant women with swollen feet can be treated with a variety of different methods that are readily available. For more information about other cures for swollen feet during pregnancy, consult with one of our podiatrists from North Bay Ankle & Foot Center. Our doctors will attend to all of your foot and ankle needs.

What Foot Problems Can Arise During Pregnancy?

One problem that can occur is overpronation, which occurs when the arch of the foot flattens and tends to roll inward.  This can cause pain and discomfort in your heels while you’re walking or even just standing up, trying to support your baby.  

Another problem is edema, or swelling in the extremities. This often affects the feet during pregnancy but tends to occur in the later stages. 

How Can I Keep My Feet Healthy During Pregnancy?

  • Wearing orthotics can provide extra support for the feet and help distribute weight evenly
  • Minimize the amount of time spent walking barefoot
  • Wear shoes with good arch support
  • Wear shoes that allow for good circulation to the feet
  • Elevate feet if you experience swelling
  • Massage your feet
  • Get regular, light exercise, such as walking, to promote blood circulation to the feet

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Petaluma and Sonoma, CA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Pregnancy and Foot Health
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