Ingrown nails arise from an abnormal curvature of the nail and when infected, can be seen as red, swollen, and painful with pus, drainage and abnormal discolored skin along the side of the nail.
Ingrown nails can be caused by genetic factors and often run in families with many siblings or parents having a history of ingrown nails. They can also be caused by an abnormally shaped bone where the root of the nail lays.
While many online home remedies have been recommended such as stuffing cotton under the nail edge or cutting a v-shaped in the nail, these are not recommended as they may lead to other nail diseases from trauma. In addition, it may provide only temporary relief and will not permanently correct the nail deformity.
Our podiatric physicians have performed thousands of permanent nail corrections and strongly recommend correcting nails permanently with a procedure which applies a chemical to the abnormally curved root of the nail causing the nail to grow in.
Always trim your nail after bathing. Our doctors always recommend the use of aseptic technique in which cotton balls are soaked in alcohol and used to swipe the nail clippers and nails before and after use. If the nails are inadvertently trimmed too short, we recommend applying antibiotic ointment and a band-aid to the area to prevent infection. Use a nail file on sharp edges after trimming to avoid cutting into neighboring toes and creating a wound. Avoid digging down into the nail to take part of the nail out as this can lead to a skin and/or bone infection.
If you have Diabetes, neuropathy and/or vascular disease, we recommend consulting with your podiatrist before trimming your nails.
Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of a ligament on the bottom of the foot that is aggravated by daily stresses and strain placed on the foot.
The most common cause of plantar fasciitis is poorly supportive shoes and supports. It can also be caused by occupations that involve a lot of bending of the foot or ladder work. It can be aggravated by pregnancy.
The best place to start treating plantar fasciitis is by examining one’s shoes and making sure they are not too flexible and of good quality. Treatment of plantar fasciitis can vary from anti-inflammatories, injections, arch supports, splints, immobilization and in rare cases, surgery. Those with plantar fasciitis should seek help if their condition does not improve in 3 weeks to rule out other sources of foot pain.
Most often plantar fasciitis is painful early in the morning with the first few steps, but if it’s a more severe case or if pain is worse late in the day, seek medical help as there might be something more going on.
Plantar fasciitis can go away with good shoe selection and treatment. Our physicians focus on prevention which is also the key. A good care plan for plantar fasciitis includes not only treating it but preventing it from coming back and preventing it from occurring in the other foot.
Our podiatrists are specialists and understand all aspects of foot function and structure and symptoms. While it may seem one has plantar fasciitis there are other causes of foot and heel pain which our doctors will be able to identify and treat properly to faster recovery. Those with plantar fasciitis that does not improve in 3-4 weeks or worsens should schedule and appointment.
Wear good shoes that do not bend, flex or twist too easily. If you suspect fasciitis, seek help early to prevent prolonged disability.
A true custom orthotic arises from a unique digital or plaster impression of your foot that captures your foot’s unique individual structure. The custom insole is specifically prescribed with features that should prevent or treat particular symptoms that occur in your feet. Your doctor, after thorough exam, will know exactly what to prescribe in your device.
Your orthotic is an investment in your foot health and will involve a brief break-in time, usually about 4 weeks, but ultimately should fit like a glove and alleviate and prevent foot pain. In some cases, custom orthotics can help alleviate postural issues related to back pain and lessen knee or hip pain.
Orthotics vary greatly. They can vary greatly in cost, function, structure and goals. They are not all created the same. Some devices claim to be custom and are actually pre-fabricated off the shelf, and are advertised as accommodative and designed around pressure points during weight bearing, but are not the same as a true, custom devices that are made from a digital or plaster casts.
Insurance may cover orthotics with diabetes and some foot conditions, but does not always pay for them despite the fact that they may prevent the cost and risk of surgery. Our physicians recommend you contact your insurance for benefits before being casted if coverage is a concern.
A well-constructed orthotic can last 5-20 years depending on foot structure and stresses placed on the orthotic. Diabetic insoles which are non-custom are different and should be replaced every 4 months. These insoles often come with diabetic shoes and are usually dispensed 3 pairs at a time.
A wound should heal in 4-6 weeks and should at a bare minimum decrease in size by 50% in 4 weeks. Seek medical attention immediately to help your wound heal and restore your quality of life.
- Avoid pressure
- Avoid tobacco
- Control blood sugars
- Monitor for signs of infection
- Ask your doctor what else you can do to help your wound heal
Diabetic foot ulcerations often result from an abnormal pressure point in the foot that forms thickened skin that breaks down underneath. The pressure is often not felt due to a condition known as neuropathy in which the nerves do not work well to feel pain, temperature differences, pressure, sharp objects.
Signs of local infection include redness, swelling, drainage, pain, and odor. Signs of a more serious infection may include local signs of infection plus some or all of the following symptoms of nausea, vomiting, fever and chills. If you suspect signs of infection, seek immediate medical attention at your local emergency room. Similarly, notify your wound care provider to advise them of changes in your wound.
Every person with diabetes should see a podiatrist at least once per year. Those with diabetes and neuropathy or vascular disease should see their podiatrist every 10 weeks for normal care, maintenance to prevent problems.
See your podiatrist regularly. Inspect your feet daily for redness, cracks, breaks in the skin and changes. Avoid self-treatment and seek care immediately if you suspect problems.
Diabetic shoes are shoes that provide more room for foot deformities and are made of more relaxed materials that flex or float over potential trouble spots. They also come with special foam insoles that prevent pressure points leading to ulcerations and amputations.
Symptoms of diabetic foot problems may include non-healing sores, ulcerations and wounds that require immediate attention. Other symptoms may include neuropathy in which the patient may experience sharp, shooting, tingling, burning pains. Besides neuropathy, signs of other foot problems may be those with circulation that results in leg pain at rest or pain after walking short distances. These types of foot problems require medical attention and regular care by a podiatrist and possibly a vascular surgeon.
Most cases of flat foot can be successfully treated with custom foot orthotics, specially made arch supports which are prescribed by a podiatrist and can be moved from one shoe to another. This not only addresses the flat foot, but also prevents heel, arch and ankle pain in the future by correcting the way the person walks or stands.
The most common cause of ankles turning in is flat feet. This occurs when the arches fall when walking or standing, and can cause a variety of foot ailments including heel pain, arch pain and ankle tendinitis. If you notice this, schedule an appointment with your podiatrist who can make recommendations to treat the current symptoms and prevent future foot problems.
Tripping while running is sometimes due to a developmental condition called in-toeing. This is caused by the front of the foot turning inward, commonly known as being “pigeon-toed.” Usually it is something that developed before birth, and may be due to inward-turning foot bones or a twisted leg bone. Depending on the age of the child, treatment might include casting, special braces, custom foot orthotics and in rare cases, surgery.
Limping is generally a sign of discomfort, sometimes due to soreness in the foot itself or perhaps in the ankle, leg, or lower back. When limping is observed, ask your child why they are limping, what hurts and when, and if the pain is aggravated by activities or sports. Then make an appointment with your podiatrist to see what can be done to address the reason(s) leading to the limping and relieve your child’s pain.
Growing pains often occur in long bones such as the thigh or arm, usually due to inflammation of the growth plate that occurs with growth spurts or increased activities. The can also occur in the foot, most commonly in the heel bone, and more often in pre-teen boys who are active in sports. Most of the time they resolve on their own after a few days, but if they persist they can be treated with anti-inflammatories and rest. A physical exam and x-rays are needed to rule out other causes of the pain, and temporary immobilization may be necessary to relieve the symptoms.
In the absence of an ankle injury, ankle pain is most often caused by an inflamed tendon known as “tendinitis.” This is commonly treated by podiatrists, and can occur in the inner, outer or back of the ankle, depending upon which tendon is being stressed or overused. A physical exam and x-rays should be done to rule out other causes of pain. Treatment consists of anti-inflammatories, rest, orthotics or braces. Further immobilization with a soft cast may be needed if the symptoms persist.