Posts for: November, 2019
Toenail fungus is a common problem that can be rather challenging to get rid of. While toenail fungus can happen to anyone it most often occurs in older adults. If you are noticing that one of your toenails has thickened, become brittle and turned yellow then chances are good that you are dealing with a toenail fungus.
What causes a fungal infection in the toenail?
A toenail fungal infection, known as onychomycosis, is the result of a fungal known as a dermatophyte. While less common, molds and yeasts can also infect the toenails. The reason older adults are more prone to fungal nail infections is because nails dry out as we age, which leads to cracks within the nail. These cracks make it easier for a fungal infection to get inside the nail.
Fungal is all around us. They are more often found in warm, dark, and damp places such as communal locker rooms and showers, gyms, and local swimming pools. It’s also possible to get a toenail fungus from a nail salon so it’s important to know the hygiene and sterilization practices of your local nail salon to make sure that you aren’t at risk for developing a fungal infection.
Treating Toenail Fungus
The good news it that healthy individuals may be able to tackle their toenail fungus on their own with over-the-counter medication. If you don’t have a weak immune system, diabetes or circulation problems then you may choose to try at-home treatments first before turning to a doctor. Those with circulation disorders or diabetes should see their podiatrist right away for treatment if they notice symptoms of a fungal infection. Not seeking treatment could greatly increase a person’s risk for bacterial infections and other potentially serious complications.
There are many over-the-counter products available to treat fungal infections. You will want to find a treatment that is geared specifically to treating fungal infections of the nail. Talk with your local pharmacist to find out the best treatment option. Over-the-counter antifungal medications often come in the form of a cream, ointment or nail polish that you will need to apply regularly for several weeks. If these medications don’t work then it’s time to talk with your foot doctor.
A foot doctor offers a variety of effective strategies for getting rid of toenail fungal infections. The most common treatment option is an oral antifungal medication that works systemically to kill the fungus. This medication is taken for several weeks but you won’t actually see results until the nail grows out clear, which can take up to four months or longer.
Other treatment options include:
- Medicated nail polish
- Laser fungal treatment
- Nail removal surgery (in rare cases)
If you are dealing with a pesky nail fungus then turn to your podiatrist to discover the best strategies for getting rid of this infection as quickly as possible.
How your podiatrist in Harrison and Mountain Home, AK, can help your feet
Heel pain doesn’t have to keep you on the couch! Here at Arp Foot & Ankle Clinic, Dr. Eric Arp offers a wide range of foot care services, including effective treatments for heel pain. With two convenient office locations in Harrison and Mountain Home, AK, he's here to help you and your feet feel better!
More about Heel Pain
Heel pain can be caused by:
- A heel bruise, which can result from stepping on sharp objects
- A heel spur, which can result from excess calcium deposits on your heel
- Plantar fasciitis, which can result from inflammation of the plantar fascia, the thick band of tissue running across your heel
You can try a few simple home remedies to get relief from mild heel pain. Consider:
- Applying ice on your heel to reduce swelling
- Taking over-the-counter pain medication to relieve symptoms
- Stretching your arches for a few minutes daily
- Avoiding high impact activities like running or jogging
- Changing to more supportive, cushioned shoes
Plantar fasciitis can produce moderate to severe heel pain. It’s a common condition for runners, but you don’t have to be a runner to suffer from plantar fasciitis. Overpronating, or rolling your feet when you walk, and standing or walking on hard surfaces for long periods of time can cause plantar fasciitis. You are also at higher risk of plantar fasciitis if you carry extra weight, or have flat feet.
If you have plantar fasciitis, you should seek out the services of your podiatrist. Dr. Arp may recommend:
- Custom-fit orthotics or footwear to help support your heels
- Physical therapy to increase mobility and flexibility
- Prescription-strength medications to decrease inflammation and pain
- Extracorporeal Shock Wave Treatment (ESWT)
Need Relief? Contact Us
Don’t suffer from heel pain when help is just a phone call away! For more information about heel pain treatment, call Dr. Eric A. Arp at Arp Foot & Ankle Clinic, with offices in Harrison and Mountain Home, AK. For the Harrison location, dial (870) 365-3668 (FOOT), and for Mountain Home, dial (870) 425-7363.
A child's feet grow rapidly during the first year, reaching almost half of their adult foot size. This is why podiatrists consider the first year to be the most important in the development of the feet. Proper care at a young age is essential for healthy development. Since many adult foot ailments develop in childhood, periodic visits to your child’s podiatrist and basic foot care can help minimize these problems later in life.
A child’s feet are formed from soft, pliable cartilage which makes them more susceptible to deformities. A young child can be affected by foot conditions such as:
- Flat feet
- Heel pain
Tips for Parents
Parents can help promote normal, healthy foot development for their baby.
- Examine your baby’s feet regularly. If you detect anything unusual, contact your child’s pediatrician or podiatrist right away.
- Encourage exercise. Lying uncovered allows the baby to kick and move feet and toes freely so not to inhibit normal development.
- Cover feet loosely. Tight clothing or covers restrict movement.
- Alternate your baby’s position several times a day. Lying too long in one spot may place unnecessary strain on the feet and legs.
As your baby continues to grow and develop, so will the feet. It may be necessary to change shoe and sock size every few months, as tight-fitting footwear can aggravate pre-existing conditions. After your child takes their first steps, you should also carefully observe walking patterns. Intoeing, out-toeing, and gait abnormalities can be corrected when they are detected early.
A baby’s feet will carry them throughout life, so it’s important to begin good foot care at a young age. Neglecting your child’s foot health invites problems in other parts of the body, such as the back and legs. Whether you have questions about your child’s foot health or suspect a problem with the development of your child’s feet, please contact our office. We want every step your child makes toward adulthood to be pain-free and easy!