When to See a Podiatrist About Nail Fungus
Your local podiatrist can accurately diagnose and effectively treat an incredible array of problems that affect your feet, including nail fungus. While many people think of nail fungus as a minor inconvenience or merely a cosmetic issue, it can in fact lead to serious health problems. When left untreated by your Houston podiatrist , nail fungus can lead to permanent nail damage and infections that spread beyond your feet. While it’s best to visit your foot doctor sooner, rather than later, you should definitely take the time to schedule an appointment if the following factors apply to you.
If You Aren’t Sure of the Diagnosis
If a podiatrist has never diagnosed you with nail fungus before, you may be incorrectly self-diagnosing your condition. There are many foot and nail conditions that can mimic the abnormalities associated with nail fungus, such as onycholysis, a hematoma under the nail, psoriasis, and paronychia. By scheduling an appointment with a foot and ankle specialist, you can be sure that you’re getting the right treatment for your specific condition.
If You Have Diabetes
Diabetics need to take special care of their feet because of their tendency to have inhibited blood circulation and a higher risk of infections. If you have diabetes, you should schedule an appointment with a podiatrist promptly upon noticing any foot or nail abnormalities.
If Self-Care Treatments Aren’t Working
Occasionally, cases of mild nail fungus may be resolved with home remedies. These include scrupulously keeping the feet clean, filing off-white markings, and applying a liquid anti-fungal product. Unfortunately, without proper treatment from a podiatrist, nail fungus is apt to recur.
If You Observe Certain Nail Changes
For prompt, effective treatment of your toe nail condition , you should see a podiatrist as soon as possible, especially if you notice certain changes to your nails. These abnormalities may include toenail deformities, discoloration, or thickening. By seeing a podiatrist as soon as possible, you can reduce the risk that you’ll suffer permanent damage to your toenails.
If you are in need of a foot doctor in Sugar Land, TX , visit Advanced Foot & Ankle Specialists or call 281-242-3338.
Understanding the Causes of Bunions
A bunion is a painful bump that develops at the joint of the base of your big toe. It is also possible to develop smaller bunions, known as bunionettes, on the joints of the little toes. These formations can be quite painful and debilitating, and may sometimes require bunion surgery . See a foot doctor promptly if you develop some of the potential signs of bunions, including motion limitation of the big toe, or swelling, redness, or pain in the area.
The root cause of bunions is abnormal pressure in the area . Your feet are under considerable pressure from bearing your weight and facilitating movement. When this pressure is exerted in an uneven manner on the joints of your feet, the joint of the big toe can become destabilized.
Your Houston podiatrist may determine that an abnormal gait is to blame for uneven pressure on your foot that has led to bunions. Your gait is your typical walking pattern. If you have improper foot mechanics, you may be prone to developing bunions. Many people develop bunions because they have a pronated foot, or a foot that rolls excessively toward the outside while walking.
Your foot and ankle specialist may diagnose you with foot abnormalities. Some of the abnormalities that could be the cause of your bunions can include congenital deformities, or deformities that were present at birth, and abnormalities caused by foot injuries. You might also develop bunions as a result of having excessively low arches or flat feet. Sometimes, an underlying medical condition such as rheumatoid arthritis or other inflammatory types of arthritis could be to blame for bunion development.
Podiatrists treat many patients with bunions who wear improper footwear, such as shoes that are too tight in the toe area. These types of shoes compress the toes together, leading to improper pressure distribution. Foot doctors note that this may be one reason why women in particular are prone to developing bunions. Fashionable shoes such as high heels tend to have a very narrow toe area.
How High Heels Hurt Your Foot Health
Women who frequently wear high heels may be particularly prone to developing foot problems, including significant pain. If you’ve recently visited a podiatrist to explore the causes of your foot pain, he or she may have asked you about your typical footwear preferences. If you wear high heels frequently, your feet may no longer be able to function properly due to biomechanical impairment. This can lead to conditions such as metatarsalgia. This is a condition characterized by pain in the ball of the foot. Your foot doctor may also diagnose you with Achilles tendinitis, since wearing high heels regularly can lead to shortened tendons.
As your Houston podiatrist can inform you, wearing high heels frequently can even cause knee and back pain because of the biomechanical impairment. These serious health issues have prompted many podiatrists to recommend that women avoid high heels altogether. However, if you find it difficult to part with your stilettos, consider limiting the time during which you wear them. Your foot and ankle specialist may recommend that you wear comfortable flat shoes while traveling to and from work, and stashing a pair of fashionable shoes at your desk to wear around the office.
How Can Your Podiatrist Help With Foot Arthritis?
Arthritis of the feet can be a disabling condition that may lead to reduced mobility. Fortunately, your Houston podiatrist can provide effective treatments. You should schedule an appointment with a foot specialist as soon as possible if you observe symptoms such as joint swelling, stiffness, and recurrent pain of the foot. To treat arthritis of the foot, your podiatrist may prescribe anti-inflammatory medications and recommend mild pain relievers. A foot and ankle specialist might also recommend physical therapy and orthotics. In severe cases, surgery may be indicated.
You can hear more about a podiatrist’s role in treating arthritis of the feet by watching this video. This healthcare provider explains how arthritis can develop in the feet and why it’s so important to choose appropriate footwear to reduce your risk of this debilitating condition.
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