Fungal nails are unsightly, embarrassing, and occasionally smelly. They are also notoriously difficult to treat. A podiatrist in Sugar Land can use advanced treatments that aren’t available at drugstores to eradicate the fungal infection. Once it’s gone, your foot doctor will give you instructions to prevent the fungal infection from coming back .
Keeping Your Feet Clean
For people who are prone to developing recurrent fungal nail infections, showering once daily may not be enough to keep the feet clean enough. If you shower in the morning, bathe your feet again in the evening. You can use a loofah or clean washcloth to thoroughly work the soap around your feet and toes.
Keeping Your Feet Dry
Fungi love damp, warm environments like the insides of your shoes. Each time you take a shower or bathe your feet separately, dry your feet thoroughly with a clean towel. Be sure to dry between your toes. Your podiatrist might recommend applying a topical medication a few times per week after cleaning your feet. You can also apply foot powder to help your feet stay dry. If you tend to sweat heavily, you may need to change your socks during the day.
Using Public Locker Rooms
Fungal infections easily spread in gyms, public pools, and locker rooms. Always wear shower shoes around the edges of the pool and in the public showers. Let your shower shoes dry completely between uses.
Reducing Your Risk of Nail Injuries
Injured nails are more likely to become infected, especially if you have diabetes. Clip your toenails straight across. Don’t trim them too short or in a rounded fashion, or you’ll be at risk of an ingrown toenail. Before getting a pedicure, check that the salon follows strict sterilization procedures. And sterilize your own nail clippers after each use.
Wearing Proper Footwear
Wear shoes that have enough space in the toe box so that your nails don’t touch the inner end of the shoes. Choose shoes with breathable fabric , and purchase at least two pairs for everyday wear. Alternate them each day so they’ll have time to dry out.
Patients with flat feet in the Sugar Land area can have reconstructive foot surgery to prevent complications of this condition, such as hammertoes, bunions, tight heel cords, calf pain, and foot fatigue. Foot surgeons can treat flat feet with multiple reconstructive approaches, depending on the patient’s specific needs and severity of symptoms. To plan the surgery, the podiatrist will review imaging scans. These can include X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs.
To correct the muscle imbalance, the foot surgeon may repair the soft tissues such as the tendon. If the tendon cannot be repaired, the doctor may need to harvest tendon tissue from elsewhere in the body and graft it to the foot. Some patients may need an artificial joint implanted to replace a damaged natural joint, while others may need to have some bones realigned. Reconstructive foot surgery might also involve fusing two or more bones together to inhibit movement between them, which can prevent symptoms and complications
You might be familiar with the carpal tunnel, which is the narrow passageway located at the wrist. The tarsal tunnel is a similar, narrow space, but it’s located on the inside of the ankle. This structure houses blood vessels, tendons, and nerves, including the posterior tibial nerve. Just like carpal tunnel syndrome, tarsal tunnel syndrome involves the compression of the nerve when there isn’t sufficient space within this area. Since this condition can worsen, patients would be wise to contact a foot specialist near Sugar Land. A podiatrist may recommend nonsurgical treatments or surgical intervention to restore the function of the foot and ankle.
Signs and Symptoms
The compression of the posterior tibial nerve can cause tingling, which is often described as a pins and needles sensation. Numbness and burning or shooting foot pain also indicate nerve damage. These symptoms may develop suddenly for no apparent reason, but they can also develop after overuse of the foot from prolonged standing or exercising.
Causes and Risk Factors
The underlying cause of tarsal tunnel syndrome is the pressure exerted on the posterior tibial nerve. The nerve can be compressed when the tarsal tunnel is narrower than usual, which can occur when there is swelling and inflammation in the area. Diabetes and arthritis are risk factors for tarsal tunnel syndrome because they can both cause inflammation that narrows this space. An injury, such as an ankle sprain, can have a similar effect. Other patients may develop tarsal tunnel syndrome because of an abnormality that takes up space in the area, such as a ganglion cyst, bone spur, varicose vein, or swollen tendon. Flatfoot is another risk factor of tarsal tunnel syndrome, as fallen arches cause the heel to tilt outward, which can compress the area.
Podiatrists can often treat tarsal tunnel syndrome without surgery. Patients will be advised to keep weight off the affected foot to allow it to heal. They can also:
- Apply ice packs for 20 minutes at a time.
- Take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
- Wear a cast or brace to immobilize the foot.
- Receive injections of anesthetic and/or steroid medicines.
- Use custom orthotic devices and supportive shoes.
- Go to physical therapy.
If these nonsurgical treatments aren’t enough to relieve symptoms and heal the area, the podiatrist might recommend surgical intervention.
Bunions are bony, outward protrusions at the base of the big toe. This bump develops when the big toe bends abnormally inward, toward the other toes. Patients may experience pain, which can be severe enough to make wearing shoes a challenge. Since this medical condition can worsen without the proper treatment, bunion specialists in Sugar Land urge patients to schedule an appointment sooner, rather than later. Bunions are most easily treated when they are detected early.
Improper footwear is a major risk factor for foot health problems like bunions. One of the simplest, nonsurgical treatments is to avoid wearing very tall high heels and shoes with a narrow toe box. If you find it difficult to give up your high heels, and you typically sit most of the day at work, consider wearing athletic shoes into the office. Bring your high heels with you and swap footwear when you arrive at work.
Padding and Taping
When you choose footwear with plenty of room in the toe box, you’ll have enough space to add extra padding. Your podiatrist can demonstrate how to place the padding for best results. The doctor can also show you how to tape your foot to prevent abnormal movements, which relieves pressure and pain.
Applying ice packs can be helpful if the bunion becomes painful, inflamed, and swollen. Cover an ice pack in a thin towel and place it on the foot for no more than 20 minutes at a time. You can do this several times per day to relieve the pain and suppress the swelling.
Some patients with bunions can attain sufficient relief of their symptoms with over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Otherwise, the podiatrist may provide a prescription. Injected anti-inflammatory drugs are another possibility.
Therapeutic ultrasound won’t correct the deformity. However, it may help relieve the pain and the swelling of the soft tissues in the area.
Surgery is the only way to correct the deformity, rather than simply manage the symptoms. This may be a good option for you if your symptoms are severe and nonsurgical treatments aren’t helping enough. To reduce the risk of bunion revision surgery later on, you should carefully follow the doctor’s post-operative instructions.
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