Athlete’s foot is a skin condition caused by a fungus. This foot problem is fairly common because shoes create a warm, dark, and humid environment which encourages fungus growth. Not all foot fungus is athlete’s foot, so be sure to make an appointment to see Dr. Dustin or Dr. Spencer to get a correct diagnosis.
The symptoms of athlete’s foot usually include dry skin, itching, scaling, inflammation, and blisters. This type of foot fungus is very contagious, and it can be spread to the soles of the feet and to the toenails. It can also be spread to other parts of the body, notably the groin and underarms, by those who touch the infection and then touch themselves elsewhere.
It’s not easy to prevent athlete’s foot because it’s usually contracted in warm, wet places such as dressing rooms, showers, swimming pools, and anywhere bare feet come in contact with the fungus. You can diminish your chances of contracting athlete’s foot by washing your feet daily with soap and water, drying your feet carefully (especially in between the toes), changing your shoes and socks regularly, and using quality foot powder as needed.
The treatment for athlete’s foot usually includes topical or oral antifungal medications. Shoe powder should be used frequently, and feet need to be washed and dried regularly.
I had a patient come in the office the other day with symptoms of gout. His response was the best I’ve heard, exclaiming in a low, rough voice, “It hurts, Doc. I think I’ve got THE GOUT!” While that patient may have been a little dramatic, gout can be just as painful and scary as he made it sound. Fortunately there are very effective treatments that help relieve your pain. So what is gout, you ask? And what can you do to make it better? Let me share a few things.
Most people don’t realize is that gout is actually a type of arthritis that can set into the joint. It becomes painful because the salts of uric acid start to build up in the cartilage, and ultimately they tear apart the tissue. To make matters worse, any damage that’s done to cartilage is irreversible. Sounds awful, right? Luckily, as I mentioned before, there are very effective treatments that can relieve your symptoms.
The best kind of treatment will always be prevention, and the same is the case for gout. Eating a healthy diet has numerous health benefits, one of which is a decrease in the chances for gout. Make sure to steer clear of red meat, rich sauces, shellfish, and protein compounds such as lentils and beans. Drinking the recommended 8 glasses of water is also very helpful, as it flushes waste out of your symptom. If you are experiencing symptoms of gout (red, swollen, pain, and stiffness in the joint), make an appointment to see Dr. Dustin or Dr. Spencer. Often times, an injection with special medication can instantly relieve your pain, and oral medications can also be prescribed to decrease your symptoms. Make an appointment today and find out what we can do to treat your gout.
Ingrown toenails are one of the most common conditions of the foot. I treat at least four of these every day, and I know how painful the symptoms can be. When the tissue around your toenail is painful, looks unusually red, and gets a little swollen, it’s time to come see me. Don’t be discouraged, though. This condition is fairly common (which, unfortunately, doesn’t make it any less painful), and there are successful ways to treat it. I want to share with you a few things that can cause ingrown nails (along with how to prevent them from forming in the future), something you can do to ease the pain and other symptoms, and what the treatment is for the ingrown toenail you may have now.
It’s helpful to understand how we get ingrown nails so we can try and prevent them from occurring in the future. There are four main reasons we develop this painful condition, and luckily most of them can be avoided.
1. Genetics (this one cannot be prevented- but there are treatments that can reduce the chances of ingrown nails coming back)
2. Shoes (wear shoes with a larger toe box so your toes aren’t pressured or crowded)
3. Improper nail trimming (nails should be cut strait across instead of curved, the length should be no longer than the tip of each respective toe)
4. Trauma (obviously accidents don’t happen on purpose, but do everything you can to avoid dropping things on your toes or stubbing them on heavy objects)
If you feel like you’re getting or have an ingrown toenail, try soaking your foot in warm water and Epsom salts for 15 minutes daily, and then applying Neosporin and a band aid to the area.
Sometimes, when Epsom salts and Neosporin aren’t enough to take care of the ingrown toenail, other treatments are necessary. Usually this entails removing the part of the nail that’s growing into your skin and cleaning out the infected area. Sometimes this requires a numbing injection, and other times (in the less severe cases) it can be done without. If you chronically have ingrown nails, I can use a chemical to burn the root of the nail, which permanently prevents the condition from recurring in up to 93% of cases.
While ingrown nails are painful and annoying, treatments are available to both decrease the likelihood that they will occur and to treat the ones that are causing us pain. If you have any questions or are seeking treatment, please give my office a call and set-up an appointment. I am more than happy to help you with your foot and ankle problems.
Heel pain is a common condition that we treat several times a day, partially because there are many different things that can cause it. Sometimes, for example, this type of pain can be a direct result of a heel spur, which is a bony growth on the underside of the heel bone. These spurs come from strain on the muscles and ligaments of the foot, which can result from biomechanical imbalances. Other times heel pain can be from excessive pronation as you walk. Too much inward motion can pull at the tendons and ligaments that attach to the bones in your feet, which causes those tendons and ligaments to become inflamed and painful. Most commonly, heel pain is caused by inflammation of a band of tissue known as the plantar fascia. This tissue connects the heel and the ball of your foot, and when it’s stretched beyond normal extension, it can tear and stretch, causing significant pain.
If you are experiencing heel pain, schedule an appointment so we can properly diagnose and treat your condition and help you on the road to recovery. There are in-office treatments for heel pain that can help with immediate pain relief, and there are also long-term treatment plans we can help you with. Until your appointment, you may find the following at-home tips helpful:
• Wear shoes at all times, preferably ones with supportive soles. I recommend a good pair of running shoes, which will give you the appropriate amount of support. As a podiatrist in Encinitas, I hear a common response that people prefer to go barefoot instead of wearing shoes. If you are suffering from heel pain, going barefoot will not give your feet the appropriate amount of support.
• Do heel lifts to stretch your Achilles tendon. This will, in turn, stretch the plantar fascia and offer pain relief.
• Apply ice to your sore heels. A good way to do this is to freeze a water bottle and roll your heel over it. It will both ice and massage the plantar fascia, and help relieve your heel pain.
• Massage your heels. This will give you pain relief along with relieving the tightness of your plantar fascia.
• Take ibuprofen or another anti-inflammatory drug. This type of medication is both an anti-inflammatory drug and a low-dose pain killer.
It is my hope that these tips will offer you temporary pain relief until you can make an appointment to see me.Heel pain doesn't have to be part of your life. Call the office today, and get on the road to ending your foot pain.
Welcome to Alvera Podiatry Group. We’re glad you're here! As podiatrists, we have been specially and extensively trained in the treatment of foot problems and ankle conditions, and are skilled in both surgical and conservative treatments. So whether you are having heel pain, a broken bone, problems with a bunion, painful calluses, or anything in between, come in and let us help you. Our office utilizes the latest technologies available to treat these conditions and many more. Some of these conditions include bunions, heel and arch pain, toenails, ankle problems, sports injuries, children’s feet, hammertoes, warts, fungal nails, ingrown toenails, and diabetic foot problems.
To keep your feet as healthy as possible, we recommend following TEN tips from the American Podiatric Medical Association.
1. Don't ignore foot pain—it's not normal. If the pain persists, see a podiatric physician.
2. Inspect your feet regularly. Pay attention to changes in color and temperature of your feet. Look for thick or discolored nails (a sign of developing fungus), and check for cracks or cuts in the skin. Peeling or scaling on the soles of feet could indicate athlete's foot. Any growth on the foot is not considered normal.
3. Wash your feet regularly, especially between the toes, and be sure to dry them completely.
4. Trim toenails straight across, but not too short. Be careful not to cut nails in corners or on the sides; it can lead to ingrown toenails. Persons with diabetes, poor circulation, or heart problems should not treat their own feet because they are more prone to infection.
5. Make sure that your shoes fit properly. Purchase new shoes later in the day when feet tend to be at their largest and replace worn out shoes as soon as possible.
6. Select and wear the right shoe for the activity that you are engaged in (i.e., running shoes for running).
7. Alternate shoes—don't wear the same pair of shoes every day.
8. Avoid walking barefooted—your feet will be more prone to injury and infection. At the beach or when wearing sandals, always use sunblock on your feet just as on the rest of your body.
9. Be cautious when using home remedies for foot ailments; self-treatment can often turn a minor problem into a major one.
10. If you are a person with diabetes, it is vital that you see a podiatric physician at least once a year for a check-up.