Tuesday, 10 October 2023 00:00

Understanding the Basics of Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails are a common and often painful foot condition that can disrupt daily life. Understanding the definition and recognizing the symptoms is essential for managing this ailment effectively. An ingrown toenail occurs when the edge of a toenail, usually the big toe, grows into the surrounding skin instead of over it. This can lead to redness, swelling, and tenderness along the side of the affected toe. As the nail continues to dig into the skin, it can cause pain and discomfort, making it a challenge to wear shoes or walk comfortably. In some cases, ingrown toenails can become infected, resulting in pus drainage and increased pain. The common culprits behind ingrown toenails include improper nail trimming, wearing tight-fitting shoes, hereditary factors, or injury. It is helpful for individuals with diabetes, poor circulation, or weakened immunity to be especially cautious, as ingrown toenails can lead to more severe complications. Timely intervention is important. Soaking the foot in warm, soapy water, gently lifting the ingrown edge of the nail, and keeping the area clean can help alleviate symptoms. If you have developed an ingrown toenail, it is strongly suggested that you are under the care of a podiatrist who can effectively treat this condition.

Ingrown toenails may initially present themselves as a minor discomfort, but they may progress into an infection in the skin without proper treatment. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact the podiatrists of Issaquah Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails are caused when the corner or side of a toenail grows into the soft flesh surrounding it. They often result in redness, swelling, pain, and in some cases, infection. This condition typically affects the big toe and may recur if it is not treated properly.

Causes

  • Improper toenail trimming
  • Genetics
  • Improper shoe fitting
  • Injury from pedicures or nail picking
  • Abnormal gait
  • Poor hygiene

You are more likely to develop an ingrown toenail if you are obese, have diabetes, arthritis, or have any fungal infection in your nails. Additionally, people who have foot or toe deformities are at a higher risk of developing an ingrown toenail.

Symptoms

Some symptoms of ingrown toenails are redness, swelling, and pain. In rare cases, there may be a yellowish drainage coming from the nail.

Treatment

Ignoring an ingrown toenail can have serious complications. Infections of the nail border can progress to a deeper soft-tissue infection, which can then turn into a bone infection. You should always speak with your podiatrist if you suspect you have an ingrown toenail, especially if you have diabetes or poor circulation.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Issaquah, WA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Tuesday, 10 October 2023 00:00

Ingrown Toenail Care

An ingrown toenail is a toenail that grows sideways into the nail bed, causing pain and swelling. Ingrown toenails can worsen and cause drainage, turning into a serious infection.

Several factors affect whether a person is at risk from an ingrown toenail. The many causes include being overweight, diabetes, participating in sports, having a fungal infection of the toe, and cutting your nails too short. Ingrown toenails also have a genetic predisposition, causing some people to be more prone to receive the condition than others. Other causes include improperly fitting shoes and shoes that keep the feet damp.

Ingrown toenails can be preventable with certain measures. For starters, allowing your toe nails to grow slightly longer in length will help prevent them from becoming ingrown. If you have already developed an ingrown toenail, soak the affected toe in warm water. This will alleviate the pain and help prevent an infection from forming. Antibiotic soap or Epsom salts may be added to further help the relieving process and avoid infection. Placing cotton beneath the affected area is also suggested, as this may help the toenail grow upwards and not into the nail bed. Swelling and redness can be reduced by resting with your feet elevated.

A podiatrist should be seen if the pain becomes so serious that it prevents you from doing your everyday activities. If a red streak running up your leg appears or if you suspect your infection has spread, contact a podiatrist immediately. Fast treatments can be undertaken to lessen your pain and have you walking comfortably.

An ingrown toenail can be easily treated with a Band-Aid. Simply wrap the affected toe with a Band-Aid to prevent infection and keep the nail from growing out at a painful angle.

In more serious cases, your podiatrist may decide to make a small incision to remove a portion of your toenail. To prevent the nail from growing back, medication will be placed directly into the nail bed. This procedure would be performed under local anesthesia and is a faster method to alleviate discomfort from an ingrown toenail. Post-procedure directions will have you stay off the affected foot for a day. Afterwards, normal activities can be resumed.  

Do you work on your feet all day and find your feet in pain? Don't go to work in pain each day. Your foot pain can be treated, and we can help.

Gout and kidney disease are two distinct medical conditions, but they share a complex relationship that can significantly affect one's health. Gout is a type of arthritis characterized by sudden, severe joint pain, often in the big toe, caused by the buildup of uric acid crystals in the joints. Kidney disease involves the impaired function of the kidneys, leading to the buildup of waste and toxins in the body. What ties these two conditions together is uric acid. When the kidneys are unable to effectively filter and excrete uric acid, it can accumulate in the bloodstream, increasing the risk of gout attacks. Furthermore, some medications used to treat gout can potentially worsen kidney function. Managing both conditions requires a comprehensive approach. It is beneficial for patients to monitor kidney function, control uric acid levels, and adopt lifestyle changes. These can include eating a balanced diet and drinking plenty of water. If you are experiencing gout attacks, it is strongly suggested that you are under the care of a podiatrist who can determine what the cause is, and offer appropriate treatment options.

Gout is a painful condition that can be treated. If you are seeking treatment, contact the podiatrists from Issaquah Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Is Gout?

Gout is a form of arthritis that is characterized by sudden, severe attacks of pain, redness, and tenderness in the joints. The condition usually affects the joint at the base of the big toe. A gout attack can occur at any random time, such as the middle of the night while you are asleep.

Symptoms

  • Intense Joint Pain - Usually around the large joint of your big toe, and it most severe within the first four to twelve hours
  • Lingering Discomfort - Joint discomfort may last from a few days to a few weeks
  • Inflammation and Redness -Affected joints may become swollen, tender, warm and red
  • Limited Range of Motion - May experience a decrease in joint mobility

Risk Factors

  • Genetics - If family members have gout, you’re more likely to have it
  • Medications - Diuretic medications can raise uric acid levels
  • Gender/Age - Gout is more common in men until the age of 60. It is believed that estrogen protects women until that point
  • Diet - Eating red meat and shellfish increases your risk
  • Alcohol - Having more than two alcoholic drinks per day increases your risk
  • Obesity - Obese people are at a higher risk for gout

Prior to visiting your podiatrist to receive treatment for gout, there are a few things you should do beforehand. If you have gout you should write down your symptoms--including when they started and how often you experience them, important medical information you may have, and any questions you may have. Writing down these three things will help your podiatrist in assessing your specific situation so that he or she may provide the best route of treatment for you.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Issaquah, WA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Tuesday, 03 October 2023 00:00

Gout

Gout is a form of arthritis that is caused by a buildup of uric acid crystals in the joints. This considered to be one of the most frequently recorded medical illnesses throughout history. Gout occurrences in the US have risen within the past twenty years and the condition now affects 8.3 million people which is 4% of all Americans. Researchers have found that gout affects men more than women and African-American men more than white men. 

Symptoms of gout are warmth, swelling, discoloration, and tenderness in the affected joint area. The small joint on the big toe is the most common place for a gout attack to occur.

People who are obese, gain weight excessively, drink alcohol heavily, have high blood pressure, or have abnormal kidney function are more likely to develop gout. Furthermore, certain drugs and diseases are likely to increase levels of uric acid in the joints which eventually leads to gout. You are also more likely to develop gout if you eat a lot of meat and fish.

Many who experience gout attacks will experience repeated attacks over the years. Some people who have gout symptoms, may never have them again, but others may experience them several times a year. If you have gout symptoms throughout the year, you may have recurrent gout. Those who have gout should also be careful about their urate crystals collecting in their urinary tract, because this may lead to kidney stones.

Diagnosis for gout is done by checking the level of uric acid in the joints and blood. Your podiatrist may also prescribe medicine to reduce uric acid buildup in the blood, which will help prevent any gout attacks.

To treat gout, your podiatrist may also prescribe you Anti-inflammatory medication (NSAIDs) which will relieve the pain and swelling of a gout episode and it can also shorten a gout attack. Maintaining a healthy diet is also a proven method to prevent gout attacks. 

Sever's disease, also known as calcaneal apophysitis, is a common but often misunderstood condition affecting children and adolescents, especially those active in sports. It is not a traditional disease but rather a painful growth plate disorder. Understanding its symptoms and appropriate treatment is vital for parents and young athletes. The hallmark symptom of Sever's disease is heel pain, typically at the back or along the bottom of the heel. Pain tends to worsen during or after physical activities and may cause limping or discomfort when walking or running. The condition arises when the growth plate at the back of the heel bone becomes inflamed due to repetitive stress. Fortunately, Sever's disease is treatable. Getting adequate rest and taking over-the-counter pain relievers can help alleviate discomfort. Stretching exercises and may also be recommended to improve flexibility, and strengthen the calf muscles. Wearing supportive footwear with cushioned insoles may help reduce heel pressure. By recognizing the symptoms and seeking appropriate treatment, parents and young athletes can manage Sever's disease effectively, allowing for a smoother path to recovery and a return to their favorite activities. If your active child has heel pain, it is strongly suggested that you consult a podiatrist who can accurately diagnose and treat Sever’s disease.

Sever's disease often occurs in children and teens. If your child is experiencing foot or ankle pain, see the podiatrists from Issaquah Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors can treat your child’s foot and ankle needs.

Sever’s Disease

Sever’s disease is also known as calcaneal apophysitis, which is a medical condition that causes heel pain I none or both feet. The disease is known to affect children between the ages of 8 and 14.

Sever’s disease occurs when part of the child’s heel known as the growth plate (calcaneal epiphysis) is attached to the Achilles tendon. This area can suffer injury when the muscles and tendons of the growing foot do not keep pace with bone growth. Therefore, the constant pain which one experiences at the back of the heel will make the child unable to put any weight on the heel. The child is then forced to walk on their toes.

Symptoms

Acute pain – Pain associated with Sever’s disease is usually felt in the heel when the child engages in physical activity such as walking, jumping and or running.

Highly active – Children who are very active are among the most susceptible in experiencing Sever’s disease, because of the stress and tension placed on their feet.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Issaquah, WA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle injuries.

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Tuesday, 26 September 2023 00:00

Sever's Disease

Sever’s disease, also known as calcaneal apophysitis is a common bone disorder that occurs during childhood. The disease is defined as an inflammation of the growth plate in the heel. When a child has a growth spurt, his heel bone grows faster than the muscles, tendons, and ligaments in his leg. This disease is a result of overuse. The people who are most likely to be affected by this disease are children who are in a growth spurt, especially boys who are from the ages of 5 to 13 years old. 60% of children with Sever’s disease have both heels involved.

Symptoms of this disease are heel pain that intensifies during running and jumping activities. The pain is typically localized to the posterior part of the heel. Symptoms may be severe, and they can easily interfere with daily activities. Children who play soccer, baseball, and basketball are more likely to develop Sever’s disease.

Your doctor will diagnose your child based on his or her symptoms, x-rays are generally not helpful in diagnosing this disease. Your doctor may examine both heels and ask your child questions about his or her activity level in sports. Your doctor may then use the squeeze test on your child’s heel to see if there is any pain. Nevertheless, some doctors might still use x-rays to rule out any other issues such as fractures, infections, and tumors.

Sever’s disease can be prevented by maintaining good flexibility while your child is growing. Another prevention method is to wear good-quality shoes that have firm support and a shock-absorbent sole. Sever’s disease can be treated by ceasing any activity that causes heel pain. You should apply ice to the injured heel for 20 minutes 3 times a day. Additionally, orthotics should be used for children who have high arches, flat feet, or bowed legs.

If you suspect your child has Sever’s disease, you should make an appointment with your podiatrist to have his or her foot examined. Your doctor may recommend nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen or naproxen to relieve pain. In more severe cases, your child may need a cast to rest his or her heel. Fortunately, Sever’s disease does not cause long-term foot problems. After treatment, your child should start to feel better within two weeks to two months.

Tuesday, 19 September 2023 00:00

Psychological Effects of Toenail Fungus

Onychomycosis, commonly known as toenail fungus, is the most prevalent nail disorder, with a growing incidence, particularly among the elderly. This condition is notorious for its stubbornness, requiring prolonged and often ineffective treatments, with frequent recurrences. Beyond affecting the nail's normal function, fungal nail infections can bring pain, an unsightly appearance, disruption of daily life, and negative psycho-social consequences. Patients often grapple with embarrassment, diminished self-esteem, and social withdrawal due to toenail fungus. Recent advances in treatment have emerged, offering more effective solutions. If you suffer from toenail fungus, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist to discuss the physical and psychological effects of this condition. Honesty with this medical professional about how much it impacts your life is important in obtaining a more holistic approach to treatment.

For more information about treatment, contact the podiatrists of Issaquah Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Toenail Fungus Treatment

Toenail fungus is a condition that affects many people and can be especially hard to get rid of. Fortunately, there are several methods to go about treating and avoiding it.

Antifungals & Deterrence

Oral antifungal medicine has been shown to be effective in many cases. It is important to consult with a podiatrist to determine the proper regiment for you, or potentially explore other options.

Applying foot powder on the feet and shoes helps keep the feet free of moisture and sweat.

Sandals or open toed shoes – Wearing these will allow air movement and help keep feet dry. They also expose your feet to light, which fungus cannot tolerate. Socks with moisture wicking material also help as well.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Issaquah, WA . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

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Tuesday, 19 September 2023 00:00

Treating Toenail Fungus

Fungal infection of the toenail, or onychomycosis, typically appears as a gradual change in a toenail’s texture and color that involves brittleness and darkening.  The fungal infection itself occurs beneath the surface of the nail.  Aside from discoloration, other symptoms include the collection of debris beneath the nail plate, white marks on the nail plate, and a foul odor emanating from the nail.  If ignored, the infection can spread into other nails and the skin; in severe cases, it can hinder one’s ability to work or walk. 

The toenails are particularly vulnerable to contracting infection in moist environments where people are likely to be walking barefoot, such as around swimming pools, public showers, and locker rooms.  Fungal infection may also be more likely to occur in nail beds that have been injured, and sufferers of chronic diseases such as diabetes, circulatory problems, or immunodeficiency conditions are particularly prone to developing fungal nails. 

Fungal nails can be primarily prevented by practicing proper hygiene and regularly examining the feet and toes.  Carefully washing the feet with soap and water and thoroughly drying the feet afterwards are essential.  Other tips include wearing shower shoes in public areas, changing shoes and socks daily, keeping toenails clipped at a short length, wearing breathable shoes that fit properly, wearing moisture-wicking socks, and disinfecting home pedicure tools and instruments used to cut nails.

Fungal nail treatment may vary between patients and the severity of the condition.  Your podiatrist may suggest a daily routine of cleansing that spans over a period of time to ease mild infections.  Over-the-counter or prescription antifungal agents may also be prescribed, including topical and/or oral medications.  Debridement, or the removal of diseased nail matter and debris, may also be performed.  In more severe cases, surgical treatment may be needed.  In some instances, the temporary removal of the fungal nail allows for the direct application of a topical antifungal to the nail bed.  In other cases, a chronically painful fungal nail that has not responded to other treatments may be permanently removed; this allows the infection to be cured and avoids the growth of a deformed nail.  

Tuesday, 12 September 2023 00:00

Footwear Influence on Bunions

Bunions, or hallux valgus, is a foot deformity where the big toe tilts toward the second toe, causing a bony lump on the side of the foot. Symptoms include pain, swelling, callused skin, and changes in foot shape. Contrary to popular belief, fashion shoes such as high heels do not directly cause bunions. Bunions are primarily the result of a genetic predisposition and the mechanical structure of the foot. However, wearing shoes that squeeze the forefoot and crowd the toes can worsen an existing condition and lead to pain and joint deformity. Bunions can also develop due to factors such as age, arthritis, or sports activities. Preventing bunions involves choosing sensible, well fitting footwear with ample toe room. Avoiding pointed shoes and excessive heels can be helpful. Proper footwear, non surgical treatments and wearing orthotics are initial choices. Surgery is typically the last option for bunions causing significant pain. This involves removing the bony lump and realigning the big toe, ultimately improving foot function and comfort. If you have a bunion that is causing discomfort, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist to have it evaluated and obtain appropriate treatment.

If you are suffering from bunion pain, contact the podiatrists of Issaquah Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is a Bunion?

Bunions are painful bony bumps that usually develop on the inside of the foot at the joint of the big toe. As the deformity increases over time, it may become painful to walk and wear shoes. Women are more likely to exacerbate existing bunions since they often wear tight, narrow shoes that shift their toes together. Bunion pain can be relieved by wearing wider shoes with enough room for the toes.

Causes

  • Genetics – some people inherit feet that are more prone to bunion development
  • Inflammatory Conditions - rheumatoid arthritis and polio may cause bunion development

Symptoms

  • Redness and inflammation
  • Pain and tenderness
  • Callus or corns on the bump
  • Restricted motion in the big toe

In order to diagnose your bunion, your podiatrist may ask about your medical history, symptoms, and general health. Your doctor might also order an x-ray to take a closer look at your feet. Nonsurgical treatment options include orthotics, padding, icing, changes in footwear, and medication. If nonsurgical treatments don’t alleviate your bunion pain, surgery may be necessary.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Issaquah, WA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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