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November 2021

Tuesday, 30 November 2021 00:00

Do You Have Athlete’s Foot?

If you notice a rash on the skin of your feet, mainly between the toes, that is red, itchy, scaly or dry, it may be a sign of a fungal infection known as athlete’s foot. Athlete’s foot can cause other symptoms such as a foul odor, cracked and peeling skin, and a burning sensation. The fungi that cause athlete’s foot often thrive in warm and moist environments which means that it often spreads in areas such as communal showers or public pools.  Other ways athlete’s foot can spread include sharing items that touch the feet, as well as touching the infected area directly. Patients who believe that they may have athlete’s foot should consult with a podiatrist for treatment in order to clear the infection and prevent it from spreading. 

Athlete’s Foot

Athlete’s foot is often an uncomfortable condition to experience. Thankfully, podiatrists specialize in treating athlete’s foot and offer the best treatment options. If you have any questions about athlete’s foot, consult with Pete O’Donald, DPM from Texas. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality treatment.

What Is Athlete’s Foot?

Tinea pedis, more commonly known as athlete’s foot, is a non-serious and common fungal infection of the foot. Athlete’s foot is contagious and can be contracted by touching someone who has it or infected surfaces. The most common places contaminated by it are public showers, locker rooms, and swimming pools. Once contracted, it grows on feet that are left inside moist, dark, and warm shoes and socks.

Prevention

The most effective ways to prevent athlete’s foot include:

  • Thoroughly washing and drying feet
  • Avoid going barefoot in locker rooms and public showers
  • Using shower shoes in public showers
  • Wearing socks that allow the feet to breathe
  • Changing socks and shoes frequently if you sweat a lot

Symptoms

Athlete’s foot initially occurs as a rash between the toes. However, if left undiagnosed, it can spread to the sides and bottom of the feet, toenails, and if touched by hand, the hands themselves. Symptoms include:

  • Redness
  • Burning
  • Itching
  • Scaly and peeling skin

Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosis is quick and easy. Skin samples will be taken and either viewed under a microscope or sent to a lab for testing. Sometimes, a podiatrist can diagnose it based on simply looking at it. Once confirmed, treatment options include oral and topical antifungal medications.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Nederland, TX . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

 

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Fractures in the toes and metatarsals (long bones in the midfoot that connect to the toe bones) can be quite painful and should not be taken lightly. Breaks can either be traumatic (acute) that occur instantly due to an injury, or can be stress fractures which develop over time. Traumatic fractures can cause a bone to become misaligned in certain cases. You may hear a snap at the moment of impact and you may even notice that the toe is crooked or misshapen in some way. Pain may be felt at the site of the injury, and bruising and swelling may occur the following day. With a stress fracture, any pain felt while using the affected foot may subside when you rest, and although you may notice swelling there should be no apparent bruising. It is important to see a podiatrist for any broken bone in your toe or metatarsal, even if you have been treated initially at an emergency room. Proper treatment and rehabilitation will help avoid future complications like an improperly healed bone, mobility issues, difficulty wearing shoes, deformities, chronic pain, or arthritis in the joint.

Broken toes may cause a lot of pain and should be treated as soon as possible. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact Pete O’Donald, DPM from Texas. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Is a Broken Toe?

A broken toe occurs when one or more of the toe bones of the foot are broken after an injury. Injuries such as stubbing your toe or dropping a heavy object on it may cause a toe fracture.

Symptoms of a Broken Toe

  • Swelling
  • Pain (with/without wearing shoes)
  • Stiffness
  • Nail Injury

Although the injured toe should be monitored daily, it is especially important to have a podiatrist look at your toe if you have severe symptoms. Some of these symptoms include worsening or new pain that is not relieved with medication, sores, redness, or open wounds near the toe.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Nederland, TX . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about What to Know About a Broken Toe
Tuesday, 16 November 2021 00:00

Tips for Dealing With Hammertoes

Hammertoes typically occur in the smaller toes of the foot. They can also be referred to  as “Mallet Toe” or “Claw Toe,” depending on how the foot is affected. These conditions often occur when the soft tissues of the foot become too tight or get injured. Tight shoes are the most common cause of hammertoe, and of the variations  can be the easiest to fix by wearing open-toed shoes and sandals, or roomy, softer closed-toe shoes. Shoe inserts, wrapping the toes after exercise, and maintaining a healthy body weight can help prevent excess pressure on the feet and toes. If discomfort persists, see a podiatrist who can recommend exercises and offer other solutions.

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact Pete O’Donald, DPM of Texas. Our doctor will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.

Hammertoe

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that occurs due to an imbalance in the muscles, tendons, or ligaments that normally hold the toe straight. It can be caused by the type of shoes you wear, your foot structure, trauma, and certain disease processes.

Symptoms

  • Painful and/or difficult toe movement
  • Swelling
  • Joint stiffness
  • Calluses/Corns
  • Physical deformity

Risk Factors

  • Age – The risk of hammertoe increases with age
  • Sex – Women are more likely to have hammertoe compared to men
  • Toe Length – You are more likely to develop hammertoe if your second toe is longer than your big toe
  • Certain Diseases – Arthritis and diabetes may make you more likely to develop hammertoe

Treatment

If you have hammertoe, you should change into a more comfortable shoe that provides enough room for your toes. Exercises such as picking up marbles may strengthen and stretch your toe muscles. Nevertheless, it is important to seek assistance from a podiatrist in order to determine the severity of your hammertoe and see which treatment option will work best for you.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Nederland, TX . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about What Are Hammertoes?
Tuesday, 09 November 2021 00:00

Do Your Child's Feet Hurt?

Have your child's feet been examined lately? Healthy feet are happy feet. If your child is complaining of foot pain, it may be a sign of underlying problems.

If you have sprained your ankle it is very important to seek the care of a podiatrist who can diagnose and treat your injury. But treatment does not begin and end at the doctor’s office. There are many things that you may need to do at home to ensure that your ankle heals properly. You should try to keep weight off of your injured ankle by keeping it elevated by propping it up on a pillow in order to reduce swelling. Put ice on your injured ankle periodically for three days following your injury to control swelling. Take any pain medications and wear splints, braces, or other orthotics as prescribed. For more information about caring for a sprained ankle, please consult with your podiatrist. 

Ankle sprains are common but need immediate attention. If you need your feet checked, contact Pete O’Donald, DPM from Texas. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

How Does an Ankle Sprain Occur?

Ankle sprains take place when the ligaments in your ankle are torn or stretched beyond their limits. There are multiple ways that the ankle can become injured, including twisting or rolling over onto your ankle, putting undue stress on it, or causing trauma to the ankle itself.

What Are the Symptoms?

  • Mild to moderate bruising
  • Limited mobility
  • Swelling
  • Discoloration of the skin (depending on severity)

Preventing a Sprain

  • Wearing appropriate shoes for the occasion
  • Stretching before exercises and sports
  • Knowing your limits

Treatment of a Sprain

Treatment of a sprain depends on the severity.  Many times, people are told to rest and remain off their feet completely, while others are given an air cast. If the sprain is very severe, surgery may be required.

If you have suffered an ankle sprain previously, you may want to consider additional support such as a brace and regular exercises to strengthen the ankle.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Nederland, TX . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Ankle Sprains
Tuesday, 02 November 2021 00:00

Why Do I Feel Electrical Shocks in My Feet?

Inside the ankle, located next to the ankle bones, is a narrow structure protected by ligaments called the tarsal tunnel. There are several things that go through this tunnel including veins, arteries, tendons, and the posterior tibial nerve. When this narrow tarsal tunnel becomes compressed, the posterior tibial nerve can get squeezed or compressed as well resulting in what is known as Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome. This compressed nerve can produce tingling, burning, numbness, pain or even give the sensation of an electrical shock anywhere throughout the foot and ankle, and even the calf. Symptoms can occur at once, or gradually. Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome can be brought on by injuries that cause inflammation near the tunnel, flat feet, enlarged or abnormal veins or cysts in the tunnel, or diseases which cause swelling, such as arthritis and diabetes. If you experience any symptoms described here, see a podiatrist in order to receive proper care, and to avoid permanent nerve damage.

Tarsal tunnel syndrome can be very uncomfortable to live with. If you are experiencing tarsal tunnel syndrome, contact Pete O’Donald, DPM of Texas. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

Tarsal tunnel syndrome, which can also be called tibial nerve dysfunction, is an uncommon condition of misfiring peripheral nerves in the foot. The tibial nerve is the peripheral nerve in the leg responsible for sensation and movement of the foot and calf muscles. In tarsal tunnel syndrome, the tibial nerve is damaged, causing problems with movement and feeling in the foot of the affected leg.

Common Cause of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

  • Involves pressure or an injury, direct pressure on the tibial nerve for an extended period of time, sometimes caused by other body structures close by or near the knee.
  • Diseases that damage nerves, including diabetes, may cause tarsal tunnel syndrome.
  • At times, tarsal tunnel syndrome can appear without an obvious cause in some cases.

The Effects of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

  • Different sensations, an afflicted person may experience pain, tingling, burning or other unusual sensations in the foot of the affected leg.
  • The foot muscles, toes and ankle become weaker, and curling your toes or flexing your foot can become difficult.
  • If condition worsens, infections and ulcers may develop on the foot that is experiencing the syndrome.

A physical exam of the leg can help identify the presence of tarsal tunnel syndrome. Medical tests, such as a nerve biopsy, are also used to diagnose the condition. Patients may receive physical therapy and prescriptive medication. In extreme cases, some may require surgery.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Nederland, TX . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Treating Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
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