Posts for: November, 2018
Bunions are a common condition affecting many people. However, due to its slow-growing nature and lack of serious symptoms in the early stages, patients often do not realize they have a bunion at all. Find out more about bunions, their causes, and how your podiatrist can help with Dr. Richard Lesser at Family Foot Health Center in Howell, NJ.
Do I have a bunion?
A bunion looks like a lump or bump at the base of the big toe. It is a bony growth that gets bigger very slowly over time, often not producing any symptoms until its advanced stages. However, some tell-tale signs you have a bunion include:
- soreness around the big toe joint
- bulging bump on the outside edge of the base of the big toe
- decreased range of motion in the big toe
- corns or calluses where the smaller toes overlap
- foot pain, either intermittently or persistently
- swelling and irritation around the big toe
If you have persistent pain, a visible bunion, or have difficulty finding shoes that fit, you should consult with your podiatrist for the best course of treatment for you.
What causes a bunion?
Certain factors are thought to contribute to bunion growth. They include:
- the type of foot you inherit genetically
- congenital deformities of the foot
- certain injuries to the foot
- too-tight or too-narrow shoes
- high-heeled shoes
Bunion Treatments in Howell, NJ
If you think you have a bunion, your foot doctor can help you manage your symptoms and, if necessary, treat your bunion. In some cases, simply changing the type of shoes you wear and monitoring your bunion is enough to slow its growth enough to avoid invasive treatments. However, some people may require a bunionectomy. This surgery removes the bunion altogether and realigns the toes to ensure they lie straight in their correct positions.
For more information on bunions, please contact Dr. Richard Lesser at Family Foot Health Center in Howell, NJ. Call (732) 370-1100 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Lesser today!
Treating toenail fungus
Toenail fungus--it's one of the most common podiatric problems children, teens, and adults have. Causing thickened, yellow, brittle nails, onychomycosis (the medical name for toenail fungus) spreads easily and can be stubborn to treat. If you see one or more of your toenails changing shape, color, and texture, see your foot doctor right away. They have the expertise and treatments to give you ten clear toenails once again.
How toenail fungus starts
The micro-organism thrives in dark, moist environments--sweaty socks and sneakers being prime candidates. Additionally, shared towels, nail clippers, shower room floors, and pool decks breed toenail and Athlete's Foot fungus. In fact, if you suffer periodic outbreaks of itchy, uncomfortable Athlete's Foot, you're more prone to onychomycosis, says the American Academy of Dermatology.
Conquering toenail fungus
Your foot doctor sees scores of patients with toenail fungus. Visual inspection is the main diagnostic tool, and for mild cases of onychomycosis, the podiatrist may recommend creams or ointments applied topically. Oral medications are an option as well.
Additionally, modern podiatry offers innovative laser treatments which kill the micro-organism right where it lives. Painless and very effective, laser treatments are applied to all ten toenails to prevent re-infection.
Unfortunately, toenail fungal infections can become quite severe and spread to the nail bed. When infection is severe, the podiatrist may advise complete removal of the toenail to prevent further problems.
Prevention is best
Of course, if you can avoid toenail fungus, your feet and nails will look and feel their best, and you won't be embarrassed to wear open-toed shoes or sandals in the warm weather. However, some people are more prone to this common infection--diabetics, those with poor peripheral circulation and individuals who are immunosuppressed.
Regardless, your podiatrist recommends these preventive measures for healthy, fungus-free nails:
- Wash your feet with soap and water daily, and dry them with a clean towel.
- Clip your toenails straight across with a clean clippers.
- Wear clean socks daily.
- Change your gym shoes after a workout. In fact, alternate pairs if possible, letting your footwear dry out between wearings.
- Wear flip-flops or shower sandals in the locker room and poolside, too.