Friday, November 16, 2012

Treatment of Ingrown Toenails

An ingrown toenail is a common condition where the corner or edge of one of the toenails grows into the soft fleshy part of the toe. The result of this growth is a painful, sore region that is often red and may become infected. These ingrown problems typically affect the big toe, but can occur on any one of the toes.

Many ingrown toenails can be taken care of at home, but if you are in severe pain and the pain is spreading, you will want to see a doctor right away for treatment. Your doctor will recommend the appropriate treatment needed for the care of your toe.

Common Treatments

Through lifestyle and home remedies, ingrown toenails can generally be treated at home. Some of the most common home remedies include soaking the foot regularly in warm water and applying antibiotic ointment to prevent infection. If the pain and swelling continues, or if you see pus or redness spreading throughout the toe, you should see your podiatrist right away.

Treatments for these toenails may include:

· Partially removing the nail

Severe ingrown toenails may require a doctor to partially remove the nail. The toenail can be trimmed back far enough or removed to allow for proper healing. Before this procedure takes place, the doctor may numb the toe with a topical anesthetic or inject the numbing medicine into the toe. This treatment can be highly effective in relieving the pain and allowing the infected site to heal.

· Lifting the nail

Slightly ingrown toenails that include redness and pain associated with minor infection may require that the edge of the nail be lifted. The nail can be lifted slightly in order to separate from the overlying skin. This procedure helps the nail to be able to grow properly above the skin edge. A doctor may insert cotton, dental floss or a splint beneath the nail to keep slightly raised.

· Removing the entire nail and tissue

Some people experience recurrent ingrown formation, and in this case, your doctor may recommend having the entire nail or a portion of the toenail removed. The underlying tissue or nail bed may also be removed to prevent the nail from growing back. The procedure is generally done with a chemical, laser or other method. If the toenail region is at risk for infection, topical or oral antibiotics will be given both before and after the treatment procedure takes place.

Advanced Procedure Provides Solution for Bunions

Bunions are the enlargement of the big toe joint area, caused by a misaligned bone that pushes the big toe inward. Many people endure the inconvience and pain associated with bunions because they do not know where to turn for treatment or think they cannot spare the time to fix the problem. A bunion in its early stage, appears as an unsightly bump on the side of the foot. If left untreated, it can become significantly worse and the first toe may eventually overlap the second toe or lead to other foot problems such as calluses, hammertoes, ingrown toenails, or premature arthritis.

Bunions Worsen Over Time

With the advent of the internet, many people choose non-surgical treatments for their bunions, spending hundreds of dollars on bunion splints, orthodics, and special corrective devices only to discover that the bunion continues to worsen and hurt. It is not uncommon for people to wear out several pairs of shoes in their quest for relief and lasting comfort. Over time, as the bunion worsens, patients must choose to continue suffering or seek medical treatment. Bunions affect one out of six people. The tendency to develop bunions is hereditary and women are more often affected than men. Because bunions are a hereditary ailment, they will gradually worsen over time. While there are some successful, non-surgical options available, many bunions will require surgery to correct the joint alignment and provide long lasting pain relief.

Most Advanced Technique to Treat Bunions

Many board certified podiatrists may offer a surgical procedure called a bunionectomy. This is a procedure which will correct a bunion deformity. Using the most advanced technique available, podiatrists can reduce the enlarged joint behind the first toe and straighten the misalignment of bones using a small titanium,-alloy screw, or staple to maintain the correct position. The incision is closed using a plastic surgery technique which allows for a very thin, cosmetically pleasing scar. The outpatient procedure takes approximately one hour and the patient is, in most cases, able to walk in a walking boot within a few days of surgery. Follow-up visits are required to change bandages and monitor results with X-rays.

Don't wait for your bunions to become a painful burden. Consult with your podiatrist today to schedule your bunionectomy. It will transform your feet and relieve pain and discomfort. Educating yourself about the procedure and post op care will help you know what to expect and will help you prepare for your surgery.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Honey Bees Are Dying - Do We Need Them?

Dying off in alarming numbers!

For most of us it would have gone unnoticed; although it is fact since the late 1980 honeybees are dying off in alarming numbers. Unless we hear it on the news or read it somewhere in the newspapers, how would we know? After all it is only a humble little bee of no great interest or importance to most of us, or is it?

Bees are known to bring us honey and are also respected for the sting!

Do you know after a bee stings it will die? Unlike a wasp which is not affected after it fired its torpedo. It most likely flies away with a smirk on its face.

The little bee is not getting reduced in numbers because of its suicidal mission. We are responsible in many other ways for its disappearance.

The first thing that comes to our mind when we see a bee is "honey". Nothing wrong with that! Honey has many good nutritional values and been excepted as healthy food and a natural substitute as sweetener.

It doesn't end there!

Our little bee spreads its wings further than that. It pollinates all our fruit and vegetables.

In all, bees pollinate over 130 different crops all over the globe. Our food supply depends on this humble little worker and also contributes to global food security.

Although, there are many other pollinating insects the bee alone is the biggest contributor of the food we consume. It is hard to imagine how life would be without the multitude of flowers, varied fruits, vegetables, nuts, berries etc.

Bee colonies are disappearing!

Reports have confirmed that bee colonies around the globe are disappearing. It been estimated since 2006 almost one - third of the honey bee colonies have vanished.

The million dollar question here: What is causing this? There is only a short answer to this: "US"!

We contribute to their extinction by working our mechanically clever designed devices representing a terrible biological disaster and destroying what nature has given us.

What is the cause of their extinction?

One of the theories is due to infestation by a mite. The virus carried by the parasite is infesting the bee's habitat.

Other facts are more and more highly toxic insecticides used in the agricultural application as seed treatment in hundreds of crops.

GMO (genetically modified organs) which are highly toxic, get in to soils and ground water were they can stay for a long time, even years.

Some European countries like Germany and Poland have discontinued using GMO in all crops.

This is no longer just a theory that genetic engineering of crops is bad for the environment and the human population, this has become fact.

The use and planting of herbicide-tolerant GM crops is not only affecting many insects including butterflies, it is also killing other plants some insects rely on for habitat and food.

How can we help our honey bees?

We must say NO to the GMOs, its herbicides and chemical roundup that is killing our bees and also affecting our own health just for the benefit of some to make a fast buck.

For the benefit of your own health use lots of honey! This is the only food on our planet that will not rot or spoil. No matter how long you keep it, it might crystallize and go sugary, although the perfect quality still remains.

Scientists of today also accept honey as a very effective medicine for all kinds of diseases. Honey is natural and has no side effects. Constant use of honey strengthens the white blood corpuscles to fight bacterial and viral diseases. Honey also has various vitamins and iron in large amounts. It is found that a mixture of honey and cinnamon cures many diseases.

If taken in the right dosage as a medicine, it does not harm diabetic patients.

If possible get the honey from your local beekeeper. It is better quality and you are supporting your local organic farmers market at the same time.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Your Feet Are Your Foundation - Keep Them Healthy

Most people suffer from foot pain at some point in their lives. Foot problems can be very annoying because you are always on your feet. A simple walk in the park becomes frustrating and painful. Your feet are your foundation- they are the major weight-bearing part of your body. It is important to maintain their health. Because your feet can be affected by many ailments, it is good to be knowledgeable about the different types of foot conditions and their treatments.

Athlete's foot is a fungal infection of the skin that causes flaking, scaling, and itching in the affected areas. This condition is usually contracted in communal areas where people walk barefoot. These include showers and bathhouses. It can also be spread by sharing footwear with an infected person (make sure you think twice before sharing your flip flops!). To avoid this condition, be conscious of your environment and wear flip flops to protect your feet so they are not exposed. If you do contract athlete's foot, you should contact your podiatrist. They will likely provide you with a topical cream to apply to the infected area. The symptoms should begin to subside after several weeks of treatment.

Heel pain is another common foot condition. When you walk long distances, you are putting a large degree of stress on each foot. When you play sports, you put even more stress on your feet. All of this stress can sometimes cause heel pain. Common causes of heel pain are decreased circulation, heel spurs, and insufficient shock absorption. A sore heel can usually get better on its own with the appropriate rest. However, because many people ignore the early warning signs of heel pain, the condition becomes more severe. You should see your podiatrist if you experience heel pain so you can avoid prolonging the condition and potentially causing more lasting, chronic problems. Treatment for heel pain can involve using a heel insert, stretching your Achilles tendon, anti-inflammatory medications to reduce pain and swelling, and simply icing the back of the heel.

Arch pain can result from ligament sprains, direct force trauma, muscle strains, stress fractures, and several other factors. Tenderness and pain on the bottom of the foot are common symptoms of arch pain. When you first begin to notice discomfort in this area, you should rest it and treat yourself with ice, compression, and elevation. Rest and elevation will reduce and potentially prevent any swelling in the area. If the pain and tenderness continues, your podiatrist can provide further treatment.

Your feet are your foundation. Pain in the feet can lead to pain in other areas of the body such as the knees and legs. Maintaining great foot health is a great step towards overall health and wellness. If you experience any of the above problems or any other foot condition, be sure to get the issue handled. Your podiatrist can treat your foot condition and help prevent any unnecessary chronic issues.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Talking to a Foot Surgeon About Bunions

With the help of a foot surgeon, you can get relief from a bunion. This abnormal bump that pushes your big toe up against the others can be painful and frustrating. The joint ends up going in the opposite direction, away from its normal alignment. Instead of solving the problem or providing any relief, this causes even more pain as the joint gets larger and the toes get even more crowded. At some point, it makes sense to consider surgery.


Once a bunion begins, the pain and frustration alone are enough to send you running into the office of the closest foot surgeon. The bulging of the big toe begins to change the shape of one of your feet, making it difficult to find comfortable shoes. Without a shoe on, the toes are crowded; when you try to put any type of shoe on, the crowding is worse and the pain is often unbearable. There are not a lot of place that a person can go without wearing shoes.

The overlapping of the toes often creates corns and callouses that ensure that patients feel pain throughout the foot. Unfortunately, there is not a lot of relief when it comes to the pain and eventually the big toe loses some of its mobility. When that happens a person needs to talk to a foot surgeon as soon as possible to ensure that he or she gets some type of relief.

The Surgical Procedure

A foot surgeon will talk to the patient about the type of anesthetic that will be used. Some patients are okay with just a local anesthetic while others needs to have some type of sedative to make sure that they feel comfortable with the procedure. Once the area is numb, it is time to go in and make adjustments to the big toe. There are multiple ways that the operation can be handled and it is important that both the doctor and patient talk about which procedure will be used and how it will affect the person's feet.

It is possible for the operation to remove the area of the toe that is bulging out. This is called a bunionectomy and it only takes about an hour to have the work completed. Other patients opt for realignment of the ligaments, removal of some of the bone of the toe, or a fusion of the big toe joint. In some cases, if the bunion is severe enough, it may require that an implant be inserted or a completely artificial joint.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Get Rid of Foot Cramps

Foot cramps can be at the least annoying and at the most quite painful. It can be caused due to various factors like foot exertion, improper blood circulation, substance abuse, malnutrition etc. Foot cramps may also be caused when your feet don't get enough oxygen due to poor blood circulation to the feet. The best relief for foot cramps is stretching exercises. Though annoying, they are not a cause for concern by themselves but sometimes may lead to serious problems. So it is a good idea to see a podiatrist if you have severe foot cramps often.

You can lessen the chances of developing foot cramps by wearing right-fitting shoes. Do some simple stretching before you do any kind of exercise program to loosen the muscles. It is very important to loosen the leg muscles before you take a swim as you may get foot cramps in the water. When you have a cramping sensation, place your feet under running water alternating between cool water and warm water. Follow this with a good foot massage for five to ten minutes.

Do you have peripheral vascular disease? 
You may have peripheral vascular disease when there is poor blood circulation to the feet and legs. The walls of the arteries get thickened and this may lead to this foot problem. It could occur due to diabetes. Some of the common symptoms of Peripheral vascular disease are a dull cramping pain in the calf muscle or numbness or tingling in the foot or toes. There may also be changes in the color of the skin.

This problem can be treated though it may take a while and you have to be extra careful with your foot hygiene while it is healing. It is also important to wear right fitting footwear that does not cause too much pressure. If you have any corns or calluses, get it treated immediately because if you don't, the skin may break down and may be difficult to heal later on.

Treating children's foot problems 
Proper foot care and foot treatment should begin in childhood. Some common foot disorders that affect children are flat feet, ingrown toenails and knock knees. Preventive foot treatment is important to your child. Many children walk in an awkward way which is termed pigeon toed, flat footed, or bowlegged. This may not cause pain at present but may get worse and cause pain as they get older. It is important for parents to get these foot disorders treated early. Curved feet and tendon contractures are other childhood foot problems. A podiatric doctor will be able to diagnose the problem and treat the child.

Some complaints from children could be because of what is called growing pains. The bones grow faster than tissues, tendons and ligaments and so may take several months to catch up to the length of the bones. This causes pain but it will pass. But do not ignore any complaint of pain from your child.

Treat your tendonitis 
The tendon is found at the end of the muscle and attaches the muscle to the bone. Athletes overwork their tendons during rigorous practice and this may stress the area and cause tendonitis. Tendonitis is usually found in the foot as we use it the most and this is true for every one of us, not just athletes. The muscle gets tired and weakens, which may cause pain and swelling. Podiatrists or foot doctors may ask you to wear a support to restrict movement and help it heal. Your podiatrist may also want you to take an ultrasound to check the damage. If the pain persists, an MRI Scan may need to be taken in case there is a tear in the tendon or a rupture where the tendon meets the bone.

Athletes need to see a good foot doctor who understands sports injuries and can help, as severe tendonitis can hamper their sports career. They should go back for follow up visits after they are better, especially when they get back to their normal training and participation in competitions. Sometimes corrective surgery may be needed to realign the tendon.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Dry Foot Treatments

Dealing with dry feet can be painful and irritating. When your feet don't get enough moisture it causes the skin to dry and this can lead to cracked heels, dry skin patches, calluses and other uncomfortable conditions. If not treated properly dry feet can worsen and the cracks in the skin can deepen and pose a risk for infection from bacteria. In addition to being unhealthy, dry feet are also unsightly and women who suffer from dry feet are reluctant to wear flip flops and strappy shoes out of embarrassment. If you are concerned about the dryness of the skin on your feet consider some easy tips for keeping feet properly moisturized to reduce the chances of cracked heels and calluses.

A lack of moisture can be due to dehydration. One way to combat dry feet and cracked heels is to drink plenty of water so your body stays well hydrated. However, moisturizing skin doesn't mean soaking in water. In fact, the more you expose your feet to warm or hot water in a bath tub or shower the more likely you are to dry the skin. Try to keep your bath and shower time to a minimum and avoid water that is too hot. If you do want to soak your feet use warm water and add honey or baby oil to it for a soothing remedy that can help heal cracked skin.

You should moisturize your feet at least twice day with a hypoallergenic lotion. Gently rub the lotion over your feet and make sure you apply a liberal amount to dry patch areas and cracks. You can also use petroleum jelly and lotions that contain vitamin E, shea butter and aloe to help soothe the irritation caused by dry, cracked skin. In addition to moisturizing your feet daily you also need to keep the soles clean. Dirt and bacteria will worsen any dry skin condition and the more you cleanse your feet the better since the skin will be healthier and smoother making it more comfortable to walk.

Exfoliating your feet is also recommended for healing dry skin and cracked heels. By removing dead skin cells you revitalize the feet and rejuvenate the skin by revealing new skin layers. All parts of the body shed dead skin but people often overlook the feet and this can lead to an accumulation of dead skin that will only worsen conditions of dry feet and cracked heels. By taking careful steps to cleanse, exfoliate and moisturize the skin on your feet you can alleviate dry skin.