Don’t Ignore Toenail Fungus – It’s Contagious!

The condition known as toenail fungus is considered to be contagious. The fungus that causes this infection typically thrives in moist, warm environments. Today, Dr. Hubert Lee of CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists is sharing information regarding this common – but potentially dangerous – condition.

The places where the fungal bacteria thrive include locker rooms, shower room floors, and adjacent areas. With proper footwear, the probability of contracting toenail fungus may be decreased.

This infection can also develop if a patient’s toenails are wet for extended periods of time, sometimes due to wearing sweaty shoes for successive days. Signs of toenail fungus may include the nail thickening, and the color changing to a green, brown, or yellow.

Studies have revealed that when early treatment is initiated, damage to the nail may be reduced. If you think you might have a case of toenail fungus, it’s important that you consult with a podiatrist who can advise you regarding proper treatment options. When left untreated, toenail fungus can spread to skin, fingernails, or other toenails.

Symptoms of Toenail Fungus:

  • Oddly-shaped or warped nails;
  • Yellowish color on nails;
  • Separated/loose nail;
  • Buildup nail fragments lodged under the nail;
  • Broken, brittle or thickened nail.

Treatment for Toenail Fungus

If self-care tactics and over-the-counter medications do not improve your fungus, your podiatrist may opt for prescription medication. Even if you find relief from your symptoms, you can still have a repeat infection down the road.

Prevention of Toenail Fungus

In order to avoid getting toenail fungus in the future, always make sure to wash your feet with soap and water then dry them thoroughly, especially between the toes.

When cutting your toenails, trim them straight across instead of in a rounded shape. It is important that you don’t attempt to cover up discolored nails with polish because it will prevent your nail from being able to breathe.

In some instances, a surgical procedure may be needed to remove the toenail fungus. You’ll need to consult with your podiatrist regarding the best treatment options for your situation.

Because it is considered to be contagious, if you suspect you have toenail fungus, seek treatment immediately. Contact the office of Dr. Hubert Lee at CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists at (425) 455-0936 to book an appointment or schedule an appointment online so we can discuss your treatment options.

Nervous About Your Neuromas?

If you’re experiencing foot pain, you may be wondering what could be causing it. Many conditions affect the feet, and one such condition is known as a neuroma. Today, Dr. Hubert Lee of CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists is sharing information to relieve your anxiety.

A neuroma is a disorder of the nerves that can result in a great deal of pain. Sometimes referred to as a pinched nerve, it is actually a nerve growth or tumor many of which are benign (noncancerous).

What Are the Symptoms of a Neuroma?

The most common symptom of a neuroma is foot pain that is usually felt at the location of the neuroma, which is most often between the toes. These tumors can also cause tingling in the ball of the foot, a burning feeling, or even numbness in the foot.

Walking is often particularly painful for people who are suffering from a neuroma. At the first onset of pain, the person often assumes that they have a pebble in their shoe, as the growth can cause inflammation in the foot.

What Causes a Neuroma?

There is no one identified cause of a neuroma; however, there are some possible ones to consider. For instance, trauma to the nerve in the foot can cause inflammation and irregularities in the anatomy of the foot – such as flat feet or extra bones – can also cause a neuroma. They can also be the result of stress injuries from high-impact activities, many hours on your feet at work, or wearing poorly-fitting footwear.

Can a Neuroma Be Treated at Home?

If you suspect that you are suffering from a neuroma, you can try certain therapies at home to lessen your discomfort. Ice massages may reduce pain and swelling in the foot. Rub or massage ice on the ball of the foot and in between the toes for immediate relief.

Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicines can also diminish your discomfort. Orthotics can redistribute the pressure on your foot when you are walking or standing to put less pressure on the neuroma and reduce irritation and pain.

What Medical Treatments Are Available?

In addition to home remedies, a number of medical treatments can also help relieve the discomfort from a neuroma. For example, corticosteroid shots are used to decrease inflammation in the affected area and reduce pain.

There are two surgical procedures that can also provide relief from a neuroma. With the decompression technique, your podiatrist will take out the ligament that is applying pressure to the affected nerve. Another option is to remove the nerve entirely, but doctors typically leave this as a last resort because it can result in numbness that is permanent.

Now that you know these facts about neuromas, it’s time you receive the care you need to finally eliminate your foot pain. Call the office of Dr. Hubert Lee of CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists today at (425) 455-0936 to schedule a consultation so we can work together to relieve your pain and your anxiety!

Is Your Child Experiencing Any of These Common Foot Conditions?

Similar to adults, children can suffer an assortment of problems with their feet and ankles. Many of these problems, such as flat feet, are hereditary, while problems such as heel pain are usually caused by an injury.  Today Dr. Hubert Lee of CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists is sharing information regarding the three most common childhood foot ailments.

Because your child’s tendons and bones grow so rapidly, many symptoms related to foot and ankle problems can go undetected. For this reason, it is important that parents are attentive to even the most subtle symptoms. Comprehensive, routine exams of your child’s feet by a podiatrist may reveal a condition or defect and help minimalize problems later in life.

The Most Common Childhood Foot Problems

Children can face a variety of foot issues, many of which disappear as the child’s feet develop. Following are some of the most common problems:

Plantar Warts: These are common particularly during warmer months when children are more likely to be barefoot. Developing on the bottom of the feet, they are caused by a virus, most often in public areas such as locker rooms or pools.  They can be quite uncomfortable because it feels like they are walking on a small pebble or stone; however, it is also treatable and highly avoidable.

Ankle Sprains: These are quite common with active children, especially those who take part in sports. Ankle sprains occur when the ligaments that support the ankle are torn or stretched. With proper treatment, mild sprains can be healed, but severe tearing may require more extensive care. As a rule, rest, ice, compress and elevate (RICE) the child’s ankle immediately.

Ingrown Toenails: These occur when one or both side areas of the toenail start to break through and grow into the soft skin of the toe, leading to infection and painful irritation. Common causes include poorly-fitting footwear, injuries to the toe or improper nail trimming. If identified promptly, a child’s ingrown toenail can be treated with home remedies, but if the pain continues or worsens, treatment by a podiatrist will be needed to remove the infection.

If you notice that your child is constantly rubbing their feet, tripping often, limping or constantly complaining of foot pain, call the office of Dr. Hubert Lee of CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists at (425) 455-0936 today to schedule a consultation. Early attention and treatment are important when identifying many issues.