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Posts for: January, 2018

By Crofton Podiatry
January 24, 2018
Category: Fungal toenails

Onychomycosis, more commonly known as fungal toenails, is a contagious fungal infection. This means that you can get the tinea fungus, which causes your toenails to become discolored, thickened, and brittle, from someone else who was infected. Tinea and other fungal strains can infect you through breaks in the skin, such as cuts or scrapes, which means that going barefoot makes you more prone to becoming infected.

But you didn’t notice that someone else had it, so how could you have gotten it?

There are a few ways you may have become infected, including:

  • Going barefoot in communal showers and locker rooms – Tinea thrives in warm, moist environments, so if someone who had fungal toenails or Athlete’s foot (also caused by tinea) was barefoot in the same places, your feet could have picked up the fungus. This also goes for communal pools or saunas where you walk barefoot in warm, moist areas.
  • Sharing a foot towel with someone who has foot or toenail fungus increases your chance of being infected.
  • Borrowing shoes or socks from someone who is infected.
  • Getting a pedicure at a salon where they did not properly disinfect the tools or sharing nail clippers or nail files with someone who has it.

Here are some Prevention Tips:

  • Stay healthy – Those with weakened immune systems are more likely to be affected by foot and toenail fungus once it enters the skin.
  • Treat cuts or wounds promptly – This is their primary form of entry, so it’s best to pay attention to the area around your toes, especially if you have ingrown toenails.
  • Use flip-flops or shower sandals – After a workout, showering at the gym can be convenient, but be sure not to go barefoot!
  • Change your socks once or twice a day – This is important especially if you sweat a lot due to conditions like hyperhidrosis. Fungi can flourish in your warm, damp shoes.
  • Allow shoes to fully dry before you wear them again – Fungus can survive in shoes for a while if they remain damp. Rotate the shoes you wear each day or get two pairs if you have a favorite work shoe.

For home treatment, you can try topical antifungal medications applied directly to the nails and skin around it. File down thick nails to allow for better penetration. For stubborn fungal nails, you may have to come into our office for stronger treatments including topical, oral, or laser therapies. Schedule an appointment at Crofton Podiatry for the right treatment by contacting us online or calling our Crofton, MD office at (410) 721-4505. You can consult with our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brad Toll, and our dedicated team. We serve the surrounding areas of Gambrills, Odenton, and Bowie, MD and are ready to assist you.

 


By Crofton Podiatry
January 16, 2018
Category: Footwear

What does a nurse, line cook, hairdresser, and a member of the Queen’s Guard at Buckingham Palace all have in common? The answer: they stand for the majority (if not all) of their time at work. While standing still or simply walking around doesn’t seem too difficult, it’s more challenging than you think. It’s especially tough on the feet and ankles, as they do not get enough rest to recover throughout the day.

People who stand all day at work tend to have more issues with their legs, feet, and back, especially if they do not maintain a good posture all day (and let’s be honest, who is able to maintain proper posture the WHOLE time – with the exception of the Queen’s guard?). The surfaces are usually hard, so unless you have supportive, cushioned shoes, as well as a cushioned standing mat, your body can feel much more fatigued than the average office desk employee.

So what kind of shoes can help you if you have to stand all day? Consider the following footwear factors when buying your work shoes:

  • Cushion – Look for shoes with more cushion on the insoles than regular shoes. If you have to, add orthotic inserts to give you even more cushioning.
  • Fit – Shoes should fit well. They shouldn’t be too small, narrow, or tight as that can cause problems like hammertoes, bunions, or corns. They shouldn’t be too big either, as your feet will have to strain to stabilize you, causing overuse problems like plantar fasciitis.
  • Support – If you have flat feet or fallen arches, you’ll want to make sure you have good arch support. Otherwise, you may be standing or walking in an overpronated position all day, straining other parts of the feet like your Achilles tendon (causing Achilles tendonitis).
  • Material/Protection – Depending on your worksite, try to choose shoes that are breathable so that they do not get overheated and sweaty, which could lead to foot odor and fungal or bacterial growth. However, if you will be at risk of injury from heavy or sharp falling objects, adhere to the work site’s dress code for shoes and add orthotic inserts as needed. You may also want to change your socks mid-shift if you tend to sweat a lot (like with hyperhidrosis). 

Take breaks when you can, and try to elevate your feet if you are prone to swelling. When you get home, take a warm foot soak and get a foot massage to find relief and rejuvenate your feet for the next workday!

Do you have overuse injuries or pain from your work shoes? Consult with our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brad Toll at Crofton Podiatry to get an assessment for the right treatment. Make an appointment at our office in Crofton, MD by calling (410) 721-4505. Our office also serves the surrounding areas of Gambrills, Odenton, and Bowie, MD.


By Crofton Podiatry
January 10, 2018
Category: Heel Pain

When it comes to foot problems, the balls of the feet and the heels tend to incur many of the most common issues. The heels in particular are prone to pain from heel spurs and discomfort from the surrounding soft tissues (Achilles tendon, plantar fascia). It’s important to pay attention to these problems so that they don’t lead to chronic issues or get worse.

And speaking of problems that can get worse, don’t forget about the skin that covers the heels. The skin is subject to a lot of wear and tear and can incur damage and irritation as well. The following are heel skin problems and what might cause them:

  • Blisters: Those who wear high heels may be all too familiar with blisters that form on the back of their heels. Actually, many shoes with closed heel cups that do not have padding can cause painful blisters. And don’t forget about shoes with thin straps in the back – they can cause blisters, but also dig into the skin if they are too tight.
  • Heel callus: When the heel endures friction or irritation, the skin around the area can thicken and harden. Ill-fitting shoes, repetitive motions, or standing for a long period of time can put extra pressure on the bottom of the heels, leading to thickened skin. However, the thicker it gets, the drier and more uncomfortable it can become. Those with diabetes with peripheral neuropathy are prone to developing calluses, as they lose sensation in their feet and do not make adjustments to reduce friction on their heels.
  • Heel fissures (dry, cracked heels): Friction and continuous rubbing of the skin around the heels can also cause heel fissures. This is common when wearing open-backed shoes, such as sandals, which can leave the skin on the feet to become dry. When the heels are dry and friction is present, the skin can crack and bleed. This uncomfortable and painful condition should be treated promptly to prevent worse symptoms, like ulcers. Those with skin disorders like psoriasis or eczema should be more attentive to the skin on their feet as they are more likely to have problems with dry, cracked heels that take a long time to heal.

The cold, dry winter air can make heel skin problems worse. Moisturize your feet nightly with foot creams to relieve discomfort and nourish the skin. Additionally, use padding and orthotic inserts to relieve pressure on the parts of the heels that may be affected. Orthotics can help keep the feet in place, reducing the friction that is caused when your feet slide around in the back of the shoe. 

Having recurring skin problems on your heels this winter? Consult with our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brad Toll at Crofton Podiatry to get the right treatment. Make an appointment at our Crofton, MD by calling (410) 721-4505. Our team is ready to assist you at our office, which also serves the surrounding Gambrills, Odenton, and Bowie areas.


By Crofton Podiatry
January 03, 2018
Category: sports injuries
Tags: swelling   fractures   stretch   injuries   frostbite   sprain   black toenails  

It’s peak skiing and snowboarding season! If you haven’t already, you’re probably dusting off your gear and making sure that everything still works and fits correctly. And please, don’t forget this step! Many folks suffer from injuries each year while skiing or snowboarding due to improper use of equipment, ill-fitting boots, and not using safety gear.

Consider the following safety guidelines to keep you and your family safe while skiing or snowboarding:

Dress Warmly

  • Always wear layers and cover as much skin as possible. Gloves, socks, and a hat will keep you warm, especially when it is really cold and snowy. Bring extra socks to change into in case they get wet or sweaty.
  • It’s best if things can be waterproof so that you don’t risk getting your hands or feet wet, and then having them come into contact with snow or ice. That could lead to frostbite!

Use Protective Gear

  • Make sure you know how to use each piece of equipment properly. If you don’t know how the bootstraps tighten or loosen, or how to get out of skis once you are clipped in, ask a more experienced skier.
  • Use helmets, even if you’re a professional. You just never know what kind of accident might lead to hitting your head on ice, rocks or poles.
  • If you’re a beginner (especially in snowboarding), you may want to get knee, butt, and/or wrist pads for slips and falls to protect from injury and even fractures.

Prepare Your Feet

  • If you have to, try on multiple sizes of skiing or snowboarding boots to make sure they fit properly. While they must be snug, they should not cut off circulation to your feet and toes (which could lead to irritation on the skin, swelling, and bruises). If they are too loose, your feet and ankles will have to strain to give you the proper control over your skis or snowboard (and you can twist or sprain your ankle).
  • Make sure your toenails are trimmed so that they do not experience excessive pressure from the boots, which could lead to painful black toenails.
  • Stretch your toes, feet, and ankles before your skiing or snowboarding session to reduce risk of injury and warm them up before putting them to use.

Have you had an injury while participating in a winter sport? Consult with our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brad Toll at Crofton Podiatry to get the right treatment for your injury. Make an appointment by calling (410) 721-4505. Our team is prepared for quality assistance at our Crofton, MD office, which also serves the surrounding Gambrills, Odenton, and Bowie areas.

 





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2411 Crofton Lane, Suite 25
Crofton, MD 21114

Podiatrist - Crofton, Crofton Podiatry, 2411 Crofton Lane, Suite 25, Crofton MD, 21114 (410) 721-4505