Get Answers to Your Questions About Foot and Ankle Problems From Our Plano Podiatrist
When you’re living with heel or foot pain, you don’t want to wait for answers. Get help fast by looking through this list of frequently asked questions with answers from our Plano podiatrist.
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Can I Still Run with A Black Toenail?
Many runners are familiar with black toenails. While they can look alarming, most often they are not too painful and resolve on their own. It is usually okay to run with a black toenail, as long as you are wearing proper fitting shoes with adequate room in the toe box and thin, moisture-wicking socks.
This injury (also called subungual hematoma) develops from repetitive trauma or pressure on the toenail from rubbing against tight socks or bumping the front of your shoe. The capillaries and blood vessels under the nail break and blood pools under the nail, causing the discoloration. The old nail will most likely fall off over time and a new, healthy nail will grow back in.
There are times though, when the build up of fluid under the nail causes intense pressure and pain. Then we would encourage you to take a break from running and come in so Dr. Gene Reister can safely drain the fluid, relieve the pressure, treat the toenail to ward off infection, and help prevent it from reoccurring.
If you have a painful toenail or discoloration that is getting worse, it could be an infection that needs treatment. Contact Richardson Podiatry Associates in Richardson, TX at (972) 690-5374 for an appointment today.
Why are my Toenails Discolored?
We don’t often give much thought to our toes, but if you see toenail discoloration, this is a symptom that warrants your attention. There are several reasons for discolored nails. Most commonly, signs of white, yellow, or green often indicate a fungal infection. Yellow toenails however, can also be indicative of diabetes, a weakened immune system, yellow nail syndrome, and chronic leg swelling (lymphedema). Changes in color can be symptomatic of liver, kidney, heart, or lung conditions, while red or black nails often happen as a result of trauma—the color due to blood pooling under the nail.
In any case, it is wise to make an appointment with Richardson Podiatry Associates to diagnose what is causing the discoloration of your toenails. Some problems will get progressively worse without treatment, or you could have a serious underlying condition that needs to be addressed. Contact Dr. Gene Reister at our office in Richardson, TX by calling (972) 690-5374 today.
How Do I Care for my Ingrown Toenail from Home?
Care for an ingrown toenail at home is easy. Before you start, make sure you have a towel, cotton ball, bandage, and an antiseptic ointment ready.
Soak your feet in warm water first. Add Epsom salts or an antibacterial soap if desired. Stay in the bath for 15 to 20 minutes to completely immerse and soften the ingrown toenail. Loosen up the area by massaging your toe underwater. Towel off once you’re done.
While your foot is still soft, gently lift up the corner of the ingrown toenail and try to put a small amount of cotton underneath to separate the nail from the skin. If the area is infected, apply an antiseptic medication. Then, wrap a bandage around it. Don’t try to clip the infected nail yet, because you could make the problem worse.
If your toenail is emitting discharge and isn’t getting better, contact Dr. Gene Reister from Richardson Podiatry Center by calling (972) 690-5374 or by filling out an appointment request online.
Does Running Make Ingrown Toenails Worse?
If your athletic shoes are too tight, running could make ingrown toenails worse. In fact, your footgear may have been what started your issues in the first place. The problem is caused when extra pressure squishes your toes together. If you don’t trim your toenails straight across, they might poke into the soft skin around it and make it red and inflamed. When you run, your nail could pierce the soft skin and aggravate the area, opening it up to infection.
To prevent this, make sure you have enough room in the front of your shoes. Make sure they are laced properly to keep your foot from sliding forward in the shoe, too. If you already have the condition, try soaking your feet in warm water and putting a piece of cotton ball underneath the affected nail. If the problem persists, call the Richardson Podiatry Center at (972) 690-5374 to have Dr. Gene Reister take care of your infection.
How Do I Prevent Heel Fissures?
Moisture is a heel fissure’s worst enemy. Prevent heel fissures by hydrating yourself in every way possible! Drinking water will bolster healing from the inside out, covering every nook and cranny of your skin. For your room, make sure you install a humidifier to permeate the air with moisture.
Now, let’s talk feet. When you’re in the shower, exfoliate those dead skin cells with pumice stone. Since your skin absorbs moisture better when it’s moist, put some lotion on your feet right when you get out.
Use a very thick lotion, body butter, or salve on your feet before bed. To seal in the moisture, slip on socks before you hop under the covers. This will provide an intensive overnight recovery session to get rid of any little cracks in your skin. If your dry skin has progressed to a large crack in your heel, make an appointment with Richardson Podiatry Associates in Texas by calling (972) 690-5374.
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What are my Treatment Options for Plantar Fasciitis?
If you treat heel pain the minute you start to notice it, you could save yourself a lot of time and almost guarantee a speedy recovery. The initial treatment options for plantar fasciitis are to limit or stop the activities causing your heel pain. Rest the affected area and avoid walking long distances or running on hard surfaces like concrete. You might want to consider taking an oral anti-inflammatory medication to further reduce your inflammation and pain. Icing your foot for five to 10 minutes at a time will also help reduce redness and swelling in the area.
Keeping your ligaments flexible can strengthen the damaged tissue. Warm up the heel with some stretches several times a day. To keep the pain away, wear shoes with good arch support and enough cushion for your heels. If you need orthotics, Dr. Gene Reister can design some custom supports for your shoes. Call our office in Richardson, TX, at (972) 690-5374 to make an appointment. The Richardson Podiatry Center has everything you need for non-surgical treatment of heel pain.
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Why is my Heel Pain Bad in the Morning?
Is your heel pain bad in the morning and then gets better after you walk around? This is the trademark symptom of plantar fasciitis. This condition occurs with damage to the plantar fascia, which runs along the arch, connecting the heel to other bones in the foot. The tissue becomes inflamed and thickens, which causes pain. When you’ve been resting for a long period of time, the tissue swells and gets tight. The pain you feel in the morning is the pressure of your foot stretching out that swollen area.
Rest is a big factor in your recovery. Avoid walking or standing for long periods of time and try icing the area for five to 10 minutes. We may recommend an anti-inflammatory medication to relieve immediate pain. You should stretch while you rest your heel, because this keeps your tissues warmed up, increases your flexibility, and heads off pain.
When you need more than just home treatment, call the Richardson Podiatry Center at (972) 690-5374. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to keep up-to-date on everything feet!
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Will Exercise Affect my Diabetes?
Exercise is beneficial for anyone wanting to stay in good health, but when it comes to exercise and diabetes, it needs to be an even more important part of your lifestyle. Exercise will affect your diabetes in a lot of good ways. First, aerobic and strength training can improve the way your body functions and can actually improve your ability to handle and control your blood sugar levels. It helps with circulation and increases your muscle strength, too. As you become more physically conditioned, your sensitivity to insulin also increases, not just during exercise, but long-term.
It is important to monitor your blood sugar levels before, during, and after exercise so you can learn how your body reacts and address any problems along the way. It is also important to choose activities that are safe and do not put your lower extremities at risk for injury, especially if you have neuropathy and reduced circulation.
If you have further questions about the effects of exercise and diabetes, or need any treatment for a diabetic foot problem, don’t wait to contact Dr. Gene Reister at Richardson Podiatry Associates. Call our office in Richardson, TX at (972) 690-5374.
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Is Wearing Shoes Necessary with Diabetes?
There are two very common and serious complications that can affect a person with diabetes: nerve damage and poor circulation. Also called neuropathy and peripheral arterial disease, these two conditions require wearing shoes so your feet will always be protected.
Nerve damage inhibits your ability to feel heat, pain and cold. This means that if you are barefoot, you are at risk for stepping on a sharp object or sustaining a cut, scrape or burn without knowing it. Poor circulation can then slow down the healing process, and a small problem could turn into a serious infection or worse. The sidewalk to your mailbox, the grass in your backyard, and even the carpet in your own house can pose a danger to bare feet. Kick your shoes off while relaxing on the couch, but if you are going to walk anywhere, protect your feet in a supportive pair of shoes.
If you have concerns about your foot health or require diabetic foot care, Richardson Podiatry Associates can help. Make an appointment with Dr. Gene Reister by calling our office in Richardson, TX at (972) 690-5374 today.
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Why Do Diabetics Ulcers Heal so Slowly?
Diabetes is a condition that requires diligent effort to keep blood glucose levels under control. When this fails to happen, your health can suffer. Two common conditions associated with the disease are neuropathy and poor circulation. It is the combination of these two factors that can make diabetic ulcers heal slowly, yet progress quickly.
Neuropathy, or nerve damage, can make it difficult for you to feel pain on the bottom of your foot, so you are at risk for continuing to walk on an open sore. This can cause a minor cut or scrape to turn into a non-healing ulcer, or an existing ulcer to worsen. In addition, when sugar levels remain high, blood vessels can become damaged and narrow, resulting in poor circulation. This means that important oxygen and nutrients do not get to a wound quickly, slowing the healing process.
If you have a wound in need of treatment, seek help immediately. The consequences could be serious and involve possible amputation. Contact Dr. Gene Reister at Richardson Podiatry Associates for expert diabetic foot care. Call our office in Richardson, TX at (972) 690-5374.
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