Dr. Berg's Foot Facts

Posts for tag: fungal nails

By Dr. Rion Berg
November 09, 2016
Category: foot care

When you have constant pain in your feet you don't think twice about making an appointment with a podiatrist. You want to get rid of it as soon as possible so you can get back to donig what you love.

But sometimes you can develop a foot condition that may be painful on and off or it comes with other symptoms. In these situations you might decide to put off a doctor's visit, especially if you're really busy or you think, what's the big deal.

Here's what to do if you have the following symptoms.

Rough and dried out heels

Most often dried out heels occur in people as they age or have a condition like diabetes. In the summer dry heels can occur in anyone who wears sandals or walks around barefoot. Dry heels can be unsightly but they can also be dangerous. People with diabetes often have reduced sensation in their feet. This condition, called diabetic neuropathy, makes it more likely for feet to becoming cracked and develop ulcers.

What to do:

  • It's very important that people with diabetes keep their feet moisturized to avoid cracking and ulcer development.

  • There are several moisturizers on the market to keep your feet soft. Our office recommends Amerigel, a lotion created just for this purpose.

Foot cramps

Foot cramps can certainly be painful but most of us just assume that they're normal and don't need to worry about them. Although this is true if it happens occasionally, there are several reasons to check out these symptoms if they become more frequent. Pregnant women can experience them later in their pregnancy due to decreased circulation of the feet. For others in can mean a deficiency in certain minerals such as magnesium, calcium, or potassium.

What to do:

  • Massage them

  • Tell your doctor you're concerned about their frequency.

Smelly feet

Both men and women can experience excessively, smelly feet but men are more prone to a condition called hyperhidrosis. For the rest of us stress, some medications, fluid intake and hormonal changes can increase the amount of sweat our body produces. Take the following steps to both prevent and treat odiferous feet.

What to do:

  • Wash your feet with an anti-bacterial soap

  • Use a deodorizer on your clean feet such as Gordon's No. Five Spray Foot Powder or Pedilux 4.

  • Wear socks that wick away moisture from your feet

  • If you run, be sure to change your shoes on a daily basis to let them dry out

To kill the odor in your shoes use an Ultraviolet Shoe Sanitizer like Shoe Zap.

Cold Toes

A fairly common condition that turns your toes red, white and blue is one brought on by cold weather called Primary Raynaud's disease. It's not entirely clear why some people have narrowing of the blood vessels (vasospasm) in their toes in the colder months. Once the blood returns to the toes after a vasospasm, you can experience throbbing, tingling, or numbness in the toes. Although there is no treatment for this condition, it does not indicate an underlying health problem.  

Raynauds's Phenomenon is a different condition that can be brought on by an underlying immune disorder, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, certain medications, and smoking.

For help with this second condition:

  • Stop smoking

  • Talk to your physician about the symptoms your experiencing,

  • Get help managing your diabetes, cholesterol, and high blood pressure.

Fungal nails and athlete's foot

Fungus loves dark and damp places and so it tends to live around and in between your toes (athlete's foot) and under and on top of your toenails (onychomycosis). Athlete's foot can be treated topically by non-prescription anti-fungal treatment you can purchase over the counter.

Onychomycosis, the fungus that causes fungal nails, is a difference story altogether. Like the fungus that causes athlete's foot it thrives in the same kind of environment

What to do to prevent it:

  • Wear socks that wick away moisture

  • Change shoes on a daily basis to let them dry out in between

  • Avoid going barefoot in locker room and pools

Treating toenail fungus once you have it is a whole other issue. Toenail fungus is very hard to get rid of once you have it and the treatments methods are imperfect. The best thing to do is to see a Seattle podiatrist that specializes in treating fungus and get your nails tested to ensure you have fungus.  

Call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment, often same day. You can also request an appointment online.

Get our free foot book "No More Foot Pain", mailed directly to your home.

Seattle foot and ankle specialist, Dr. Rion Berg offers foot care for patients with bunions, heel pain, diabetes, fungal toenails, ingrown nails, and surgical solutions when needed to residents of Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood and other surrounding suburbs.

Follow Dr. Berg on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+

Recently I wrote a blog about How to Convince Your Husband to Get His Fungal Toenails Treated. Whether his toenails are fungal or just plain awful, now there's another secret weapon to compel him to do take some action.

Shaq! Would you believe that this former NBA superstar, had such gnarly nails that he decided to have a pedicure. Apparently there's a trend out there for basketball players to show off their feet. Maybe Shaq was afraid someone would ask him to bare his, so he decided to do something about it.

As a Seattle podiatrist I can tell you that I've seen plenty of nails and feet that look pretty bad and often it's because that person is a runner or athlete.

Athletes can get blackened, ingrown, infected or distorted nails from the constant repetitive pressure exerted on their toes. Some just plain lose their nails. Fortunately, there are several things that can be done to help out with this ugly and painful situation.

In addition to the Shaq reference, here's my advice to the athlete in your life:

  • Cut toenails straight across, and don’t cut them too short. If you can get your fingernail under the sides and end of nail, you know you've done it right.  

  • Prevent athlete's foot, toenail fungus, and other infections by keeping your feet and shoes dry by doing the following 3 things. 1) buy socks containing Coolmax fibers or other synthetic blends designed to wick away moisture, 2) rotate running shoes or other athletic shoes so they get a chance to dry out, and 3) kill the bacteria and fungus in your shoes by purchasing a SteriShoe+ Ultraviolet Shoe Sanitizer.

  • Purchase a running or athletic shoe that has enough room in the toe box. If your nails are repeated hitting the top of your shoe, it's going to affect your nails. Go to a reputable shoe store and get your feet measured before buying.

Call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment, often same day. You can also request an appointment online.

Get our free foot book "Happy Feet for the Rest of Your Life" , mailed directly to your home.

Seattle foot and ankle specialist, Dr. Rion Berg offers foot care for patients with bunions, heel pain, diabetes, fungal toenails, ingrown nails, and surgical solutions when needed to residents of Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood and other surrounding suburbs.

Follow Dr. Berg on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+

 

By Dr. Rion Berg
June 26, 2015
Category: Fungus toenails
Tags: fungal nails  

young couple hikingAnother gorgeous weekend in Seattle and you're looking forward to hiking and camping with your husband and baby daughter. You've got the sunscreen, hats for you and baby, baby backpack, food, and water bottles all ready to go and the 10 essentials.

You're glad to get away from the stress of daily life. Although you're young and healthy, there's just one problem.

Toenail fungus.

You hate that word and feel embarrassed by it. You've seen information about getting treatment, but you're satisfied right now to save your money for a house and just cover them up with toenail polish.

But I can tell you as a Seattle podiatrist with 30 years of experience, if you're a young mother avoiding toenail fungus treatment it's a bad idea. Why?

It Becomes Harder to Treat

Although you'd like to put it off, toenail fungus becomes harder to treat the longer you wait. Some patients with long term nail fungus, never get rid of it. The nail gets thickened and distorted and the treatments today are not very effective for advanced cases. The younger and healthier people are the more likely toenail fungus will be a thing of the past once it's treated.

Fungus Can Spread to Family Members

One of the most important things you worry about is the health of your family. And toenail fungus can spread. Although you may be willing to wait to get your toenail fungus treated, the last thing you want is for your husband or heaven forbid your baby to get it. And the worst news is that your baby could be at greater risk than your husband due to a genetic link for acquiring this disease.

It's Painful

Toenail fungus isn't just ugly, it can also be painful. Maybe not now or five years from now, but the longer you let it go the greater the chance the fungus will cause pain. And who wants to live with that.

Do yourself a favor. If you're a young mother with what looks like toenail fungus, come in for a free consultation--it's possible that you may not have it at all and your worries are over. But if you do, we'll tell you about all the options available so at least you can make an informed decision.

Call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment, often same day. You can also request an appointment online.

Get our free foot book "Happy Feet for the Rest of Your Life" , mailed directly to your home.

Seattle foot and ankle specialist, Dr. Rion Berg offers foot care for patients with bunions, heel pain, diabetes, fungal toenails, ingrown nails, and surgical solutions when needed to residents of Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood and other surrounding suburbs.

Follow Dr. Berg on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+

Photo credit: Flickr

Last week you learned all about how well Steven Haushcka takes care of his nails. But did you know that football players, especially kickers that wear their shoes super tight are more at risk for developing toenail fungus? Who else is at risk? Any 12th man participating in sports such as soccer or running, swims or works out and doesn’t wear flip flops in the pool, shower or locker room, or goes to nails salons where equipment isn’t cleaned properly.

Some of you may never know exactly what caused your toenails to look thick and ugly, but luckily there is something you can do about it.

1. First, find out if you really do have fungal nails. Podiatrists with experience in treating toenail fungus can do this through visual inspection or have your nails tested to ensure they are fungal. Not all thick, ugly nails are fungal nails but can be the result of trauma.

2. Avoid using all the gimmicky topicals you read about online. Vicks Vaporub and Listerine will not cure your fungus.

3. Make sure your Seattle podiatrist is giving you alternatives to treating your fungal nails. Many diabetics in our practice have very thick, fungal nails that don’t respond well to typical treatments such as laser. Medical based urea gels can be used to soften and debride nails to look better. Oral medications may also be indicated for your particular situation.

4. Find out if the podiatrist you choose is providing an aftercare program if he or she does laser treatment on your nails.

Final words to our beloved 12th man about fungal nails.

  • Don’t wait to get treated. Mild cases are much easier to treat than fungal nails that are years in the making.

  • Wear socks that wick away moisture from your feet. Cotton socks are usually the best. Fungus loves to grow in warm, damp, dark places.

  • Do you tend to sweat a lot? We recommend the SteriShoe+ Ultraviolet Shoe Sanitizer designed to kill 99% of all fungus and bacteria in your shoes. This will help prevent fungal nails as well and also treat shoes if you do have fungus.

After we win the Super Bowl on Sunday, don’t wait to get your ugly nails checked out. Call the Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City at 206-368-7000 or request an appointment online.

By Dr. Rion Berg
April 22, 2014
Category: Fungus toenails

As summer approaches we start to see many people who want to get rid of their ugly, toenail fungus. Some people are quite informed about the importance of eliminating fungal nails and about its treatments, but there are still many myths floating around in social circles and the blogosphere that I’d like to put to rest.

Myth #1 Home Remedies Will Cure It

I thought I’ve heard everything about the types of home remedies that people use to cure toenail fungus; then the other day someone came into my office who said they heard that you can use duct tape to get rid of your fungal nails. We had a good laugh about that one. However there are people who still think that Vicks VapoRub, bleach, and soaking their toes in Pinesol have merit. Even my colleagues who are naturopaths and use alternative medications such as Teatree oil have admitted that this treatment is limited in its value as an anti-fungal. It might mitigate the fungus but it always comes back.

Myth #2 Only People Who Don’t Bathe Get Toenail Fungus

Although we’d all like to think that onychomycosis (the technical name for toenail fungus) only affects unclean people, this couldn’t be further from the truth. You can check out my video Guide to Eliminating, Ugly Fungal Toenails to learn more about its causes. One thing to keep in mind is that fungus loves to grow in dark, damp places. One of the reasons we get fungus on our toes and not our fingers is because we have our feet in shoes all day long, a place fungus loves to grow, NOT because we don’t take a bath.

Myth #3 Toenail Fungus Can Be Cured By Removing the Nail

Occasionally fungal toenails becomes infected and ingrown and require surgical removal. However, this is not a procedure I would ever use in my office for a less invasive presentation of this disease. Removal of the toenail is no guarantee that fungal nails will be cured. Other complications can also result from this procedure including pain and distorted nail regrowth. The best option is to have toenails treated early so that surgery is not needed.

Myth #4 It’s Ugly, But It’s OK Not to Treat

Yes fungal nails are indeed ugly but that’s not the only reason to treat them. As mentioned above leaving nails untreated can cause nails to become infected and ingrown. Fungal nails can also be quite painful, become very tough to trim, and are contagious. And most fungal nail conditions are progressive in nature. The longer you have it the worse it gets and the more likely you are to have problems.

Myth #5 It Can Be Cured Quickly

There is no quick path to treating fungal nails. Even with good effective treatment such as using laser treatment with a great aftercare program, nails take up to a year to grow out.

But don't lose hope. Call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment or request an appointment online. Dr. Berg will evaluate your situation and provide you with the best treatment options.

For information about other foot condition, get our free foot book "No More Foot Pain", mailed directly to your home.

Seattle foot and ankle specialist, Dr. Rion Berg offers foot care for patients with bunions, heel pain, diabetes, fungal toenails, ingrown nails, and surgical solutions when needed to residents of Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood and other surrounding suburbs.

Follow Dr. Berg on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+

Learn more about the experience of one of our patients. To make an appointment, call us at 206-368-7000 or request one online.