Dr. Berg's Foot Facts

Posts for tag: toenail fungus

By Dr. Rion Berg
May 03, 2018
Category: Fungus toenails

It's spring and it's time for sandal season. You look forward to getting your first pedicure of the year. But before you pick up the phone and make that appointment, spend some time reading about what to look for in a nail salon and how to get a safe pedicure.

A pedicure is not a matter of simply getting nail polish decoratively layered on your toenails. Before the pedicurist gets to the colorful part, she has the potential of exposing your toes to all kinds of infections. In addition, there are some things you need to know about what to do and not do before you get a pedicure.

Here are 7 steps to getting a safe pedicure.

Always Wait 24 Hours After Shaving

Be sure to wait 24 hours after shaving your legs to get your pedicure. Some potentially life threatening skin infections can occur (eg. cellulitis) if your legs and feet are exposed to certain bacteria. Shaving creates small cuts in your skin creating the perfect environment for bacteria to enter from improperly sanitized instruments and foot baths.

Don't Let Nail Technicians Cut Your Cuticles

Your cuticles are barriers that prevent bacteria and fungus from getting into your body. Although it may look good to get your cuticles removed, don't let the technician do it. Removing the cuticle is removing that barrier and allowing potentially harmful germs in. In addition to cellulitis, the fungus that causes fungal toenails can get under your nail and set up shop.

Bring Your Own Tools

Unless you know a salon is autoclaving their tools or using barbicide and washing their tools properly between clients, don't risk it. Tools you should bring with you are nail files, clippers, and a cuticle pusher.

Don't Let Nail Technicians Remove An Ingrown Toenail

Some nail technicians may claim to do this safely but don't risk it. Getting an ingrown toenail removed is a surgical procedure that requires the expertise of a podiatrist. Most ingrown toenails are already infected and so the potential for further exposure to other bacteria is a bad idea.

Beware of Salons That Use Whirlpool Footbaths

Most salons use a whirlpool type of bath. If these baths aren't cleaned properly in between clients, then you're exposing yourself to whatever bacteria and fungus the previous clients have. Salons should be draining the water after each client and then filling them with disinfectant for at least 10 minutes before draining it and filling with water for the next person.

Salons may also use individual bath liners that are removed after each client or glass bowls that they clean between each client. These are both good practices.

Don't Let Technicians Remove Your Calluses

Many technicians are too aggressive when it comes to removing calluses and/or your skin using graters that look like they could cut cheese. This can be very dangerous particularly for people with diabetes or poor circulation. Either have your calluses removed by a podiatrist or use a cream with urea to gently remove them. Even these creams can be too much for a person with a medical condition and should be prescribed by a doctor.

Bring Your Own Nail Polish

Although salons provide nail polish, we recommend that you use a non-toxic nail polish such as Dr.'s Remedy Enriched Nail Polish. Regular nail polish can weaken your nails leaving you more vulnerable to toenail fungus.

If you really want to play it safe the Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City highly recommends doing your own pedicures. Check out this DIY pedicure. Remember if you have diabetes or poor circulation don't remove your own calluses.

If you have toenail fungus, an ingrown toenail, or another skin infection on your feet, call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment. Often same day for emergencies and less than 2 weeks for chronic foot pain. You can also request an appointment online.

Your free foot book "No More Foot Pain" is waiting to be sent to your home.

In addition, our newsletter "Foot Sense" comes out monthly.  You can also check out our past issues. Every issue contains a mouth-watering recipe and can be printed out for easier reading!

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.

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By Dr. Rion Berg
October 26, 2017
Category: Fungus toenails

So your big toenail has turned black and you're wondering what to do about it. To set your mind at ease, black toenails usually come about because of trauma. It could be that you dropped something heavy on your toenail, but more then likely you were skiing, hiking, or running and your shoes were just a bit too tight.

But sometimes a black toenail can be the sign of toenail fungus or even worse, melanoma.

That's why it's so important not to never ignore a black toenail.

Fungal Nails
A black nail can be a sign of onychomycosis or fungal nails. In Seattle, our feet are covered in socks and shoes or boots most of the year. And many of us wear cotton socks that keep our feet slightly damp. This is the perfect environment for toenail fungus to thrive.

Runners and other active people also are at greater risk due to repetitive pressure on the nail bed which causes it to lift slightly allowing the fungus in where it can set up shop.

It's best to get this condition treated as early as possible to ensure the best chance of success.  To learn more about treatment visit our Seattle Fungal Toenail Center.

Melanoma
At worst a black toenail is diagnosed as melanoma, a very dangerous form of skin cancer. Melanoma tends to grow very slowly so it's important not to dismiss it. In fact, melanoma is the most common cancer of the feet. Unlike our face which we look at every day, many of us ignore our feet.

When found on the feet there is a much higher death rate due to this cancer which can spread throughout the body. That's because we are more likely to find it when it's already too advanced to adequately treat.

Related articles:

Protecting Your Feet From the Sun Can Avoid Skin Cancer Disaster
Guide to Eliminating Ugly Fungal Toenails

Call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment. Often same day for emergencies and less than 2 weeks for chronic foot pain. You can also request an appointment online.

Download a copy of our eBook, "No More Foot Pain" .

In addition, our newsletter "Foot Sense" comes out monthly.  You can also check out our past issues. Every issue contains a mouth-watering recipe and can be printed out for easier reading!

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+

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You've been hanging out at the beach with your friends and you've been pretty bummed out because you have ugly, fungal toenails. You'd love to be able to show off your toes, but instead you keep them hidden in water shoes so no one notices.

Instead of feeling ashamed of your toenails why not get them treated so you no longer have to feel embarrassed by them.

You may have already tried lots of over-the-counter treatments but it hasn't really done much good. Toenail fungus is hard to kill because it lives under your nail bed. Topical treatments are great for keeping down the amount of fungus on the outside of your nail. However, they can't penetrate the nail to reach the place where the fungus sets up shop.

Our office has been treating fungal nails for over 30 years. We use state-of-the-art treatments to give your nails the best chance of becoming fungus-free.

Our method includes the following tools and treatments:

  • laser treatment-laser penetrates the nail and kills the fungus under the nail bed

  • anti-fungal cream and solution

  • oral medication

  • UV shoe sanitizer to keep your shoes free of fungus

To learn more about our treatment works, you can review testimonials and other information on our Seattle Fungal Toenail Center page.

More information:
Guide to Eliminating Ugly, Fungal Toenails

Call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment. Often same day for emergencies and less than 2 weeks for chronic foot pain. 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+

By Dr. Rion Berg
May 10, 2016
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: runners   toenail fungus  

You're an avid runner. Recently you read somewhere that running can cause toenail fungus. This has you freaked out. So what's the truth?

As a Seattle podiatrist I'm here to let you know that fungus exists everywhere in our environment. But fungus particularly loves living in warm, damp, dark places. And that includes feet that live inside shoes most of the time.

For runners there's an added risk for getting toenail fungus. Running is risky due to the constant pressure placed on toenails which can cause them to lift allowing fungus easy access to the nail plate where it sets up shop.

Here are some 7 hacks for keeping fungus at bay:

  • Check your nails after you run. If you're nails are getting damaged it's time to give up your shoes and buy ones that won't damage your nails.This often happens when your shoes are too short. As we age our feet often increase in size.

  • Next time you buy running shoes, make sure they fit. Tight shoes will cause repetitive micro-trauma to your toenails. To prevent this, your toe needs to be at least a thumbs width from the end of your shoes. A wider toe box will also let your toes spread out and prevent them from getting damaged.

  • Have two pairs of shoes on hand. Alternating between shoes allows them to dry out in between daily runs. Fungus does not survive well in dry environments.

  • Wear socks that wick away moisture. Synthetic socks with anti-microbial capability are the best way to go to wick away moisture and keep fungus at bay. Balega Silver Microbial Compression Running Socks are a great solution. 

  • Use a UV Shoe Sanitizer to kill the fungus in your shoes. We recommend SteriShoe+ Ultraviolet Shoe Sanitizer  it destroys 99% of all fungus and bacteria in your shoes in just 15 minutes.

  • Use nail polish that won't weaken your toenails. Most nail polish has toxic chemicals that can weaken your nails. A weakened nail will be more apt to become damaged and become a host for fungus. If you want pretty toenails and you run, use a nail polish such as Dr.'s Remedy Enriched Nail Polish. It contains tree oil with anti-fungal properties, vitamins, and none of the bad chemicals that weaken your nails.

  • Don't ever go barefoot in locker rooms. Avoid hotbeds of fungus by wearing flip flops in public locker and shower rooms.

If you think you already have toenail fungus, check out the information at our Seattle Fungal Toenail Center.

Call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment. Often same day for emergencies and less than 2 weeks for chronic foot pain. You can also request an appointment online.

For more information about heel pain in runners download our eBook, "The Complete Guide to Stopping Heel Pain in Runners".

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
January 13, 2016
Category: Fungus toenails
Tags: toenail fungus  

You're so excited. You and your husband decide to escape Seattle's rain festival by going somewhere warm and sunny. You chose Yelapa, Mexico a small island just a boat's ride away from Puerto Vallarta. Laying on a warm, sandy beach and poking around a small village sounds heavenly.

To get prepared you start going through your shoe gear. You've got your hiking boots, your tennis shoes, and your flip flops. Just for fun you pull off your socks, slip on your flip flops, and stare down at your feet. Then it hits you. You still haven't done a thing about your ugly, fungal toenails.

In fact, you've been having the same argument with yourself for the past couple years. "Should I spend the money and get this treated? Or just go another year painting over the ugliness even though it seems to be getting worse."

Like you, many of our patients take awhile before they decide to act. It's easy to rationalize away the need to treat your toenails, but consider this:

  • most fungal nails get worse and become thick and distorted

  • become painful

  • become harder to treat.

Knowing this, making a decision becomes easy. Feel free to check out our Seattle Fungal Toenail Center to get more information about the process.

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

For more information about your feet and foot conditions, 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+