Dr. Berg's Foot Facts

Posts for tag: Untagged

By Dr. Rion Berg
May 07, 2019
Tags: Untagged

To keep your feet safe from injury when working in the garden this Spring, watch my latest video!

 

By Dr. Rion Berg
March 25, 2019
Category: Fungus toenails
Tags: Untagged

Every day I have patients who call my office wanting treatment for fungal nails. In addition to being unsightly, the fungus can spread to others and nails can become painful, thick, difficult to cut, and ingrown. In addition, there's an increases risk for ulcers in patients with diabetes.

For these reasons it's important to take the necessary precautions to prevent a fungal nail infection. These recommendations will also help reduce the chance of spreading the infection to your other toenails and other people and is best practice when you get toenail fungus treatment.

  • Don't use the same nail trimmer or file on healthy nails and infected ones (be sure to keep your nail implements for your own use to prevent spread to other family members).

  • Wear socks made of wicking material to draw moisture from the skin (an excellent sock is the Copper Anti-bacterial Antifungal Low Cut Socks; these are wicking and anti-microbial. If you're a hiker a sock liner from Fox River will keep the moisture away from your feet.

  • Change your socks when they are damp from sweat or your feet get wet.

  • Wear clean, dry socks every day and apply over-the-counter antifungal powder inside socks to keep feet dry.

  • Wear shoes with good support and a wide toe area (in addition shoes should fit well and leave about a thumbs length from your toes to the tip of your shoes. Tight shoes can cause your unaffected toenails to lift making it easier for the fungal infection to develop in them).

  • Avoid walking barefoot in public areas, such as locker rooms (always wear flip flops to prevent spread of the infection to others).

  • Be sure your nail salon is properly cleaning their instruments. To be totally safe do your own pedicure.

  • Wear a different pair of shoes every day to let them dry out between wearings.

  • Use a UV shoe sanitizer like Sterishoe Essential to kill the fungus in your shoes and keep down your fungal load.

Other factors that can increase your risk for fungal nails are:

  • Trauma to the nail—either direct (eg. stubbing injury) or repetitive microtrauma (eg. running in a tight shoe)—can cause damage to the nail plate allowing fungus to get in.

  • Aging – as people age they are more likely to have trauma to the nail and more opportunity for exposure to fungus.

  • Diabetes, HIV, and medications which decrease the strength of the immune system increases the risk of developing a fungal toenail infection.

If you have fungal nails and would like to learn more about how the Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City treats them, visit our Seattle Fungal Toenail Center.

For more information about foot and ankle problems, download 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 Pinterest.

 

January 18, 2019
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: Untagged
Coming soon.

What's the best approach for treating fungal toenails? First let's look at the history of how fungus of the toenails has been treated. For many years the only available treatment was topical medication. And while somewhat helpful these medications had to be applied daily for up to a year. With all that effort, only 20% of patients saw clearing of their fungal nails.

In the 1960s and 70s the pharmaceutical industry developed an oral medication. Initially these medications were harmful to the liver. Eventually they developed a medication called oral Lamisil which had fewer side effects. The patient took one pill a day for three months and with that the success rate was about 75%. To be safe patients got their liver enzymes tested after one month.

However, even with testing the liver many patients were still hesitant to take the oral medication. Also, fungus would reoccur in some patients (as with any fungal nail treatment). Something that was non-invasive that had the potential to work better was needed. That's why laser treatment was developed. When we first started using laser in 2012 we found a success rate of 60%-70%.

After we added in topical medication for the skin and nails and put in place a program where patients used a UV light sanitizer in their shoes our success rate went up to 75%. Finally this year we added a one month course of oral medication and grouped our laser treatments closer together. Then our success rate went up to 80%-90%.

If you're looking to get rid of your fungal toenails in time for the 2019 sandal season, now is the best time to start. With treatment your clear nails will still need to grow out which can take nine months or longer.

Call us today at 206-368-7000 for evaluation. You can also request an appointment online. We'll test your nails to make sure you have fungus before we start treatment.

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.

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

By Dr. Rion Berg
June 28, 2018
Category: family foot care
Tags: Untagged

Finding and wearing the right shoes is a topic I broach with almost all of my podiatry patients. Whether a person comes to me because they are having plantar fasciitis due to repetitive injuries from running or someone with diabetes is having issues with wounds a discussion of shoes is critical to preventing and treating their foot condition.

Our feet spend most of their waking hours in shoes. That's why it's so important to be sure the shoes we wear are the right size, a good match for our foot type, and complement the activities we engage in. In addition, shoes need to accommodate our foot condition so we are not making it worse or suffering unnecessarily.

Of course many of the conditions I see require procedures, devices, and/or other products to begin the healing process. However, in addition the right shoes are a must for preventing further injury or pain to the feet.

Finding the Right Shoe Size

Recently I read that Meghan Markle is sporting heels slightly larger than her foot size. The article assumed she was doing this to help prevent foot pain. I don't know where Prince Harry's wife got this information but it is incorrect.

Wearing the correct shoe size is very important to ensure you don't have foot pain. Many people know that a child's foot size changes constantly and are vigilant about getting their kid's feet measured. But few are aware that their own feet can also increase in size.

Many of us gain weight as we age. For women rapid weight gain is most common during pregnancy. An increase in weight affects our feet by adding pressure during every step. Over time this causes our arches to lower and our feet to go up a half to a whole shoe size or more. Weight gain can also increase the width of our feet.

For this reason, getting your feet measured every time you buy a new pair of shoes is important. Also, shoes are not necessarily consistently sized between shoe companies. It's best not to rely on a past size to determine what you should buy today. For in store and online purchases be sure you know the companies return policies so you know how long you can try out the shoes and whether you can wear them outside.

Selecting the Right Shoe for Your Foot Type

Foot type is another thing to consider when buying a pair of shoes.

Your foot width is one aspect of your foot type. Not all shoes will accommodate a particularly wide or narrow foot. Nordstrom and other specialty stores can be a big help if you have either of these foot types.

Arch type is also important to take into account when purchasing shoes. Arch types are either normal, high, flat or somewhere in between.

You're fortunate if you have a normal arch. You'll still need supportive shoes but not to the same degree as someone who has flat feet.

People with high arches tend to supinate or roll their feet out as they walk. Foot problems that can arise from this foot type are hammertoes and metatarsalgia. Often woman will seek out a high heeled shoe because initially they'll feel more comfortable. However, high heels put more pressure on the ball of the foot which can cause worsen problems like metatarsalgia and cause other's like Morton's neuroma. The best shoes for high arches are ones with a lot of flexibility, a firm heel counter, and ankle support when hiking or playing a sport with lots of motion changes.

People with flat feet tend to be most at risk for multiple foot conditions. Flat feet pronate or roll in when walking or running. Foot conditions that arise as a result of flat feet are heel pain, bunions, and hammertoes. Even young children can develop a condition called Developmental Flat Foot between ages four and five. Buying shoes with an arch and avoiding flat shoes are important for people with flat feet. Running shoes usually have a good arch and some shoe companies make shoes with good arches, i.e. Dansko. Most people with flat feet will require additional arch supports to prevent their feet from pronating and causing other foot problems.

Selecting the Right Shoe for Your Activities

Equally as important as getting the right shoe for your foot type is purchasing the right shoe for the type of activity you engage in. Whether you walk around Greenlake, run 10Ks at races, play soccer or another sport it's essential to buy the shoe that will best support your feet and are designed for your particular sport or activity.

Specially designed shoes for most of the sports you play are available for purchase. Shoe companies design these shoes to help promote better play and prevent foot and ankle injuries. It's best to purchase these types of shoes at a store that specializes in that activity. A knowledgeable sales person can make a big difference in ensuring you buy a shoe that works best for you and your sport. For example, in the blog I wrote called How to Buy the Best Running Shoes I go into detail about what a good salesperson should be asking you.

Selecting the Right Shoe for Your Foot Condition

As mentioned above, certain foot types can put a person at greater risk for a particular foot condition. While it's important to choose the right shoe for your foot type it's also a good idea to purchase the right shoe for your foot condition. For example, if you're prone to plantar fasciitis it will be important to purchase supportive shoes that will prevent your foot from pronating.

If you have bunions or hammertoes, you'll want to avoid shoes with a higher heel as these can worsen your condition. In addition, you'll want to find shoes that are wider in the toe box and/or are made out of flexible leather or cloth to prevent pain caused by friction.

People with diabetes may need to purchase special diabetic comfort shoes to decrease the chance of developing foot ulcers.

How and When To Shop for Shoes

Everyone should know the basics about how and when to shop for shoes. In addition to all of the other guidelines already described in this blog, there are a few more key factors that can make a big difference when looking for a shoe.

It's important for everyone to buy a supportive shoe. Shoes with no support may be fine for very casual wear (little or no walking) or for people with no foot problems or a normal foot type but most of us are going to need a shoe that can go the extra mile. To test out shoes before you purchase them visit my video "How To Test Any Shoe for Stability".

Shop for shoes towards the end of the day. As the day goes on our feet tend to swell. If you buy your shoes early in the day you could end of up with a shoe that is too small.

Buy shoes with a roomier toe box. Shoes that are pointy can cause bunions to worsen and other conditions like Morton's neuroma to develop.

Replace running shoes every 500 miles and check to see if the soles of your leather shoes are worn out and needed to be re-heeled. Wearing shoes with worn out heels can't provide the support you need to prevent ankle sprains and other foot problems.

Choose heels that are one inch or less or limit the number of hours you spend in taller heels. High heels are a major culprit in many foot conditions and should be worn in small doses. Always take a lower pair of shoes with you if you plan to wear high heels to an event.

If you're experiencing foot pain, 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.

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