Items filtered by date: July 2022

Toenails are composed of layers and layers of keratin, which is a form of protein. Toe fungal microorganisms that cause a toenail infection can burrow themselves deep within these layers which make them difficult to kill. As the fungi feed off of the keratin in the infected nail, it becomes thickened, discolored, crumbly, ragged, and brittle. If the fungi embed themselves underneath the nail (in the nail bed), it can even cause the nail to lift off of the nail bed. Treating toenail fungus can be difficult as topical treatments can have a difficult time penetrating the nail to eradicate the fungus, and oral antifungal medications can sometimes cause dangerous side effects. Laser therapy for fungal toenails has emerged as an effective and safe treatment for toenail infections. The laser can precisely target the fungi and penetrate deep through the layers of nail to kill the fungi, without affecting surrounding healthy nail and tissue. If you have a stubborn toenail infection, it is suggested you call a podiatrist to see if you are a good candidate for laser therapy.


 

Laser treatment can be an effective way to get rid of toenail fungus. If you have any questions about laser treatment, consult with one of our podiatrists from Hugar Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality treatment for fungal nails.

What Are Toenail Fungal Infections?

Onychomycosis, or fungal infection of the nail, is a relatively common and non-serious condition. Around 10 percent of U.S. citizens are afflicted with fungal nails. Common forms of fungus that infect the nail include dermatophytes, yeasts, and molds.

Symptoms of Toenail Fungal Infections Include:

  • Nail thickening
  • Brittleness of the nail
  • Discoloration of the nail

Diagnosis for Fungal Nails

Fungal infections are diagnosed by fungal culture and microscopy. This will rule out any other conditions such as nail trauma, psoriasis, lichen planus, and onychogryphosis.

What Is Laser Treatment?

Laser treatment is a non-invasive, safe, quick, and painless procedure that uses the heat from a laser to kill fungus in the nail. Each infected nail is targeted with a laser for several minutes. The treatment is usually utilized several different times over a select period. During this time, a podiatrist will keep an eye on the infection.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Elmwood Park, IL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Tuesday, 19 July 2022 00:00

Causes of Foot Stress Fractures

Stress fractures in the foot are usually the result of overuse or repetitive activities. They are common among runners, basketball and soccer players, and dancers. Women who are experiencing osteoporosis are also at risk. Foot stress fractures affect three main areas: the 2nd and 3rd metatarsals, the navicular bone at the top of the foot, and the calcaneus bone in the heel. Stress fractures may be difficult to detect because they are tiny hairline cracks in the bones and may easily be missed in an X-ray. Because they usually develop over time and are not immediately painful, stress fractures often go undetected or are mistaken for plain old sore feet. These fractures are caused by any activity that puts too much stress on the bones. Among the causes are increasing the frequency or length of an activity too quickly, changing from a soft to hard surface, using a faulty technique that may be the result of other conditions, and utilizing improper footwear. Even non-athletes experience stress fractures when walking too far or for too long while on vacation. If constant foot pain causes you to believe you may have developed stress fractures of the foot, please visit a podiatrist for a complete exam and diagnosis. 

Activities where too much pressure is put on the feet can cause stress fractures. To learn more, contact one of our podiatrists from Hugar Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep your pain free and on your feet.

Dealing with Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle

Stress fractures occur in the foot and ankle when muscles in these areas weaken from too much or too little use.  The feet and ankles then lose support when walking or running from the impact of the ground. Since there is no protection, the bones receive the full impact of each step. Stress on the feet can cause cracks to form in the bones, thus creating stress fractures.

What Are Stress Fractures?

Stress fractures occur frequently in individuals whose daily activities cause great impact on the feet and ankles. Stress factors are most common among:

  • Runners                                  
  • People affected with Osteoporosis
  • Tennis or basketball players
  • Gymnasts
  • High impact workouts

Symptoms

Pain from the fractures occur in the area of the fractures and can be constant or intermittent. It will often cause sharp or dull pain with swelling and tenderness. Engaging in any kind of activity which involves high impact will aggravate pain.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Elmwood Park, IL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Tuesday, 12 July 2022 00:00

Ways Seniors Can Prevent Falls at Home

The risk of falling at home increases after reaching the age of 65. This can be caused by diminished balance, strength, and eyesight. Other causes may be dizzying effects from certain medications and neuropathy problems that affect the feet. Further, if you fall once, you are far more likely to fall again, unless changes are made around the house. The majority of home falls take place in the bathroom, experts say. Some preventative measures include installing grab bars in the bath and shower area, putting a chair in the bathing area, and adding non-slip strips or a mat on the tub floor. Other parts of the home can also be modified to decrease the likelihood of a fall. Remove throw rugs, declutter passageways, and add lighting in darker areas, especially stairs and long hallways. Keep a clear path to the bathroom to increase your safety at night. Make sure you use handrails or a walking device if dizziness or balance issues are a problem. Wear shoes with non-skid soles, and avoid going barefoot. If you need more information on preventing falls, please contact a podiatrist who can offer suggestions to help keep you upright.

Preventing falls among the elderly is very important. If you are older and have fallen or fear that you are prone to falling, consult with one of our podiatrists from Hugar Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality advice and care.

Every 11 seconds, an elderly American is being treated in an emergency room for a fall related injury. Falls are the leading cause of head and hip injuries for those 65 and older. Due to decreases in strength, balance, senses, and lack of awareness, elderly persons are very susceptible to falling. Thankfully, there are a number of things older persons can do to prevent falls.

How to Prevent Falls

Some effective methods that older persons can do to prevent falls include:

  • Enrolling in strength and balance exercise program to increase balance and strength
  • Periodically having your sight and hearing checked
  • Discuss any medications you have with a doctor to see if it increases the risk of falling
  • Clearing the house of falling hazards and installing devices like grab bars and railings
  • Utilizing a walker or cane
  • Wearing shoes that provide good support and cushioning
  • Talking to family members about falling and increasing awareness

Falling can be a traumatic and embarrassing experience for elderly persons; this can make them less willing to leave the house, and less willing to talk to someone about their fears of falling. Doing such things, however, will increase the likelihood of tripping or losing one’s balance. Knowing the causes of falling and how to prevent them is the best way to mitigate the risk of serious injury.  

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Elmwood Park, IL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Tuesday, 05 July 2022 00:00

Mandatory Education for Podiatrists

Podiatrists have the letters DPM following their name after they have completed all required education. It is an abbreviation for Doctor of Podiatric Medicine and these types of specialists treat ailments of the foot and ankle. Their mandatory education consists of completing four years of college to obtain a bachelor's degree, followed by four years of training in a podiatric college. A hospital residency is next for continued education where studies involve intense training on feet, ankles, and the conditions associated with them. The entire length of school is a minimum of seven years and may be followed by pursuing a fellowship. If you have a specific foot condition that needs treatment it is beneficial to schedule an appointment with a podiatrist who can effectively diagnose and offer correct treatment techniques rather than an MD who does not specialize in the feet. If this is a career choice you may be considering, visiting with a podiatrist is a good opportunity to decide if this is a desired field of medicine for you.

If you are dealing with pain in your feet and ankles, you may want to seek help from a podiatrist. Feel free to contact one of our podiatrists from Hugar Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is a Podiatrist?

A podiatrist is a doctor of podiatric medicine who diagnoses and treats conditions of the foot, ankle, and related structures of the leg. Your podiatrist may specialize in a certain field such as sports medicine, wound care, pediatrics, and diabetic care. Podiatrists have the ability to become board certified through training, clinical experience, and then taking an exam.

What Do Podiatrists Do?

On a daily basis, a podiatrist may perform the following activities:

  • Diagnose foot ailments such as ulcers, tumors, fractures, etc.
  • Use innovative methods to treat conditions
  • Use corrective orthotics, casts, and strappings to correct deformities
  • Correct walking patterns and balance
  • Provide individual consultations to patients

It is very important that you take care of your feet. It’s easy to take having healthy feet for granted, however foot problems tend to be among the most common health conditions. Podiatrists can help diagnose and treat a variety of feet related conditions, so it is crucial that you visit one if you need assistance.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Elmwood Park, IL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

 

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