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August 2020

Monday, 31 August 2020 00:00

What Causes Ingrown Toenails?

Ingrown toenails occur when the nail grows into the skin surrounding it. While they generally occur on the big toe, they can affect any toe. One common cause of ingrown toenails is the shape of the nail. This can be hereditary. Nails that become more broad at the top of the toes or nails that are naturally curly have a tendency to push into the skin. Trauma to the toenail or wearing shoes that are too tight can also lead to ingrown toenails. Signs of an ingrown toenail include redness around the side of the toe near the nail, swelling of the toe, and liquid seeping from the side of the nail. Because ingrown toenails are prone to infection, it is important to visit a podiatrist especially if an ingrown toenail persists.   

Ingrown toenails may initially present themselves as a minor discomfort, but they may progress into an infection in the skin without proper treatment. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact one of our podiatrists of Integrative Foot & Ankle Centers of Washington. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails are caused when the corner or side of a toenail grows into the soft flesh surrounding it. They often result in redness, swelling, pain, and in some cases, infection. This condition typically affects the big toe and may recur if it is not treated properly.

Causes

  • Improper toenail trimming
  • Genetics
  • Improper shoe fitting
  • Injury from pedicures or nail picking
  • Abnormal gait
  • Poor hygiene

You are more likely to develop an ingrown toenail if you are obese, have diabetes, arthritis, or have any fungal infection in your nails. Additionally, people who have foot or toe deformities are at a higher risk of developing an ingrown toenail.

Symptoms

Some symptoms of ingrown toenails are redness, swelling, and pain. In rare cases, there may be a yellowish drainage coming from the nail.

Treatment

Ignoring an ingrown toenail can have serious complications. Infections of the nail border can progress to a deeper soft-tissue infection, which can then turn into a bone infection. You should always speak with your podiatrist if you suspect you have an ingrown toenail, especially if you have diabetes or poor circulation.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Kirkland, Everett, and Renton, WA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Monday, 24 August 2020 00:00

How Does Gout Occur?

Research has indicated that there are millions of Americans who are affected by the foot condition that is referred to as gout. It generally affects the joints in the big toe, and can cause severe pain and discomfort. It can develop as a result of an excess of uric acid that is found in the bloodstream and lodges in the joints of the body. Uric acid can come from specific foods that are frequently eaten, which can include shellfish, red meat, and drinks that have a high sugar content. Many patients have noticed their gout attacks can begin at night, and may subside naturally. In severe cases, it is strongly suggested that you are under the care of a podiatrist who can properly treat this form of arthritis.

Gout is a painful condition that can be treated. If you are seeking treatment, contact one of our podiatrists from Integrative Foot & Ankle Centers of Washington. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Is Gout?

Gout is a form of arthritis that is characterized by sudden, severe attacks of pain, redness, and tenderness in the joints. The condition usually affects the joint at the base of the big toe. A gout attack can occur at any random time, such as the middle of the night while you are asleep.

Symptoms

  • Intense Joint Pain - Usually around the large joint of your big toe, and it most severe within the first four to twelve hours
  • Lingering Discomfort - Joint discomfort may last from a few days to a few weeks
  • Inflammation and Redness -Affected joints may become swollen, tender, warm and red
  • Limited Range of Motion - May experience a decrease in joint mobility

Risk Factors

  • Genetics - If family members have gout, you’re more likely to have it
  • Medications - Diuretic medications can raise uric acid levels
  • Gender/Age - Gout is more common in men until the age of 60. It is believed that estrogen protects women until that point
  • Diet - Eating red meat and shellfish increases your risk
  • Alcohol - Having more than two alcoholic drinks per day increases your risk
  • Obesity - Obese people are at a higher risk for gout

Prior to visiting your podiatrist to receive treatment for gout, there are a few things you should do beforehand. If you have gout you should write down your symptoms--including when they started and how often you experience them, important medical information you may have, and any questions you may have. Writing down these three things will help your podiatrist in assessing your specific situation so that he or she may provide the best route of treatment for you.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Kirkland, Everett, and Renton, WA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Gout

If you are suffering from tenderness, pain, or stiffness in the joints of your feet or ankles, call us to schedule an appointment.

Monday, 17 August 2020 00:00

Can My Feet Feel Good at Work?

People who stand or walk for the majority of their working day may experience foot pain at the end of the day. Foot conditions that arise from working on the feet may be avoided when proper shoes are worn. These can consist of having a sole that is wider than the heel, and it also helps when the shoes are constructed with adequate cushioning. It is also imperative that you wear the correct size shoe for your feet. It can be beneficial to rest the feet during a lunch break, in addition to shifting the weight from side to side. The feet are the foundation of the body, and consulting with a podiatrist will help you to have your feet feeling good during the work day.

While working on the feet, it is important to take the proper care of them. For more information about working on your feet, contact one of our podiatrists from Integrative Foot & Ankle Centers of Washington. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Working on Your Feet

Standing on your feet for long periods of time can cause stress and pain in your feet. Your whole body may experience change in terms of posture, back pain, bunions, callouses and or plantar warts. There are ways to avoid these conditions with proper foot care, smart choices and correct posture.

Positive Changes

Negative heeled shoe – Choosing this shoe type places the heel slightly lower than the ball of the foot. These are great for overall foot health. Find shoes that fit you correctly.

Go barefoot – Our feet were not designed to be enclosed for all hours of the day. Try to periodically expose your feet to air.

Eliminate Pain

Foot Exercises – Performing simple exercises, incorporating yoga and doing stretches are beneficial. This will allow increased blood flow to the area and muscles of the foot.

Achilles tendon – Stretching the foot out flat on the floor will relax the calf muscles and tendon. These exercises can be performed almost anywhere. Make sure you add these exercises to your daily regimen. 

With a little bit of this information and knowing more about foot health, you will notice changes. Foot stretches and proper footwear will help with pain and prevent further issues.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Kirkland, Everett, and Renton, WA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about How to Handle a Long Work Day on Your Feet

The potential dangers of frequently wearing high heels may outweigh the appeal of the attractiveness these types of shoes can possess. There are uncomfortable foot conditions that can develop as a  result of wearing high heels, consisting of bunions, hammertoes, and corns. Many of these ailments may be prevented by choosing shoes that fit correctly, and the feet may feel better when the toes are exposed. It is beneficial to treat existing blisters with a protective covering as high heels are worn, and it may help to wear flatter shoes as the healing process occurs. If you would like additional information about how wearing high heels can affect your feet, it is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist.

High heels have a history of causing foot and ankle problems. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact one of our podiatrists from Integrative Foot & Ankle Centers of Washington. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Effects of High Heels on the Feet

High heels are popular shoes among women because of their many styles and societal appeal.  Despite this, high heels can still cause many health problems if worn too frequently.

Which Parts of My Body Will Be Affected by High Heels?

  • Ankle Joints
  • Achilles Tendon – May shorten and stiffen with prolonged wear
  • Balls of the Feet
  • Knees – Heels cause the knees to bend constantly, creating stress on them
  • Back – They decrease the spine’s ability to absorb shock, which may lead to back pain.  The vertebrae of the lower back may compress.

What Kinds of Foot Problems Can Develop from Wearing High Heels?

  • Corns
  • Calluses
  • Hammertoe
  • Bunions
  • Morton’s Neuroma
  • Plantar Fasciitis

How Can I Still Wear High Heels and Maintain Foot Health?

If you want to wear high heeled shoes, make sure that you are not wearing them every day, as this will help prevent long term physical problems.  Try wearing thicker heels as opposed to stilettos to distribute weight more evenly across the feet.  Always make sure you are wearing the proper shoes for the right occasion, such as sneakers for exercising.  If you walk to work, try carrying your heels with you and changing into them once you arrive at work.  Adding inserts to your heels can help cushion your feet and absorb shock. Full foot inserts or metatarsal pads are available. 

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Kirkland, Everett, and Renton, WA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Why High Heels Are Not Ideal for Healthy Feet

Diabetic patients are often aware of the importance of maintaining proper foot care. Cuts, bruises, or scrapes on the feet can lead to serious foot conditions, and practicing correct wound care is essential for avoiding potential foot ulcers. There are methods that can be implemented that may help to protect the feet from painful wounds developing. These can include checking the feet daily between the toes and on the bottom of the feet. Existing wounds can benefit from keeping the dressings clean, and this can be accomplished by frequently changing the dressing. If you have wounds on your feet, it is strongly suggested that you speak to a podiatrist who can help you with proper wound care management.

Wound care is an important part in dealing with diabetes. If you have diabetes and a foot wound or would like more information about wound care for diabetics, consult with one of our podiatrists from Integrative Foot & Ankle Centers of Washington. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

What Is Wound Care?

Wound care is the practice of taking proper care of a wound. This can range from the smallest to the largest of wounds. While everyone can benefit from proper wound care, it is much more important for diabetics. Diabetics often suffer from poor blood circulation which causes wounds to heal much slower than they would in a non-diabetic. 

What Is the Importance of Wound Care?

While it may not seem apparent with small ulcers on the foot, for diabetics, any size ulcer can become infected. Diabetics often also suffer from neuropathy, or nerve loss. This means they might not even feel when they have an ulcer on their foot. If the wound becomes severely infected, amputation may be necessary. Therefore, it is of the upmost importance to properly care for any and all foot wounds.

How to Care for Wounds

The best way to care for foot wounds is to prevent them. For diabetics, this means daily inspections of the feet for any signs of abnormalities or ulcers. It is also recommended to see a podiatrist several times a year for a foot inspection. If you do have an ulcer, run the wound under water to clear dirt from the wound; then apply antibiotic ointment to the wound and cover with a bandage. Bandages should be changed daily and keeping pressure off the wound is smart. It is advised to see a podiatrist, who can keep an eye on it.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Kirkland, Everett, and Renton, WA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Wound Care
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