Do you keep your feet hidden from view because you feel embarrassed by your yellow toenails? Treating toenail fungus can be challenging. Even if you faithfully apply over-the-counter products, you may see no change in your nails despite months of treatment. Our Wesley Chapel, FL, podiatrists, Dr. George Tjamaloukas and Dr. Kathy Tjamaloukas, discuss toenail fungus and explain what can be done to treat it.
What caused my toenails to turn yellow?
Your toenail turns an unsightly shade of yellow when it's infected by dermatophytes, fungi that consume keratin, a protein found in nails. It's very easy to catch the fungus. In fact, you can pick it up if you walk barefoot in public locker rooms or pool areas or share socks, shoes, towels or sheets with someone has toenail fungus.
Several factors may increase your risk of developing an infection, including:
- Your Age: As you grow older, it's not unusual for small cracks to form in your nails. Even the smallest crack or break in your nail can provide the perfect opportunity for fungi to enter your nail.
- Sweaty Feet: Fungi thrive in the moist, dark environments. If your feet perspire heavily when you wear socks or shoes, your risk of toenail fungus may rise.
- A Nail Injury: Did your fungal infection develop after you dropped something on your foot? Injuries to your nails also raise your risk.
- Diseases and Conditions: Toenail fungus is more common in people who have immune system disorders, diabetes and circulation problems.
How can my foot doctor help?
Podiatrists offer effective treatments that can finally clear your nails. When you visit our Wesley Chapel office, we may recommend one or more of these options:
- Medicated Creams and Polishes: These topical medications are stronger than drugstore products and penetrate the deeper layers of your nail to kill fungus.
- Oral Anti-Fungal Medications: Oral medications usually resolve fungal infections in six to 12 weeks. Although the medication is very effective, it's not recommended if you have congestive heart failure or liver disease.
- Nail Removal: If the fungus doesn't respond to treatment, we may suggest removing your nail. Nail removal allows easy treatment of the fungi on your nail bed.
- Laser Treatment: Laser treatment, the newest toenail fungus treatment method, destroys fungus by heating the yellow pigment with short laser bursts.
Improve the condition of your nails with toenail fungus treatment. Call our Wesley Chapel, FL, podiatrists, Drs. George and Kathy Tjamaloukas, at (813) 909-0865 to schedule your appointment.
If you have an ingrown toenail find out how to best treat the problem.
Many people have experienced an ingrown toenail; however, if you never have before and you are noticing pain or swelling near a toenail you may wonder if your symptoms could be indicative of an ingrown toenail. From the office of our Wesley Chapel, FL, podiatrists Dr. George Tjamaloukas and Dr. Kathy Tjamaloukas, find out the telltale signs of an ingrown toenail and what you should do.
What is an ingrown toenail?
This condition occurs when the edge of the nail grows into the skin. While this can occur in any toenail, it most often happens to the big toe.
Why do ingrown toenails happen?
Anyone can develop an ingrown toenail; however, there are certain factors that can increase your chances of developing this painful condition. The most common factor is cutting your toenail improperly. A lot of people still try to trim their nails so they are curved or a bit too short. If you trim your nails too short (below the tips of your toes) or at a curve you are leaving your nails at risk.
Also, if you wear shoes that are too small or narrow and they put pressure on your toes, this could lead to an ingrown toenail. Athletes can also be at an increased risk for developing an ingrown toenail.
What are the symptoms of an ingrown toenail?
In the beginning, you may just notice localized pain at the corner of the nail where the nail meets the skin. The skin may be swollen or tender to the touch. You may also notice increased tenderness when wearing shoe.
If you experience pain, pus or redness around the area then you could be dealing with an infection. It’s important that you turn to our Wesley Chapel, FL, foot doctors if you think you might have an infected ingrown toenail, especially if you have a weak immune system or diabetes (as this same problem could easily turn into a more serious health complication).
How is this problem treated?
If you aren’t dealing with an infection then your ingrown toenail can easily be managed from the comfort of your own home. Soaking your feet in warm water for up to 20 minutes several times a day can help ease discomfort. You can also try to carefully lift the edge of the toenail away from the skin by placing a part of a cotton ball under the nail.
In some cases, our podiatrists may even prescribe an antibiotic or steroid gel to prevent an infection from occurring. If symptoms don’t improve after a couple of days of at-home care, or if the pain gets worse, then it’s time to come into our office for treatment.
If you are in doubt, don’t hesitate to call Comprehensive Foot and Ankle Center in Wesley Chapel, FL, to find out whether it’s worth coming into our office for care. Our podiatry team is here to make sure that you get the comprehensive care you deserve.
If you suffer from diabetes, chances are you have an extended daily routine which includes testing your blood sugar, eating healthily, and leading an active and healthy lifestyle. Unfortunately, you may not realize that you should also take the health of your feet into consideration when performing simple daily tasks like putting on your shoes. Do you know how you should care for your feet as a diabetic? Find out with podiatrists Dr. George Tjamaloukas and Dr. Kathy Tjamaloukas at Comprehensive Foot and Ankle Center in Land O’ Lakes, FL.
Why is diabetic foot care important?
An unfortunate side effect of diabetes is decreased blood flow in the extremities like the hands and feet. This decreased blood flow can cause numbness, which can, in turn, cause injuries or conditions to go unnoticed. This means that something as simple as a rock in your shoe can cause a cut, and if left untreated it can become infected and cause serious conditions like gangrene, which requires amputation. This makes daily foot care crucial to maintaining your foot and overall health.
How should I care for my feet?
Give your feet the once-over every morning and every night, taking into account any new bruises, irritations, cuts, scrapes, or other abnormalities. Ensure that your feet remain clean and dry and wear fresh socks every day. While cutting your toenails, make sure that you cut them straight across to decrease the risk of ingrown toenails. Always shake your shoes out before you put them on to ensure that there are no stray rocks or other debris which could cause damage to your feet.
Foot Examinations in Land O’ Lakes, FL
If you have diabetes, you could benefit from a foot examination with your podiatrist. The examination itself will include a physical exam where your doctor will examine the feet and, if necessary, use x-rays or MRIs to examine their bones and connective tissues. For more information on caring for your feet, please contact Dr. George Tjamaloukas and Dr. Kathy Tjamaloukas at Comprehensive Foot and Ankle Center in Land O’ Lakes, FL. Call (813) 909-0865 to schedule your appointment with your podiatrist today!
Heel pain can be debilitating, not to mention the many complications that can arise if it's not dealt with immediately and accurately by a doctor. Your Land O' Lakes, FL, podiatrists, Drs. George and Kathy Tjamaloukas, care about supplying you and others with the necessary information to cope and treat this issue, which is why they also serve the Wesley Chapel community.
Heel and Arch Pain:
The pain you're feeling may be caused by the inflammation of a connective tissue known as plantar fasciitis. This connective tissue isn't just in your heel though, it extends past the arch of your foot, reaching your toes.
Causes of Pain:
The causes of pain vary from one person to another. Some causes include:
- Injuries, such as bruises, incurred during light or intense activities: walking, running, excessive jumping or jumping on hard surfaces.
- Wearing improperly fitted or worn down footwear.
- Being overweight or obese can contribute to your foot pain.
Here are other causes of pain that may be more serious and may require you to visit Drs. George or Kathy Tjamaloukas' office in Land O' Lakes, which also welcomes residents from the Wesley Chapel area:
- Overpronation: When someone's walk is abnormal, their foot rolls inward with each step they take. This causes tension to be placed on the connective tissue (plantar fascia), the arch stretches and, eventually, the foot flattens out, which puts more pressure on the plantar fascia. When there's constant pressure being placed on the tissue, inflammation occurs and the individual starts feeling pain.
- Heel Spur Syndrome: The stretching of the plantar fascia causes an individual to feel a constant force being applied to the muscles and ligaments of his or her foot. The end result consists of torn linings and membranes that should be covering the heel bone.
There are several methods of treatment, some more conservative than others:
- Anti-inflammatory medications
- Stretching exercises
- Orthotic devices
- Physical therapy
- Extracorporeal Shockwave therapy
- Heel Surgery
If you have any questions or concerns, please consult your Land O' Lakes, FL, podiatrists, who also serve the Wesley Chapel area.
In many instances, people don’t even realize that they have a fungal nail problem or infection. This is because symptoms can persist for years without pain. For many people, they think that the change in their toenail color is simply a blemish and not a sign for something more serious. A podiatrist in Wesley Chapel, FL such as Drs. George and Kathy Tjamaloukas can evaluate each patient and determine the right course of treatment for their infection.
Foot Fungus Tips
Fungal nails refer to any fungal nail infections occurring on the foot. Since they are resistant and difficult to treat, sometimes multiple treatment options are used before the infection begins to improve. In the worst cases, permanent nail removal may occur. These nail infections also may be accompanied by a yeast or bacterial infection, which can lead to difficulty and/or pain while running or walking.
Perhaps the most important thing regarding fungal infections is preventing them from spreading to the ones we love. After an infection, always wash and dry the feet and apply a nonprescription antifungal cream from your podiatrist in Wesley Chapel to the entire foot before bed. Keep the feet dry at all times and wear dry cotton socks throughout the day. Apply powder to the feet after bathing.
Never share nail files, nail clippers, shoes or socks with other people. Also, try not to injure your nail or cut them too short making them more susceptible to infection. Always wear dry cotton socks and dry shoes that allow air to circulate around the feet. Avoid wearing tight hosiery as it promotes moisture. Always disinfect all home pedicure tools and don’t apply polish to any nails that infection is suspected as the nail bed needs to breathe in order to heal.
Our podiatrists at Comprehensive Foot and Ankle Center in Land O’ Lakes, FL and serving Wesley Chapel, FL, can offer treatment options for your particular situation. To schedule an appointment, call 813-909-0865.
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