Ingrown nail can be very painful and can lead to serious infection if not treated properly. Ingrown toenail occurs when the corner or the side of the toenail grows into the surrounding skin. Some causes can be heredity, wearing shoes that are too tight, cutting nails at an angle and any trauma to the nail that causes the nail to dig into the surrounding skin. Some signs and symptoms that a patient will see and experience will be pain to touch of the toenail, redness, swelling, drainage to the toe. If the toenail is not infected soaking the affected foot in warm water and epsom salts may relieve the pain and discomfort. Patients should avoid "home surgery", trying to remove the invading nail at home may cause further problems if not treated properly. If the pain continues, a minor surgical procedure is performed in the office, which includes numbing the area and removing the offending portion of the nail. If a patient continues to have repeated ingrown nails then a permanent procedure will be performed in the office where the nail matrix is destroyed with the use of phenol. If the toenail is severely infected, patients may also need a course of oral antibiotics. Patients can avoid getting ingrown toenails by cutting the toenails straight across or making sure not to cut the toe nail too short and avoiding shoes with a narrow toe box.
Fungus is an infection of the surface of the toenail. The toenail will change color it may be yellow or darker in color. In addition, some patient will have debris the will collect underneath the nail plate. Fungus can affect one or multiple toenails. It is important to treat early before the spread to the other toenails. There can be many causes to toenail fungus. Any type of injury to the toenail will allow fungal organism to enter. In addition, patints with chronic disease can be prone to fungal nail infections. Some home remedies may include Vicks VapoRub, Tea tree oil and Listerine. Regular debridement of fungal nails is necessary. There are topical and oral treatment options for fungal nails. Topical treatments will include nail polish or nail creams that kill the fungal organisms. Oral therapy consists of 6 to 12 weeks therapy which includes blood tests to monitor liver function. Surgical removal of nail may be considered in some patients.
Plantar Fasciitis is one of the common causes of heel pain that we see in our office today. Some symptoms patients will complain of is pain first thing in the morning when you step out of bed on to the ground, pain in the heel, pain in the arch, swelling and tenderness to the heel. Patient may complain of difficulty walking and may even limp while they walk. They may describe their pain as stabbing and sharp pain in the arch and heel of the affected foot. There can be many causes of plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia absorbs a lot of shock and pressure from day to day walking. So one and a while it can become inflamed and very painful to walk. Tight plantar fascia band, repetitive stretching and tearing of the plantar fascia can cause inflammation of the plantar fascia. In addition being overweight can put a lot of pressure on the plantar fascia. Wearing improper shoe gear can also contribute to the problem. Sometimes plantar fasciitis can be associated with a heel spur. When there is chronic inflammation of the plantar fascia a heel spur can occur. In addition one can have a heel spur without any symptoms. Xrays, Ultrasound and MRI may be helpful to evaluate the plantar fascia. In addition it can also help to rule out other causes of heel pain. Conservative treatments may include rest, anti-inflammatory, night splint, custom molded orthotics, stretching exercises, icing, physical therapy, steroid injection therapy. Surgical treatments are only considered when conservative treatments have failed. Plantar fascial release can be performed to release the plantar fascia.
Plantar warts are a common condition that is caused by human papilloma virus (HPV). Patients can have one (solitary) lesion or many (mosaic) lesions on the bottom of their feet. Warts can occur in children, adolescents and in the elderly. Some patients may confuse them with a callus. Patients will see tiny pin point bleeding or tiny black dots this will help differentiate between a callus vs. a wart. They can be painful in weight bearing areas at the bottom of your feet. There can be pain when you squeeze on the lesion. It is very important to wash hands after touching the warts this will prevent the spread to others and to other parts of the body. Some home remedies may include the use of duct tape, tea tree oil and garlic. Some common treatment options can be the use of topical acid agents, cryotherapy (freezing) or surgery to remove the wart.
Neuroma is an enlargement of the digital nerve in your feet due to compression or irritation of the nerve. The pain is located at the ball of the foot. Most commonly found between the 3rd and 4th toes. Patient will describe the pain as burning, tingling, numbness, sharp shooting pain. In addition patient may also describe the pain as if they are walking on a wrinkle in their sock. Most commonly found in women, in which women have pain when they are wearing high heels. Some conservative/home remedies may include modifying shoe gear, icing, activity modifications, custom molded orthotics, paddings, corticosteriod injections, oral anti-inflammatory. If conservative treatments fail surgical excision of the inflamed nerve is warranted.