Posts for: July, 2014
From summer days at Lemont’s Centennial Pool to glimpsing animals after-hours at Brookfield Zoo’s Summer Nights, there’s plenty going on during the warm weather.
As podiatrists at DM Foot and Ankle Associates, we know this is one of the more popular times of year to get mani-pedis to look good in sandals.
While a mani-pedi is relaxing, we also know it can have a downside – Dr. Diana Emini and I have seen too many patients in our Lemont office with warts, toenail fungus or other infections that were contracted from unsanitary nail salons.
Some of these issues take months to resolve – a fungal toenail takes a year to grow out after treatment.
If you’re planning to visit a nail salon this summer, keep the following tips in mind to protect yourself:
· While most nail salons follow guidelines for cleanliness and disinfection, pay attention to whether there are dirty tools or instruments around the room. Also, don’t be afraid to ask how they clean their tools. Floors and tables should be free of nail clippings and debris. Also, make sure nail clippers, cuticle pushers and other instruments are cleaned between clients with a heating system (or autoclave,) or soaked in Barbicide (blue disinfectant in glass jars), and stored in a closed container.
· Shave your legs post-pedicure. Avoid running a razor below your knees for at least 24 hours before a pedicure. Nicking yourself could put you at risk for an infection during a pedi. Also, postpone a pedicure if you have an open sore or wound, as nail dust could get in and lead to an infection.
· For those who get regular mani-pedis, buy your own nail tools to use at the salon.
· Make sure that pedicure footbaths and filters and cleaned and disinfected between uses. Improper cleaning can leave bacteria and fungus behind. Many higher-end salons have switched to pipeless technology in their pedicure baths that don’t re-circulate the water.
· Don’t wear artificial nails to cover up problems – this could make nail issues worse. Artificial nails aren’t recommended for those prone to fungal infections or those with brittle nails. For those with otherwise healthy nails, artificial nails are usually OK as long as they’re not continuously worn.
If you think you have a wart, fungus or infection from a nail salon, call our office so we can help. We offer laser treatment for fungal nails, and can offer advice on preventing the problem from happening again.
Enjoy getting your toes in the sun or sand this summer, and stay safe while getting your feet groomed!
By Michelle Kim
This Fourth of July weekend is bound to be full of fun times for people across Lemont with activities such as barbecues, out-of-town travel and trips to beaches or pools.
And while summer weekends are when people tend to go barefoot while they’re having fun outdoors, keep in mind that doing so has potential to lead to fungal infections such as athlete’s foot.
As podiatrists at DM Foot & Ankle Associates, Dr. Michelle Kim and I have treated countless patients for fungal infections in the feet or toenails. Unfortunately, conditions such as athletes foot are often spread in places where people go barefoot, such as public showers or swimming pools.
The condition ranges from mild scaling and itching to painful inflammation and blisters. It often starts between the toes or on the arch of the foot and may spread to the bottom and sides of the foot.
Depending on the type of infection you have, there are different kinds of medication that may be used in treating athlete’s foot.
One of the main goals of treatment is making the infected area a place where it’s hard for athlete's foot fungus to grow. In short, that means keeping the feet clean and dry.
Certain shoe materials, such as vinyl, allow feet to stay moist – the perfect breeding ground for fungus. In addition, you should wear dri-fit socks that wick moisture from the feet.
Meanwhile, if your condition is mild, over-the-counter and prescription powders, lotions, or ointments can often help treat scaling, itching and inflammation. However, please consult our office before taking any medications.
Also, foot soaks may help dry excessive perspiration, but you should contact our office first. If your athlete's foot doesn’t improve, we may prescribe stronger medication.
Don’t forget that the fungal infection can spread to the toenails, and if that happens, they must also be treated. This can come in the form of creams or pills, and in our office, we also offer laser treatment for fungal nails – which comes with a high success rate.
Even after treatment, those with fungal infections are also prone to re-infection. You can avoid this by keeping your feet clean and dry, avoiding moist environments, wearing socks in airport security lines, removing shoes and avoiding going barefoot in public places such as pools and gyms.
We hope you have a safe, fun holiday weekend, but should you need our services for a fungal infection or any other issue, call our office right away.
By Diana Emini