DMFA Blog

Posts for tag: Lemont Illinois

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 wartstoenail 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

 


When the U.S. men's soccer team played Germany in the World Cup last week, thousands of fans crowded into Chicago's Grant Park to watch on giant screens.

Team USA lost the match, but World Cup fever has hit hard, and many soccer fans are following the action.

As podiatrists at DM Foot & Ankle Associates, Dr. Michelle Kim and I love to see people excited about sports, but we know soccer can lead to painful injuries. One problem the sport can create is Achilles tendonitis.

The Achilles tendon is the band of tissue that connects the calf muscles at the back of the lower leg to the heel bone. Those who suffer from it experience irritation and inflammation in the large tendon in the back of the ankle. The injury tends to be common in athletes -- especially those who play soccer -- as a result of getting stepped on or kicked, rolling the ankle the wrong way or too much force when starting or ending a sprint.

Most often, the inflammation that comes with the injury can lead to pain and swelling.

There are several factors that may increase a person's risk of Achilles tendonitis:

  • Age and sex: Achilles tendinitis is common among middle-aged men.

  • A naturally flat foot arch can put more strain on the Achilles tendon. Obesity and tight calf muscles also can increase the strain.

  • Running or exercising in old, worn-out shoes can increase the risk. Running on hilly terrain also can put someone at higher risk of Achilles injury.

  • Those with diabetes or high blood pressure may be at at higher risk

  • Certain types of antibiotics have been linked with a higher risk of Achilles tendinitis.

The good news is that Achilles tendonitis often responds well to measures such as rest and ice. When it's persistent, treatment can include:

  • Medications: These can include over-the-counter drugs for pain, or stronger medications to reduce inflammation

  • Physical therapy such as stretching and strengthening exercises

  • Shoe inserts that elevate the heel to ease strain on the tendon

  • Surgery: If conservative treatments aren't effective or if the tendon tears, this might be done to repair the Achilles tendon

If you're suffering from Achilles pain from soccer or other sports, call our office so we can evaluate you and get you on the path back to health. We hope you enjoy watching the World Cup this summer, and go Team USA!

By Diana Emini

Earlier this week, many soccer fans were glued to TVs as the U.S. men's team took on – and defeated – Ghana during America's World Cup debut.

Back here in Lemont, Dr. Diana Emini and I know that soccer is a sport that's popular among people of all ages – especially kids.

But as podiatrists at DM Foot & Ankle Associates, we know that some kids who play soccer and other sports can suffer from heel pain as a result of Sever's disease. It's a painful bone disorder that results from inflammation of the growth plate in the heel (an area at the tip of a developing bone where cartilage cells transform into bone cells.)

Sever's disease can be a big cause of heel pain in growing kids who are physically active. It usually occurs during the growth spurt that comes with adolescence – typically between the ages of 8 and 13 for girls and 10 and 15 for boys.

According to kidshealth.org, Sever's disease can result from sports that involve running and jumping on hard surfaces – think track, basketball, soccer and gymnastics. In addition, ill-fitting shoes can lead to the condition if they don't offer enough support or padding.

 

By Michelle Kim

From last month's Quarryman Challenge race in Lemont to the recent Bacon Chase 5K at Montrose Beach to the Bank of America Chicago Marathon in October, there are plenty of races happening in the area during the warm months to keep runners active.

At DM Foot & Ankle Ankle, my colleague, Dr. Michelle Kim, and I see lots of runners in our Lemont office. They come to us with everything from heel pain to ankle sprains. And when it comes to running shoes, it seems the trend of running in minimalist shoes – think of the FiveFingers shoes made my Vibram – are giving way to footwear that's quite the opposite.

According to a recent article in The Washington Post, some runners are giving up “barely there” shoes in favor of those offering “maximal cushioning” to help provide exercise without destroying the legs.

These types of shoes look like updated, more colorful models of orthopedic footwear – and the Post claims some have called them “clown shoes” – but nearly a half-dozen shoe makers, including Nike, Brooks and New Balance, recently started selling shoes with soles that are roughly 30 percent thicker than typical running shoes.

The Post reports the first company to offer the super-cushioned shoes was Hoka One One. The company’s president even touts the design, according to the Post, as “the most dramatic advance in running footwear in 30 years” because the shoes' soft ride may help runners whose legs have taken a beating over the years.

But this is not the first time a shoe company has made such claims. Makers of barefoot and minimalist shoes also said their footwear could prevent injury. Those at shoe company Vibram, makers of the FiveFingers shoe, agreed to refund $3.75 million to customer last month after a lawsuit accused the company of making claims that it couldn’t support – mainly that its shoes reduce injuries and strengthen foot muscles.

At DM Foot & Ankle, we know there are lots of choices when it comes to running shoes, and we are happy to offer advice based on your foot and ankle needs. Call our office if you need help picking out the right running footwear – we also offer pre-made and custom inserts that many runners find helpful.

Good luck as you put miles on your shoes this summer!

By Diana Emini