DMFA Blog

Posts for tag: fungal infections

There is a common misconception that athlete's foot only affects athletes, after all, that’s what its name infers, right?

Wrong. Athlete’s foot can affect anyone who doesn’t keep their feet protected. At DM Foot & Ankle Associates, Dr. Emini and I treat many people who aren’t aware of the many ways that they can contract athlete’s foot and how important it is to protect your feet in public places. With this cold winter weather, the type of socks and shoes that we are forced to wear often times create the perfect environment for fungus to thrive.

                       

 

                       

 

 

So how do you get it?

Well for starters, athlete’s foot is contagious and is often spread in places where people go barefoot such as public showers or swimming pools. It grows in warm, wet places such as in between the toes. This is why it’s important to wear flip flops in places like the gym showers, public pools, saunas, locker rooms and all other common public spaces.

 

How do I know if I have it?

The condition ranges from mild scaling and itching to painful inflammation and blisters. It usually starts between the toes or on the arch and may spread to the bottom and sides of the foot. If untreated, skin blisters and cracks caused by athlete's foot can cause bacterial infections.

 

What should I do if I have Athlete’s Foot?

The treatment of athlete's foot depends on the type and extent of the fungal infection, so it is important to consult a doctor before choosing a therapy. Depending on the type of infection you have, various kinds of medication may be used in treating your fungal problem. Successful treatment usually involves a combination of medication and self-care. If your condition is mild, over-the-counter powders, lotions, or ointments can often help treat the condition. Foot soaks may help dry excessive perspiration. However, over-the-counter medications are generally weak and a prescription strength antifungal is more effective in moderate to serious conditions.

 

 

If you or someone you know thinks that they have contracted athlete's foot, make sure to seek professional care before you spread it to someone else! At DM Foot & Ankle Associates, Dr. Emini and I can assess your condition and get your skin healthy again. The same fungus can spread into the toenails, so be sure to get checked before this difficult to cure condition happens!

 

BY: Michelle Kim

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

Thanks to pre-and post-holiday sales, you may have spent time shopping in recent weeks. In doing so, you've probably noticed there's a wide selection of shearling boots such as Uggs.

 

While these boots are good at keeping feet warm even during harsh Chicago winters, they may not be the best for the health of your feet.

 

While they're fashionable – they became a staple in many women's closets after celebrities such as Cameron Diaz, Katie Holmes and Gwenyth Paltrow began wearing them in the mid-2000s – one issue is that they don't provide much support.

 

In fact, the fur-lined footwear even made news a few years ago when they and their knockoffs were criticized by health experts in the United Kingdom. Experts even told the British newspaper the Mirror that Uggs were "harming the feet of a generation of young women.”

 

"With each step, the force falls towards the inside of the foot and the feet splay,” the head of the British College of Osteopathic Medicine told the paper. “This flattens the arch and makes it drop... The result can be significant problems with the foot, the ankle, and, ultimately, the hip.” 

Ugg Australia has said their boots are meant for comfort, not performance, according to the New York Daily News. As a result. these boots can create problems if they're worn for long periods of time – or worn without socks. The Daily News reported the boots don't offer “control, cushion or support” that's needed for long bouts of standing or walking. Meanwhile, most people tend to walk on unforgiving surfaces such as concrete, asphalt or industrial flooding.

One solution to this is visiting a podiatrist to get an insert to slip inside your Ugg or shearling boot to keep your feet in the correct position. My colleague, Dr. Diana Emini, and I can help fit you with an insert for your Ugg at DM Foot and Ankle.

We also offer products to help disinfect your Uggs to help kill bacteria and fungus. Also, be sure to wear cotton or wicking socks – going barefoot could lead to a fungal infection.

If you're having foot pain from these types of boots, don't hesitate to call our Lemont office. Winter has only just begun, but these steps can keep your feet warm – and safe – during the cold weather.

By Michelle Kim