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Fairhope, Brewton, Atmore, Jay Phone (251) 928-6768

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Your feet are covered most of the day. If you're diabetic, periodic screening is important for good health. Numbness is often a sign of diabetic foot and can mask a sore or wound.

Monday, 26 April 2021 00:00

Toenail Fungus Prevention

Millions of people in America will have at least one bout with nail fungus in their lifetime. Infections are said to occur more in adults over 40 due to structural changes in toenails, and athletes whose feet spend a lot of time confined in damp socks and shoes. If a family member has toenail fungus, that can increase your chance of infection as well. At best, toenail fungus is unsightly and embarrassing. At worst, it may lead to bacterial infections in people with circulatory issues, diabetes, or immune system disorders. You can lower your risk of contracting toenail fungus by wearing flip-flops in locker rooms and communal showers, keeping your toenails trimmed and injury-free, letting your feet air out after being in stuffy athletic shoes, and never sharing toenail clippers or other foot care instruments with anyone. To help clear up your toenail fungus as quickly as possible, make an appointment with a podiatrist who can utilize a variety of treatments to rid your toenails from those pesky keratin-eating fungi.

If left untreated, toenail fungus may spread to other toenails, skin, or even fingernails. If you suspect you have toenail fungus it is important to seek treatment right away. For more information about treatment, contact Brent Harwood, DPM of Southeast Podiatry. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Symptoms

  • Warped or oddly shaped nails
  • Yellowish nails
  • Loose/separated nail
  • Buildup of bits and pieces of nail fragments under the nail
  • Brittle, broken, thickened nail

Treatment

If self-care strategies and over-the-counter medications does not help your fungus, your podiatrist may give you a prescription drug instead. Even if you find relief from your toenail fungus symptoms, you may experience a repeat infection in the future.

Prevention

In order to prevent getting toenail fungus in the future, you should always make sure to wash your feet with soap and water. After washing, it is important to dry your feet thoroughly especially in between the toes. When trimming your toenails, be sure to trim straight across instead of in a rounded shape. It is crucial not to cover up discolored nails with nail polish because that will prevent your nail from being able to “breathe”.

In some cases, surgical procedure may be needed to remove the toenail fungus. Consult with your podiatrist about the best treatment options for your case of toenail fungus.  

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Fairhope, Brewton, and Atmore, AL and Jay, FL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

 

Read more about How to Treat Your Toenail Fungus
Monday, 19 April 2021 00:00

Reminder: When Was the Last Time...?

Custom orthotics, or shoe inserts, should be periodically replaced. Orthotics must fit properly to give you the best results. Protect your feet and ankles!

Monday, 19 April 2021 00:00

How the Plantar Fascia Causes Heel Pain

The plantar fascia is the flat band of tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot and connects the heel to the toes, ultimately supporting the arch of the foot.  Plantar fasciitis is the result of inflammation or a strain of this ligament, and it is the most common cause of heel pain.  Plantar fasciitis is common amongst patients who are middle-aged, frequently on their feet (like athletes and soldiers), are overweight, have high arches, or have tight Achilles tendons.  Plantar fasciitis pain is most often the worst in the morning after getting out of bed or sitting for a long time.  Patients who are at risk for plantar fasciitis, or are suffering from heel pain, should visit with a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis of their heel pain. 

Plantar fasciitis is a common foot condition that is often caused by a strain injury. If you are experiencing heel pain or symptoms of plantar fasciitis, contact Brent Harwood, DPM from Southeast Podiatry. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. The plantar fascia is a ligament that connects your heel to the front of your foot. When this ligament becomes inflamed, plantar fasciitis is the result. If you have plantar fasciitis you will have a stabbing pain that usually occurs with your first steps in the morning. As the day progresses and you walk around more, this pain will start to disappear, but it will return after long periods of standing or sitting.

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

  • Excessive running
  • Having high arches in your feet
  • Other foot issues such as flat feet
  • Pregnancy (due to the sudden weight gain)
  • Being on your feet very often

There are some risk factors that may make you more likely to develop plantar fasciitis compared to others. The condition most commonly affects adults between the ages of 40 and 60. It also tends to affect people who are obese because the extra pounds result in extra stress being placed on the plantar fascia.

Prevention

  • Take good care of your feet – Wear shoes that have good arch support and heel cushioning.
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • If you are a runner, alternate running with other sports that won’t cause heel pain

There are a variety of treatment options available for plantar fasciitis along with the pain that accompanies it. Additionally, physical therapy is a very important component in the treatment process. It is important that you meet with your podiatrist to determine which treatment option is best for you.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Fairhope, Brewton, and Atmore, AL and Jay, FL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

 

Read more about Plantar Fasciitis

Suffering from this type of pain? You may have the foot condition known as Morton's neuroma. Morton's neuroma may develop as a result of ill-fitting footwear and existing foot deformities. We can help.

Monday, 12 April 2021 00:00

Is Bunion Surgery an Option?

Patients who are afflicted with a bunion may choose to have surgery that can permanently repair this foot condition. A bunion is defined as a large, bony protrusion that develops on the bottom of the big toe. Common causes for a bunion to form can include genetic factors, or from wearing shoes that do not fit correctly. For severe bunions, many patients consider having surgery repair the affected joint. Additionally, bunion surgery may be successful in correcting the ligaments and tendons that may have shifted from the growing bunion. If you have a bunion, and are considering having surgery performed, it is strongly suggested that a podiatrist be consulted for an in depth discussion about the risks and rewards of bunion surgery.

If you are suffering from bunions, contact Brent Harwood, DPM of Southeast Podiatry. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is a Bunion?

A bunion is formed of swollen tissue or an enlargement of boney growth, usually located at the base joint of the toe that connects to the foot. The swelling occurs due to the bones in the big toe shifting inward, which impacts the other toes of the foot. This causes the area around the base of the big toe to become inflamed and painful.

Why Do Bunions Form?

Genetics – Susceptibility to bunions are often hereditary

Stress on the feet – Poorly fitted and uncomfortable footwear that places stress on feet, such as heels, can worsen existing bunions

How Are Bunions Diagnosed?

Doctors often perform two tests – blood tests and x-rays – when trying to diagnose bunions, especially in the early stages of development. Blood tests help determine if the foot pain is being caused by something else, such as arthritis, while x-rays provide a clear picture of your bone structure to your doctor.

How Are Bunions Treated?

  • Refrain from wearing heels or similar shoes that cause discomfort
  • Select wider shoes that can provide more comfort and reduce pain
  • Anti-inflammatory and pain management drugs
  • Orthotics or foot inserts
  • Surgery

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Fairhope, Brewton, and Atmore, AL and Jay, FL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Bunions
Monday, 05 April 2021 00:00

Heel Pain Can Be Treated!

Do you suffer from heel pain when you get up in the morning? If so, you should seek the professional help of your podiatrist and have a proper diagnosis performed. Heel pain can be caused by several different foot-related conditions.

The medical condition known as athlete’s foot is contagious and often accompanied by noticeable symptoms. These symptoms may include cracked skin on the sole of the foot or in between the toes, and many patients also experience severe itching. This ailment is caused by a fungus that generally lives and thrives in warm and moist environments. These can include public swimming pools, locker rooms, and shower room floors. The fungus typically enters the body through small cracks in the skin and may even spread to other parts of the body, such as the hands, if not promptly treated. If you or your child have symptoms of this uncomfortable foot condition, it is strongly suggested that you seek the advice of a podiatrist who can offer you proper treatment solutions.

Athlete’s foot is an inconvenient condition that can be easily reduced with the proper treatment. If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles, contact Brent Harwood, DPM from Southeast Podiatry.  Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Athlete’s Foot: The Sole Story

Athlete's foot, also known as tinea pedis, can be an extremely contagious foot infection. It is commonly contracted in public changing areas and bathrooms, dormitory style living quarters, around locker rooms and public swimming pools, or anywhere your feet often come into contact with other people.

Solutions to Combat Athlete’s Foot

  • Hydrate your feet by using lotion
  • Exfoliate
  • Buff off nails
  • Use of anti-fungal products
  • Examine your feet and visit your doctor if any suspicious blisters or cuts develop

Athlete’s foot can cause many irritating symptoms such as dry and flaking skin, itching, and redness. Some more severe symptoms can include bleeding and cracked skin, intense itching and burning, and even pain when walking. In the worst cases, Athlete’s foot can cause blistering as well. Speak to your podiatrist for a better understanding of the different causes of Athlete’s foot, as well as help in determining which treatment options are best for you.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Fairhope, Brewton, and Atmore, AL and Jay, FL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Athlete’s Foot
Monday, 29 March 2021 00:00

It's Time for Beautiful Feet

You don't need an excuse to have beautiful nails. Step outside without worrying about the appearance of your feet.

The bones that are located in the feet can be affected by stress fractures. Stress fractures are  hairline fractures that can gradually develop from overuse. They can form as a result of a sudden change in footwear, running on uneven surfaces, or suddenly increasing the intensity in running and jumping activities. Common symptoms that many patients experience can include tenderness surrounding the injured area, in addition to severe pain when the activity is completed. Mild relief can be found when the affected foot is elevated, and this may help to increase circulation to the heart. If you feel you have endured a stress fracture in your foot, it is advised that you seek the counsel of a podiatrist who can properly diagnose and treat stress fractures.

Activities where too much pressure is put on the feet can cause stress fractures. To learn more, contact Brent Harwood, DPM from Southeast Podiatry. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep your pain free and on your feet.

Dealing with Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle

Stress fractures occur in the foot and ankle when muscles in these areas weaken from too much or too little use.  The feet and ankles then lose support when walking or running from the impact of the ground. Since there is no protection, the bones receive the full impact of each step. Stress on the feet can cause cracks to form in the bones, thus creating stress fractures.

What Are Stress Fractures?

Stress fractures occur frequently in individuals whose daily activities cause great impact on the feet and ankles. Stress factors are most common among:

  • Runners                                  
  • People affected with Osteoporosis
  • Tennis or basketball players
  • Gymnasts
  • High impact workouts

Symptoms

Pain from the fractures occur in the area of the fractures and can be constant or intermittent. It will often cause sharp or dull pain with swelling and tenderness. Engaging in any kind of activity which involves high impact will aggravate pain.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Fairhope, Brewton, and Atmore, AL and Jay, FL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Dealing with Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle
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