Friday, 23 November 2018

Risk Factors Towards Toenail Fungal Infections

It is believed that half of all the diseases of the nails are caused by fungi. The small fungi get beneath the beds of the nails and may make the toenails brittle, dark, and at times smelly.

Anyone can get affected by toenail fungus, but some individuals face greater risk. Overall health, gender, age, genetics— and numerous everyday habits tend to play a very important role in causing toenail infection. Here are a few common reasons for fungal infection, and how to prevent it.

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Family history:

Hereditary factors play a major role in a person’s health. In case you have a history of fungal infections within your family, make sure you take out time to analyze your feet regularly and see a podiatrist promptly in case you doubt toenail fungus.

Toenail fungus and boots

If you have a job that entails wearing boots for a longer period of time then your job may put you in threat of a fungal infection. Such shoes tend to create a sweaty, warm, environment which is conducive for the development of toenail fungus. Any job that causes your feet to get sweaty or even wet then it puts you at risk for a fungal infection. To reduce the susceptibility towards toenail fungus, keep spare pairs of shoes or boots and let every pair dry after it’s worn. Apart from this, make sure your socks are changed frequently to ensure the feet stay dry.

Toenail fungus and nail polish

While nail polish enhances the look of your toe nails, it can also cause fungal infection. Strong nail polishes block light and create an atmosphere conducive to the growth of fungus. Therefore, make sure you avoid using nail paint from time to time.

If you can’t live without a pedicure, make sure your salon sanitizes the tools properly before using them on you. Fingal infection is contagious and can spread by using the same instruments as the affected person. You may also want to keep your appointment during the first half as instruments used for pedicure are normally the cleanest during the day.

Toenail fungus and tight shoes:

Closed-toe shoes, particularly the ones that are narrow from the front, can lead to foot trauma, weakening your nails and making them prone to fungal infections. In case you have to wear a shoe, which is closed from the front, choose a footwear that has enough space so that your toes can move without effort. You can also choose shoes that help your feet breathe. Any kind of open-toed flip-flop or shoe will permit air circulation which in turn will help to prevent toenail fungus.

Toenail fungus and locker rooms

If you swim, you should not worry that the chlorinated pool may cause toenail fungus. The problem actually starts with the locker room. Humid, wet areas are conducive for breeding of toenail fungal infections. It is important to wear foot gear when using the locker rooms. Also, it is very important to dry your feet properly after swimming and getting back into your shoes.

With just a little caution, awareness and regular visits to the podiatrist you can ensure that your feet remain in good health all your life.

Friday, 26 October 2018

Home Cures for Blister Treatment


While no one can deny the colorful cuteness that sandals bring to our outfits, they do have a huge disadvantage: blisters. At times when temperatures rise, your feet tend to sweat and swell, which leads to friction causing fluid-filled, painful blisters on the heels or feet.

So, how does one avoid getting blisters? The first thing is to ensure your footwear is right. In case they hurt or pinch you in the store, it is likely that they will also pinch you when you put them on the first time. Also, make sure if you get blisters on your heels or feet you resist the impulse to pop them. Popping can lead to infection. Rather, make sure you cover the blister with a bandage.

What is the best way to get rid of a foot blister or treat it? Foot doctors suggest the following:

Make sure the blister does not tear. Cover it loosely with the help of a gauze bandage.

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Keep the sore clean.

If by chance you end up tearing the blister, make the pus come out, keep the area clean and covered. Avoid the gauze top to touch the skin, or the bacteria or dirt to enter. It is also best to avoid draining or popping blisters on heels or feet, as this may cause infection. However, if the blister is too big or appears as if it may pop, drain the fluid to avoid discomfort.

Some home cures for blisters:

Aloe Vera:

Aloe vera is known to be a natural anti-inflammatory. It assists in relieving swelling and redness. Moreover, it is extremely hydrating, and keeps the skin moist so that it heals quickly, particularly once the blister pops and shrivels.
Apple cider vinegar

It is best to soak the blister, otherwise you can also dab vinegar on it. Apple cider vinegar is known to possess antibacterial properties, which can help in preventing infection once the blister has popped. However, vinegar can sting, in case you use it, dip the cotton in the vinegar, and carefully clean around the popped area.

Black tea:

Application of black tea over the affected area assists in soothing blisters. The tea contains anti-inflammatory agents.

Tea Tree oil:

Tea tree is known to have several antibacterial properties and is known to act as an astringent, helping in drying up the blisters. While for a lot of people it may not hurt, for some, it may end up irritating the skin.

Toothpaste:

Most people make use of toothpaste to ‘dry out' blisters, pimples, sores, etc. However, make sure the toothpaste you use does not have cinnamon as it can end up irritating the skin.
Apart from all this, if you want to prevent foot blisters, it is a good idea to wear comfortable shoes that offer the right support. Improper shoes tend to increase the hazard of blisters on heels and feet. Studies suggest that most women tend to wear smaller sizes, which can increase the pressure on the ankles and feet, leading to skin damage. It is best to get shoes that assist in supporting your weight and do not add abnormal pressure.

Monday, 24 September 2018

How Nutrition Can Affect Your Feet

When people think of health and nutrition, they normally link the food they consume with heart health or weight management. However, diet plays several significant roles in a person’s overall health and may even affect different body parts.

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Diet, Inflammation, and Your Feet

Inflammation is generally the defense mechanism within the body which assists in stopping abnormal cell growth, and promotion of tissue healing. However, when inflammation continues, it needs the body to employ different mediators to secure the cells. When the mediators are present for prolonged time periods, they may destroy good tissue.

Inflammation is an extremely common cause of pain in the foot, linked to different kinds of inflammatory arthritis such as, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and gout. It may also attack the plantar fascia, a tissue band that runs through the foot’s bottom, causing an intense pain in your heel linked with plantar fasciitis.

Diet, Osteoporosis, and Your Feet

Several chronic conditions affecting the feet are managed better by eating correctly. A condition such as this is known as osteoporosis. Osteoporosis can be linked to increased fractures. Improving the diet by including vitamin D and calcium can help decrease the fracture risks.

Dairy products including, cheese, milk, and yogurt are few of the calcium sources. However, you must remember saturated fats, found in dairy products with full-fat, increase inflammation.

Diet, Peripheral Artery Disease, and Feet

Common signs of peripheral artery disease comprise of muscle discomfort in the feet. In certain cases, patients suffer from extreme tingling in the toes or feet.

A low saturated fat diet, low trans-fat foods, and sodium, can help in decreasing the dangers of peripheral artery disease. It is a good idea to consume omega-3s to lower the dangers of peripheral artery disease.

Diet, Diabetes, and Feet

Diabetes can lead to several kinds of foot problems, including nerve damage and skin changes. Almost 70% of people suffering from diabetes have neuropathy. Some of the symptoms include tingling, burning pain, or even weakness of the feet.

Eating healthy is the best way of controlling the levels of blood sugar and keeping diabetes under control. A diet particularly for diabetic patients, just like any good eating plan, includes consuming fiber-rich vegetables and fruits, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats.

Diet, Weight, and Your Feet

Your feet take on the entire body’s weight; it is no surprise that putting on too many pounds can cause foot problems. Too much body weight may increase your susceptibility to a range of painful conditions within the feet.

Overall nutrition can play an important role in keeping your feet healthy. Make sure you consume the right diet and see a podiatrist once in six months atleast. In case you have diabetes, visit a professional more frequently for healthy feet.

Thursday, 23 August 2018

How To Protect Your Legs and Feet If You Have Diabetes

If you suffer from diabetes, you may face issues concerning your legs and feet, two most common complexities of the disease. If you are diabetic, you may be prone to corns, calluses, bunions, ulcers and blisters  and increased blood sugar means minor alterations and injuries may cause disabling infections.

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Inspect your feet daily for wounds, cracks, and sores:

Nerve damage is a diabetic complication which makes it difficult to feel when you are suffering from cracks or sores in your feet. It is important to place a mirror to have a look under the feet or ask relatives or friends for assistance if you are unable to see your feet properly.

Never make use of your feet for testing hot water

When those suffering from diabetes suffer neuropathy or nerve damage, they may have a hard time telling if the water is hot. They may not realize that they are burning their skin. Stepping inside a bath before being sure of the temperature may lead to serious damage to the feet, since blisters and burns can cause infection. Make use of your elbow for checking the temperature before you get inside the shower.

Always wear diabetes-friendly socks and footwear

People suffering from diabetes need to put more attention when shoe shopping. It is best to look for shoes that offer good coverage of the bottom and top, more depth in the toe area, and without seams within the shoe. Similarly, wear socks that have no seams, padded socks made out of cotton.

Never Go Barefoot, whether you are outside or inside

When you putter around with no shoes inside or outside the house, you put yourself at risk of scrapes, cuts, and penetration by glass shards, and splinters. Make sure you wear shoes at all times, no matter what.

Keep the feet dry for decreasing infection

It is important to dry your feet every time they get wet. The area between your toes is extremely airtight. Moist skin breaks down, causing infection. You can prevent this by thoroughly towelling off after washing the feet and getting sweaty or wet shoes and socks immediately. You may, however, use moisturizer for preventing cracked or dry skin— just dont use it between the toes.

See a doctor on a regular basis for treating foot problems

Even the most harmless calluses may get troublesome if you keep ignoring them. When you build your diabetes healthcare team, make sure you include a doctor or podiatrist, instead of going straight to a pharmacy for treatment — some over the counter products are not good for the skin and may actually enhance the risk of getting infection even when they treat the callus, bunion, or corn.

Your podiatrist and your healthcare team are the best sources of help and information if you are looking for ideas for taking good care of your feet. Also, in case you see any changes to your feet that are concerning, it is best to see a doctor.

Monday, 23 July 2018

Great Hacks That Help With Rheumatoid Arthritis Foot Pain

Do you have aching feet? Stiffness, pain, or swelling in the toes or ankles is extremely common with people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. In fact, 90 percent of individuals suffering from rheumatoid arthritis experience these insistent symptoms of foot pain. Selecting the right footwear, talking to a podiatrist and losing extra weight are some of the tips experts recommend for dealing with issues of the foot.

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1. Orange Juice: It is said that cold has the power to decrease pain. Place a towel over a bottle of orange juice which is frozen and run the ball of your foot on it. This will also assist in decreasing inflammation.

2. Antiperspirant: In case you have a problem of blisters, make sure you spread some antiperspirant over the problem before wearing your shoes. This will keep the moisture away from the blisters.

3. Grocery bag sock: In case you wear stockings for compression, you can purchase a special device for putting them on, as that is particularly tricky for somebody with rheumatoid arthritis. Use a plastic bag for an open-toed stocking. Just cut the bag’s corner and place it onto the heel and toes. The stocking can now slide up easily. Once it is up, pull the bag out of the foot from the side of the toe.

4. Lamb’s wool and bunions: Buy gel-filled pads or moleskin for protecting the bunion from shoes. Or you can also fill your shoe with a padding of lamb’s wool. In case the wool moves around, rub a little petroleum jelly on your foot to hold it in place.

5. Ginger and tea wraps: Wrapping feet inside a damp washcloth can be extremely soothing for individuals suffering from achy feet. Some individuals find that putting crushed ginger, strong chamomile tea provides extra relief from the pain. Even though there is no evidence supporting this, it has no side effects.

6. Cinnamon: Cinnamon is known to offer relief from pains and aches. The main reason behind this is Cinnamon in great doses can be damaging to your health. Moreover, cinnamon is known to have potential damaging effects on pregnant women and may react in a wrong way with blood thinning medications and people susceptible to clotting.

7. Willow bark: Willow bark is known to have anti-inflammatory benefits and offers pain relief. In fact, it is known to offer same qualities as aspirin. Disadvantages? It has certain active ingredients such as, salicin, which can be dangerous in large quantities, as it may shut the kidneys down.

8. Green tea: Polyphenols in green tea has numerous anti-inflammatory properties. But, it is not just the polyphenols that assist the RA sufferers. It is actually the antioxidants found within the polyphenols known for suppressing immunity.

While rheumatoid arthritis is not considered life threatening, one may feel extremely miserable. These cures can help you in feeling a lot better. Another way to get treatment is to see a podiatrist.

Friday, 22 June 2018

How to protect your feet from blisters?


Almost everyone has experienced the pain of blisters sometime in their lives. From wrong socks to a power run, a lot of things can cause these bumps on your feet. Sometimes, even shoes that are created for comfort can rub against your feet, causing a painful and annoying blister.



What is a Blister?

Blisters can pop up almost anywhere on our feet. The area normally looks red, is soft and round and filled with fluid. It is the parting of the skin layers that makes the fluid build-up. Blisters are normally found in areas with bony prominence or those that tend to rub with other elements.

Risk Factors involving blisters:

Friction is the main cause of blisters on the feet. It may also be a result of moisture. You can suffer from a blister if you are in the habit of wearing ill-fitting shoes, or if you fail to protect your feet properly with socks. Each time you wear poorly fitted and uncomfortable footwear that is either too small or too tight you are inviting blisters. Blisters may also be a result of footwear that scours the foot’s bony areas, such as, the joint of your heel.

Exercise, which is known to create moisture and friction within the shoes, is another culprit. Also, the kind of sock can add to blister formation. If you do not wear thick socks to protect and cushion your feet, you increase your chances of blisters, similar to not wearing socks. In case your skin brushes directly with the shoe, blisters will form.

Blister Diagnosis

You can diagnose a painful spot on your feet as a blister if you carefully analyze your recent activity (breaking in new shoes, or a workout), and by looking at the pus sac. However, blisters may also be a consequence of some health conditions. It is best to speak to a podiatrist to find out for sure about the reason behind the formation.

Eczema (a painful skin condition that leads to inflammation) may result in blisters, as can viral infections, medicinal reactions, chicken pox, and the like.

Blisters are not serious, but they are a reminder that you need to take good care of your feet. Make sure you choose the right footwear, cushy socks for keeping them in proper shape. Also, make sure you visit a podiatrist every time you feel something unusual with your feet. This will help you enjoy good health.

Thursday, 24 May 2018

How smoking hurts your feet?

Our feet are situated further away from our heart, which means they don't get the same amount of blood as other body parts. And if you have the habit of smoking, your body is going to get sluggish. One of the biggest ways smoking can harm your feet is through peripheral arterial disease.

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PAD or peripheral arterial disease causes plaque buildup within the arteries, often affecting arteries that run to your feet. With the arteries getting narrowed and stiff, blood has a hard time reaching the lower parts of the body. This may cause leg pain while walking, and the person will notice that their injuries or sores on the feet take a longer time to heal.

If you are a smoker, your chances of developing PAD are almost four times more than if you do not smoke. Also, as per experts, if you are prone to this problem, it will develop almost a decade earlier if you smoke. Moreover, if you suffer from diabetes — another factor that causes reduced circulation to your feet — your feet are particularly at high risk for damage. Did you know that people suffering from PAD have a greater possibility of dying from problems linked to cardiovascular disease, and almost six times more risk of dying from coronary heart problem.

In a lot of cases, doctors can recuperate the circulation by bypassing a small section of artery and attaching a blood vessel to it. However, if your feet are badly damaged because of lack of blood flow, it might require amputation.

Quitting

If it concerns you that your feet are at risk due to smoking then here are some steps that can help in quitting:

Plan ahead to prepare for quitting. Set a specific date for the time when you wish to quit, and remove ashtrays and cigarettes from your house, office and car beforehand. Ask your family and friends for support and encouragement.

Speak with your doctor. A lot of medications such as, nicotine based nasal spray, patches and lozenges — can increase your probability of quitting. Certain antidepressants can also assist you with nicotine cravings.

Avoid all triggers. If you stay in the company of those who smoke, you will crave smoking yourself. Moreover, consuming alcohol makes you highly likely to cheat on your resolution. If you go to bars and other such places where smoking and alcohol tend to be in abundance, make sure you find yourself a new hangout.

And do not forget to divert your mind by doing something you love. Since you are working hard to break a bad habit, take your mind off of it by joining an activity or doing something that gives you pleasure. Exercising regularly and taking daily baths are stress-reducing, healthy ways of distracting yourself.