Understanding How Fungus Infects the Toenail

Toenail fungus, medically termed onychomycosis, is a common fungal infection that affects millions of people worldwide. Fungi thrive in warm, moist environments, making the feet susceptible to infection, particularly in damp socks and shoes. When fungi, such as dermatophytes, yeasts, or molds, penetrate the toenail bed or nail plate, they cause the toenail to become discolored, thickened, and brittle. Fungal nail infections often start as a small white or yellow spot under the nail and progressively spread, leading to more severe symptoms if left untreated. Factors like poor foot hygiene, wearing tight or ill-fitting shoes, and walking barefoot in public places increase the risk of toenail fungus. Additionally, individuals with weakened immune systems, diabetes, or circulatory issues are more prone to fungal infections. If you have developed toenail fungus, it is suggested that you consult a podiatrist who can offer effective preventive measures, in addition to prescribing medication if needed for successful treatment.

For more information about treatment, contact one of our podiatrists of InStride Family Foot Care. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Toenail Fungus Treatment

Toenail fungus is a condition that affects many people and can be especially hard to get rid of. Fortunately, there are several methods to go about treating and avoiding it.

Antifungals & Deterrence

Oral antifungal medicine has been shown to be effective in many cases. It is important to consult with a podiatrist to determine the proper regiment for you, or potentially explore other options.

Applying foot powder on the feet and shoes helps keep the feet free of moisture and sweat.

Sandals or open toed shoes – Wearing these will allow air movement and help keep feet dry. They also expose your feet to light, which fungus cannot tolerate. Socks with moisture wicking material also help as well.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Concord, Charlotte, and Salisbury, NC . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

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Symptoms and Risk Factors of Gout

Gout is caused by the accumulation of uric acid crystals in joints, often affecting the big toe. Gout is notorious for its intense pain, which frequently flares up at night. Although commonly associated with men over 45, gout can develop in anyone at any age. This arthritic condition stems from the body's inability to adequately process purines, which are natural substances found in the body. This inability results in the formation of uric acid. When uric acid levels become elevated, sharp urate crystals form and deposit in joints, leading to inflammation, swelling, and excruciating pain. While the big toe is a frequent target, gout can affect any joint and often strikes suddenly, even disrupting sleep with its severity. Dietary factors play a significant role in gout development, with diets high in red meat, seafood, and fructose-containing beverages increasing the risk. Alcohol consumption and obesity also increase susceptibility to gout. Symptoms can include agonizing pain, swelling, warmth, and redness at the affected joint, which may last up to a week before subsiding. Gout is not curable, but it can be managed with the help of lifestyle and dietary changes and treatment from a podiatrist. If you suffer from the symptoms of gout, it is suggested that you are under the care of a podiatrist who is medically trained to manage this ailment.

Gout is a painful condition that can be treated. If you are seeking treatment, contact one of our podiatrists from InStride Family Foot Care. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Is Gout?

Gout is a form of arthritis that is characterized by sudden, severe attacks of pain, redness, and tenderness in the joints. The condition usually affects the joint at the base of the big toe. A gout attack can occur at any random time, such as the middle of the night while you are asleep.

Symptoms

  • Intense Joint Pain - Usually around the large joint of your big toe, and it most severe within the first four to twelve hours
  • Lingering Discomfort - Joint discomfort may last from a few days to a few weeks
  • Inflammation and Redness -Affected joints may become swollen, tender, warm and red
  • Limited Range of Motion - May experience a decrease in joint mobility

Risk Factors

  • Genetics - If family members have gout, you’re more likely to have it
  • Medications - Diuretic medications can raise uric acid levels
  • Gender/Age - Gout is more common in men until the age of 60. It is believed that estrogen protects women until that point
  • Diet - Eating red meat and shellfish increases your risk
  • Alcohol - Having more than two alcoholic drinks per day increases your risk
  • Obesity - Obese people are at a higher risk for gout

Prior to visiting your podiatrist to receive treatment for gout, there are a few things you should do beforehand. If you have gout you should write down your symptoms--including when they started and how often you experience them, important medical information you may have, and any questions you may have. Writing down these three things will help your podiatrist in assessing your specific situation so that he or she may provide the best route of treatment for you.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Concord, Charlotte, and Salisbury, NC . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Are You Suffering From Nerve Damage?

Neuropathy is a condition that can lead to numbness or loss of sensation in the feet, but it can also cause pain. This condition is more likely to develop for those who are diabetic, obese, or with high blood pressure.

Preventing Running Injuries and Sustaining Flexibility

Embarking on a running journey is a pursuit of both physical fitness and mental well-being. To ensure a sustained and injury-free experience, incorporating preventive measures into your running routine is paramount. A key way to prevent running injuries is to begin with a dynamic warm-up routine, encompassing stretches that target key muscle groups. Consistent strength training that focuses on the core and lower body fortifies the muscles, reducing the risk of overuse injuries in the feet. Investing in quality footwear that suits your foot type and running terrain is a cornerstone of injury prevention. Gradual progression in mileage and intensity allows the body to adapt, minimizing the strain on foot's many muscles and joints. Listening to your body and recognizing early signs of fatigue or discomfort enables timely adjustments to prevent injuries. Post-run stretches that emphasize flexibility aid in muscle recovery and maintain joint suppleness. By integrating these strategies, runners can safeguard against injuries and nurture flexibility, fostering a sustainable and fulfilling running experience. If you are experiencing foot or ankle injuries related to running, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist.

All runners should take extra precaution when trying to avoid injury. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact one of our podiatrists of InStride Family Foot Care. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

How to Prevent Running Injuries

There are a lot of mistakes a runner can make prior to a workout that can induce injury. A lot of athletes tend to overstretch before running, instead of saving those workouts for a post-run routine. Deep lunges and hand-to-toe hamstring pulls should be performed after a workout instead of during a warmup. Another common mistake is jumping into an intense routine before your body is physically prepared for it. You should try to ease your way into long-distance running instead of forcing yourself to rush into it.

More Tips for Preventing Injury

  • Incorporate Strength Training into Workouts - This will help improve the body’s overall athleticism
  • Improve and Maintain Your Flexibility – Stretching everyday will help improve overall performance
  • “Warm Up” Before Running and “Cool Down” Afterward – A warm up of 5-10 minutes helps get rid of lactic acid in the muscles and prevents delayed muscle soreness
  • Cross-Training is Crucial
  • Wear Proper Running Shoes
  • Have a Formal Gait Analysis – Poor biomechanics can easily cause injury

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Concord, Charlotte, and Salisbury, NC . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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