It is easy to watch the days pass by without noticing that your toenail and its surrounding skin has been bothering you. You peeked at it in the beginning and notice that the skin was red, puffy, and slightly discolored. Your first thought was that a hangnail has become infected, so you clean the site. After some time though, the swelling continues and the nail starts to get ridges. What is it that is affecting your nail that way? It could be paronychia.
Paronychia is a soft tissue infection around a fingernail or toenail that begins as cellulitis. Over time, if not properly and promptly treated, it can progress into an abscess. More specifically, it is a superficial infection of the thin tissue forming the outer layer of a body’s surface and lining adjacent to the nail plate that begins as cellulitis but that may progress to a definite abscess. The 2 forms of paronychia, acute and chronic, usually differ in causation, infectious agent, and treatment and are often considered separate entities.
The acute infection, which is painful and pus-filled, is most frequently caused by staphylococci bacteria although it commonly has mixed microbiota that may or may not need free oxygen to survive. The patient's condition and discomfort are noticeably improved by a simple drainage procedure. Chronic paronychial infections are usually fungal, rather than bacterial, in nature.
Signs and Symptoms of Paronychia
- Pus collection under the skin
- Thickened skin around fingernails and toenails
- Runaround infection
- Nail plates become thickened and discolored
- The cuticles and nail folds may separate from the nail plate
The diagnosis of paronychia is based primarily on patient history and physical examination.
- Soak toenails in warm water with Epsom salts 3-4 times a day
- Antibiotics as prescribed by your podiatrist
- If an abscess has developed, incision and drainage must be performed
Do you have swelling, redness, and pain on or around the skin of your toenails? Have all of your at-home remedies failed to cure it and you are stuck? Call Dr. Alan J. Discont and Dr. Krahn of Family Foot & Ankle Care, PC located in Chandler, Arizona. Call 480-732-0033 or make an appointment online today. You do not have to suffer through the pain alone.
The clearest indication that there’s a problem with your feet is pain or a strange sensation. The next is a physical manifestation of a sore or wound, which is sometimes called a foot burn. If you’re having a problem with foot burns or a burning sensation in your feet that doesn’t seem to go away, it’s important that you talk to a podiatrist about these symptoms right away. This is a common condition that occurs in athletes and people who have certain medical issues, like hypothyroidism and diabetes.
What Are Foot Burns?
A foot burn most commonly refers to a wound that develops on the feet due to friction with a surface, such as a shoe. It usually begins as a sensation in the feet that the patient feels when running or participating in a high-energy activity. The sensation is often felt between the toes, on the sides of the feet and on the balls of the feet. If it goes untreated, actual red, swollen wounds that resemble burns can develop.
Causes of Foot Burns and “Burning” Feet
Sometimes foot burn or the sensation of “burning feet” is simply due to wearing shoes or sneakers that are too tight. The friction of the shoes against the feet causes redness, swelling, the burning sensation and eventually what looks like a foot burn to appear. Foot burns can also develop due to contact dermatitis or an actual burn to the foot due to contact with heat. Another common cause of “burning feet” is uncontrolled diabetes, which can lead to nerve damage (also called peripheral neuropathy) and ulcers. If any burn wounds to the feet go untreated, they can become infected.
Treatments for Foot Burns
When foot burns develop, they must be properly treated as soon as possible by a skilled podiatrist. Treatment options include thorough cleansing of the burn, applying medication to the area and bandaging the feet to aid the healing process. Orthotics may be designed to relieve pressure on the wound and prevent the burn from reoccurring. Orthotic devices can also help stop the burning sensation due to friction with shoes. To address burning or tingling feelings in the feet that are caused by medical conditions, like hypothyroidism or diabetes, it’s important for patients to take steps to get their symptoms under control with better diet and prescribed medication.
If you’re struggling with painful foot burns or a burning sensation in your feet, talk to a podiatrist about your symptoms today. Without proper treatment, burns on the feet or a burning sensation can progress into more complicated problems.
Sometimes it’s enjoyable to sit down and relax on the couch or in your chair. You prop up your legs, kick back and read, watch a show, or simply enjoy the silence. The peace and serenity are wonderful until pins and needles start to crawl through your feet and legs. This common sensation that almost everyone experiences at one point or another is known as paresthesia. This sensation usually occurs because you’ve accidentally put pressure on a nerve. It stops once you have moved or adjusted and the pressure that was once affecting the nerve is removed. This type of paresthesia is temporary and usually goes away without treatment. If the paresthesia persists, you may have a medical disorder that requires treatment.
What causes paresthesia?
It’s not always possible to determine the cause of paresthesia because it is often linked to other underlying conditions. Temporary paresthesia is often due to pressure on a nerve or brief periods of poor circulation. This can happen when you fall asleep on your hand or sit with your legs crossed for too long. Chronic paresthesia may be a sign of disease or nerve damage. Two types of nerve damage are radiculopathy and neuropathy.
Radiculopathy is a condition in which nerve roots become compressed, irritated, or inflamed. This can occur when you have:
- a herniated disk that presses on a nerve
- narrowing of the canal that transmits the nerve from your spinal cord to your appendage
- a mass that binds the nerve as it exits the spine
Radiculopathy that affects your lower back is called lumbar radiculopathy. Lumbar radiculopathy can cause paresthesia in your leg or foot.
Neuropathy occurs due to chronic nerve damage. The most common cause of neuropathy is high blood sugar which is common in patients with diabetes. Diabetes is not the only cause for neuropathy - other causes can be:
- repetitive movement injuries
- kidney diseases
- liver diseases
- tumors in the brain or near nerves
- rheumatoid arthritis
- neurological disease
Treatment depends on the cause of the paresthesia. If the paresthesia is triggered by overuse or trauma, with lifestyle adjustments, orthotics, and other minor changes, it can be cured. Unfortunately, if it is due to nerve damage, then paresthesia is often permanent.
If you are experiencing the pins and needles feeling even when you are not sitting in an odd position, it is important to see a podiatrist right away. Paresthesia in the feet and legs can be an indicator of other disorders that should not be overlooked. Call Dr. Alan J. Discont and Dr. Krahn of Family Foot & Ankle Care, PC located in Chandler, Arizona. Call 480-732-0033 or make an appointment online today. Catching paresthesia early can help to prevent more serious problems down the road.
Did you know that what you consume could actually be affecting your foot health?
When we sit down to enjoy a meal we sometimes think about how what we eat affects our overall health. While we consider the heart benefits, we might not realize that the food we are about to enjoy can also affect the health of our feet as well. It might sound rather strange to consider, but what we eat affects all parts of the body, feet included. If you want to maintain both good overall health and good foot health, then it’s time to find out just how diet can affect your feet.
The American Diet
While we don’t like to admit it, the American diet is detrimental to foot health, as it often causes an inflammatory response. With all the saturated fats, refined grains, trans fats and added sugar, it’s no wonder that a lot of us deal with inflamed and uncomfortable feet. While some people may have a food sensitivity that causes foot inflammation, for most of us it’s our heavy intake of foods loaded with these bad elements that lead to our foot problems.
The Healthy-Foot Diet
What can you do to promote better foot health? Follow these diet recommendations to reduce inflammation and prevent conditions such as plantar fasciitis from affecting your life:
- Incorporate more omega-3 fats: Next time you go to the grocery store, head to the seafood counter and snag some delicious salmon. Fatty fish like salmon are packed full of omega3s, which stave off inflammation. If you aren’t a seafood lover, then consider taking fish oil supplements to reap the omega3 benefits instead.
- Avoid refined foods: No matter how tempting it might be, sugary snacks and white, processed grains like bread and pasta can wreak havoc on your body’s inflammatory response. However, you don’t have to say goodbye to that weekly bowl of past. Instead, swap it for whole grains and dark, leafy vegetables and stay away from processed, packaged and refined foods. This is particularly important for those with diabetes.
- Say yes for lean meats: While a juicy steak might sound delicious, the saturated fats are anything but healthy for your feet. Instead, you should replace red meats with leaner meats like fish or chicken.
If you notice any foot symptoms that cause you concern, then you should talk to your podiatrist as soon as possible. If you are worried about how your diet is affecting your health then talk to us about foods to decrease inflammation and promote healthier feet. After all, our feet do a lot for us, so isn’t it time you did something for them?
Diabetes has been known to cause foot problems for those who suffer from the disease. These foot problems can be very severe and have a hard time healing. The feet of those with diabetes are very fragile and are more likely to experience complications. It is important to check diabetic feet regularly in order to prevent problems that can become very dire such as foot ulcers.
Foot ulcers are a common complication of diabetes. They form as a result of skin tissue breaking down which leads to exposure of the layer underneath. They’re most common under your big toes and the balls of your feet, and they can affect your feet down to the bone.
All people with diabetes can develop foot ulcers and foot pain. Good foot care can help to prevent ulcers. Treatment for diabetic foot ulcers and foot pain varies depending on their causes and the severity of the case.
If black-looking skin surrounds the foot ulcer, seek help from a podiatrist immediately as this is very serious. This damaged skin forms because of an absence of healthy blood flow to the area around the ulcer. Partial or complete gangrene can appear around the ulcer. In this case, odorous discharge, pain, and numbness can occur.
- Poor circulation
- High blood sugar
- Nerve damage
- Irritated or wounded feet
Ulcers are not always obvious when they start. They can be even harder to find if a diabetic foot has loss of feeling or nerve damage. Regular examinations of the feet are key in order to prevent foot ulcers from becoming more severe. If ulcers are left untreated, they can cause serious infections such as gangrene. This could potentially lead to the loss of the foot.
If you experience any foot pain or discomfort, it is important to consult with your podiatrist to ensure it’s not a serious problem, as infected ulcers can result in amputation if neglected. Call Dr. Alan J. Discont and Dr. Krahn of Family Foot & Ankle Care, PC located in Chandler, Arizona. Call 480-732-0033 or make an appointment online today. Take the guess work out of a surgical procedure and be confident in the podiatrist you choose.
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