Posts for category: Podiatry
Dealing with recurring or persistent toenail fungus? It may be time to see a doctor.
Are one of your toenails yellow, cracked, or more brittle than the rest? If so, you may be concerned that you are dealing with a fungal infection. Onychomycosis (i.e. a toenail fungal infection) affects about 14 percent of the American population and is responsible for around half of all nail diseases. So, the million-dollar question remains: How can you treat the infection and when should you turn to our Columbus, OH, foot doctors, Dr. Steventon Wagner and Dr. Lynette Mehl? Read on to learn find out!
Most people will try and treat the toenail fungal infection on their own before turning to a medical professional. If you are a healthy individual, then treating the problem on your own shouldn’t be an issue, however, if you have nerve damage in your feet or diabetes, you should never try and tackle these issues on your own. In fact, at the first sign of a fungal infection or any changes in your feet, you should visit our Columbus, OH, foot doctor for immediate treatment to prevent complications.
Now, if you aren’t dealing with any of these health problems, then you may want to try an over-the-counter fungal medication. Usually, this comes in the form of a cream or a nail gel that you will apply to the nail daily for weeks. Follow the instructions on the medication exactly as directed.
While some people may get results with over-the-counter antifungal creams, many won’t. This is because the fungus usually lies under the nail. Medicinal creams cannot penetrate the nail and, as a result, often can’t reach all of the fungus.
Seeing a Podiatrist
If home care and over-the-counter treatments aren’t working, then it’s time to see us. Since topical antifungals usually aren’t very effective for toenail infections, we may prescribe an oral medication, which acts on the entire body to fight the infection. This is usually far more effective than an antifungal cream.
If oral medication isn’t effective or if the fungal infection comes back, then it may be time to consider another option: laser fungal treatment. Unlike creams and gels, which cannot penetrate the nail, lasers can without damaging or affecting the healthy nail and skin around it. The laser will heat up and kill the fungus, often in just one session. The treatment is painless and usually takes no more than 30 minutes.
If you are dealing with the recurring symptoms of fungal nail infection, then turn to the experts at University Foot Center in Columbus, OH, for care. Schedule a consultation with one of our foot doctors today by dialing (614) 488-9478.
Your foot doctor in Columbus, OH, can help with heel pain
If you’ve ever struggled with heel pain, you already know how it can impact your life. Heel pain can make it painful to walk, stand, or even put on shoes. The good news is, there are effective treatments to deal with heel pain, and your foot doctor offers them. Drs. Steventon Scott Wagner and Lynette Renae Mehl at University Foot Center in Columbus, OH, offer a full range of foot and ankle services, including treatments for heel pain.
You can suffer heel pain from stepping on sharp objects, causing a heel bruise. You can also develop heel pain from excess calcium deposits on your heel, resulting in a bone spur. The most common cause of heel pain is a condition known as plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis is caused by the thick band of tissue running across your heel, called the plantar fascia, becoming inflamed.
You may have plantar fasciitis if you experience:
- Acute, sharp pain running across your heel
- Sharp pain running down the side of your foot
- Increasing pain when you stand up from being seated
- Increasing pain when you wake up
Plantar fasciitis can be caused by walking or standing on hard surfaces for long periods of time, overpronating or rolling your foot when you walk, running, or jogging.
You can try a few simple home remedies to decrease inflammation and reduce pain. Remember to:
- Stretch your arches for several minutes during the day
- Take over-the-counter pain and anti-inflammatory medication
If you have stubborn heel pain that doesn’t resolve, it’s time to visit the experts. At University Foot Center your foot doctor may recommend:
- Custom-fit orthotics or custom footwear for better support
- Physical therapy and stretches to decrease stiffness
- Prescription-strength anti-inflammatory medications to decrease swelling
- Corticosteroid injections to reduce inflammation
- Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT)
If you are struggling with heel pain, it doesn’t mean you have to spend your life on the couch. To find out more about effective treatments for heel pain and other footcare services, call Drs. Steventon Scott Wagner and Lynette Renae Mehl at University Foot Center in Columbus, OH. Call now and help your feet feel better!
Hammertoes are common podiatric deformities which may involve all the toes except the big toe. At University Foot Center in Columbus, OH your foot doctors, Dr. Steventon Scott Wagner and Dr. Lynette Mehl, treat hammertoes as soon as they detect them, preventing further damage and possible immobility.
You're not born with hammertoes
Hammertoes are contractures or a stiffening and bending of the second, third, fourth and fifth toes of either foot. Developing from traumatic injury or a combination of heredity, gait imbalance, and tight shoes, hammertoe deformities make toes look like little mallets. The bending and curling causes additional friction against the inside of the shoes, and thick corns and calluses may form.
Early intervention helps limit the severity of hammertoes. Left alone for too long, the toe joints may become so rigid that the toes hurt and impair walking.
Seeing a change?
If you suspect the shape of your toes is changing, please see your foot doctor at University Foot Center in Columbus. Dr. Wagner or Dr. Mehl will look at your feet, watch you walk, check the flexibility of the toe joints and take digital X-ray images to inspect the joints.
While hammertoes do worsen with time, this deterioration can be managed--usually conservatively without surgical intervention. Your podiatrist will put together a treatment plan suited to your activity level, age, overall health and other factors so your hammertoes stabilize. You will feel better and walk better, too.
Treatments may include:
- Custom-made shoe inserts (also called orthotics) which cushion feet and normalize gait
- Anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen
- In-office corn and callus removal and/or use of padding in the shoe to reduce friction and irritation
- Recommendations on your best style of footwear (heels no high than two inches, says the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons, and also ample room in the toe box)
Find out more
People can live well with hammertoes and other acquired deformities of the foot and ankle. Your foot doctors at University Foot Center are happy to help. Why not call the office today for your examination and consultation with Dr. Wagner or Dr. Mehl? Phone (614) 488-9478.
Painful ingrown toenails affect most people at some time. In fact, 18 percent of people over 21 develop the condition in the course of a year, according to the Institute for Preventive Foot Health. Your Columbus, OH, podiatrists Dr. Steventon Wagner and Dr. Lynette Mehl treat ingrown toenails and many other foot and ankle conditions.
What causes ingrown toenails?
Ingrown toenails happen so gradually that you may not be aware that there's a problem until you notice a pain in your toe one day. The toenail cutting method you use may be responsible for your ingrown nail. If you round the nails instead of cutting them straight across, it's much easier for the edges to grow into the skin.
Other causes of ingrown toenails include:
- Fungal Infections: Fungal infections thicken your nails, increasingly the likelihood that they'll grow into the skin.
- Thick Nails: Thicker nails can be caused by reasons other than fungal infections. You may have naturally thick nails or may notice that your nails have thickened as you've gotten older.
- Curved Nails: If your nails curve downward, they're more likely to become ingrown.
- Tight Shoes and Socks: Constant pressure on your toes from tight shoes and socks can drive the nails into the skin.
- Injuries: Did you first notice ingrown toenail symptoms after you dropped a heavy can on your foot or stubbed your toe? Your injury may be responsible for your condition.
How are ingrown toenails treated?
You may be able to free your nail at home if you spot the problem soon enough. Soak your foot in warm soapy water three or four times per day, then gently insert a piece of cotton or waxed dental floss under the nail to lift it out of the skin. Keep floss or cotton under the nail until it grows out.
If the nail won't budge, don't force it. If you do, you may injure your toe and increase the risk of infection. Call your Columbus foot doctor if you can't free your nail yourself, you have diabetes, or you've noticed signs of an infection, such as redness, warmth, pus or red streaks on your skin.
Your podiatrist will use a topical anesthetic to numb your toe, then remove the part of the nail that's trapped. You may also need to take an antibiotic if your nail is infected. If ingrown toenails are a frequent problem, permanent removal of the nail may be recommended.
Are you concerned about an ingrown toenail? Make an appointment with your Columbus, OH, podiatrists Dr. Steventon Wagner and Dr. Lynette Mehl at (614) 488-9478 to make an appointment.
Contrary to the popular myth, warts do not come from frogs or appear only on witches’ noses. In fact, warts can develop on anyone and often require the help of your doctor to treat. A wart which appears on the bottom of the foot, known as a plantar wart, can cause discomfort and even pain. Find out more about treating and preventing plantar warts with Dr. Steventon Wagner and Dr. Lynette Mehl at University Foot Center in Columbus, OH.
What Causes a Plantar Wart?
Warts come from a viral infection of the skin which usually enters the body via tiny cuts or scrapes. The infection comes to rest and causes the cells in its area to rapidly reproduce, causing a wart.
Do I Have a Plantar Wart?
Plantar warts occur on the bottom of the foot. Thanks to their location, gravity, and the body’s weight cause the plantar wart to grow inward, into the skin. You may not immediately notice a plantar wart, but you may experience symptoms such as:
- feeling as though a pebble is in your shoe
- a thick callus over the affected area
- a fleshy lesion at the bottom of the toes or on the heel
Plantar Wart Treatments in Columbus, OH
Plantar warts pose no real threat to your health and are a simple skin condition. However, they can be painful and frustrating, especially when they do not go away quickly on their own. Over-the-counter medications and ointments are conservative options that may help treat your plantar wart, but they don't always offer relief. In more stubborn cases, your doctor may suggest prescription-strength remedies, destruction with bleomycin or surgical removal.
For more information on treating and preventing warts, please contact Dr. Steventon Wagner and Dr. Lynette Mehl at University Foot Center in Columbus, OH. Call (614) 488-9478 to schedule your appointment with your podiatrist today!