Are you already dreading the summer due to your toenail fungus? It's hard to feel comfortable wearing sandals or going barefoot if your toenails are thick and yellow. Fortunately, your Alexandria and Sterling, VA, podiatrists, Drs. Richard Lee and Steven Lin, offer effective treatments for toenail fungus.
Why don't over-the-counter products work?
The fungi that cause toenail fungus don't just affect your nail but are also found on the nail bed underneath your nail. Products available over-the-counter at drugstores can be helpful if you have a mild infection, but these fungal treatments aren't strong enough to penetrate deep into the nail and can't reach the nail bed. As a result, you probably won't see much difference in your nail after treatment, even if you follow package directions.
What options do foot doctors offer?
Your podiatrist may offer one or more these toenail fungus treatments:
- Creams and Polishes: Your foot doctor may prescribe a cream or polish that you'll apply to your nails daily. These prescription-strength products are strong enough to penetrate the deep layers of your nails, although you'll probably have to use them for about a year. Creams and polishes are generally recommended for mild-to-moderate toenail fungus.
- Oral Medication: Oral anti-fungal medication may be a good choice if your infection is severe or stubborn. You'll need to take the medication for six to 12 weeks. Oral anti-fungal medication isn't recommended if you have congestive heart failure, allergies, or liver disease.
- Laser Treatment: Laser treatment is the newest treatment for toenail fungus. The thin beam of laser light heats and destroys the pigment that gives the fungus its yellow color. Although the fungus will be killed after the treatment, your nail will still look the same. In a few weeks, you'll see clear growth from the bottom of the nail.
- Removal of the Nail: Sometimes, it's necessary to remove the nail to reach the fungi on the nail bed. However, nail removal is usually only needed in severe cases of toenail fungus.
Seeking treatment? Call one of our locations in either Sterling or Alexandria today!
A visit to your foot doctor can help you get your toenail fungus under control! Schedule an appointment with Drs. Richard Lee and Steven Lin by calling (703) 823-2357 for both the Sterling and Alexandria, VA, offices.
How your podiatrists in Sterling, VA, can help with ingrown toenails
Ingrown toenails can be unsightly and painful. They can also take a long time to heal. Sometimes you may need a little extra help from an expert. Dr. Richard Lee and Dr. Steven Lin at Alexandria Family Podiatry can help your feet feel better. They have two convenient office locations in Sterling and Alexandria, VA, to treat your feet.
You may have an ingrown toenail if your toe looks swollen and dark red or purple. You may also experience throbbing pain and pressure around and underneath your toenail.
There are some helpful tips that can prevent ingrown toenails. Remember to:
- Always cut your toenails straight across
- Avoid cutting your toenails too short
- Wear closed, protective shoes to avoid injury
- Wear shoes with adequate room for your toes
If you do develop an ingrown toenail, you can try some simple home remedies which might help. For example:
- Wear sandals to relieve pressure until your toe heals
- Soak your toe in warm water several times during the day
- Place dental floss under your toenail to push the toenail above your skin
- Apply antibiotic cream and bandages to your toenail
- Take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory and pain medications
If your ingrown toenail doesn’t heal, it’s time to get some help from your podiatrists. Professional treatments can heal your toe and get you back on your feet. Your podiatrist may recommend:
- Lifting and separating your toenail from your skin
- Trimming the ingrown part of your toenail
If you have an ingrown toenail, you don’t have to wait and worry, hoping the toenail will heal on its own. Get help and relief quickly by calling Dr. Richard Lee and Dr. Steven Lin at Alexandria Family Podiatry, with offices in Sterling and Alexandria, VA. Call today and help your feet feel better!
What's the best way to take care of diabetic feet? It's vigilance, constantly guarding against serious complications related to wounds, circulation, nerve function and more. At Alexandria Family Podiatry in Sterling, Dr. Richard Lee and Dr. Steven Lin partner with their patients for best continuing care and treatment outcomes.
How diabetes affects your feet
Diabetic neuropathy threatens foot health. High blood sugar levels characteristic of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes reduce a patient's perception of heat, cold, pain, and other sensations controlled by the nervous system. When you combine neuropathy with the impaired circulation and dry skin diabetics experience, wounds and poor wound healing result.
Caring for diabetic feet
A daily care regimen is critical to a diabetic's podiatric health. Your Sterling podiatrists tailor care plans suited to each diabetic patient's needs and risks. However, in general, these guidelines help every person with diabetes stay healthy:
- Wear well-fitting shoes to protect your feet from bruising, laceration and pressure points.
- Alternate pairs of shoes, especially in the hot weather when feet sweat a lot.
- Never go barefoot, even indoors.
- Wear quality, clean socks every day.
- Wash and dry your feet daily. Inspect them for color changes, scratches, bruising, blisters, or other signs of injury.
- Avoid heating pads, hot water bottles, and over the counter heat patches as treatment for pain or cold feet. Carefully test your bath or shower water for temperature.
- Trim your toenails straight across with clean clippers to avoid ingrown toenails. If you cannot do this yourself, your Sterling podiatrist will do it for you.
- Moisturize your feet every day, but don't put lotions or cream between toes.
- Stop all tobacco use as the toxins in smokeless tobacco and cigarettes impair circulation in the extremities.
- If you develop a sore, ingrown toenail, corn, callus, severely cracked skin, or another suspicious change in how your feet look or feel, see your podiatrist right away.
In-office podiatric care is key
The American Podiatric Medical Association says that routine diabetic foot care by an experienced podiatrist decreases the chances of in-hospital care by 24 percent. At Alexandria Family Podiatry in Sterling, VA, Dr. Lee and Dr. Lin and their team will work with you to keep your feet and ankles functional and as healthy as possible. If you're diabetic and it's time for your routine check-up, please call our office for an appointment at one of our convenient locations in either Sterling or Alexandria, VA, at (703) 823-2357.
After finding out you have a bunion, your first question is likely going to be "How can this be treated?" Dr. Richard Lee and Dr. Steven Lin, your podiatrists in Sterling or Alexandria, VA, have many patients at Alexandria Family Podiatry who have asked the same question. Below, they've discussed some of the ways bunions are typically managed.
For mild to moderate bunions, your Sterling or Alexandria podiatrist often recommends wearing splints that can be purchased at most local drugstore chains. Splints hold the toe in a more natural position and gently stretch the soft tissues that have tightened in the area. These devices aren't meant to reverse the bunion, but help to stop it from worsening. Painful bunions often respond well to rest, analgesic medication, and consistent use of shoes that have plenty of room in the toe area. To protect the bunion further, cushioned pads can be applied to the area and worn inside the shoe.
If the solutions above don't provide relief from your bunion, your Sterling or Alexandria podiatrist may prescribe a custom-made orthotic device to be worn inside the shoe; like non-prescription splints, they help to reposition your joints, but with more exact pressure points and cushioning. You may also respond well to physical therapy exercises. A cortisone injection near the affected joint can also help to reduce inflammation and pain.
As with most conditions, surgical correction of bunions is considered a "last resort" if other methods of treatment haven't shown to relieve the problem. There are many different kinds of bunion surgery, but the basic process involves removing the bunion and straightening out the joint. Downtime is often extensive, but many patients see full relief from surgery if they follow the after-care instructions to the letter.
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Lee or Dr. Lin, contact Alexandria Family Podiatry in either Sterling or Alexandria, VA, today!
Find out how to get your heel pain under control.
It’s amazing how quickly heel pain can affect your daily activities. Maybe you were all set to put on those running shoes to enjoy the great weather or you thought you could easily leave the car at home and get some errands done on foot. Of course, if heel pain is happening to you the first thing you want to do is get to the bottom of this issue as soon as possible. Our Alexandria and Sterling, VA, podiatrists, Dr. Richard Lee and Dr. Steven Lin, are here to tell you more about heel pain.
What is causing my heel pain?
There are many reasons why you might be dealing with heel pain, which is why you should turn to a foot doctor in Alexandria and Sterling if you are dealing with heel pain that doesn’t go away or is severe. While the most common cause of heel pain is an inflammatory issue called plantar fasciitis, there are other reasons someone might be dealing with heel pain. Other causes of heel pain include:
- Achilles tendonitis
- A ruptured Achilles tendon
- Heel spur
- Bone tumor
How can I treat my heel pain?
Unless the pain is severe, you have diabetes or a compromised immune system, or the pain doesn’t respond to rest and at-home care, you can easily manage your symptoms on your own. If we’ve told you that your heel pain is due to plantar fasciitis here are some common ways to manage your symptoms:
Ice: Don’t ignore the power of icing your heel. Whenever you are resting your feet it’s a good idea to place an ice pack on the heel (just make sure to wrap a washcloth around the ice pack before placing it onto your foot to prevent burns). You can also freeze a bottle of water and roll it along the arches of socked feet (which are often stiff and sore if you have plantar fasciitis). Ice the heel for about 10 to 15 minutes at a time, 2-3 times a day.
Stretching: It’s important to keep the ligaments, tendons, and muscles in the feet feeling limber and flexible. Stretching your feet every day can also help alleviate stiffness and discomfort while also training, rehabbing, and strengthening the soft tissue of the foot to maintain their normal and healthy range of motion.
Footwear: The shoes you wear can support your foot structure or it can negatively impact it. Your feet take on a lot of shock absorption every time you move, so you need the right shoes for the job. With plantar fasciitis, it’s even more important that you have shoes that provide enough support and cushioning for the heels and the arches. Don’t wear shoes that are old and worn out. For cases that don't respond to simple treatments, Extracorporeal Shock Wave Treatment (ESWT) may be needed.
If you are looking for foot and ankle specialists in Sterling and Alexandria, VA, to provide quality and comprehensive foot care to you or a family member, then you’ve come to the right place. Turn to the experts at Alexandria Family Podiatry today for the care you need.
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