Posts for category: Foot Care
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!
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!
Dealing with ingrown toenails rather regularly? Find out what’s going on.
You were putting your shoes on when ouch! You noticed that the edge of your big toenail is a bit sore and perhaps even a little swollen and red. You could be dealing with an ingrown toenail. If you find yourself dealing with this issue rather regularly then it may have you wondering what could be going on. Our Alexandria and Sterling, VA, podiatrists Dr. Richard Lee and Dr. Steven Lin are here to tell you more.
What is an ingrown toenail?
An ingrown toenail is when the edge or corner of the toenail grows into the skin. While this can happen to any toenail it most commonly occurs in the big toe. Just looking at the toenail you should be able to see if the corner of the nail is sticking into the skin. Redness, swelling, and discomfort may also result. If there is drainage around the nail or if the skin is warm to the touch, these are signs of infection and you should call our Alexandria and Sterling foot doctors immediately.
What causes an ingrown toenail?
There are many habits that could play into your likelihood of developing an ingrown toenail. Common causes include:
- Damage or trauma to the nail (this is common if you play sports)
- Persistent or severe fungal infections of the toenail (it causes the nail to thicken)
- Improper nail trimming techniques
- Poorly fitted or tight-fitted shoes
You might be wondering how someone could trim toenails incorrectly; after all, it seems a rather easy habit. However, if you trim your toenails too short or if you trim the nails so they are curved then you are increasing your risk for an ingrown toenail. Trim nails straight across and make sure not to cut them too short.
Also, if you are someone who wears high heels a lot, or wears shoes that bunch up your toes and put pressure on them then you may also find yourself dealing with this issue more often. Make sure you are only wearing shoes that have a wide toe box and that don’t put pressure on areas of your feet.
Alexandria Family Podiatry in Sterling and Alexandria, VA, is here to provide your feet with the care they need to look and feel their best. No matter whether you are dealing with ingrown toenails, bunions, or heel pain, our expert team is here for you.
Dealing with a fungal infection in your toenail? Find out how to treat it.
While toenail fungus isn’t really a cause for concern if you are in good health, this doesn’t mean that you should ignore this problem if it happens. In fact, it’s important that you treat the problem as soon as you catch it to prevent it from spreading. Wondering how to treat this fungal infection? Our Sterling and Alexandria, VA podiatrists Dr. Richard Lee and Steven Lin have the answers you want.
There are several ways to treat a toenail fungus. How you treat it will really depend on the severity of the infection and the type of fungus present. Because of this, it’s a good idea to turn to our Sterling and Alexandria foot doctors to determine the best course of action. Here are some of the most common treatment options:
- Over-the-counter topical antifungal medications
- A prescription-strength oral antifungal medication
- Laser fungal treatment
Some people may find over-the-counter topical remedies effective but by and large they aren’t always the most effective. This is because the cream or gel isn’t able to penetrate through the hard enamel layers, which means that it won’t always be able to destroy all of the fungus present. While it might work for some people it’s won’t work well for everyone.
One of the first treatment options that many podiatrists offer is oral antifungal medication because it’s a great way to quickly kill the infection and it definitely offers a better success rate than antifungal creams. While you won’t notice an immediate difference you will notice that as the nail grows out that it grows in clear. Over time the nail will completely grow out healthy and without a trace of infection.
Sometimes a medicated nail polish is also recommended to help kill the infection around certain parts of the nail and skin. This may be prescribed in conjunction with oral medication. This nail polish will be applied and left on the nail for up to a week or more before being removed and reapplied. You may need to apply this medicated polish on the affected toenail for up to one year.
If you are dealing with a more stubborn or severe case of toenail fungus that doesn’t respond to other treatment options then we may advise you to consider laser therapy. During this treatment, the laser will safely and painlessly penetrate the nail to heat up and destroy the fungus living underneath. Again, you won’t notice a clear nail right away but after this treatment, you will see the nail growing out clear over the course of several months.
If you find yourself dealing with persistent or severe fungal infections then it’s time to turn to the experts who can give you the treatment you need. Call Alexandria Family Podiatry in Sterling and Alexandria, VA, today to schedule an appointment with us.