Tag Archives: Tips

5 Tips to Avoid Toenail Fungus this Season

Toenail fungus is becoming more common this time of year since it’s warming up. This irritating condition is a hassle to deal with, which is why we collected our top 5 tips to prevent toenail fungus:

1. Change your socks

Nail fungus loves moist and dark environments, so sweaty feet and wet socks are the perfect environment for toenail fungus. No matter whether you go hiking or have a stressful day at the office, make sure to have an extra pair of socks with you. Your colleagues will appreciate it as well!

2. Clean your toes

Just like your teeth, your toenails need to be cleaned. The more regular you clean, the lower the chance of getting toenail fungus! Once a day is probably more than enough, but twice a day makes sense when going to the gym or engaging on any other physically challenging activity.

3. Wear sandals

Talking about the gym: public showers and locker rooms are filled with bacteria and moisture, so wear sandals to protect your feet when going to the gym or local pool.

4. Use antifungal sprays or powders

Some people naturally sweat more than others, so control sweat by spraying antifungal sprays/powders inside your shoes and on your socks.

5. Wear shoes that fit

If your shoes are irritating your toes, they are most likely irritating your toenails. Any irritation increases the risk of getting toenail fungus, so make sure your shoes don’t touch your toenails. Alternate the shoes you wear so that they can air out before you wear them again.

Let’s all try to prevent toenail fungus for happier healthier feet, and keep your eyes open for upcoming blogs about toenail fungus detection and treatment options.

Toenail Fungus

Foot Protection – Winter Edition

Don’t let the weather have control over your feet. Whether you are shoveling, sledding, or simply walking through the snow it is important to make sure your feet are properly protected. Harsh winter conditions can often have a negative effect on your feet. Here are some tips on how to keep your feet protected and healthy this winter.

Proper footwear

Although this may seem obvious, it is extremely important to wear the correct shoes for winter. No matter what type of boot you decide to wear this winter, make sure they are waterproof. Snow and slush are unavoidable, so investing in a pair of waterproof boots is essential to keep your feet dry. It is also important to get your winter boots in a slightly larger size to be able to fit thicker socks and multiple layers. However, when participating in winter activities such as skiing or snowboarding, it is important to make sure your boots fight snug and comfortably. Boots that are too big can create instability and if your boots are too tight they can cause blisters.

Warm toes are happy toes

Not only are the type of boots you wear important, but so are your socks. This winter layering is your friend. A thin sock and an outer layer of a wool sock is a perfect combination for keeping your toes warm and comfortable. Although the temperatures can become extremely frigid, your feet still sweat. Avoid wearing cotton socks and look in to getting a pair of sweat-wick socks that won’t absorb your sweat like cotton socks do. This is a great way to avoid any problems of athlete’s foot this winter. Feet play a large role in body temperature, so make your feet a priority this winter

Keep your feet moisturized

One of the most common foot complaints in winter is dry skin, specifically cracked heels. Cracked heels, also known as “heel fissures” can be very uncomfortable and possibly painful. Like most other dry skin issues, apply lotion or moisturizing cream daily. Proper socks and footwear also play a role in protecting your feet.

Get a Grip

One way to avoid any nasty falls this winter is to make sure your boots have proper traction. Many winter boots are equipped with certain soles meant for gripping cold or wet surfaces. Generally made from rubber due to its water-proof ability, rubber soles are very effective when navigating slippery surfaces. So, do your research and make sure you’re properly equipped this winter.

Finally, always keep safety in mind. Wear proper boots, layer your socks, and take breaks to warm-up inside.

Insurance Card Updates – Presented by our own Sarah Mueller

There have been some slight changes when it comes to the use of insurance cards, so we want to update you right away! Acting as our guide is Sarah Mueller. Sarah is a Quad City native who has been a terrific part of our office for three years now. She loves what she does, so she has been kind enough to explain these recent developments.

Medicare and many other providers have updated their insurance cards to make them more secure for patients. Because of this change, we are asking all of our patients to bring in their updated insurance card, as well as their most recent list of medications with dosages to their appointments. This allows us to bring you the best care possible, seamlessly and easily. We are not alone in this update, many medical offices across the country are participating in this new practice.

Sarah reassures us that if you don’t have your new card or an updated list on hand, they are easy to organize! For a new card, simply contact your insurance provider or employer if your insurance is through them, and ask them. Some patients will have received them already and some might still be waiting for them to arrive, so your provider will be able to tell you where you are in this process. For a recent list of medications with dosages, you can contact your primary care physician, or in some cases your pharmacy, and they can provide you with that information. Do not worry if you forget your medication list at your next appointment, in most cases we are able to call your physician and acquire it that way, but this takes more time.

Don’t worry about billing! All of the same documentation will be used as before, and by providing your new card, we can ensure you will see no lapses in coverage, billing or care. Our goal in this update is to continue to provide you with top-tier foot care and pain treatment in the most secure way possible. By bringing your new insurance card and up-to-date medication list, you are helping us ensure we are giving you the most effective course of treatment and putting the spring back in your step as quickly as possible! Of course, if you ever have any questions, feel free to drop by the office or give us a call at (309) 762-7919.

How to Avoid Winter Foot Conditions

Even though the holidays are officially over and temperatures have been normalizing a bit, be mindful that sudden temperature drops may happen anytime and cause uncomfortable foot conditions. This is even more relevant for those who participate in winter sports.  So, here are the top five winter foot conditions:

1. Chilblains

Chilblains occur when the blood vessels in your skin do not respond in time to sudden temperature changes. Symptoms may include small, itchy red spots, blistering or skin ulcers, and swollen burning skin. In order to avoid chilblains, limit your exposure to cold, cover all exposed skin as much as possible, bundle up to keep your body warm and do not smoke.

2. Raynaud’s Phenomenon

Raynaud’s Phenomenon occurs when your blood circulation is limited in certain areas of your body, especially your fingers and toes.  This low blood circulation causes these areas of your body to feel numb and cold. This often happens due to cold temperatures or stress. Prevent Raynaud’s Phenomenon by keeping your house and office warm and by being cautious when you are outdoors.

3. Skier’s Toe

Are you a fan of skiing? While it is certainly fun, please keep in mind your toes. If you notice your toenail has become black, it is likely you have bleeding under your nail, or “subungual hematoma”. This condition can be caused by trauma or continuous use of tight shoes. Make sure your socks fit and your boots have enough room for your toes to avoid this condition.

4. Morton’s Neuroma

Did you know winter boots may cause Morton’s Neuroma if they don’t fit properly?  With this condition, you can feel as if you are standing on a pebble in your shoes, experience a burning pain in the ball of your foot, as well as tingling or general numbness. Morton’s Neuroma may lead to foot deformities, so get fitting shoes and ask your podiatrist for treatment options.

5. Blisters

Similar to Morton’s Neuroma and Skier’s toe, foot blisters are caused by unfit shoes. To best prevent the condition, wear well-fitting socks and shoes. Do not attempt to wear those non-returnable unfit pairs of boots you got for Christmas. If you do get a blister, avoid popping it yourself. Instead, clean it with disinfectant and cover it with a bandage for protection. If it opens, make sure you pay a visit to your trusted podiatrist as soon as possible.

 

Everyday tips to take care of your feet

Our feet take us everywhere we need to go and as such, we should take care of them.  It isn’t difficult to set up a good foot care routine.  Following the items below will help prevent some of our most common foot problems.

  • Wash your feet with soap and water to make sure you get in and between toes. For extra pampering, soak your feet once a week in warm water with a few drops of peppermint or tea tree oil.  Use a pumice stone to gently exfoliate dead skin cells.
  • After washing, towel-dry your feet thoroughly. (Moisture between toes is a major cause of athletes’ foot).
  • Moisturize feet with a natural moisturizer.  Some brands are scented with mint or peppermint oil and others come in a rub-on stick, so they moisturize without making feet slippery.
  • Wear comfortable shoes and consider alternating pairs.  Don’t try to squeeze into a shoe that’s a half size too small, just because they’re just the style you like and on sale!  Also, having a spare pair to allow you’re the perspiration in your shoes to completely dry out for a day or so.