Do you have questions about foot care? We have answers.
Do you have questions about foot injuries or the causes of foot pain? Tanglewood Foot Specialists provides the answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) about foot injuries and foot care. If you would like to schedule an appointment to talk to a doctor about your foot pain, call Tanglewood Foot Specialists at (713) 785-7881.
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Why does chemotherapy affect my toenails?
If you have been treated with chemotherapy, you know the many effects it has on your body. Most commonly you may have experienced hair loss. Nails are similar in composition to hair and are also often effected by chemotherapy.
Some forms of chemotherapy can cause your nails to fall off. When this happens it is usually without pain. Other times the nails become significantly weakened. Both of these, along with the suppression of your immune system, can lead to a fungal infection of your nails. While you can treat this infection with topical medication, such as Formula 3, during chemotherapy, the use of other treatments should not be pursued until chemotherapy is finished and you recover your strength.
At Tanglewood Foot Specialists in Houston, TX, Dr. Andrew Schneider treats all conditions of the foot and ankle related to chemotherapy. Contact our Houston podiatry office for treatment you can be confident will be the right one during your chemotherapy treatment.
Can I get acrylic nails put on my toenails?
I know that you enjoy nice looking nails. Acrylic nails are very commonly used on the fingernails. Some salons will apply them to your toenails as well. This can be problematic and has the potential to cause pain and infection.
Acrylic nails are hard and inflexible. While this isn't an issue on your fingernails, it poses a problem when you put your feet into a shoe. Your toenails flex as you walk and as you contact a shoe. Without this flexibility, the nail would drive into your toe and mimic an ingrown toenail. The pressure, even for a short time, can cause a foot infection to form.
At Tanglewood Foot Specialists, we offer a solution. We use an innovative technology known as Keryflex. Keryflex is is a keratin resin applied over your own toenail to provide a healthy appearing nail. Unlike acrylics, it is flexible and will not cause the same problems as acrylic nails. You can use nail polish and nail polish remover with the Keryflex toenail, just as you would a regular toenail. By the way, men often come in to have a Keryflex toenail applied to damaged or fungal nails during sandal season.
Does nail polish cause toenail fungus?
Nail polish in and of itself does not cause toenail fungus. That's not to say the it doesn't contribute to the situation. Fungus is an opportunist that infects the toenails when they are damaged. Nail polish can cause damage to the toenails.
Most nail polishes contain damaging chemicals, such as formaldehyde and toluene. Nail polish remover contains acetone. All of these damage the toenails and cause the white streaking that many women experience when removing their polish. This damage weakens the toenails and make them more susceptible to developing a fungus infection.
The are alternatives to harmful nail polish. As a podiatrist in Houston, I realize that it is impractical to tell women to not wear nail polish. We carry Dr.'s Remedy Enriched Nail Polish products which do not contain the harmful chemicals and contain vitamins and natural antifungals to nourish the nails. Everyone who has used are happy with the healthier appearance of their nails. You can visit our Houston podiatry office to pick up your favorite color or order online.
How do I stop my feet from sweating so much?
Perspiring feet are a very common situation in Houston, TX with our hot and humid weather. Excessive sweating can cause a number of problems, such as dry, cracked skin, Athlete's foot, and toenail fungus. There are ways to control perspiration and the issues that comes with it.
There are prescription-strength antiperspirants that effectively dry the feet. Because of their strength, however, they can only be used in adults. The fungal problems can also be treated at the same time. Treatment for excessive perspiration must be maintained long term for the issues to not return. A more moderate option is to use an anti-persperant lotion. In our Houston podiatry practice we use Bromilotion to safely scontrol excessive sweating.
Can I get nail fungus from a pedicure?
Fungus lives naturally on our feet and shoes to some degree without incident. Fungus is also an opportunist. If the toenail or skin is compromised with trauma, the fungus will be able to take the opportunity to infect it.
Pedicures present numerous opportunities to allow a toenail fungus infection to occur. Typically the cleanliness of a pedicure falls to the operator. I've seen infections occur even from the high-end Houston pedicure salons. If the pedicurist cuts corners with disinfecting their station or instruments, it puts you at risk. Additionally, if the pedicurist is too aggressive, she can also cause trauma to allow an infection to occur.
This is not to say that all pedicures are problematic. Be sure to have a good recommendation for a salon and pedicurist who can be trusted. Another way to be sure you are safe is to bring your own pedicure kit and toenail polish.
If you are concerned that you have an infection from a Houston pedicure, contact Tanglewood Foot Specialists for an immediate evaluation and solution to the problem. The quicker you seek treatment, the faster the infection can be controlled and resolved.
Does Vicks Vaporub cure toenail fungus?
One of the home remedies that is popular, especially appearing regularly in the Houston Chronicle's health column, is the use of Vicks Vaporub to cure toenail fungus. In fact it is so convincingly popular that I've had patients discontinue the use of prescribed anti-fungal treatments, with scientific studies proving that they are effective, in favor of using this product. Does Vicks Vaporub cure toenail fungus? The answer is no.
Why does this myth persist? Vicks does have some effect on the toenails. Applying Vicks Vaporub to the toenails will soften and lighten their color. This gives the impression of treating the fungus. In truth, Vicks may have some anti-fungal properties, but it is unable to effectively penetrate the toenail to treat the fungus. This is a problem with many topical anti-fungal treatments.
Tanglewood Foot Specialists use Formula 3 as our topical anti-fungal of choice. We have seen this medication provide better results than any other topical anti-fungal medication. In addition, the company stands behind its product with a money-back guarantee. Formula 3 is available at our Houston podiatry office.
Does fungus make my shoes stink?
Foot odor, which leads to odor in the shoes, has many contributing factors. One of them is a fungus infection. Bacteria growth in the shoe is also responsible for odor in your shoes. Shoes harbor both fungus and bacteria since they provide a dark, moist, and warm environment which allows them to thrive.
Prescribing a treatment for the fungal infection of the foot is only one piece of the puzzle. A common omission of many doctors when they treat a fungal infection of the toenails or skin is to treat the shoes. This can be accomplished with a spray designed to treat the shoes, such as Mycomist. There are also ultraviolet treatments that are useful in eliminating fungus and bacteria without the use of chemicals.
Houston podiatrist Dr. Andrew Schneider at Tanglewood Foot Specialists is committed to provide a comprehensive solution to your foot and ankle issues. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Schneider for an evaluation and treatment recommendation.
Are sweaty feet a problem?
Feet perspire...some people's more than others. In our hot and humid climate in Houston, we see our fair share of sweaty feet. Sweating feet will cause a perfect environment to harbor fungus. Fungus thrives in a warm, moist, dark shoe and waits for an opportunity to infect the skin or toenails.
The more your foot perspires, the more moisture is in the shoe. This increases the potential for fungal growth and infection. Foot perspiration can be controlled in many cases and fungal infections of the skin and toenails can be treated. Most don't consider what is living in their shoes. Your shoes can harbor fungus and need to be treated as well. This can be accomplished with using an antifungal spray, such as Mycomist, or by using an ultraviolet light which can disinfect the shoe without heat or chemicals.
Tanglewood Foot Specialists can offer solutions to control excessive foot perspiration, treat the athletes foot infection or toenail fungus, and prevent reinfection with proper disinfection of your shoes. Call our Houston Podiatry office for a convenient appointment.
Is toenail fungus related to Athlete's Foot?
Toenail fungus is similar to Athletes foot. Athletes foot is a fungal infection of the skin. It is a very common infection of the foot, occurring on the sole of the foot and also between the toes. The same fungus that can infect the skin also can infect the toenails, causing the nail to become discolored and thickened. In fact, many cases of toenail fungus are caused by an Athlete's foot condition.
The treatment for toenail fungus differs from athletes foot, however. Athletes foot usually responds well to topical antifungal medication. While mild cases of toenail fungus may respond to topical medication, such as Formula 3, most require other forms of treatment. These include a three month course of oral antifungal medication or treatment with a laser.
What's the safest way to cure my fungus?
Treatments to eliminate fungus toenails are generally safe and continue to grow safer. The treatment that many are concerned about taking is an oral antifungal medication. When these medications, such as Lamisil, first came out, there was concern about how it would effect the liver, since previous generations of oral antifungal medication were hard on the liver and these newer medications are also metabolized by the liver.
Now that the oral medications that are commonly used today have been available for over 20 years, we know that they are safe. The medication that I use most frequently in my Houston podiatry practice, a generic form of Lamisil, has had its safety profile continually upgraded, with no "black box" warnings, few side effects, and no interactions with other medications. I do still take a simple blood test, however, to ensure that the liver is not compromised by medication, illness, or any other reason, prior to starting therapy with an oral antifungal medication. That said, it is a very safe medication which is prescribed for patients as young as their late teens to the senior population.
If oral medication is still too risky for you, or you are not a candidate to take it, consider using a topical medication alone. The most effective topical is Formula 3, which is dispensed from our office for your convenience. It penetrates the toenail to treat the fungus but has no systemic effect.