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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What's the best way to heal a diabetic ulcer?
A diabetic foot ulcer is a common and dangerous complication of diabetes. An ulcer forms because of increased pressure beneath the foot. This excessive pressure leads to a breakdown of the skin and forms an ulcer. While there are all types of advanced wound dressings, which serve an important purpose, none are as important as controlling the pressure that has caused the ulcer to form in the first place.
It makes sense if you think about it. The pressure beneath the diabetic foot ulcer is the cause and the wound is the result of that pressure. To successfully treat the ulcer, we need to heal the wound while simultaneously controlling the pressure. Unfortunately this important element of wound care is overlooked by many practitioners and resisted by many patients.
Offloading a wound properly requires some inconvenience and disruption in your lifestyle. Different doctors use different methods to remove the pressure from a wound. Some apply casts, others use a cast boot, still others use a specialized healing shoe. There are even times where surgery may be needed to remove the pressure from the ulcer site. Adding padding to your existing shoes, or even using diabetic shoes, is not sufficient to keep the pressure away.
After your diabetic foot ulcer is healed, you are not completely out of the woods. It is vital to continue to control the pressure to prevent the wound from returning. This is where a diabetic shoe is appropriate.
Of course, the best way to treat a diabetic foot ulcer is to prevent one from forming. Every person with diabetes should be seen regularly by a podiatrist in Houston to identify and manage risk factors and ensure you are wearing the proper shoes. If you or someone you love has diabetes, especially if you are concerned about a diabetic foot ulcer forming or not healing, contact Dr. Andrew Schneider for an immediate appointment. Just say "I'm diabetic and have a problem" and we'll get you in right away.
Will an diabetic foot ulcer that's been there for a long time ever heal?
So you have a diabetic foot ulcer that just won't heal. Or maybe it has healed but keeps coming back. I'm sure you are frustrated and feel that it may never heal. In some cases you may have dressed your wound with the same medication for months...even years!
A diabetic foot ulcer should show continuous progress towards healing. If your wound stops healing, there must be a reason why or a change in therapy is needed. First of all, no ulcer will heal if there is not a sufficient blood supply to the foot. Poor circulation is common in people with diabetes. At our Houston podiatry practice, we use a non-invasive, painless system for evaluating your circulation called PADnet. Everyone with diabetes should be evaluated for circulation. Restoring circulation will help your wound to heal.
The underlying cause of your diabetic foot ulcer is pressure. This same pressure that initially caused the wound will prevent it from healing. For this reason, management of your ulcer must include the relief of pressure. The is achieved by casting, wearing a surgical boot, or surgical shoe. If you are not wearing something to manage these pressures, you should ask your doctor or get a second opinion from another podiatrist in Houston.
Finally, not all dressings for a diabetic foot ulcer are the same. Some should be used with a dry wound, others for a draining wound, and still others for a wound that is infected. There are dressings that use living cells and growth factors to speed healing. If the dressing you are using hasn't made your wound close after 4 weeks, ask if another type of dressing may be better.
If you feel that your diabetic foot ulcer is not healing, contact Tanglewood Foot Specialists and schedule and appointment with Houston diabetic ulcer specialist Dr. Andrew Schneider.
I'm worried that my socks are cutting off my circulation, what do I do?
Socks are made in all shapes and sizes. The problem that you may face is a tight band around the calf. This is especially true if you are diabetic or just generally have poor circulation. Many socks are made this way to prevent them from slipping down...very important in a sock!
The tight band at the top of socks can, indeed, effect your circulation. Compressing your calf can close off arteries providing blood to the foot. This can lead to intense pain after walking for a period of time and only alleviated by rest. It also can increase the possibility of complications such as skin ulcers.
To prevent problems stemming from wearing the wrong socks, it is important that you choose socks that will not cause you problems. There are many brands of diabetic socks that provide a looser fit around the calf. If you do need some compression because of swelling or vein insufficiency, compression socks that provide uniform compression through the calf are available.
Both diabetic socks, as well as compression socks, are readily available. Houston podiatrist Dr. Andrew Schneider carries both at Tanglewood Foot Specialists. If you are unsure if your current socks are right for you, contact our office for an immediate appointment.
Is there a cure for diabetes?
Diabetes is a disease that is reaching epidemic proportions, especially in Houston as waistlines continue to grow. Despite millions of dollars of international research, the still is no cure for diabetes. There are many ways to control diabetes to keep the impact on your life to a minimum.
First and foremost, you need to take control of your blood sugar by measuring it daily and avoiding foods that will raise it. So many people assume that because they take medicine or use insulin, diet is unimportant. This is completely untrue. When your blood sugar is elevated, it increases the chances of Peripheral Arterial Disease and diabetic peripheral neuropathy.
It is vital that you take care of your feet. You should perform a daily foot inspection to ensure there are no complications. Don't rely on feeling pain since you may already have some measure of neuropathy that numbs your sensation of pain. You should establish a relationship with a podiatrist to provide regular examinations and help you keep your feet. If you live in the Houston area, contact Tanglewood Foot Specialists and schedule an appointment with Dr. Andrew Schneider. If you think you may have a diabetic foot ulcer or other foot problem, be sure to tell us so we can get you in immediately
My feet are deformed from diabetes, how do I stop it from getting worse?
Diabetes can progress to form a significant deformity of your foot and ankle. This foot deformity is an advanced complication of diabetes and must be treated very seriously. These changes are known as Charcot foot and you will notice your arch dropping with bones causing pressure in the middle of your foot. Without proper treatment, the foot will continue to collapse and put you at risk for a diabetic foot ulcer to form.
Charcot foot needs to be treated quickly and aggressively. At first you will likely be immobilized to stop the progress of the collapse of your foot. Afterwards, you would be placed in a therapeutic shoe with an insole designed to manage the pressure beneath the foot. If your foot is already too deformed to be in a diabetic shoe, a custom shoe may be needed. To add additional support, I may recommend a custom ankle-foot orthotic to be worn in the shoe. In particularly severe cases, I may recommend surgery to reconstruct the foot.
If you have diabetes and are noticing your foot changing, contact Houston podiatrist Dr. Andrew Schneider for an immediate appointment. When you call, mention that you are diabetic and think you have a problem. My team will get you in ASAP!
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 very problematic and has the potential to cause pain and infection.
Why Do You Need to Cover Up Your Toenails?
There are a few reasons why people feel the need to cover up their natural toenail. First of all, your nail may have a toenail fungal infection. Fungus appears as thickened and yellow toenails. Even when the infection is treated, it takes at least nine months for the toenail to grow out. I know you want a nicer appearing toenail before then!
Another cause of thick, discolored toenails is due to trauma. Trauma is very common on our feet: you can bump your toe, stub your toe, or have your toe stepped on. It's possible that it's not any major trauma other than repetitively hitting the end or the top of your shoe. While the damage is often temporary, it is possible that the damage can be lasting, which will lead you to find a way to cover up the damage.
The Problem with Acrylic Nails
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 embed into your toe and create an ingrown toenail. The pressure, even for a short time, can cause a severe toe infection to form. This infection will require a procedure to be done in the office. It is no different from how we would treat a natural ingrown toenail. It's better to avoid acrylic nails to prevent these problems from occurring.
Keryflex is a Solution
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. Keratin is the same substance your natural nails are made of. 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, 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. We can make the nails not have a shine to it, so no one will know ou have anything but your own toenails.
Find Our if Keryflex is Right for You
We have had many satisfied patients, both men and women. They keep coming back to have Keryflex reapplied to their toenails. Some come just for the summer months. Others just before vacation. Others still come year round. Many have tried acrylic nails and found them to be either painful or inadequate.
Contact Tanglewood Foot Specialists to see if you are a candidate for Keryflex toenail restoration. In 30 minutes, you'll leave with natural appearing toenails and will love wearing sandals this summer.
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.
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.