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.
IMPORTANT COVID-19 INFORMATION
Our office continues to be open to all new and existing patients. We use hospital-grade sanitizers and are taking measures to ensure patients maintain social distancing by not having anyone wait in our reception room with others. If you prefer to wait in your car, just give us a call and we will call or text you when we are ready to bring you straight into a treatment room. Our entire staff is wearing masks and we encourage you to do the same.
For those patients who cannot or still wish not to visit the office, we are offering private video telemedicine visits. Simply call the office at 713-785-7881 and ask for an e-visit and we will be happy to get you set up for an immediate appointment. You can also request an appointment through our website.
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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.
How do I get my toenails looking better fast?
We are always on the lookout for a quick fix. Unfortunately, when it comes to the toenails, one isn't available. Because all treatments for fungal toenails work on the new toenail growth, clearing the nail plate takes at least as long as it takes for the nail to fully grow out. The timeframe is typically 9-12 months for a great toenail and 6-9 months for the smaller toenails.
The best way to assure that the toenail grows out properly and as quickly as possible is to provide the most definitive treatment. Using an oral antifungal therapy, such as Lamisil, will provide the greatest success of therapy. Many also couple this with a topical medication, such as Formula 3, to supplement the oral medication and maximize the improvement.
While treatment for the fungal toenail takes time for the infection to resolve, it does not mean that you need to put up with ugly toenails until then. In my podiatry office in Houston, TX, we use a called KeryFlex. KeryFlex is a healthy artificial toenail. It is is composed of a flexible resin that will not dig into the toe and become infected, like an acrylic nail would. Women enjoy KeryFlex since it is able to be shaped and polished. Nail polish can also be removed without effecting the nail. Men like the natural appearance that KeryFlex provides when they are wearing sandals.
Don't wait for sandal season to treat your fungal toenails. Because of the time it requires to improve, the best time to start treating your toenails is TODAY! Contact your Houston Podiatrist to find out which antifungal therapy is the best one for you.
How long do I have to wait for my toenails to look better?
No matter how you treat your fungal toenails, you are treating the new growth of the toenail. The existing thick and discolored nail plate will not change. Instead it will grow out as the nail is treated.
Toenails do not grow quickly. It takes approximately 9-12 months for a great toenail to fully grow out and 6-9 months for the nails on the other toes to progress. Not realizing this, many people are disappointed to learn in the spring that their infected toenails will not be completely clear for summer. At least they'll be clear for next year!
If you don't want to go through another summer with thick and discolored toenails, we provide a service called KeryFlex. Keryflex is a healthy, flexible, natural appearing artificial toenail that can cover a nail damaged from fungus infection or trauma. This non-invasive procedure has provided both women and men a healthier appearing toenail while the nail improves with treatment for the fungal infection.
To learn about your options to get your toenails clear of fungus and ready for sandal season (which here in Houston is most of the year), contact Tanglewood Foot Specialists to schedule an appointment with Dr. Andrew Schneider.