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May 2020

A common cause of ingrown toenails is wearing shoes that do not fit correctly. This condition can develop as a result of wearing certain types of shoes that do not have adequate room for the toes to move freely in. An ingrown toenail is defined as a nail that grows into the outer edges of the skin, and can generally cause pain and discomfort. Additional symptoms can include redness, swelling, and pus that may drain from an infected toenail. Moderate relief can be found when the impacted foot is soaked in warm water, which typically helps to soften the skin. It is beneficial to protect the nail by placing a bandage over it as daily activities are completed. If you notice signs of an ingrown toenail, please consult with a podiatrist who can offer correct treatment methods.

Ingrown toenails can become painful if they are not treated properly. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact Dr. Mark Gagnon of Advanced Podiatry. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails occur when a toenail grows sideways into the bed of the nail, causing pain, swelling, and possibly infection.

Causes

  • Bacterial infections
  • Improper nail cutting such as cutting it too short or not straight across
  • Trauma to the toe, such as stubbing, which causes the nail to grow back irregularly
  • Ill-fitting shoes that bunch the toes too close together
  • Genetic predisposition

Prevention

Because ingrown toenails are not something found outside of shoe-wearing cultures, going barefoot as often as possible will decrease the likeliness of developing ingrown toenails. Wearing proper fitting shoes and using proper cutting techniques will also help decrease your risk of developing ingrown toenails.

Treatment

Ingrown toenails are a very treatable foot condition. In minor cases, soaking the affected area in salt or antibacterial soaps will not only help with the ingrown nail itself, but also help prevent any infections from occurring. In more severe cases, surgery is an option. In either case, speaking to your podiatrist about this condition will help you get a better understanding of specific treatment options that are right for you.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Crestwood, Orland Park, and Summit, IL. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Published in Blog
Monday, 25 May 2020 00:00

Heel Pain Can Be Treated!

Do you suffer from heel pain when you get up in the morning? If so, you should seek the professional help of your podiatrist and have a proper diagnosis performed. Heel pain can be caused by several different foot-related conditions.

Published in Blog
Monday, 18 May 2020 00:00

Are Bunions Hereditary?

The place on the foot where bunions develop is the bottom of the big toe. Common symptoms that are present in larger bunions can consist of pain and swelling on and around the affected area, and skin that has become calloused on top of the bunion. Additionally, it may be difficult to wear shoes that are normally worn, and larger shoes may have to be purchased so the feet can feel comfortable. Patients who have developed bunions may have prior medical conditions that can include arthritis, cerebral  palsy, in addition to genetics playing a significant role in developing a bunion. Mild relief may be found when custom-made orthotics are worn, and it may help to wear a protective pad over the bunion. If you have a bunion, and would like additional information about effective treatment options, please consult with a podiatrist.

If you are suffering from bunions, contact Dr. Mark Gagnon of Advanced Podiatry. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is a Bunion?

A bunion is formed of swollen tissue or an enlargement of boney growth, usually located at the base joint of the toe that connects to the foot. The swelling occurs due to the bones in the big toe shifting inward, which impacts the other toes of the foot. This causes the area around the base of the big toe to become inflamed and painful.

Why Do Bunions Form?

Genetics – Susceptibility to bunions are often hereditary

Stress on the feet – Poorly fitted and uncomfortable footwear that places stress on feet, such as heels, can worsen existing bunions

How Are Bunions Diagnosed?

Doctors often perform two tests – blood tests and x-rays – when trying to diagnose bunions, especially in the early stages of development. Blood tests help determine if the foot pain is being caused by something else, such as arthritis, while x-rays provide a clear picture of your bone structure to your doctor.

How Are Bunions Treated?

  • Refrain from wearing heels or similar shoes that cause discomfort
  • Select wider shoes that can provide more comfort and reduce pain
  • Anti-inflammatory and pain management drugs
  • Orthotics or foot inserts
  • Surgery

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Crestwood, Orland Park, and Summit, IL. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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A common foot condition that can cause pain and discomfort is known as cracked heels. Many people may suffer from this ailment, and in severe cases, may experience bleeding. Cracked heels may develop due to wearing shoes that have an open back, or from standing for long periods of time throughout the day. Some people have existing medical conditions that may lead to the formation of cracked heels. These conditions can include thyroid disease, psoriasis, or certain vitamin deficiencies. Additionally, the feet bear the weight of the body, and patients who are overweight may develop cracked heels due to the excess weight. The most noticeable symptoms typically consist of visible cracks in the skin that have become dry. Some patients may also experience a loss of feeling if an infection has begun. If you are afflicted with cracked heels, it is strongly suggested that you speak with a podiatrist as quickly as possible, who can determine what the best treatment techniques are for relief.

Cracked heels are unsightly and can cause further damage to your shoes and feet. If you have any concerns, contact Dr. Mark Gagnon from Advanced Podiatry. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Cracked Heels

Cracked heels appear unappealing and can make it harder for you walk around in sandals. Aside from looking unpleasant, cracked heels can also tear stockings, socks, and wear out your shoes. There are several methods to help restore a cracked heel and prevent further damage.

How Do You Get Them?

Dry skin is the number one culprit in creating cracked heels. Many athletes, walkers, joggers, and even swimmers suffer from cracked heels. Age and skin oil production play a role to getting cracked heels as well.

Promote Healing

Over the counter medicines can help, especially for those that need instant relief or who suffer from chronic dry feet.

Wear Socks – Wearing socks with medicated creams helps lock in moisture.

Moisturizers – Applying both day and night will help alleviate dryness which causes cracking.

Pumice Stones – These exfoliate and remove dead skin, which allows for smoother moisturizer application and better absorption into the skin. 

Change in Diet

Eating healthy with a well-balanced diet will give the skin a fresh and radiant look. Your body responds to the kinds of food you ingest. Omega-3 fatty acids and zinc supplements can also revitalize skin tissue.

Most importantly, seek professional help if unsure how to proceed in treating cracked heels. A podiatrist will help you with any questions or information needed. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Crestwood, Orland Park, and Summit, IL. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Published in Blog
Monday, 04 May 2020 00:00

Blisters and Shoes

People who enjoy hiking are often aware that blisters may develop on their feet. They form as a result of excess friction between the sock and the shoe, which may cause difficulty walking. A blister is defined as a small area that is filled with fluid and forms over the damaged skin. Its purpose is to protect the new skin as it develops, and will gradually drain when it is no longer needed. Many blisters may be prevented by wearing shoes and socks that fit properly, and recognizing the first signs a blister may be forming. Treating a blister can be done by applying an antibiotic ointment on and around the affected area, in addition to wearing a protective covering over it. For additional information about why blisters form on the feet and how to treat them, please consult with a podiatrist.

Blisters may appear as a single bubble or in a cluster. They can cause a lot of pain and may be filled with pus, blood, or watery serum. If your feet are hurting, contact Dr. Mark Gagnon of Advanced Podiatry. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Foot Blisters

Foot blisters are often the result of friction. This happens due to the constant rubbing from shoes, which can lead to pain.

What Are Foot Blisters?

A foot blister is a small fluid-filled pocket that forms on the upper-most layer of the skin. Blisters are filled with clear fluid and can lead to blood drainage or pus if the area becomes infected.

Symptoms

(Blister symptoms may vary depending on what is causing them)

  • Bubble of skin filled with fluid
  • Redness
  • Moderate to severe pain
  • Itching

Prevention & Treatment

In order to prevent blisters, you should be sure to wear comfortable shoes with socks that cushion your feet and absorb sweat. Breaking a blister open may increase your chances of developing an infection. However, if your blister breaks, you should wash the area with soap and water immediately and then apply a bandage to the affected area. If your blisters cause severe pain it is important that you call your podiatrist right away.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Crestwood, Orland Park, and Summit, IL. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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