Thickened and yellowed toenails are not just embarrassing, but can also be a serious precursor to more serious health conditions. The skin and tissue surrounding yellowed toenails could possibly contain an infection, such as toenail fungus. For these reasons, you should seek laser treatment from Dr. Eric J. Abrams, at one of his two New Jersey locations (Toms River and Eatontown). Dr. Abrams can discuss the benefits of laser surgery and can help you to develop the right strategy to deal with yellowed and thickened toe nails.
Some common causes of thickened or yellowed toenails include the following:
- Bad Circulation – Individuals with conditions such as diabetes have a harder time with circulation of blood to the toe nails, which causes them to get weak more easily and thus prone to infection.
- Fungus – Yellowing of the toe nails is most likely caused by fungus, which can lead to the nail breaking completely if left untreated.
- Wounds – Athletics and a general active lifestyle can lead to a higher susceptibility of injury for those with thickened toe nails.
Precautions may also be taken to prevent yellowed or thickened toe nails such as eliminating the wet and shady environment that allows fungus to thrive. You can often switch shoes throughout the week or wear open style shoes such as sandals when possible to allow air to dry out any potential moisture buildup under the toe nails. Cotton and foot powders can also absorb moisture to help keep your feet bone-dry.
Thankfully, laser treatment, such as the Q-Laser treatment offered by Dr. Abrams, can help bring yellowed or thickened toe nails back to great condition when precautions were not first taken. The laser pierces the nail and thereby destroys any fungus causing infection. After the laser treatment, the nail eventually rejuvenates over the next 6 months. A new toenail grows into place and chances of reoccurrence are greatly diminished.
Ultimately, yellowed or thickened toenails likely caused by fungal infections are best diagnosed by a physician. If your toe nails are starting to yellow or thicken, contact Foot and Ankle Affiliates of Central NJ by calling as soon as possible. The Q-Laser treatment offered by physician Dr. Abrams may be the best option for your yellowed or thickened toe nails.
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar Fasciitis or heel pain (also known as Jogger’s Heel or Plantar Fasciopathy) is a common foot ailment that affects millions of people each year. The band of tissue that supports the arch of your foot (your Plantar Fascia) becomes inflamed or irritated causing pain in your heel or stiffness in your foot. A few common factors that affect Plantar Fasciitis are having extremely high arches, being obese or having very tight calf muscles. Lowering your weight if you are obese, or doing fewer repetitive impact movements such as in running or sports, may help decrease your risk of developing this condition. Stretching your calf muscles frequently is also extremely helpful to promote flexibility between your calves, shins, and feet.
For Plantar Fasciitis, whether it’s mild or severe, it is best to consult with your podiatrist before attempting to treat yourself. However, here are a few things you can do to get the healing process started before your appointment.
- Rest - Stay off of your feet as much as possible and eliminate any movements that involve repetitive stress on your heels.
- Ice - Roll a bottle of ice from your toes to your heels, and back to your toes for 20 minutes at a time, up to 3-4 times a day.
- Stretch - Stretch your calves and your Plantar Fascia multiple times a day. Start in the morning (usually when the pain is most severe) before you get ready for the day.
- Shoe Inserts - Insert silicone or gel cushions in your shoes to help support your arches and reduce tension from every step. Custom orthotics (shoe inserts) although more expensive, can also be very helpful.
Plantar Fasciitis can take many months to heal. If the above options do not help, more aggressive treatment can be prescribed. Here at Foot & Ankle Affiliates of Central NJ, P.C., Dr. Abrams has been treating patients with podiatric ailments since 1997 and can provide excellent treatment options to speed up your recovery.
Although there is no guarantee that Plantar Fasciitis will not strike again, it can be stopped before it becomes full blown. Even if there is only mild pain it is always good to prevent the symptoms from getting worse by immediately implementing the above treatments. The faster you can recognize that something is wrong, the less damage will have been done, and the faster you will be able to heal. For any additional questions you may have about how you can treat your Plantar Fasciitis, please feel free to contact us or make an appointment at one of our convenient locations in Eatontown or Toms River NJ.
In my last article I talked a bit about charley horses and some of their causes. This affliction affects many, so I wanted to discuss it a bit more in depth. As many people know, who have experienced them, charley horses often happen at night- awakening their victim with a severe cramp. Because they are due to muscle spasms, it’s thought that part of the reason they occur so frequently during sleep is that a person is lying in the same position for a long period of time. Typically, lying in an awkward position for any prolonged period can result in a muscle spasm- hence the charley horse!
The thing about charley horses is that they can happen to anyone, at any age, and can occur at any time of the day or night- although they tend to happen more at night. However, there are some people who do tend to experience them more than others. They are:
· Older adults
· People who smoke
· Obese people
· People taking certain medications like Evista, diuretics, or statin drugs
Athletes tend to experience charley horses because of muscle overuse/fatigue. Obese people experience them more because of poor circulation in their legs. People who experience them due to taking certain medications usually are facing dehydration. Smokers and older adults are on the poor circulation end of the spectrum, making them more prone to charley horses. And infants, well, that is a bit more of a mystery, except they do spend a lot of time in the same positions, so perhaps that is why.
If a charley horse only happens once in a while, it really isn’t cause for concern. However, if they occur on a regular basis, you should have your doctor check you out. Your doctor can make a diagnosis through looking at your history and doing a physical exam. MRI’s are typically utilized to help determine if nerve compression is the cause of frequent charley horses. Lab work is also done on your blood to check for low potassium, calcium, or magnesium levels.
So, although charley horses are never fun, hopefully you are someone who only experiences them once in a while. If you are on the other end of the spectrum, though, and experience them more than once a week, get yourself checked out. Dr. Eric Abrams is a skilled podiatrist with two Central NJ locations available for his patients to visit. If you have any foot or leg issue that concerns you, give him a call!
The other night my spouse awoke moaning! As I was pulled from sleep and asked what was wrong, I was told that it was a very painful leg cramp. Has this ever happened to you? If you’re not already familiar with this type of sharp, shooting cramp in the leg, it is known as the “Charley horse”. If you have experienced a Charley horse before, you’ll recall how unwelcome it is, and how quickly you wish it would “go out to pasture”!
Some people experience these more than others, certain factors play in. A biggie is how hydrated/dehydrated you are. Dehydration tends to be a big cause of the “Charley horse”. If you haven’t consumed enough fluids throughout the day/ expelled a lot of fluids from your body through sweating, you are more prone to this type of leg cramping.
Being on one’s feet a lot throughout the day without resting is another cause. If you have a job that requires constant standing, your legs and feet take a lot of stress. Muscles tend to cramp up more when they’ve been over-worked without a rest. The combination of standing for long periods of time and not drinking enough throughout the day can be a recipe for disaster.
The Charley horse is another name for a muscle spasm. Because the muscles don’t relax for several seconds or more, the pain that goes hand in hand with this can be severe. Some charley horses are so severe that they can result in the muscle being sore for a few hours, or even a day! The causes for Charley horse as stated on “healthline” are:
· Inadequate blood flow to the muscle
· Muscle injuries
· Exercising in excessive heat or cold
· Overuse of a specific muscle during exercise
· Stress, most often in the neck muscles
· Not stretching before exercise
· Nerve compression in the spine
· Taking diuretic, which can lead to low potassium levels
· Mineral depletion, too little calcium, potassium, and sodium in the blood
The Charley horse is never a fun experience. In further blogs I will discuss this topic more. If you suspect that nerve damage may be to blame, definitely see a podiatrist. Dr. Eric Abrams is a skilled podiatrist that has two central NJ offices available to visit. Call him if any foot or leg issue is plaguing you, he can help!
Normally, I try to behave when it comes to sugar intake, and not over-do it. However, coming off of the holiday weekend, with all these extra sweets around… Well, I may be consuming too much sugar- I admit! All these cupcakes, cakes, chocolates and candies are way too tempting and have been finding their way into my belly way too much the past few days! Well, if you are guilty of being a sugar glutton, too, read on! Not only is too much sugar not so great for our waistlines, it also can affect your feet! Who knew??
Apparently, some foods- the ones that contain a lot of sugar (aka- candy, cake, brownies, etc) yes, all the yummy yummy treats I for one, adore- they can cause inflammation in our bodies! And, unfortunately, inflammation can impact the health of our feet. So, it is important to realize that what we put into our bodies makes completely affects us. Certain foods can increase chemicals in our bodies that cause tissue inflammation. Many common foods in the American diet encourage inflammation, especially sugar, refined grains, and trans-fats found in many baked goods and junk foods. Other culprits are: the saturated fat in red meat, the omega-6 fats found in many commonly used vegetable oils, such as corn, sunflower, and soybean oils.
The inflammation that these foods cause can appear in your feet in the form of plantar fasciitis, which causes pain in the thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot or heel. Too much sugar intake can also affect your feet in the form of peripheral artery disease and diabetes. Each of these conditions can harm your feet by damaging arteries that bring blood to your lower extremities. So, if you are diabetic, you really need to be careful about your sugar intake.
So, writing this article has made me want to try to control my sweets consumption and try to turn a blind eye to all the treats around my house right now! How about you? Unfortunately, too much sugar has a lot of bad repercussions throughout our bodies, even in our feet. If your feet need some T.L.C., give Dr. Eric Abrams a call. He has two convenient Central New Jersey locations for you to visit for any of your foot needs.
When one thinks of reasons to visit the podiatrist, usually older people or adults come to mind as the ones who would most need help with their feet. We think of elderly people, primarily affiliated with foot issues. Things like bunions, corns, hammertoes… these come to mind as burdens that that we think commonly just effect the elderly. Issues like athlete’s foot, fungal toenails, and most foot problems only happen to adults, right?
This is not always the case. Children have problems with their feet and legs, too. Usually, though, they aren’t too serious and either go away on their own or can be corrected by special shoe orthotic inserts. One common problem that kids have is flatfeet. This is a condition in which the feet don’t have a proper arch to them. Usually this means more of the person’s foot surface is in contact with ground- but this isn’t such a bad thing, as typically flatfeet don’t cause pain or problems but should be monitored throughout their growing years.
Another issue kids have is knock-knees. Knock knees is a condition where the legs curve in at the knees so much that they could cause the ankles problems. In most cases the body self-corrects around age 6, straightening naturally, and within a few years after, most kids can stand with their knees and ankles resuming the correct positioning. If this does occur beyond age 6, it would be a good idea to see Dr. Abrams.
Kids can also experience conditions such as Pigeon Toes or Bowlegs. Pigeon toes is a common foot condition in kids, in which they have inwardly turning toes. This also tends to correct itself naturally without any medical treatment. Good news, right?! Bowlegs refers to when someone stands with the feet and ankles together but the knees are widely apart. Many babies are born bowlegged because in utero their legs were folded tightly across their bellies. This condition works itself out, usually, when babies start to walk and their legs bear weight. More good news is that by age 3, most kids outgrow this condition too!
Other foot and ankle problems kids experience are: Athlete’s foot, blisters and foot and ankle sprains or breaks. Obviously with these conditions, you should see your podiatrist ASAP. Dr. Eric Abrams has two convenient locations in Central NJ for you to visit. Call Dr. Abrams with any foot or ankle issues you or your kids may be having!
National sibling day is coming up this month. On that note, I am thinking of foot issues, and how often they are hereditary. One can’t help but wonder, are we destined to have the same medical problems that our parents, siblings, or ancestors have? It seems like sometimes the answer is yes- if Mom had foot fungus, son or daughter is likely to get it, too. Or other times, we share the same afflictions our siblings have. However, sometimes it seems that only one sibling in a family may have bunions, or flat feet, or any other pain. Is there any rhyme or reason to it all?
Doctors say that typically when a person has a foot issue, it is something a person will have a predisposition to. Yet, poor footwear usually exacerbates it. In a U.S. study, they found that two common foot problems that were long suspected of being genetic, have been confirmed as conditions people can inherit. Both conditions, which are often painful, can cause problems with mobility. A bunion deformity in which the big toe angles toward the smaller toes, and high-arched feet that don’t flatten when bearing weight, both show a tendency to be inherited, researchers reported at the annual scientific meeting of the American College of Rheumatology in Atlanta.
Between 2002 & 2005, more than 2,000 people were studied that suffered from bunions. Researchers found the bunion deformity was hereditary in about 39 percent of women and 38 percent of men. They found that the high-arch disorder was inherited in 68 percent of women and 20 percent of men. The good thing about these findings is that effective interventions are available, and are most effective in the early stages. So, if you know that bunions run in your family, and you start getting one, you will know to head to the podiatrist right away.
It is always smart to head to the doctor if you are having any issues with your feet. If you ignore the problem, it can often get worse, and lead to further problems. Further problems usually mean MORE PAIN, and can make your life a lot more inconvenient. So, call Dr. Eric Abrams if you’re having foot issue. He has two central NJ locations to choose to visit at his offices of Foot & Ankle Affiliates of Central NJ. Don’t wait, make an appointment!
Are you suffering from foot fungus and or toenail fungus? If you are, you know how annoying this affliction can be, as it is so hard to get rid of. Many people get foot/toenail fungus without even knowing they have it. Athlete’s foot can often lead to this, and be the culprit. Many people who have a fungal problem on their feet don’t realize what’s going on, and tend to ignore it, or mistake it for psoriasis or something else. Their feet may be itchy, their toenails may appear yellowish, & sometimes the nail separates from the nail bed. It’s easy to confuse foot/toenail fungus with other conditions, such as psoriasis. Many people are told they have psoriasis, when in fact they DO NOT, and are dealing with toenail fungus, instead.
Many times, this condition doesn’t cause pain, and people think it will just go away on its own. BUT NAIL FUNGUS DOESN’T GO AWAY BY ITSELF! And, the problem is, if you don’t treat this infection, there’s a chance it could get worse, spreading to other nails or through the body! It could even get to the point where it causes pain to its bearer when they walk.
Luckily, though, there are many treatments out there to deal with this icky condition. At Foot and Ankle Affiliates of Central NJ, Dr. Abrams and his skilled staff see many people with toenail fungus- usually people who ignored it for way too long. So, what are some of the treatments out there that may finally rid you of your toenail fungus forever? Here are some:
- You can try home remedies- do some research and see what people have had success with.
- You can buy antifungal creams, gels, and nail polish online and at the store without a prescription. If your infection doesn’t seem too bad, you may want to try this first.
- If your infection seems worse, head to your podiatrist- he can trim and file away your nail’s dead layers, test a sample of the nail to confirm that it is, after all, nail fungus- & what type it is. From there, your doctor might suggest an antifungal drug that gets painted on your nails.
- You can take prescription drugs orally, your doctor may decide to prescribe you such drugs as Lidocaine- although be careful to check what the side-effects may be, before going that route.
- If your infection is severe, nail removal may be necessary.
- However, laser treatment can successfully kill the fungus, although it isn’t covered by most insurance and can be expensive. There is also not a lot of research out there as of the effectiveness of this treatment, thus far.
So, if you feel you may have toenail or foot fungus, don’t ignore it! Call Dr. Abrams, he can help get your nails and feet back to a healthy state.
Do you find that your lower back hurts you a lot? Many people, no matter what kind of health they are in, suffer from this affliction. Mechanical low back pain (LBP) is a very common, expensive, and significant health issue we see in the western world. Many doctors feel that foot pressure is directly correlated to lower back issues. Functional musculoskeletal conditions are widely thought to cause mechanical low back pain.
However, the role of foot posture and leg length discrepancy in contributing to abnormal biomechanics of the lower back region (lumbopelvic region) has been found to be insufficiently investigated in the medical world. Some reviewers have, however, examined the evidence for the association between foot function- particularly pronation, and mechanical LBP. They have found that there is a body of evidence to support the notion that foot posture, particularly hyper pronation, is associated with mechanical low back pain!
It has been investigated as to whether or not the use of foot orthoses play a valuable role in the treatment of this condition. At the offices of Dr. Eric Abrams, we see many patients suffering from lower back pain, as well as foot pain. A lot of the time, overweight people and pregnant women are the biggest sufferers. However, people who spend a lot of time on their feet tend to suffer from not only foot and ankle issues, but lower back pain, as well.
It is one of those annoying afflictions, as it tends to be chronic, but is sometimes more or less painful depending on the day. Many people don’t realize that their feet are causing this lower back pain. However, we have found there is often a direct correlation between LBP and foot issues.
Sometimes, it is an easier fix than the person realizes, too! A lot of the time, people are simply wearing unsupportive or ill-fitting shoes- and this is the culprit! Dr. Abrams has had great success in treating this condition with the use of foot orthoses. He has two convenient central NJ locations to be seen at. By seeing your podiatrist, you give yourself the gift of not only more comfortable feet, but a more comfortable body, overall- especially when you are amongst the many out there with chronic lower back pain! Don’t wait, a more comfortable you is simply a phone call away!
Getting a pedicure is a nice, relaxing experience. Most people go to the nail salon to let go of their worries and relax. When you get a pedicure you shouldn’t have to worry about your health, right? One would think so. One would hope so. However, there are hidden dangers associated with getting a pedicure that one wouldn’t think of. There are some important things to look out for when you head to the salon, so you can enjoy that pedicure… worry-free!
- Make sure the metal tools they’re using have been sterilized between EACH CLIENT- if the metal tools the nail technician uses aren’t sterilized, you can get a nasty infection. Look for tools soaking in that blue liquid disinfectant- Barbicide, for example. Some salons use UV lights to sanitize tools, however, they need to be in the “ovens” for hours to effectively sterilize the instruments.
- Be wary of allowing the pedicurist to turn on the bubbles. The jets in the whirlpool bath can harbor bacteria and fungus. You can contract fungal or viral infections like athlete’s foot and warts.
- Watch out for non-metal tools… these are not sterilizable, so they should be used on YOU, and ONLY YOU. Stay alert and pay attention to the pedicurist to ensure that you’re not coming into contact with any used non-metal tools. A great idea is to bring your own nail files and foot pumices with you to the nail salon.
- Be clear about how you want the pedicurist to cut your nails and cuticles. If the pedicurist cuts too far into the corners, that can encourage the nail to grow into the skin, causing ingrown toenails.
- If you’ve just shaved your legs, and have a compromised immune system- like diabetics and people with HIV, the elderly, or anyone with vascular disease or circulation problems… you are more susceptible to infection. You can get infections like cellulitis from bacteria being introduced into the legs from microtears in the skin. Better to wait till after a couple days post-shave to get that pedicure.