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!