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How will I know if I have fungal nails?

Fungus on the nail can cause opaque discoloration, usually a darkening yellow color but can sometimes be blackish. In some cases it may also cause white splotching on the nail. In most cases the nail can get thicker and brittle 

How do I know whether I should see a podiatrist or an orthopedic surgeon for my foot problem?

A podiatrist is a specialized medical physician focusing on surgical procedures involving only the feet and ankles, while an orthopedic surgeon's practice may include knees, hips, shoulders, arms etc. So when it comes to foot and ankle problems it is better to see a physician that specializes in foot and ankle procedures exclusively, as they will be best versed in the latest techniques in treatment.

How often should I replace my running shoes if I run regularly as exercise?

It is a good idea to replace your shoes every three to four months, if you run an average of about 25 miles a week. This number fluctuates based on your height and weight, but the range is between 350-550 miles with heavier runners needing to replace shoes closer to 350.

How do I treat a sprained ankle?

Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation.  Stay off of the injured ankle, do not attempt to “walk it off,” as this could further injure the ankle. While resting, apply an ice pack with cloth barrier to the injury – keeping it on for twenty minutes and the off for twenty minutes. An elastic wrap can be applied fimly, but not too tight as to cause a sensation of throbbing in the effected area. And lastly, elevating the foot to heart level (usually with a pillow) will help drain the fluid build up.

How often to I need to replace my orthotics?

Orthotics are designed to control abnormal foot function, and they do lose their function eventually. This is usually right around a year to a year and a half depending on activity level and weight. When you have reached this point, or you are experiencing reoccurring foot discomfort it is time to replace your othotics.

What can be done about the pain in my heel?

Heel pain is usually caused by a condition known as plantar fsciitis. The ligament called the plantar fascia on the bottom of the foot become inflamed where it attaches to the heel. To prevent this inflammation, you should avoid walking barefoot. Also, taking an anit-inflammatory such as Advil or Motrin along with wearing a pair of shoes with good arch support should help manage the pain; you may also ice the heel. If the problem persists, see your podiatrist as soon as possible to prevent further damage.

How do I know if I should have my bunions fixed or just leave them alone? I am unsure whether I should have my bunions fixed, how can I tell if they need to be removed?

If the bunions are interfering with the activities you love, or if you are unable to find a pair of shoes that fit without hurting your feet then you should see a podiatrist for X-rays and a discussion of treatment options.

I have athletes foot, how can I get rid of it?

The dark, enclosed and moist environment that is your shoes are perfect for the fungus that is athletes' foot. And what is worse is that it can spread around locker rooms, spas, pools and other such areas. To avoid athletes' foot you should protect your feet while in such areas by wearing flip flops, crocs etc. Keeping your feet dry by wearing socks made of natural fibers or other fibers that wick away sweat, and applying an anti-fungal powder to your feet should help clear the fungal infestation. Also remember to change your socks regularly if you sweat heavily

My heels are dry and cracked. What can I do?

If you have a bleeding cracked heel, it is important to see a podiatrist. If they are just dry and cracked, you can start with moisturizing using a cream (lotion is too thin). Unfortunately, cracked heels are usually hereditary and will never just go away, but controlling the problem is within reason. After moisturizing, use a pumice stone after a shower or foot soak (This is when your feet are softest). If this does not work, there are numerous creams that can help.

I have a pain under the balls of my feet, what is the cause?

Metratarsalgia, or pain under the ball of the foot, can have many causes from a torn ligament responsible for stabilizing the toe to a stress fracture. The only way to find out for sure is to see your podiatrist. 

My child has flat feet. Does it need to be treated?

If your family has a history of flat feet that need to be treated with surgery, or other foot related complications then, yes you should seek treatment for your child's flat feet. But, there are a large number of people who have flat feet who never have a problem with them.

Are warts contagious?

Warts are in fact a virus, and as such is contagious. If you have one on your feet, it would be unwise to pick at it as that is how they spread to others. Taking some basic precautions such as wearing flip flops while in moist public environments such as locker rooms can prevent the spread of warts.

How do I avoid ingrown nails?

To avoid ingrown toe nails, trim your nails straight across and slightly round off he edges with a file. If you tear you toenails instead off cutting them, you will eventually develop an ingrown toe nail. 

My toes are becoming crooked and they now hurt, why is this?

Crooked toes can be a hereditary trait or it can be a result of the shoes you wear. Over time, they may begin to become painful. Crooked toes are called “hammertoes” and when they begin hurting it is due them becoming arthritic and less flexible. Wearing wider shoes and adding padding can help. If these solutions do not help relieve the pain caused by hammertoes, there is a surgical procedure that can straighten the toes.

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