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What is it?

Are you suffering from white or yellow, brittle or thick toenails?  These are signs of onychomycosis, commonly known as toenail fungus.  While unsightly, this condition is typically painless, but may be accompanied by a foul odor.  Though it is called a fungus, other causes include yeasts and molds.  Toenail fungus is contagious and can easily be spread among family members and contracted from public places.  Left untreated a fungal infection can cause permanent damage to the nails; and in those with weakened immune systems, the infection can spread beyond the feet.

Risk factors

While anyone can contract toenail fungus, it is more common among the elderly population.  It can be picked up from public places such as swimming pools, gyms, and showers.  Those patients in immunosuppressed states are also more susceptible to the condition.  Other risk factors include:  obesity, diabetes, and smoking.

Treatments

Antifungal topical treatments that are applied directly to the nails are typically recommended.  In some cases, an oral medication may also be prescribed.  A podiatrist can perform a nail biopsy to determine the type of fungus causing the infection so that the best treatment can be prescribed.  In recent years, the FDA has approved the use of laser treatment for toenail fungus.  The Cutera Genesis Plus Laser is available to patients in our Willow Street office and has shown to be highly effective in the treatment of toenail fungus.

Prevention

As with any condition, prevention is key.  Keep your nails trimmed properly ensuring not to cut them too short.  Wear proper fitting shoes that are breathable and disinfect them with a good spray, often.  Synthetic socks help to wick moisture away from the feet keeping them drier than a cotton blend and deterring the growth and spread of fungus.  Always avoid going barefoot in public places.  If a member of the household is affected, get them treatment immediately to prevent the spread to others.

If you are concerned about your nails, especially if you are diabetic, contact our office today.  Toenail fungus is not something that should just be covered up.  Let us provide an effective treatment to prevent the spread and transmission of the fungus and get your nails looking their best!

Orthotics are devices added to footwear that help alleviate pain, improve walking gait, reduce the risk of ulcers, and promote stability.  Orthotics provide support to the heels, arches, and balls of the feet.  They come in a variety of materials and lengths, depending on the manufacturer.  Pricing ranges greatly with orthotics.  Over-the -counter inserts are less costly than a prescribed pair of custom orthotics but, wear out much faster.  So, which is better for you?  Read more below on the comparisons of the two.

Over-the-Counter (OTC)

This type of orthotic can easily be found at any drugstore or shoe retailer.  The orthotics are made for the “general” population assuming all feet are the same.  They typically last three to nine months depending on the wearer and the quality of the shoe in which they are being used.  They can be helpful with alleviating acute foot or ankle problems.  OTC orthotics typically provide extra cushion with a foam or gel material.  While they are cost-effective up front, one must consider the constant cost of replacing them every few months.

Custom Prescription Orthotics

Custom orthotics are prescribed by a podiatrist, following a thorough examination.  Custom orthotics provide comfort while also correcting gait mechanics.  State-of-the-art digital technology is used to scan each foot separately.  The scan is then sent to a laboratory where an orthotic is created based on the topography of each foot.  Since these are specially made, the material used for them is much more durable and typically will last five to ten years.  While the cost up front is greater than an OTC insert, in the long run, the custom orthotics are more cost-effective. 

Almost everyone can benefit from a good orthotic.  Whether the issue be acute (short term) or chronic (long lasting), orthotics help correct walking mechanics while providing support.  Orthotics are especially helpful for those suffering from plantar fasciitis, tendonitis, diabetic ulcers, and general foot and heel pain.  If you have more questions regarding orthotics and inserts, contact our office today!

Now available at Henderson Podiatry’s Willow Street Location

MLS stands for Multi-Wave Locked System.  The MLS Therapy Laser treats pain, inflammation and arthritis.  It features 2 wavelengths on the infrared spectrum that are invisible to the eye, but can be seen using a cell phone camera.  One wavelength is for inflammation and is long lasting.  The other is for pain and is fast acting.  Laser therapy has been cleared by the FDA and has no known negative side effects.

How do lasers work?

Laser energy stimulates cells to remove toxins and allow oxygen and food loads into the cell.  They block pain signals to the brain and release endorphins.  Laser light increases cellular energy and increases blood flow to the area.  Essentially, laser treatment helps jump start the healing process.  MLS laser therapy can actually decrease healing time by 30-40%.  Like an antibiotic, each treatment is cumulative in its effectiveness, building off the previous treatment.  The amount of treatment sessions recommended depends on the duration of a condition.  Acute patients will need 6 treatments every other day for 2 weeks, while chronic patients should have 12 sessions for 4 weeks.  Laser treatments only take about 10 minutes a session and are completely painless.  While some may experience relief after the first treatment, 90% of patients report positive results by the third session.

Conditions treated with MLS

·        Arthritis

·        Bursitis

·        Tendonitis

·        Heel pain/ plantar fasciitis

·        Sprains and strains

·        Wounds

·        Neuromas

·        Neuropathy

·        Post-surgical swelling

·        Sports injuries

Next steps

Foot pain can dramatically affect your way of life.  MLS laser therapy can reduce pain, relieve inflammation and restore mobility.  Call our office today at (717)-464-5603 to schedule a consultation and find out how MLS laser therapy can get your feet feeling better and regain your way of life.





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