Posts for category: Foot Care
Toenail fungus can be unsightly and embarrassing, but Maryland Podiatry Center and Dr. John Murphy can help. Read about toenail fungus and contact your Ellicott City, MD, podiatrist if you are concerned about your feet.
How did I get toenail fungus?
Fungus thrives in humid and damp conditions, so patients pick up fungus from damp areas like locker rooms, public showers, and swimming pools. Certain patients are more susceptible to fungal infections like the elderly, diabetics, or patients with circulatory issues. If you have foot fungus it can infect the nail bed and cause the following symptoms:
- Discolored areas or streaks in the nail
- Brittle or flaking toenails
- Thickening toenails
If you notice these symptoms, talk to your Ellicott City, MD, podiatrist about how long you've been experiencing toenail fungus.
What can I do about toenail fungus?
After discussing your medical history, your podiatrist will examine your foot and toenails, and take a sample of the fungus to be analyzed. With a confirmed diagnosis, you and your doctor can discuss the best treatment. There are several treatments available for toenail fungus and the best one for you will depend on your case and your medical history.
Topical treatments are available for toenail fungus and are applied directly to the toenail, but many patients need more than one measure to get rid of toenail fungus completely. Antifungal cream needs to be applied frequently so it's a commitment to use it as directed, but it can help clear up the fungus.
There are some oral medications available that can help clear up a fungal infection. These are powerful drugs that should only be used as prescribed. Talk to your doctor about possible side effects and your medical history before taking any medication.
Laser therapy is a non-invasive procedure that attacks the fungus without damaging the nail. Ask your podiatrist if this treatment is right for your case. In severe cases where the toenail is damaged, it can be surgically removed.
Preventing further fungal infections is a matter of being vigilant and taking care of your feet. Keep your feet clean and dry because dry feet are less likely to become infected. Don't share items like socks or nail clippers, and wear sandals in damp public areas like locker rooms and swimming pools.
Dr. John Murphy of Maryland Podiatry Center can help if you're struggling with toenail fungus. Contact us in Ellicott City, MD, at (410) 992-8504.
See that bumpy bone jutting from the side base of your big toe? That’s a bunion, and it could swell and become painful in some cases. Basically, bunions develop when tissue or bone that surrounds the joint swells due to excessive pressure on the big toe.
In some people, a bunion could likewise cause the big toe to lean towards the neighboring toe. This is known as displacement and could result in issues with your other toes. Dr. John Murphy, here at Maryland Podiatry Center in Ellicott City, MD, regularly treats bunions. Until your consultation, however, here are tips on caring for your bunions at home.
Home Care for Bunion Relief
- Choose your footwear wisely. Pick shoes that offer a deep and wide space for your toes as well as shoes with great arch support and flat or low heels. Avoid wearing high-heeled, narrow, pointed, or tight shoes. If you must wear heels, make sure to remove them for a few minutes every 30 minutes to an hour and stretch your feet.
- Call your podiatrist to check if an OTC pain reliever will help with your symptoms. Make sure to follow all your doctor’s instructions for taking the medicine.
- Try shoe inserts, toe spacers, arch supports, or bunion pads. These can aid in shifting your weight as you walk to avoid putting unnecessary pressure on the big toe and your bunion. Ask your podiatrist in Ellicott City, MD, for recommendations.
- Place a cold pack or ice on your bunion for about 15 to 20 minutes as needed. Always place a thin towel between your skin and the ice.
- Elevate the affected foot whenever you lie down, sit, or ice your bunion. This will help minimize swelling.
When Home Care Doesn’t Give You Relief
Call your podiatrist or seek urgent medical care if you’ve done all the at-home care tips above but have developed the following symptoms:
- Severe pain
- Your toe feels cooler than usual and looks pale or have changed color
- Your toe feels numb, weak, or tingly
Also, you should pay close attention to any changes and call your podiatrist if your symptoms don’t subside, particularly if the swelling and pain worsens. Your podiatrist may need to inject steroids into your bunion to see if it helps with the swelling. But if your symptoms persist, your podiatrist may recommend surgery.
Get In Touch With Us For Advice or Concerns About Bunions
Schedule a consultation with your Ellicott City, MD, podiatrist, Dr. John Murphy of Maryland Podiatry Center by dialing (410) 992-8504.
Preventing Heel Pain
You may, like many people, take your feet for granted, but they play a very important role in your daily life. Every time your stand, walk or run, they are responsible for carrying your weight. They are built to handle it and to cope with all the forces placed upon them on a daily basis. In fact, they can withstand up to four times your body weight. However, because they have to meet such demands, they are also prone to strain and injury. When this happens, it can affect your whole routine. Dr. John Murphy is a foot doctor at Maryland Podiatry Center in Ellicott City, MD. He is dedicated to treating all forms of foot and ankle pain.
How to Avoid Heel Pain
You can avoid heel pain in the following ways:
- Do ankle exercises: Doing foot and ankle stretches when you wake in the morning and before you go to bed at night can help. Stretches will keep your muscles and ligaments supple and relieve tension at the end of the day. This can help you minimize your risk of injury.
- Wear orthotics: If you spend a lot of time on your feet at work or you practice running or athletics, wearing shoes with support or orthotic devices can help to protect your feet from strain or injury and help you avoid heel pain.
- Massage your calves: Keeping your calf muscles free from tension can help you reduce heel pain by minimizing your risk of plantar fasciitis. This is a condition that causes heel pain when your plantar facia, which connects your toes to your heel, becomes strained. Massaging your calf muscles for just 30 seconds several times a day can help.
If you live in Ellicott City, MD and you are experiencing heel pain, you can call Dr. Murphy at (410) 992-8504 to schedule an appointment.
Bunions occur when the joint at the bottom of your big toe becomes misaligned. As a result of the misalignment, a painful bump forms at the base of your big toe. Fortunately, treatments offered by your Ellicott City, MD, podiatrist, Dr. John Murphy of Maryland Podiatry Center, can slow the progression of your bunions and relieve your pain.
What causes bunions?
Although anyone can get bunions, you may be more likely to develop the foot condition if:
- You're female.
- You have a foot imbalance or deformity.
- You wear high heels or tight-fitting shoes.
- You have gout, rheumatoid arthritis, or a disease that affects the nerves and muscles of your feet.
- One of your legs is longer than the other.
- You have flat feet.
- You injured your foot.
How are bunions treated?
Bunion treatment involves relieving your pain and taking steps to keep your condition from worsening. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication, like ibuprofen and naproxen sodium, eases pain and reduces inflammation. Ice packs can also be helpful in reducing pain and inflammation.
Buying roomier shoes is a must if you have bunion pain. Tight shoes and high heels increase pressure on your foot, which may worsen your bunion and increase your pain.
You may also want to apply adhesive pads to cushion your bunion when you wear shoes. The pads also protect corns and calluses that can form if your big toe begins to overlap your other toes.
If your bunion pain disrupts your life or you can no longer control your pain with home treatment, it's time to call your Ellicott City foot doctor. Your podiatrist can recommend several treatments that may be helpful including:
- Orthotics: These prescription shoe inserts improve the alignment of your feet and also offer extra cushioning.
- Night Splints and Taping: Night splints are worn while you sleep and are designed to realign your feet and slow the progression of your bunions. Taping your foot during the day can also improve alignment.
- Cortisone Injections: The injections may be recommended if your pain continues despite trying over-the-counter medications.
- Surgery: If other treatment options aren't helpful, surgery may be an option. During surgery, your podiatrist realigns your joint and removes excess bone or tissue.
Has bunion pain changed your life? Call your podiatrist in Ellicott City, MD, Dr. Murphy of Maryland Podiatry Center, at (410) 992-8504 to schedule your appointment.
If you are experiencing pain or discomfort anywhere from the bottom of your calf muscle down to your heel, you could have Achilles tendonitis, a condition that occurs when the Achilles tendon has become strained or injured. Fortunately, if you do have Achilles tendonitis, a podiatrist could develop a treatment plan to heal the injury and alleviate the pain. Here at Maryland Podiatry Center, Dr. John Murphy is your podiatrist for the treatment of Achilles tendonitis and other types of foot pain in Ellicott City. Read on to learn what he can do for you!
What is Achilles Tendonitis?
Achilles tendonitis is an injury to the Achilles tendon that occurs when the tendon is pulled, strained, or torn. The Achilles tendon runs from the heel bone to the calf muscle along the back of the leg and is the largest tendon in the body. It can become irritated and inflamed from regularly performing repetitive movements, such as jumping or sprinting. Standing for long periods can also strain the Achilles tendon, as can having low arches or flat feet.
Several measures can be taken to reduce strain on the Achilles tendon and prevent Achilles tendonitis. One way to prevent it is to minimize the amount of time spent engaging in repetitive movements. Achilles tendonitis can also be prevented by regularly resting the feet and legs. Resting is particularly important for individuals who spend a lot of time on their feet throughout the day. Wearing orthotics shoe inserts is also helpful for those with flat feet. Orthotics that provide arch support help minimize strain on the Achilles tendon.
Several treatment options are also available for individuals who do develop Achilles tendonitis. Dr. Murphy, your Ellicott City foot pain doctor, can develop a suitable treatment plan for you. Methods for treating Achilles tendonitis include resting the feet and legs, applying ice to the injured area, and taking anti-inflammatory medications. Other treatment options include wearing a walking boot, wearing orthotic heel cups or pads, physical therapy, ultrasound treatment, laser therapy, stem cell injections, and surgery.
If you have Achilles tendonitis, a podiatrist can recommend the right treatment for you. For the treatment of Achilles tendonitis or other foot pain in Ellicott City, schedule an appointment with Dr. Murphy by contacting Maryland Podiatry Center at (410) 992-8504.