Questions and Answers:
Q- What are the various types of foot fungus and how do
I know if I have one?
A- Foot Fungus or Tinea pedis affects 30-70% of the adult
population and is usually caused by Trichophyton Rubrum.
Less common organisms are Trichophython Mentagrophytes and
Epidermidis Floccosum. These fungal infections may appear
between the toes or on the bottom and sides of the foot
in a "mocassin distribution". The skin is usually itchy,
may appear red and scaly or have several small vesicles.
It is important to consult with a physician to differentiate
this from other dermatological conditions.
Q- What causes calluses and can they be safely removed?
A- Calluses are formed by increased pressure on bony prominences
caused by various foot deformities. Routine trimming,
hydrating the skin with cream or lotion and padding around
the lesion will alleviate pressure to the area. Arch supports
may also alleviate pressure to calluses. If these
treatment modalities are unsuccessful, the underlying bony
deformity can be addressed and corrected.
Q- How can ingrown toe nails be prevented?
A- Ingrown nails may be prevented through proper nail trimming
and by avoiding ill-fitting shoes to prevent pressure to
the nail fold.
Q- I've been suffering with ingrown toe nails for years,
is there a safe and effective way to permanently remove
A- An ingrown toenail may be removed, but unless the nail
matrix is destroyed, the nails will grow back. A common
procedure among podiatrists, the Phenol Matrixectomy, is
the application of an acid solution to destroy the nail
matrix. Another procedure is surgical excision of the matrix,
which is also effective in permanently removing ingrown
Q-Are pedicures safe?
A- When getting a pedicure, it is important to know that
the instruments are properly sterilized to prevent the spread
of infection. If you have diabetes, poor circulation, nerve
damage or are taking blood thinners, you should consider
a podiatric physician to perform your foot care.
Q- What causes plantar warts and are they curable?
A- The Human Papilloma Virus is the cause of the plantar
warts, also called Verruca Plantaris. It is relatively common
in athletes, because of their greater use of public showers.
The virus likes to live in warm, moist environments and
infects directly through breaks in the skin. Treatment of
plantar warts may include routine trimming and placement
of a chemically treated dressing, such as 40% salicylic
acid, cryotherapy or surgical excision.
Q- I have terrible bunions on my feet, what can I do to
ease the suffering and discomfort that they cause?
A- Shoewear is a major contributor to discomfort from a
bunion deformity. Women's shoes, in particular, usually
possess a narrow toe box, adding pressure to the area.
Altering shoegear to wider toe box and applying bunion padding
may help decrease the discomfort of a mild bunion deformity.
Unfortunately, severe bunions may require surgical intervention.
Q- If I have surgery to permanently remove my bunions,
how long will I have to stay off my feet? Can both feet
be done at once or will I require two individual operations?
A-(A.) There are many different surgical procedures to
correct a bunion deformity, depending on the severity. The
proper procedure is determined through clinical and radiographic
evaluation. These procedures may require the patient to
be strictly non-weight bearing anywhere from 2-6 weeks with
a gradual return to full-weight bearing status.
A-(B.) Two feet can be done at the same time, however,
it may be difficult to comply with the strict non-weight
bearing your physician has recommended for both feet in
order for proper healing to take place. If weight is applied
too soon to the surgical site, there is a possibility of
a poor result. Therefore, it is recommended to do one foot
at a time.
Q- I've been using additional supportive inserts for my
feet, but they are not working. Can you suggest another
alternative for relief?
A- Arch supports or orthotic devices may help relieve pain
due to arthritis, plantar fasciitis and many foot deformities.
Sometimes, an "over-the-counter" device may not be as supportive
as a custom molded orthotic made specifically for your feet.
Although, the proper diagnosis by a podiatric physician
must be made to determine the proper treatment modality.