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December 19, 2015
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Ingrown toenails are a common problem seen in the feet. Although there is typically no great risk or concern unless infection sets in, they can be quite painful and cumbersome to manage. Nonetheless, if recognized, diagnosed, and treated early, they are rarely problematic. However, many patients find themselves unsure of how to proceed when suspecting an ingrown nail. Is it really ingrown? Is it infected? Can I cut it out myself? Can I take or apply medicine instead of cutting the nail out? All of these questions are fairly common, and reasonable.
An ingrown toenail, or onychocryptosis, is when one or both sides of the nail grow into the adjacent nail fold/skin. They are usually caused by ill-fitting shoe gear, heredity, trauma to the nail, or improper trimming of the nail. An ingrown nail is not always infected. In fact, many times the nail can be embedded in the skin without an associated bacterial infection. However, if left untreated, many ingrown toenails will develop some sort of localized infection, which usually presents with redness, pain, bloody drainage, or even pus. While an infection is an undesirable result for any patient, it is especially concerning for diabetics with decreased sensation, or other patients with any condition causing poor circulation to the feet. Such an infection, if left untreated could lead to spreading of the infection, development of a wound, or possible amputation of the digit. Thus, while there are many home remedies or methods of treating a possible ingrown nail, it’s always best to see your podiatrist for evaluation and treatment, particularly if you are an at-risk patient with diabetes, peripheral neuropathy, or some form of vascular disease.
November 23, 2015
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Diabetes and your Feet:
Diabetes is a lifelong chronic disease that is caused by high levels of sugar (glucose) in the blood. This disease can cause a number/variety of complications, including numbness in the feet and an inability to fight off infections. This combination can lead to serious problems, sometimes life threatening, if not carefully monitored or identified.
Foot problems are the leading cause of hospitalizations for diabetics. The most common problems leading to these hospitalizations include ulcerations, soft tissue infections, bone infection, abscesses, and gangrene of the toes/foot. All of these problems usually come from one of (or a combination of) the following three health risks: peripheral neuropathy (numbness), peripheral vascular disease (poor circulation), or decreased ability to fight infections. The good news is, most of the aforementioned problems/causes of hospitalization are completely preventable with proper care and inspection during regular visits to your Podiatrist. Your podiatric physician will be able to evaluate your sensation, blood flow, identify and problems or risks, and treat them before a hospitalization or even amputation is needed.
Many diabetics wonder 'What can I do myself to help prevent these problems?" There are several measures diabetics can take on a regular/daily basis to ensure the health of their feet between visits to their Podiatrist...
1. You or a family member visually inspect your feet daily. Be sure to note any blisters, calluses, bleeding, redness, swelling, or other concerning/abnormal lesions.
2. Check the inside of your shoes prior to use for loose objects such as rocks or metallic fragments.
3. Avoid walking barefoot outside your home.
4. Do not soak the feet, and avoid extreme temperatures such as hot water soaks/heating pads.
5. Maintain a healthy blood glucose level and check daily.
6. Ensure you are wearing a shoe with adequate width, length, and depth to avoid excessive rubbing/friction.
7. Wash your feet daily with warm, soapy water and dry well, particularly between the toes.
8. Do not use acids, chemical corn removers, or attempt to perform "bathroom surgery."
9. Avoid smoking (or use of other tobacco products) and drinking.
10. Get regular examinations of the feet by your podiatrist, typically every couple months.

November is National Diabetes Month! All of us are affecting by this disease in one way or another. All month we will be posting helpful tips and links to support the community. To start here is a list of events for the local Nashville American Diabetes Chapter:

Check out our main page and/or our Facebook page for additional helpful tips.  If you are unsure about whether you are diabetic or not be sure and speak to your primary care physician.  The earlier you are diagnosed the better your chances are of keeping it under control to avoid complications.

May 31, 2015
Category: Nail Spa
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NY Podiatrist Discusses Risks of Pedicures
You may have a little more trouble relaxing into that massage chair with a magazine after this one -- an unsanitary pedicure could lead to a viral infection (such as warts), bacterial infections from ingrown toenails and aggressive filing, or a fungal infection of the skin and nails, among other serious health problems, says Dr. Jackie Sutera, a New York City podiatrist. Since some salons have better sanitizing practices than others, she recommends that you always bring your own tools, including cuticle nippers, toe clippers, a nail file, nail clippers and, most importantly, a foot file. "That's one of the dirtiest things in that whole salon," she says. "There's a misconception that because they put it in a blue solution or because they put it in a thing that looks like a toaster oven, it's clean -- but it might not be." 
Sutera recommends hitting the spa earlier in the day, when things tend to be a bit cleaner and sanitary -- before dozens of feet have soaked in the same bath on the same day and before technicians have a possibility of getting tired. Also, don't give into the temptation to soak your feet too long. "It's a cesspool in there," Sutera says of the foot bath. "Don't sit there and soak in that water forever." 
Source: Dana Oliver, Huffington Post [5/22/15]
The above article illustrates exactly why we opened our own nail spa.  You don't have to worry that your instruments are put in some "toaster."  Our instruments are sterilized in the same way they would be for a surgical procedure.  And once you get your nail kit you will know that the buffers and files are only yours.  Rest easy and enjoy your service at our nail spa...you deserve it!
October 17, 2014
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Fall is a great time of year in the state of Tennessee... Cooler temperatures, sunshine filled days, and beautiful changes in scenery. This allows a great opportunity for many to make their way to the Smoky mountains or other parks/trails for a day or weekend worth of hiking. However, one must carefully select their gear for such trips, and this certainly includes what to wear on your feet. Here are a few tips to ensure your hiking adventures are enjoyable and easy on your feet:

1. Proper shoe gear - For many of you, hiking may be an activity only enjoyed a few times a year. As a result, several people simply select tennis shoes/sneakers or cross trainers for their trip. However, these shoes are not made for that terrain. Select a good hiking boot with a stiff sole and good traction, and preferably one that extends and laces up past the ankle. This will provide more support and decrease your chances of a sprained ankle or tendinitis. 
2. Know your feet - Address and/or plan for any problems you may have experienced in your feet in the past. For example, if you have a history of ingrown nails, be sure to trim them well prior to stepping onto the trail. If you have flat feet or pain with long walks/runs, make sure to wear your inserts/orthotics (or have an evaluation for these issues prior to departure).
3. Socks - All that hiking will undoubtedly cause sweating, and depending on the weather/trail, you may find yourself in wet socks/shoes. Be sure to bring extra socks with you and keep them dry in your pack. Change them if your current pair becomes wet/saturated. This will help prevent from developing any fungus and/or blisters. Powder for your shoes and feet will also help. Synthetic socks are good for warmer climates, and wool for hikes on cooler days. Also be sure your socks extend up your foot/ankle past the top of your shoes. This will help prevent blister formation on the back of your heels and ankle. 

Hopefully these few simple tips will help make your hike enjoyable and easy on your feet. Stay safe and stay active!