Category Archives: Toenail problems

Here We Grow Again: We’re Coming to Holly Springs!

Raleigh Foot & Ankle Center is pleased to announce the addition of its Holly Springs office in November 2018. The new state-of-the-art podiatry practice will open at 1004 Werrington Drive, Ste. 300 in Main Street Square along G.B. Alford Highway (Hwy 55). The practice will offer foot and ankle care for all ages. Services will include surgical and non-surgical treatment for skin and nail conditions, fractures, sprains, sports injuries, birth deformities, foreign bodies, diabetic foot care and disorders, pediatric conditions, nerve disorders, and wounds.

“Our vision is to serve the community by providing compassionate and progressive foot and ankle care for children, adolescents, and adults,” said Dr. Kirk Woelffer. “And our mission is to provide advanced care through a dedicated, well-trained healthcare team in a friendly, professional setting.”

“We offer the latest advances in technology to get you back on your feet quickly,” said Dr. Alan Boehm. “This includes digital x-rays, Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT), ultrasound, 3D scanning for custom molded orthotics, and laser therapy for toenail fungus.”

The Holly Springs office will also feature an onsite nail care salon with medically trained technicians who will perform podiatrist-supervised pedicures for patients, including those with diabetes.

Raleigh Foot & Ankle Center’s surgeons Dr. Kirk Woelffer, Dr. Alan Boehm, Dr. Jordan Meyers, and Dr. Alyssa Carroll bring over 35 years of trusted podiatry experience. They volunteer at Open Door Clinic, Alliance Medical Ministry, and Project Homeless Connect.

“Holly Springs has seen a tremendous amount of growth, with little increase in available foot and ankle care,” said Dr. Jordan Meyers. “Making time to go to the doctor is challenging enough, so we are excited to provide advanced foot and ankle care a little closer to home for all the great people in Holly Springs and its surrounding areas. This also provides an opportunity for us to not only offer great medical care, but contribute and give back to the community through various avenues of charitable work.”

Raleigh Foot & Ankle Center plans to open the Holly Springs satellite office on November 12, 2018. For more information call (919) 850-9111 or visit www.RaleighFootAndAnkleCenter.com. Raleigh Foot & Ankle Center is a division of Foot & Ankle Specialists of the Mid-Atlantic, LLC.

 

Gear Up for Running Outdoors This Winter

Gear up for running outdoors this winter. You may be wondering, how will I run in the brutal cold of North Carolina winters?! Maybe the use of the word “brutal” is a bit out of place, but still never underestimate the cold and what it can do to your body. Use these tips to make sure your feet, and the rest of you, are prepared to battle the elements.

Let’s get started with what we like to discuss the most, your feet! To keep your feet warm we recommend using shoes with the least amount of slush. Ideally, the uppers of the shoe will also have GoreTex lining to help keep out the slush. SmartWool socks are also very important to help wick away sweat but hold in as much warmth as possible. You don’t want to get blisters! You should also have some common sense: if there is snow and ice on the ground, maybe run on the treadmill that day instead. One misstep and a slip on the ice could result in a sprained ankle or worse!

Your innermost layer needs to be snug fitting and sweat-wicking. Outer layers should be waterproof, windproof, and be able to cool as well as you get further into your run and your body starts to warm up. Make sure to always protect your face, head, and extremities with layers. Generally, many expert running guides recommend at least 2 top and one bottom layer for 30 degree temperatures, 2 tops and 2 bottoms for 10 to 20 degree temperatures, and 3 tops and 2 bottoms for zero to 10 degree temperatures. If you are in North Carolina running in temperatures below zero, then you deserve to wear as many layers as you want, and a medal for dedication!

It’s also important to warm up well before you run. You need to get moving and get the blood flowing so the cold won’t feel quite as cold, and your body will be more prepared for your run with less chance of injury. Don’t forget you still need to layer to deal with wind and rain, and also make sure to wear bright clothes so you can be seen!

Don’t focus on training to push yourself for record times, but instead focus on the fact that you are staying motivated and still training against the elements and keeping your endurance up. And most important of all, listen to your body. If you start to tire or feel exhausted, take a break. Pushing yourself too hard can cause injury like sprained ankles or Achilles tendinitis. Run safe during the winter months, and come see us at Raleigh Foot and Ankle Center if you are having any foot or ankle pain! Call us at (919) 850-9111 or visit our website to request an appointment.

Salon Now Open at our Blue Ridge Office

Raleigh Foot & Ankle Center is growing again! Earlier this month we opened our satellite office on Blue Ridge Road, near Rex Hospital and next to Blue Ridge Pharmacy. We’re pleased to announce that we have also opened a salon at our new location! You can now see your foot doctor and get a pedicure at our second location at 2605 Blue Ridge Road, Suite 320, in Raleigh.

Why go to the doctor to have your nails done? For starters, we offer a lot more than a standard nail trim in our onsite nail care salons. A medical pedicure includes a therapeutic foot soak to cleanse and soften your feet while you sit in one of our comfortable salon chairs. Your cuticles will be cleaned and smoothed, your corns and calluses will be trimmed, and your feet will be exfoliated in addition to the nail trim. You can also choose a natural, buffed, or polished nail finish. A full medical pedicure takes about fifty minutes. For more information about our medical pedicures, please visit our website.

Another reason to visit one of our onsite nail care salons is cleanliness. Our equipment and supplies are sterilized using an autoclave, and our program is supervised by our doctors. Other salons might not practice good infection control techniques. That can put you at risk for injury and infections. You can be sure that you’re getting the best care and even some pampering when you visit our onsite nail care salons..

To make an appointment at either of our salons, please call (919) 850-9111 or fill out an online appointment request form and let us know if you would like to be seen at our Millbrook location or our Blue Ridge location.

One of the comfortable pedicure chairs in our nail salon at our Millbrook office.

One of the comfortable pedicure chairs in our nail salon at our Millbrook office.

Summer Feet!

Care for your feet in the summer sun!

Sunny days are here, and you know what that means – time to break out your favorite summer clothes and accessories. From sunglasses and flip flops to t shirts and shorts, the possibilities are endless. But remember when you’re heading out to the pool or the beach, or even just for a walk in the sunlight or a round of golf, to put on your sunscreen, even on your feet!

Think about it: for the majority of the year, your feet are covered in shoes and don’t get much exposure to the sun and UV rays. Because your feet are used to being protected, it’s possible they will be more sensitive to the sunlight and more likely to get sunburned. It’s even possible to get burned on the soles of your feet. Ouch!

If you have plans to be outside, remember to put on a sunscreen that offers protection from broad spectrum UVA and UVB rays, and remember to reapply often. There’s nothing worse than discovering you got sunburned feet because you forgot to put on more sunscreen after swimming and toweling off! Also remember to apply sunscreen to your entire foot, even if you are wearing sandals, so you don’t end up with splotchy or striped skin.

Summer shoes come with their own set of problems for your feet. Flip flops, sandals, and other open toed styles expose the feet not just to the sun, but also to dirt, germs, and higher risk for injury. Limit flip flops to the beach, the pool, and public showers only whenever possible. After your outing, be sure to wash your feet in warm and soapy water and dry thoroughly to prevent bacterial or fungal infections. You also want to make sure your shoes fit properly and aren’t causing discomfort.

If you do experience any issues with your feet this summer, please contact Raleigh Foot & Ankle Center at (919) 850-9111 and make an appointment. Our doctors have experience treating a wide variety of foot problems and will do their best to get you back on your feet!

I Saw a Patient Today…

Don't spend too much of today in yesterday.

I saw a patient today who came in for a chronic ingrown toenail. When we began to go over her medical history, it turned out that she had one particular episode about 20 years ago, which she seems never to have gotten over. This was a surgical procedure which she felt did not turn out exactly as she had wanted. Unfortunately, she could not seem to get past this event even though it was 20 years in the past. It almost seems as if every problem she had in the present was somehow related to that problem in the past. In taking her medical history, I just could not seem to get past this issue with her. Surprisingly, this is not uncommon. For this reason I have installed a little sign in each of my treatment rooms that says, “Don’t spend too much of today in yesterday”.

We all have limits in our lives. Each of us has a limited amount of money, time, physical energy, and even emotional energy. I have found that if we spend too much of this capital in the past, we do not have it available when we need it in the present. For example, if we have spent all of our money in the past, we will not have it when we need it for future uncertain events. In the same way, if we spend all of our emotional energy on trying to resolve an issue from the past, which we can actually never do, then we do not have that energy available to help us when something new comes up.

I have often suggested to my patients that they plan a session where they talk to me or some other trusted person as much as they want to about the past event trying to cover it in as much detail as possible. I tell them to go into as much detail as they feel is necessary, but at the end of that conversation, we will agree not discuss it again. It is then a good idea for them to not allow their mind to return to that event again. This is not easy to do, but one of my favorite preachers used to say that we spend too much time listening to ourselves and not enough talking to ourselves.

If we can accomplish totally putting these types of events behind us, and yes, even forgiving those who are associated with it, then our present lives will improve immeasurably and we will then have all of our available energies to address present problems and concerns, rather than just a portion of it.

I had one patient years ago who dropped by several months following just such a conversation and said that because of putting her particular traumatic event behind her that life had, after 20 years, taken a very positive turn. I know that this has worked for me and perhaps it may for you as well.

Runner’s Toenails

Running feet in fall

 

You wake up before the sun is up, toe the line, the gun fires, and you start that race you have been training months for.

The weather is perfect.  The crowds cheer you on, and you cross the finish with a big smile or possibly a tear in your eye as emotion overtakes you. Maybe it’s your first race or your 50th, but nothing beats that feeling of crossing the line with friends and strangers cheering you on in rock star fashion!

You celebrate and get a much deserved night’s rest. You awake the next morning with that continued feeling of accomplishment, a little sore, and then you look down at your feet. Aaaahhhhhhhhh! What is going on in the toenail department?

“Runner’s toe” has stricken! That black and blue toenail situation that might also have your toenail lifting from the bed. Must runners, especially distance runners, have experienced or are familiar with the condition. Make sure your shoe is the appropriate size and fit. If your toenail is not painful, no treatment is necessary, but keep in mind: you might lose the toenail. If it is painful or you see signs of infection, get your foot checked by a podiatrist. We treat lots of runners with toenail problems and will do everything we can to keep you running. Cheers!

 

Why Do My Toenails Hurt?

Happy and sad toes: Ingrown toenails

Quite a question, I know. But, a real problem for some—even young, healthy people! You see, some of us are born with very mild toenail deformities that create a curved nail growth pattern. Seems harmless until you start noticing things like, “My big toes hurt whenever I exercise,” or, “The sides of my toes get red and sore whenever I wear dress shoes.” Ingrown toenails. Not fun.

Here’s the secret to eliminating ingrown toenail pain—Foot Doctor Tricks! Seriously, there are trimming and lubricating tips that can prevent this pinching pain in the toes. Don’t try anything on your own, or the problem could worsen. A trained podiatrist can show you the tricks and tips you need to get rid of that pain. And, if “tricks” don’t work, we always have a highly successful office procedure called a matrixectomy.

So, don’t suffer! Ask your podiatrist about how to get your ingrown toenails under control. The doctors at Raleigh Foot & Ankle Center will be happy to help you. You’ll be glad you did!

 

Photo credit: footphysics.co.uk 

Nail Your Unsightly Fungus {NOW} In Time for Summer

Toenails

I want to briefly explore nail fungus, as it’s a common topic we discuss with our patient. It’s often times as a secondary or tertiary concern to their main ailment of foot and ankle pain. Fungus in the nail can appear as white, dark or yellowing of the nail, with thickened, brittle, crumbly or ragged appearance. It is often times caused by a dermatophyte fungus, as they like to live in warm, moist environments like showers, swimming pools, and shoes. They can also invade through small cuts in the skin and separations between nail and nail bed.

Fungus more frequently affects toenails as they are usually exposed to the environment fungus likes to breed in, they have less blood flow, and the immune system can have more difficulty detecting the fungus. Risk factors of developing fungus include:

  • Age
  • Perspiration
  • Working in moist environments
  • Wearing shoes and socks that don’t allow proper ventilation or absorb moisture
  • Living with someone with fungus
  • Walking barefoot in damp communal areas such as showers, pools and gyms
  • Having athlete’s foot infection
  • Other conditions such as diabetes, circulation problems, and weakened immune system.

Prevention can sometimes be accomplished by washing your feet regularly, wearing socks and shoes that absorb sweat and reduce humidity, discarding old shoes, using antifungal sprays in your shoes, not going barefoot in public areas, not using nail polish or artificial nails (with the exception of KerryFlex nails), and utilizing only sterile nail salons, like the one featured at Raleigh Foot & Ankle Center. Current treatments include topical medication, oral medication, and laser treatments. For any patient who is truly ready to get rid of their fungus, I recommend a synergistic approach of utilizing all three types of treatment, including antifungal spray for shoes. This gives the best chance of treating the fungus from all angles, getting rid of the fungus and keeping it away. It can take 6 months to notice treatment effectiveness, and up to a year to completely resolve, so get treated today to have beautiful nails for next summer!

 

Don’t forget about Raleigh Foot & Ankle Center’s laser special, going on during the month of October: come in and get laser treatment THIS MONTH and receive a FREE toenail care kit.