Ten Home Remedies for Plantar Warts

Are you a regular victim of the infamous plantar wart? Has a single, occasional wart become a cluster of warts? Are your warts causing you a lot of pain and making it hard to walk?

There are in fact some remedies that may be able to alleviate the symptoms associated with plantar warts that you could give a try in the comfort of your own home.

Let’s start off with a quick refresher of what exactly a wart is:

A wart is a “generally” identified as skin growth that can have many different appearances however the vast majority show a raised, cauliflower-like shape. Warts may have roughened shiny upper patch of skin that bleeds when removed. For most people warts can be unsightly or embarrassing, but rest assured warts are not caused by frogs or toads (as once commonly thought). They can become painful if left untreated. Read more

What is dry needling and how it can help you?

What is Dry Needling?

Dry needling is an effective and efficient technique for the treatment of muscular pain and myofascial dysfunction.  Dry Needling is a form of intramuscular stimulation, a technique developed by Dr. Chan Gunn in the 1970’s and is extremely effective for relaxing overactive or excessively tightened muscles, which contain what we know as “knots”.

Muscular knots are scientifically known as myofascial “trigger points”. Technically speaking, there are no physical knots within muscles, but science defines a trigger point (TrP) as a small area within the muscle band that is very tightly contracted (shortened), an isolated spasm. These small areas have altered blood supply, which irritates the muscle even more. The presence of multiple trigger points with a muscle belly causes pain and dysfunction on varying levels. Read more

Heel Pain and Plantar Fasciitis. Part 2 – Help me Diagnose the Pain.

Diagnosing heel pain is not that simple even for the medical practitioners as a lot tiny soft tissue structures are located in the area. So “googling” and self-diagnosing can be very risky and lead you to many ineffective internet purchases. Although I do not advocate self-diagnosis, I do want to support and assist many of those who feel stuck and are struggling to get results. This blog discusses some basic tips on how to help identify the cause of your pain which may give you a better direction of management. Read more

Itchy or Burning in-between your Toes? It Might be Athlete’s Foot.

Athlete’s foot, often referred to as tinea pedis, is a fungal infection of the skin that appears fairly commonly (but not exclusive to) in the feet of active people. The infection causes irritation and itching or the skin, often resulting in people scratching the area which can cause pain or the fungus to spread. The fungus species commonly implicated in the infection is the Trichophyton family. The fungus itself thrives in warm, humid environments such as in shoes and sweaty socks/feet. The fungus is pesky and able to survive on a number of different surfaces, which is the reason why some people get their infection from walking around barefoot on floors such as communal showers, changing rooms and pools. Read more

Cracked Heels; More than just a Cosmetic Problem?

Cracked heels, often the bane of people’s existence and can cause people to hide their feet away from embarrassment. Whether from a personal perspective or comments made from others, cracked heels can impact on a person’s confidence and self-esteem, often opting to put into storage ones favourite pair of sandals. We all see commercials of model-esque feet and advertisements for various products that promise smooth, silky heels, however the truth of the matter is a little more complex than they would have you believe. Cracked heels can be caused by a myriad of different problems, some more serious than others. Some heel cracks (or fissures technically), do not cause any discomfort whilst others can become painful and infected if neglected long enough. So in short, yes, cracked heels are indeed more than just a cosmetic problem but to understand why, we need to delve a little bit deeper into the issue. Read more

How to treat fungal toenail

Fungal toenails

It is the time of the year that people actively start coming in to have fungal toenails treated with summer around the corner. It is concerning how often people are presenting with this problem. I have been working for over 14 years and i don’t remember fungal toenails being such an issue 10 years ago. Could it be due to the rise of pedicure salons popping up everywhere and being used so frequently ? Maybe.

First line treatment

People with fungal toenails are often bombarded with many pharmaceutical treatment options and it can be very confusing as to what will work best. Ranging from $5 to $100, it can be an expensive exercise if you do not pick the right one. Topical products from the pharmacy (lacquer, cream or solution) can be effective. But it is not uncommon for people to be spending alot of money and time treating a nail which they suspect is fungal but infact it is not. It can be nail trauma from footwear, nail psoriasis or simply thick nails. It is vital to speak to a podiatrist before you begin any treatment so you can confirm it is fungal.

Moreso, not all fungal infections are the same. It can be under the nail (subungual), through the nail (nail plate) or on the surface of the nail (superficial). Depending on the level of infection, will determine which type of treatment is most suitable.

Infections can be  dermatophytes (most common),  candida or non-dermatophyte infections. A pharmacist or an individual will find it very hard to figure this out. It is important to know as different treatments have different strengths on certain types of infection.

If topical pharmaceutical treatment is pursued, it is vital that a podiatrist cleans and files back the the nail in order to increase the absorption rate of the topical products helping to improve the outcome.

Second line of treatment

Laser treatment has been a growing choice over past five years due to its convenient method. It delivers heat to the nail killing the fungus. You generally require 2-3 treatments about a month apart. Although it is more costly than topical treatments, we have found it is becoming the more popular choice due to people failing to diligently apply a topical treatment on a regualr basis for an extended period.  Laser treatment has about a 70-80% success rate. We carefully select our candidates for it, as not all people are suitable for it, and in some cases if the nail is too far progressed, we can guage if laser is not likely to work. It is important that you only see a podiatrist for this treatment, as correct medical advise and podiatry treatment is in adjunct to laser.

Third Line of treatment

If the above fails, then you could consider oral medication. Oral medications are usually taken for a period of 3months and have approximately atleast 80% success rate. I prefer to reserve this option as last resort because the medications is strong on the liver. Your doctor would be the prescriber of this treatment and they would assess if your medically suitable for the treatment.

The take home message is that fungal toenails are not as simple as the commercials display them. It is important you see a podiatrist for a professional and experienced opinion before you begin treatment. Avoiding unnecessary costs and time.

 

Dr Vanessa Hadchiti

(Podiatrist)

VH profile

 

 

 

Laser Treatment vs Chemist Products for Fungal Toenails

Laser treatment for onychomycosis (aka fungal toenails) has been around for several years. After its success in the U.S.A, it eventually made its way to Australia. Podiatrists at first were hesitant on using laser treatment but it didn’t take long before some leading podiatrists proved that it’s safe and effective, and putting smiles on people’s  faces. Soon the treatment became more available and almost accessible in all parts of Sydney. In the Sutherland shire, we are the only clinic to provide the treatment.

The treatment has been available at our clinic since December 2014, and its popularity is growing. The treatment is scientifically proven to be effective in about 70% of cases. Our clinical experience with the treatment has also displayed similar results. Read more

How to Treat an Ankle Sprain

Ankle sprains is an injury that often occurs when the ligaments connecting the bones of the foot and ankle either stretch or tear (partially or completely). This type of injury is often associated with athletes that are involved in side to side motions such as quick changes in direction or speed. People who suffer such an injury usually feel instant discomfort at the level of the ankle and depending on the severity of the injury, associated swelling and/or ankle weakness.

Types of Ankle Sprains

There are 3 different types of ankle sprains which are identified by the nature of the injury alongside which structures are affected. These types include:

– Inversion sprain: often referred to as ‘rolling your ankle’. This is perhaps the most common type of ankle injury and occurs when the foot turns inwards as a results stretching and/or tearing the ligaments located on the outside of the ankle.

– Eversion sprains: occur when the foot turns inwards often causing injury to the ligaments located on the inside of the ankle.

– High ankle sprains: are the least common type of ankle injury but often are the most serious. It can involve either the inversion or eversion type and occurs when the foot is forced upwards or the leg severely twisted with the foot positioned on the ground. The injury can cause damage to a ligament called the syndesmosis, which connects the two leg bones together and can take quite a while to heal if damaged. Read more

Blisters and How to Treat Them

A common occurrence in people and often is a cause for much discomfort is the blister. Blisters are small fluid filled sacs that form in the epidermal (upper levels) of the skin as a response to pressure, sheer forces or trauma. Blisters can be painful, uncomfortable and in some cases can become the portals of infection or further tissue injury. Most people regularly pop and drain blisters which usually alleviates some discomfort however using unsterile techniques or instruments to lance the existent blisters can predispose the person to developing a skin infection. If the blister is left unpopped, the body naturally reabsorbs the fluid and the skin dries and flakes off. Read more

Treatment of Ingrown Toenails

What is an Ingrown Toenail ?

Ingrown toenails are a very common condition that presents to the podiatrist. An ingrown toenail is a very lay term that a person uses when they feel pain on the side of the toenail. This typically will involve inflammation, swelling and infection. However, this isn’t always the case. Sometimes there is neither redness nor infection, which can suggest another reason for the pain.

How does an ingrown toenail occur ?

An ingrown toenail is caused by the nail piercing the skin beside it leading to inflammation. If the skin is broken, this can lead to a local infection also.

Common causes of ingrown toenail are:

  • Incorrect cutting of the nail, leaving it too short or with a sharp corner or leaving a nail spicule.
  • Tight footwear can cause the nail and the skin to be pressed firmly together
  • Curved toenail can predispose you to an ingrown due to its odd shape
  • Trauma through sports or hitting a hard object with your toe
  • During a re-growth of a new nail
  • Pedicure salons can cut nails incorrectly, leaving you with a sharp corner or nail spicule

Read more