My Blog
By Tampa Bay Podiatry
December 27, 2016
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Fungus   Laser Treatment  

If you've have toenail fungus for a while, you likely know how difficult it is to treat. Topical medications can be ineffective and oral medications are slow to work and the condition often returns after the round of anti-fungal medication is completed. The foot doctors at Tampa Bay Podiatry in Clearwater and Tampa, FL - Dr. Fred Kussel, Dr. Naomi Marsh and Dr. Kristina Kuba - are very familiar with the frustration surrounding toenail fungus as well, which is why they are pleased to offer laser treatments as an efficient way of eliminating toenail fungus. Here's how it works:

Why is toenail fungus difficult to treat?

Because the fungus colonizes in the area of the nail where new growth takes place, treatment is long-term and dependent on clearing the entire infection from the nail. If the fungus remains, the infection will return. However, your Tampa Bay podiatrist cautions that typical treatments come with their own problems: one of the most effective oral medications, which works by killing the fungus instead of slowing its growth, is associated with unpleasant side effects like stomach upset, rashes and (less commonly) liver damage. Since it has to be taken for several months, the frequent monitoring that is required throughout the process is inconvenient for most patients. Topical medications, which you "paint" on the affected nails, are usually reserved for mild cases of fungus. Since the fungus can actively live on instruments like nail files and clippers, strict hygiene has to be practiced to avoid passing it to others or reinfecting yourself. All of these factors make toenail fungus a frustrating condition that has a high rate of recurrence.

How does laser treatment for toenail fungus work?

The lasers used at Tampa Bay Podiatry work by heating the fungus to a degree where it can no longer survive, which allows new, healthy nails to grow unimpeded. Unlike surgery, laser treatments from your Clearwater and Tampa podiatrist target specific areas - the ones affected by fungus - while leaving the healthy spots surrounding them intact.

If you'd like to learn more about treating your stubborn toenail fungus with laser, we encourage you to contact Tampa Bay Podiatry in Clearwater and Tampa, FL to set up an appointment with one of our skilled podiatrists.

By Tampa Bay Podiatry
September 12, 2016
Category: Foot Care

Know how to prevent foot injuries while enjoying another season on the field.

For many, the best season of the year is upon us: football season. While some people enjoy sitting down on a Sunday afternoon to football injurieswatch the game on the big screen others enjoy playing in their own games. Pick up some helpful tips from our Tampa, FL podiatrists Dr. Fred Kussel, Dr. Naomi Marsh and Dr. Kristina Kuba on how to protect one of your most important assets while playing football: your feet.

Always Warm-Up

If you want to prevent injuries then you’ll want to take some time before each game or practice to warm-up. Opt for a slow jog and choose active over passive stretching to get the muscles ready to take on the game.

Maintain Your Muscles

You should never just jump right into a season without preparing your body for it. This means gradually increasing the duration and intensity of your training, even in the off-season. Choose to cross train with other physical activities to help build muscle and maintain flexibility.

Wear the Right Shoes

The shoes you wear are important to keeping your feet safe while in the heat of the game. People who have low arches or pronate may want to opt for shoes that provide a little more support for their feet. Always choose shoes that are designed for your sport.

Know When to Replace Shoes

Our Tampa, FL foot doctors recommend replacing shoes every three to four months or when you start to notice the treads or the heel wearing out. Serious athletes may find that they need to replace their shoes more often than every three months.

Listen to What Your Body is Telling You

If you are starting to experience pain during a game it’s important that you pay attention to what your body is telling you and stop. Yes, this may mean sitting out for the rest of the game, but doing this could protect you from an injury that could keep you out for the rest of the season. Do not ignore your body!

Give your feet the care they deserve and you’ll find yourself with a very healthy, injury-free season. Whether you want to get custom orthotics or you just need to schedule a physical, turn to the foot care experts at Tampa Bay Podiatry.

By Tampa Bay Podiatry
July 11, 2016
Category: Foot Care
Tags: bunions  

Are you suffering from bunions and looking for a long-term solution?

Dealing with bunion pain is a downright nuisance. It can be even more challenging if you find that you can’t even put on shoes without bunionsyour feet throbbing. How are you supposed to go about your day? Find out how to get rid of bunions and how our team of podiatrists in Tampa, FL could help.

Can a Bunion Go Away on its Own?

While we wish we could say that a bunion can go away with time, this is simply not true. A bunion occurs when the joint at the base of the big toe goes through abnormal structural changes that cause the big toe to bend toward the other toes.

In many cases, a bunion is progressive. That means that it will continue to grow and get worse unless you take important measures such as only wearing properly fitted shoes that allow your toes room to move, and avoiding high heels (which can aggravate and make your problem worse).

Can a Bunion Be Removed?

While a bunion won’t go away on its own, your Tampa, FL foot doctor can remove the bunion for you. Of course, surgery is typically the last resort and only recommended if the bunion is so painful and debilitating that it’s affecting your everyday life. There are well over 100 different types of bunion surgeries, but we will be able to determine the best one for your needs.

But bunion surgery is not to be taken lightly. Recovery can take anywhere from six weeks to six months, depending on how much bone and soft tissue are affected. And full healing can take as long as one year!

What are my other options?

While bunion treatments won’t actually get rid of the bony protrusion, they are known to improve symptoms and make it easier to deal with your condition. Only when these treatment options don’t work do we consider the benefits of surgery. These treatments include:

  • Taking over-the-counter and/or prescription pain relievers
  • Icing the bunion
  • Splinting or bracing the foot
  • Wearing supportive, fitted shoes
  • Wearing bunion pads
  • Getting custom orthotics

Have questions about how to tackle your bunion pain? Want to find out if bunion surgery is the best option for you? Then it’s time you called Tampa Bay Podiatry.

By Dr. Naomi Marsh
January 22, 2015
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Gout  

Many people have heard the term “gout” but do not know what it means. Gout is a disease that was first identified as early as 2640 BC and still remains a major and growing public health concern.

Gout is a common form of arthritis – a disorder affecting the joints and musculoskeletal system.  Gout is caused by an excess of uric acid in the bloodstream.  Uric acid is produced in the body by the breakdown of purines- specific chemicals that are found in certain foods such as meat, seafood and poultry.  Uric acid dissolves in the blood and is excreted in urine via the kidneys.  When too much uric acid is produced, or not enough is excreted, it can build up and form crystals that cause inflammation and pain in the joints and surrounding tissue.

Gout is frequently characterized by severe and sudden pain, redness, often during the night, and most commonly affecting the big toe.  Ankles, knees, elbows, wrists and fingers may also be affected.

Tests to diagnosis gout include a blood test to measure the levels of uric acid in the blood and a joint fluid test, where fluid is extracted from an affected joint and sent to be examined for urate crystals.

Most gout events are treated with medication.  Medication may treat the symptoms of gout attacks, prevent future outbreaks and reduce the risk of gouty complications.

Foods high in purines should be avoided to lower the levels of uric acid.  High purine foods include anchovies, herring, mackerel, sardines, and scallops.  Additional foods include asparagus, dried beans and peas, gravy, game meats, brains and sweetbreads. One should maintain a high fluid intake and avoid alcohol to decrease future flares.

Many people are concerned because it appears as if their second toe is longer than their first toe.  This style of foot is actually quite common. Accurate statistics are difficult to find, but it is estimated that 20-30% of the population have a similar foot structure.  The Statue of Liberty’s feet resemble the Greek Foot.

Greek Foot is also known as Morton’s Toe or Morton’s Foot, named for Dr. Dudley Morton, a foot doctor from the 1930’s.  Morton’s Toe is not an accurate term because it isn’t really a long toe.  The toe bones are called phalanges and the long bones behind the toes are referred to as metatarsals.  Morton’s Toe describes a foot where the relative length of the first metatarsal is shorter than the second metatarsal.

One can tell if they have a Greek Foot by looking at the space between the first and second toe, compared to the space between the second and third toe.  The deeper first space makes it a Greek Foot.

One must always buy shoes longer than the longest part of the foot.


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