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Monday, 31 July 2017 00:00

How to Know If You Have Toenail Fungus

Toenail fungus may appear as a yellow or white patch on your nail. It is important that you try to treat your fungus in its early stages before it begins to make your nail crumble. In worse cases, the fungus may start to spread to your skin as well as other nails that surround it. People who are older or have a weak immune system are much more prone to toenail fungus than anyone else. Those with diabetes or those who have a genetic history of the infection are also more likely to get it. Treatment for toenail fungus often depends on the severity of your case. Mild cases of the fungus may be treated with topical medications, while more severe cases may need oral therapy or laser therapy.

For more information about treatment, contact Dr. Rudolph La Fontant of Foot & Ankle Institute of Iowa. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Toenail Fungus Treatment

Toenail fungus is a problem which affects many people and is hard to get rid of. Fortunately, there are several methods to go about treating toenail fungus.

Antibiotics & Treatments 

Lamisil – The most commonly effective treatment for toenail fungus. It is available as an antibiotic: Terbinafine tablet and cream. Terbinafine is a chemical component which kills fungal growth on the body. Applying regular doses will gradually kill the fungal growth. It is important to keep the area clean.

Talcum powder – Applying powder on the feet and shoes helps keep the feet free of moisture and sweat.

Sandals or open toed shoes – Wearing these will allow air movement and help keep feet dry. They also expose your feet to light, which fungus cannot tolerate. Socks with moisture wicking material also help as well.

Alternative Treatments

There are surgical procedures that are available for toenail fungus. Some people would prefer the immediate and quick removal of toenail fungus through laser surgery. Consult with yOur doctor about the best treatment options for your case of toenail fungus.  

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Des Moines, IA. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

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Monday, 24 July 2017 00:00

What is Diabetic Foot?

Diabetic foot refers to the set of diseases that may affect the feet as a result of diabetes mellitus. While also having diabetes, a person may develop diabetic foot by wearing improper footwear, smoking tobacco, having a pre-existing foot infection, or chronic nerve damage. According to Mayo Clinic, diabetic foot may decrease one’s ability to feel a variety of sensations. Some of these feelings include the ability to sense pain, temperature and cramps. A person with diabetic foot may also have a loss of balance and coordination, as well as serious podiatric issues such as ulcers and infections.

Diabetic foot care is important in preventing foot ailments such as ulcers. If you are suffering from diabetes or have any other concerns about your feet, contact Dr. Rudolph La Fontant from Foot & Ankle Institute of Iowa. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Diabetic Foot Care

Diabetes affects millions of people every year. The condition can damage blood vessels in many parts of the body, especially the feet. Because of this, taking care of your feet is essential if you have diabetes, and having a podiatrist help monitor your foot health is highly recommended.

The Importance of Caring for Your Feet

  • Routinely inspect your feet for bruises or sores.
  • Wear socks that fit your feet comfortably.
  • Wear comfortable shoes that provide adequate support.

Patients with diabetes should have their doctor monitor their blood levels, as blood sugar levels play such a huge role in diabetic care. Monitoring these levels on a regular basis is highly advised.

It is always best to inform your healthcare professional of any concerns you may have regarding your feet, especially for diabetic patients. Early treatment and routine foot examinations are keys to maintaining proper health, especially because severe complications can arise if proper treatment is not applied.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Des Moines, IA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Monday, 17 July 2017 00:00

Treating Ankle Sprains

Ankles are an important part of the human body's structure, since they provide the flexibility needed to walk. An ankle sprain occurs when there is a tear in the ligament. These tears can either be mild and result in a mild sprain, or they can be severe and cause a more serious sprain. Ankle sprains can happen to anyone regardless of age, and they can occur while performing any everyday activity. If you are suffering from a mild sprain, it is advised that you follow the RICE method, which stands for Rest, Ice, Elevation, and Compression. Anti-inflammatory medications may also be used to treat minor cases of ankle sprains.

Ankle sprains are common, but need immediate attention. If you need your feet checked, contact Dr. Rudolph La Fontant from Foot & Ankle Institute of Iowa. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

How Does an Ankle Sprain Occur?

Ankle sprains take place when the ligaments in your ankle are torn or stretched beyond their limits. There are multiple ways that the ankle can become injured, including twisting or rolling over onto your ankle, putting undue stress on it, or causing trauma to the ankle itself.

What are the Symptoms?

  • Mild to moderate bruising
  • Limited mobility
  • Swelling
  • Discoloration of the skin (depending on severity)

Preventing a Sprain

  • Wearing appropriate shoes for the occasion
  • Stretching before exercises and sports
  • Knowing your limits

Treatment of a Sprain

Treatment of a sprain depends on the severity.  Many times, people are told to rest and remain off their feet completely, while others are given an air cast. If the sprain is very severe, surgery may be required.

If you have suffered an ankle sprain previously, you may want to consider additional support such as a brace and regular exercises to strengthen the ankle.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Des Moines, IA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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It is no secret that the root cause of blisters is increased friction, but it is important to know what is causing the friction. It has been found that the four main causes of friction on the feet are: shoes, socks, sweat, and restricted foot motion. Shoes that squeeze the toes together have the power to increase the amount of friction between the toes, which may result in blisters. According to a study involving military personnel, low friction insoles have been found to reduce blister development. A similar study has shown that wearing double layer socks prevented the military personnel from getting blisters as well.

Blisters are prone to making everyday activities extremely uncomfortable. If your feet are hurting, contact Dr. Rudolph La Fontant of Foot & Ankle Institute of Iowa. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Foot Blisters

Foot blisters develop as a result of constantly wearing tight or ill-fitting footwear. This happens due to the constant rubbing from the shoe, which can often lead to pain.

What are Foot Blisters?

A foot blister is a small fluid-filled pocket that forms on the upper-most layer of the skin. Blisters are filled with clear fluid and can lead to blood drainage or pus if the area becomes infected.

How do Blisters Form?

Blisters on the feet are often the result of constant friction of skin and material, usually by shoe rubbing. Walking in sandals, boots, or shoes that don’t fit properly for long periods of time can result in a blister. Having consistent foot moisture and humidity can easily lead to blister formation.

Prevention & Treatment

It is important to properly care for the affected area in order to prevent infection and ease the pain. Do not lance the blister and use a Band-Aid to provide pain relief. Also, be sure to keep your feet dry and wear proper fitting shoes. If you see blood or pus in a blister, seek assistance from a podiatrist.

 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Des Moines, IA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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While many people tend to be concerned with the appearance of their toenails, it is crucial that the overall health of your feet is taken care of as well. This is why it is important that you have a podiatrist who can treat all your foot and ankle related problems. One of the more common problems that people go to a podiatrist for are ingrown toenails. The fact that podiatrists specialize in treating feet allows them to treat ingrown toenails with minimal pain. One podiatrist says, “I see countless people who were traumatized when treated elsewhere. This breaks my heart every time one of these patients walks into my office.” Seeking help from a podiatrist may be very beneficial when you are experiencing issues with your feet.

If you are experiencing pain in the feet or ankles, don’t join the stubborn majority refusing treatment. Feel free to contact Dr. Rudolph La Fontant from Foot & Ankle Institute of Iowa. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What is a Podiatrist?

Someone would seek the care of a podiatrist if they have suffered a foot injury or have common foot ailments such as heal spurs, bunions, arch problems, deformities, ingrown toenails, corns, foot and ankle problems, etc.

Podiatric Treatment

A podiatrist will treat the problematic areas of the feet, ankle or lower leg by prescribing the following:

  • Physical therapy
  • Drugs
  • Orthotic inserts or soles
  • Surgery on lower extremity fractures

A common podiatric procedure a podiatrist will use is a scanner or force plate which will allow the podiatrist to know the designs of orthotics. Patients are then told to follow a series of tasks to complete the treatment. The computer will scan the foot a see which areas show weight distribution and pressure points. The podiatrist will read the analysis and then determine which treatment plans are available.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Des Moines, IA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Tuesday, 27 June 2017 00:00

Treating Cracked Feet

Cracked heels can affect anyone of any age, and they are caused by a lack of moisture. Thankfully, at-home remedies may be performed in order to rid yourself of this unsightly condition. Prior to treating your cracked heels, it is crucial that you are aware of what may be causing them. Cold weather, harsh soaps, standing for long hours, and improper footwear have all been linked as causes of cracked heels. A simple treatment you can try for cracked feet is to soak them in warm soapy water for twenty minutes at night. Afterwards, try using a pumice stone to scrape off any dead skin you may have. You should then rinse your feet, and carefully dry them with a towel. Lastly, moisturize them with a foot cream and wear a pair of socks overnight in order to trap in the moisture. If you have a more severe case of cracked heels, you should not hesitate to seek help from a podiatrist.

Cracked heels are unsightly and can cause further damage to your shoes and feet. If you have any concerns, contact Dr. Rudolph La Fontant from Foot & Ankle Institute of Iowa. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Cracked Heels

Cracked heels appear unappealing and can make it harder for you walk around in sandals. Aside from looking unpleasant, cracked heels can also tear stockings, socks, and wear out your shoes. There are several methods to help restore a cracked heel and prevent further damage.

How do you get them?

Dry skin is the number one culprit in creating cracked heels. Many athletes, walkers, joggers, and even swimmers suffer from cracked heels. Age and skin oil production play a role to getting cracked heels as well.

Promote Healing

Over the counter medicines can help, especially for those that need instant relief or who suffer from chronic dry feet.

Wear Socks – Wearing socks with medicated creams helps lock in moisture.

Moisturizers – Applying both day and night will help alleviate dryness which causes cracking.

Pumice Stones – These exfoliate and remove dead skin, which allows for smoother moisturizer application and better absorption into the skin. 

Change in Diet

Eating healthy with a well-balanced diet will give the skin a fresh and radiant look. Your body responds to the kinds of food you ingest. Omega-3 fatty acids and zinc supplements can also revitalize skin tissue.

Most importantly, seek professional help if unsure how to proceed in treating cracked heels. A podiatrist will help you with any questions or information needed. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our office located in Des Moines, IA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Tuesday, 20 June 2017 00:00

How to Treat Athlete’s Foot

Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection that occurs between the toes. Symptoms of the condition are itchy, dry, red, scaly skin that tends to worsen in the summer when the weather is humid. The infection itself is usually contracted by walking around barefoot in public areas such as locker rooms or gym showers. Treatments for athlete’s foot come in creams, sprays, liquids, and powders, and they will help stop the fungus from growing. If you have athlete’s foot, be sure to wash your feet prior to applying the treatment to the skin and surrounding area.  Also, do not apply to open wounds. Contact a podiatrist for tips on how to prevent and treat athlete's foot.

Athlete’s foot is an inconvenient condition that can be easily reduced with the proper treatment. If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles, contact Dr. Rudolph La Fontant from Foot & Ankle Institute of Iowa.  Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Athlete’s Foot: The Sole Story

Athlete's foot, also known as tinea pedis, can be an extremely contagious foot infection. It is commonly contracted in public changing areas and bathrooms, dormitory style living quarters, around locker rooms and public swimming pools, or anywhere your feet often come into contact with other people.

Solutions to Combat Athlete’s Foot

  • Hydrate your feet by using lotion
  • Exfoliate
  • Buff off nails
  • Use of anti-fungal products
  • Examine your feet and visit your doctor if any suspicious blisters or cuts develop

Athlete’s foot can cause many irritating symptoms such as dry and flaking skin, itching, and redness. Some more severe symptoms can include bleeding and cracked skin, intense itching and burning, and even pain when walking. In the worst cases, Athlete’s foot can cause blistering as well. Speak to your podiatrist for a better understanding of the different causes of Athlete’s foot, as well as help in determining which treatment options are best for you.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Des Moines, IA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Monday, 12 June 2017 00:00

Why You Should Take Care of Your Feet

Walking can provide several benefits to your body. Following a walking routine can help lower your risk of diseases, strengthen your heart, prevent dementia, and boost your energy levels. A good walking routine starts with having healthy feet. Fortunately, there are some tips you can follow to make sure your feet are taken care of. Prior to walking, you should make sure that you are not cutting your toenails too short. Toenails that are short may lead to ingrown toenails and pain. Another tip is to wear breathable socks. This will help prevent unpleasant odors, blisters, and rashes. Lastly, you should make sure you keep yourself hydrated in order to help avoid getting cracked feet.

Everyday foot care is very important to prevent infection and other foot ailments. If you need your feet checked, contact Dr. Rudolph La Fontant from Foot & Ankle Institute of Iowa. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Everyday Foot Care

Often, people take care of their bodies, face and hair more so than they do for their feet. But the feet are a very important aspect of our bodies, and one that we should pay more attention to. Without our feet, we would not be able to perform most daily tasks.

It is best to check your feet regularly to make sure there are no new bruises or cuts that you may not have noticed before. For dry feet, moisturizer can easily be a remedy and can be applied as often as necessary to the affected areas. Wearing shoes that fit well can also help you maintain good foot health, as well as making it easier to walk and do daily activities without the stress or pain of ill-fitting shoes, high heels, or even flip flops. Wearing clean socks with closed shoes is important to ensure that sweat and bacteria do not accumulate within the shoe. Clean socks help to prevent Athlete’s foot, fungi problems, bad odors, and can absorb sweat.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Des Moines, IA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Monday, 05 June 2017 00:00

Getting Rid of Gout

Gout is a form of arthritis caused by the inability of the kidneys to eliminate uric acid. When uric acid builds up along with urate in the blood, it forms crystals which can exist in or around the joints. Although diet can play a role in gout development, it is not entirely safe to assume it is the sole reason an individual has the condition. However diet modifications can reduce your risk of a gout attack, and eliminating foods that are very high in purines will help as well. Gout that is left untreated may increase your risk of developing other conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and hypertension. If you suspect that you may have gout it is important that you seek the assistance of a podiatrist right away.

Gout is a foot condition that requires certain treatment and care. If you are seeking treatment, contact Dr. Rudolph La Fontant from Foot & Ankle Institute of Iowa. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What is Gout?

Gout is a type of arthritis caused by a buildup of uric acid in the bloodstream. It often develops in the foot, especially the big toe area, although it can manifest in other parts of the body as well. Gout can make walking and standing very painful and is especially common in diabetics and the obese.

People typically get gout because of a poor diet. Genetic predisposition is also a factor. The children of parents who have had gout frequently have a chance of developing it themselves.

Gout can easily be identified by redness and inflammation of the big toe and the surrounding areas of the foot. Other symptoms include extreme fatigue, joint pain, and running high fevers. Sometimes corticosteroid drugs can be prescribed to treat gout, but the best way to combat this disease is to get more exercise and eat a better diet.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Des Moines, IA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Tuesday, 30 May 2017 00:00

Bunions and Flat Footers

According to a surgeon on the medical staff of Lee Health, “The term bunion really implies a bump on the inside portion of the foot just behind the big toe joint.” Bunions are extremely common and some people are at a higher risk of developing them compared to others. Podiatrists say that people with flat feet are more likely to develop bunions than those with normal arches in their feet. Many podiatrists have come to the realization that bunion removal surgery isn’t very effective for those with flat feet, because the arch in the foot needs to be corrected in order to prevent more bunions from developing in the future.

If you are suffering from bunions, contact Dr. Rudolph La Fontant of Foot & Ankle Institute of Iowa. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What is a Bunion?

A bunion is formed of swollen tissue or an enlargement of boney growth, usually located at the base joint of the toe that connects to the foot. The swelling occurs due to the bones in the big toe shifting inward, which impacts the other toes of the foot. This causes the area around the base of the big toe to become inflamed and painful.

Why do Bunions Form?

Genetics – susceptibility to bunions are often hereditary

Stress on the feet – poorly fitted and uncomfortable footwear that places stress on feet, such as heels, can cause bunions to form

How are Bunions Diagnosed?

Doctors often perform two tests – blood tests and x-rays – when trying to diagnose bunions, especially in the early stages of development. Blood tests help determine if the foot pain is being caused by something else, such as arthritis, while x-rays provide a clear picture of your bone structure to your doctor.

How are Bunions Treated?

  • Refrain from wearing heels or similar shoes that cause discomfort
  • Select wider shoes that can provide more comfort and reduce pain
  • Anti-inflammatory and pain management drugs
  • Orthotics or foot inserts
  • Surgery

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Des Moines, IA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Locations & Hours

Foot & Ankle Institute of Iowa
2629 Beaver Ave. Suite 15
Des Moines, IA 50310

Phone: (515) 223-5219
Fax: (515) 223-9344

Monday: 8:30 am - 5 pm
Tuesday: 8:30 am - 5 pm
Wednesday: 8:30 am - 5 pm
Thursday: 8:30 am - 5 pm
Friday: 9 am - 12 pm

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