American Foot and Ankle Specialists
By American Foot & Ankle Specialists
October 02, 2017
Category: Ingrown Toenail
Tags: ingrown toenail  

If you've ever had an ingrown toenail, you know just how painful this seemingly minor condition can be. Luckily, it's fairly easy to ingrown toenailprevent ingrown toenails in most cases. Podiatrists Dr. Michael Stegman and Dr. John Erotas of American Foot & Ankle Specialists in Sun City and Scottsdale, AZ share a few tips that will help you avoid ingrown toenails and explain how the condition is treated.

Don't round your toenails
Rounding your toenails makes it much easier for the side of your nails to grow into the skin surrounding your nail. Cut your nails in a straight line to reduce your risk of ingrown toenails. Trimming your nails too short can also make ingrown toenails more likely. It's best to keep your nails level with the top of your toes.

Keep it loose
Tight shoes and socks that press on your toes may cause ingrown toenails even if you carefully cut your nails. Look for shoes that offer plenty of room in the toe box, and avoid socks that are too restrictive.

Avoid fungal infections
Toenail fungus increases the risk that you'll develop an ingrown toenail. Prevent infections by wearing shoes or sandals in public locker rooms and around pools. Fungus thrives in moist, dark spaces. If your feet are particularly sweaty, don't wear the same pair of shoes two days in a row. Putting on a fresh pair of socks in the middle of the day can also help you avoid infections.

Wear protective shoes
Toenail injuries increase your ingrown toenail risk. Wear protective or steel-tipped shoes if falling objects are a hazard at your workplace.

How are ingrown toenails treated?
You may be able to free an ingrown toenail at home if it has only just begun to grow into your skin. Soak your toe in warm water for about 15 minutes, then gently pass a small piece of cotton or dental floss under the nail to loosen it. If the nail won't budge, don't force it. 

Don't attempt to treat ingrown toenails at home if you have diabetes.
When you can't free the nail yourself, or you notice signs of infection, such as red skin or streaks, warmth or pus, visit our Scottsdale or Sun City office. We can remove the trapped section of the nail during a minor procedure. If ingrown toenails are a frequent problem, removing a portion or the entire nail may be the best option.

Are you concerned about an ingrown toenail or another foot or ankle problem? Schedule an appointment with Dr. Stegman and Dr. Erotas of American Foot & Ankle Specialists by calling (480) 483-9000 for the Scottsdale, AZ, office or (623) 977-8388 for the Sun City, AZ, office.

August 07, 2017
Category: Foot Care
Tags: toenail fungus  

One foot problem that you certainly don’t want to reoccur is toenail fungus. It makes your toes smelly and unattractive. At its worse, it could toenail funguscause the loss of a whole toenail, which may affect your ability to walk comfortably throughout the day. Find out how you can get control of chronic toenail fungus and reclaim your toe health with the help of a podiatrist at American Foot & Ankle Specialists in Sun City or Scottsdale, AZ.

The Causes of Toenail Fungus
If you are a swimmer or athlete you are more likely to develop toenail fungus. That’s because the fungus thrives in wet, warm places and is easily spread in these environments. Athletes spend a lot of time in sweaty sneakers, which is why they often have problems with fungus. Someone who already has athlete’s foot on the skin is more prone to getting a toenail fungus as well. People who share public showers without wearing protective shoes often develop toenail fungus.

When It's Chronic 
If you apply an over-the-counter treatment for toenail fungus and it reoccurs soon after, you may have a chronic case. Sometimes the fungus comes back simply because you continue to do the same activities that caused the infection in the first place. In other cases, you just have a stubborn fungal infection that needs a more aggressive treatment by a Sun City or Scottsdale podiatrist.

Podiatric Treatment for Chronic Toenail Fungus
In cases of chronic toenail fungus, your podiatrist will likely recommend a prescription anti-fungal powder, spray, cream, or pill (or a combination of these). If needed, part of the infected nail may be debrided by your foot doctor. In addition to using the anti-fungal agent exactly as prescribed, you’ll need to do the following going forward:

- Properly clean and thoroughly dry your toenails each day.
- Dry your feet immediately after coming out of a pool or shower.
- Clip the nails regularly and neatly.
- Avoid sharing shoes and socks with others—wear clean ones daily. 

Get Your Toenails Healthy Again
All it takes is one call to American Foot & Ankle Specialists in Sun City or Scottsdale, AZ to get help with chronic toenail fungus. A podiatrist can recommend a fast and effective treatment. Call today to set up a foot consultation with Dr. Michael Stegman or Dr. John Erotas.

August 07, 2017
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: bone spur  

An uncomfortable and embarrassing foot condition that some patients struggle with is called bone spurs. A bone spur can affect how youBone Spur walk, how your shoes fit and make it difficult or impossible to participate in athletic activities. If you have a bone spur, there are treatments available at American Foot & Ankle Specialists in Scottsdale and Sun City, AZ that can help.

What Is a Bone Spur?
A bone spur is a growth on one of the bones of the foot. It happens in other areas of the body but is often most troublesome when it’s on the foot because you have to wear shoes and walk or run in discomfort. Bone spurs usually develop on the top of the foot, the toes, the heel, or the arch below the foot. This uncomfortable growth develops over a long period of time and tends to get worse without treatment. It can be related to arthritis, tendinitis, plantar fasciitis and other foot problems. Overweight patients and those who wear inexpensive shoes that fit poorly are also more at risk of developing bone spurs.

Signs You Have a Bone Sour
A bone spur is difficult to ignore, so if you have one you will most certainly know it before you see your Scottsdale or Sun City podiatrist for treatment. Here are some of the most obvious signs:

- A bony protrusion from the foot that you can feel with your fingers.
- Pain and aching when you walk or run around the spur, which becomes a pressure point.
- Inability to fit your shoes normally.
- General process of aging.
- Bone spurs sometimes run in families (hereditary).

Podiatric Treatments for Bone Spurs
The treatments for bone spurs include physical therapy, stretching exercises, orthotics, and orthopedic shoes. With orthotics and better shoes, you halt the formation and growth of the spur, which alleviates the pain. In some cases, surgery may be suggested to reduce the growth or release pressure on a ligament that may be causing the bone spur.

Ask Your Podiatrist for Help and Advice 
Don’t continue to put unnecessary stress on your feet by living with bone spurs. Dr. Michael Stegman and Dr. John Erotas can help. Call American Foot & Ankle Specialists in Scottsdale (480-483-9000) or Sun City, AZ (623-977-8388) to schedule an appointment for prompt treatment.

June 13, 2017
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: Hammertoes  

Do you have trouble finding comfortable shoes because one of your toes doesn't lie flat? You may have a hammertoe. Our Scottsdale and SunHammertoes City, AZ, podiatrists, Dr. Michael Stegman and Dr. John Erotas of American Foot & Ankle Specialists, share some information on hammertoes and discuss treatment options.

Do I have a hammertoe?

A hammertoe causes your toe to bend at a right angle. Because your toe looks a little like a hammer if you view it from the side, the condition is referred to as "hammertoe." Hammertoe tends to affect the second through fifth toes. Although you may be able to push your toe back into its normal position at first, it may eventually become rigid if you don't receive treatment for your condition.

What are the symptoms of a hammertoe?

If you have a hammertoe, your may notice that your toe is red, swollen and painful. The pain may increase when you press on the toe or try to jam your foot into a shoe. Corns and calluses are common in people who have a hammertoe. They form when your toe constantly rubs against your shoe.

Why do I have a hammertoe?

Has anyone else in your family ever suffered from hammertoes? In some families, inherited muscle or tendon imbalances can increase the risk of developing the condition. Hammertoes can also develop if you've injured your toe, have arthritis in your foot or wear shoes that are too tight.

How are hammertoes treated?

It's very important to stretch your muscles and tendons to prevent your toe from becoming rigid. When you visit our Sun City or Scottsdale office, we can teach you a series of exercises that will help keep your toe flexible. Switching to shoes that have more room in the toe box is a must if you have hammertoes. Roomy shoes, corn and callus cushions and orthotics will help you remain as comfortable as possible.

If you symptoms don't improve, you may benefit from anti-inflammatory medication, cortisone injections or surgery.

Hammertoe treatments can help relieve your pain. If you suffer from hammertoes, make an appointment with podiatrists Dr. Stegman and Dr. Erotas of American Foot & Ankle Specialists by calling (623) 977-8388 for the Sun City office or (480) 483-9000 for the Scottsdale office.

June 09, 2017
Category: Foot Care
Tags: diabetic foot care  

When is the last time you took a good look at your feet? If you have diabetes, neglecting this crucial task can increase your risk of serious diabetic foot careinfections that may threaten your feet and legs. Our Scottsdale and Sun City, AZ, podiatrists, Dr. Michael Stegman and Dr. John Erotas of American Foot & Ankle Specialists, explain why foot care is so important and offer a few tips that will help you avoid complications.

Why does my risk increase if I have diabetes?

High blood glucose levels affect your ability to fight off infections. If your blood sugar level is too high, even the tiniest cut can quickly become infected. High blood sugar also slows healing, which means it may be difficult to recover from infections. Normally, you would be able to feel pain caused by an infection, but because poorly controlled diabetes can lead to nerve damage, you may not be aware that you have an infection if you don't examine your feet every day.

What should I look for when I examine my feet?

Look for anything unusual on your feet, including blisters, sores, corns and calluses. Before a blister forms, your heel or toe may first look red. If you notice any red spots, wear a different pair of shoes that doesn't rub against your feet. Don't try to smooth out corns and calluses yourself. If you do, you may raise your risk of infection. It's a much better idea to visit our Scottsdale or Sun City office if you notice any signs of problems, including ingrown toenails. If you notice that the side of a nail is growing into your skin, don't try to free the nail yourself.

When should I call the foot doctor?

A change in color is always a cause for concern. If you notice red streaks on your foot, or your foot is blue, black or abnormally white, call the office immediately. It's also important to call if you have sores, an ingrown toenail or want to get rid of corns or calluses. Any change in sensation, such as pain or numbness, must also be evaluated.

Prompt treatment of foot problems can help you protect your health. Call podiatrists Dr. Stegman and Dr. Erotas of American Foot & Ankle Specialists at (480) 483-9000 for Scottsdale appointments, or (623) 977-8388 for Sun City appointments.

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