What Is Toenail Fungus? Toenail fungus, or onychomycosis, is an infection underneath the surface of the nail caused by fungi. When the tiny organisms take hold, the nail often becomes darker in color and smells foul. Debris may collect beneath the nail plate, white marks frequently appear on the nail plate, and the infection is capable of spreading to other toenails, the skin, or even the fingernails. If ignored, the infection can spread and possibly impair your ability to wo
Choosing the Right Athletic Shoes Sneaker styles are constantly evolving, in the way they look but also in how they function. Navigating through all the sneaker brands and various styles can be confusing, especially with all the seemingly high-tech shoe features. Athletes and sports medicine experts tend to stay current with athletic shoe features and how each one can benefit a specific foot type or activity. But athletes aren't the only ones that can benefit from finding the
What Is a Hammertoe?
A hammertoe is a contracture (bending) of one or both joints of the second, third, fourth, or fifth (little) toes. This abnormal bending can put pressure on the toe when wearing shoes, causing problems to develop. Hammertoes usually start out as mild deformities and get progressively worse over time. In the earlier stages, hammertoes are flexible and the symptoms can often be managed with noninvasive measures. But if left untreated, hammertoes can become
INGROWN TOENAIL What Is an Ingrown Toenail?
When a toenail is ingrown, it is curved and grows into the skin, usually at the nail borders (the sides of the nail). This “digging in” of the nail irritates the skin, often creating pain, redness, swelling, and warmth in the toe. If an ingrown nail causes a break in the skin, bacteria may enter and cause an infection in the area, which is often marked by drainage and a foul odor. However, even if the toe isn’t painful, red, swollen
What Is a Bunion? A bunion is a “bump” on the joint at the base of the big toe—the metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint—that forms when the bone or tissue at the big toe joint moves out of place. The toe is forced to bend toward the others, causing an often painful lump of bone on the foot. Because this joint carries a lot of the body's weight while walking, bunions can cause extreme pain if left untreated. The MTP joint itself may become stiff and sore, making even the wearing of
The pictures depict three things; a wart (the toad), a callus (on the foot), and a corn (self-explanatory). All three of these things can be found on the human foot. But what’s the difference and how can you tell which is which? Is That a Wart, a Callus, or a Corn? — Medicine is a tricky thing, where any number of seemingly similar symptoms can actually be anything in a range of highly specific disorders. Take, for example, a lesion on your foot. Is it a wart? Is it a callu
Heel pain is most often caused by plantar fasciitis, a condition that is sometimes also called heel spur syndrome when a spur is present. Heel pain may also be due to other causes, such as a stress fracture, tendonitis, arthritis, nerve irritation, or, rarely, a cyst. Because there are several potential causes, it is important to have heel pain properly diagnosed. A foot and ankle surgeon is able to distinguish between all the possibilities and determine the underlying source
Gout is a kind of arthritis. It can cause an attack of sudden burning pain, stiffness, and swelling in a joint, usually a big toe. These attacks can happen over and over unless gout is treated. Over time, they can harm your joints, tendons, and other tissues. Gout is most common in men. Gout is caused by too much uric acid in the blood. Most of the time, having too much uric acid isn't harmful. Many people with high levels in their blood never get gout. But when uric acid lev
DIABETES & FOOT COMPLICATIONS People with diabetes can develop many different foot problems. Even ordinary problems can get worse and lead to serious complications. Foot problems most often happen when there is nerve damage, also called neuropathy. This can cause tingling, pain (burning or stinging), or weakness in the foot. It can also cause loss of feeling in the foot, so you can injure it and not know it. Poor blood flow or changes in the shape of your feet or toes may als