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Frequently Asked Questions and Fun Foot Facts

Frequently asked questions and fun foot facts all in one location. The patients in our Grapevine, Texas office love to ask a myriad of questions. We try to answer them all. Sometimes we even have to write a full length article on them, so take a look at our library as well. Have a question about your feet and ankles? You may find your answer here. Gait issues? Problems with shoes and socks? We have answers. Want more? Contact us and ask a question. We will answer!

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  • Why are my toenails yellow and brittle?

    Yellow and brittle toenails are often cause by fungus, also known as onychomycosis. It can also be from liver problems, vitamin deficiencies, eczema, psoriasis or chronic trauma from sports. If your toenails are funny looking, a visit to the office for a biopsy is recommended. Early treatment = faster cure!

  • What is Formula 3 and how and why does it work?

    Formula 3 is a topical agent used to treat stubborn nail fungus. Formula 3 is great to give to our patients so they can proactively treat their nail fungus. Often times it is combined with laser therapy to increase the chance of complete cure. It works great alone if you only have a mild case of onychomycosis or fungus in your nails. With its easy brush on application and no drying time, patients love the convenience and effectiveness of this product. We know it works so well, the company is willing to refund, 100% of your money, if you are not 100% satisfied.

    The Benefits:

    • Odorless
    • Will Not Stain
    • Absorbs in Seconds
    • Requires No Drying Time
    • Residue Free
    • Will not Blacken the Nail
    • Conditions the Nail & Skin
    • Work if you are diligent and consistant!

  • One Grandmother asked: Is it safe for children to use nail polish or does this increase their likelihood of developing fungal nails?

    Dr Karpati replies: I want to calm your fears about this. Fungal toenails in children is so very rare!   In fact, in North America the likelihood of your child developing nail fungus is less than 0.5%, with adolescents over 10 having a greater chance than those under 10!

    The wonder of children is how quickly they heal when they get hurt and the stronger immune system they have just by the nature of their youth.  As we get older, our bodies are less capable of fending off these dermatophytes (the primary "bugs" causing onychomycosis).  In the cases where onychomycosis is diagnosed in children, it would not surprise me that they or someone in their family has a history of chronic Athlete's foot (tinea pedis), or one of the family members has severe onychomycosis.  Even then, it is hard to "catch"!   Does this mean I would take my daughter to any nail salon in town to have her nails done?  Anyone who has read my Southern Living article on this topic knows the answer to that!  Simply NO WAY. This has everything to do with hygiene on the part of these salons we go to!  However, taking their feet for a treat to a reputable salon where true care is taken to use a new soak tub for every client and where care is taken to sterilize their instruments?  I wouldn't hesitate a bit!  

    I am the mommy of a 5 year old princess and she LOVES to do this!  It makes her feel pretty special and allows some of that precious (and calm!)  "bonding" time.  I will tell you that I like to use Dr. Remedy Nail Polish.  The tea tree oil and garlic bulb extract both have anti-fungal properties. Princess gets what she wants and hey, you do too!  Happiness all around!

  • Are warts contagious?

    In many respects, yes. If you have one on your feet, it would be unwise to pick at it and it can spread to someone else if that person has the potential towards getting that virus in the same way certain people have the potential for catching a certain cold. The wart virus likes to linger around moist environments such as pools, spas, locker rooms, public showers (such as those at the gym). Wearing flip flops or crocs in these areas is always a good idea.

  • How do I avoid ingrown nails?

    The simplest way to avoid ingrown nails is to trim your nails straight across and slightly round off the edges with a file. If you tear at your toenails rather than cut them, STOP! You are heading towards developing an ingrown nail if you do so. If you find that the edges of the skin closest to the nail are rough, moisturize them and you can even use a pumice stone to soften them.

  • How do I know if I have fungus on my nails?

    Fungus on the nails usually presents as a darkening yellow, sometimes blackish and opaque discoloration of the nail. It can also present as white splotches on the nail. As the fungus progresses, the nail can get thicker and brittle.

  • How do I know if I should have my bunions fixed or just leave them alone?

    If you have gotten to the point where you are having difficulty finding shoes that do not hurt, if you cannot perform the activities you love to do because your bunion hurts and if you are having discomfort on a daily basis, it is at the very least time to get an X-ray and discuss your treatment options with your podiatrist.

  • My heels are dry and cracked. Is there a solution?

    This problem is usually hereditary. Controlling the problem is your best solution since it will never just go away. If you have a bleeding cracked heel, it is important to see a podiatrist. If they are just dry and cracked, you can start with a good moisturizer in a cream form (lotions are too thin). Apply at least twice a day and even wear socks overnight for better penetration of the cream. Work off what the cream has softened using a pumice stone after a shower or a soak when your feet are the softest. If this does not work, there are numerous prescriptive creams that can help.

  • My heels hurt. What can I do about the pain?

    The most common cause of heel pain is what is known as plantar fasciitis. This is inflammation of a ligament on the bottom of the foot called the "plantar fascia" at its point where it attaches to the heel. What you can do first, is avoid walking barefoot. Then, wear a shoe with a good arch support, ice the heel, and take an anti-inflammatory such as Motrin or Advil. If this does not help, see your podiatrist so your problem does not become chronic and more difficult to treat.

  • What can I do about athletes foot?

    Perspiration in a dark moist environment is the perfect place for fungal producing athletes’ foot. Athletes’ foot can spread around locker rooms, spas, pools and other public areas. It is important that you protect your feet in these areas and wear flips flops, crocs etc… Other ways to avoid athletes’ foot is to dry well between your feet after bathing, applying an anti-fungal powder to your feet, wear socks that are made of fibers that can wick away sweat (such as the newer synthetic athletic socks or natural materials such as cotton or wool), change socks often if your feet sweat excessively, avoid sharing shoes. There is a product called "Summer Soles" which is a very thin removable and replaceable inlay for your shoes and sandals that does a marvelous job of wicking the sweat off your feet so your feet feel dry and comfortable.