Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Skinny on Gel Nail Polish

The Huffington Post recently published an article about those great gel nails that are now available at most nails salons.  Let's see what the expert had to say...

  1. Some of the gel nail polishes contain a chemical called methyl acrylate which can cause an allergic skin reaction, called contact dermatitis. Wherever the chemical comes into contact with the skin, a rash may develop. Because we inadvertently touch our eyes throughout the day, the rash can also involve our eyelids. The rash from methyl acrylate is usually red, itchy, bumpy and uncomfortable. It may last a week or two. Removing the polish and treating the skin with a cortisone cream will clear the rash.
  2. The chemical, butylated hydroxyanisol (BHA), which is considered a cancer-causing agent, is found in some gel nail polishes. Although we do not know exactly how much exposure you would need for cancer to develop, it's important to be aware of this connection. Not all polishes contain this chemical, so check the ingredient list.

  3. Gel nail polish is set or cured with ultraviolet light. Think of the light as baking the polish into the nails. The problem is that ultraviolet light is essentially sunlight and sunlight causes skin cancer. If you are exposed to ultraviolet light for four to eight minutes every two weeks when you have a gel manicure, that can add up to significant exposure. To avoid potential skin cancers on your fingers or hands, I suggest that you apply an SPF 30 or higher sunscreen to directly your hands and fingers after you wash your hands midway through the manicure. Then wear tightly woven cotton gloves with the tips of the fingers cut off. Another alternative is to find a manicurist that uses LED (light emitting diode) light to set the gel polish. We don't think that this type of light will cause skin cancer.

  4. To remove gel polish, your nails are soaked in or wrapped in acetone. Acetone is a very drying chemical and will cause your nail to become brittle and peel after repeated use. Massaging a moisturizer into you nails several times each day will help to combat the dryness.

  5. As with acrylic nails, the surface of your nail is usually abraded or roughed with an emery board, before gel polish is applied. This will weaken your nail and lead to breakage and the possibility of infection.
I think it would be a good idea to stick to manicures from the Step Alive Spa.  The polish does not contain any harsh ingredient but instead is anti-fungal and enriched with vitamins that will actually treat your nails. 

Friday, July 20, 2012

Arch Pain?

The most common cause of arch pain is plantar fasciitis, a swelling of the plantar fascia which runs across the bottom of the foot.  The thick band of tissue connects your heel bone to the toes. Women, those who work on their feet, those who wear improper shoes, and those with flat feet are more susceptible to plantar fasciitis. Flat feet, or fallen arches, are another common cause of arch pain. 

The Thera-Band® Foot Roller is used to provide temporary relief from pain associated with plantar fasciitis, heel spurs and tired feet. Patients with plantar fasiciitis can use the roller as a device to stretch the plantar fascia and increase flexibility. Those experiencing soreness from tired feet will find the massaging benefits of the roller pleasant and therapeutic. In all applications, the Foot Roller can be chilled or frozen to help reduce inflammation. Try the foot roller to relieve your arch pain.

If the pain in your feet persists or worsens, it is important to schedule an appointment with a podiatrist.  Call our office at 419-423-1888 or visit our website at to request an appointment.  Foot pain is not normal!  Your feet are a very complex part of your body and deserve proper care.

Friday, July 13, 2012

First Visit to a Podiatrist?

So, you have finally made an appointment to see a podiatrist.  However, you may be a bit anxious about what to expect.  Follow the American Podiatric Medical Association's tips for preparing for your first appointment and you will be anxiety free!
Before Your Visit:
  • Make a list of your symptoms and questions.
  • Make a list of all medications and any previous surgeries.
  • Gather and bring important medical records and laboratory test reports from other doctors or hospitals (including X-rays, MRIs, and lab results).
  • Check with your insurance provider to see if a referral is needed.
  • Call before your visit to tell the office if you have special needs.
  • Bring a friend or family member if you think it will be helpful.
  • If your problem involves walking and/or exercise, bring your walking/exercise shoes with you to the appointment.
During Your Visit:
  • Go over your list of questions.
  • If you do not understand an answer, be sure to ask for further explanation.
  • Take notes and listen carefully.
  • Discuss your symptoms and any recent changes you may have noticed.
  • Talk about all new medications.
  • Ask why it has been prescribed, and how to take it.
  • Describe any allergies.
  • Tell your podiatrist if you are pregnant or if you are trying to get pregnant.
  • Let your podiatrist know if you are being treated by other doctors.
After Your Visit:
  • Prepare for any tests your podiatrist orders. 
  • Ask about what you need to do to get ready, possible side effects, and when you can expect results. 
  • Ask when and how the test results will be made available to you.
  • Schedule a follow-up appointment (if necessary) before you leave your podiatrist's office.
  • Call your podiatrist's office and ask for your test results if you do not hear from the office when you are supposed to.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Fall Prevention and the Moore Balance Brace

Do you have a balance problem? This short self-assessment may help you decide.

  • Have you fallen in the past?
  • Do you often slip, trip or have near falls?
  • Do you have a fear of falling?
  • Do you stumble or shuffle when walking?
  • Do you drag your feet when you walk causing you to trip?
  • Do you have to touch or hold on to the wall or furniture while walking?
  • Do your legs or ankles feel weak or unsteady?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions you may have a balance problem that can be greatly improved through the use of the Moore Balance Brace. The brace can prevent you from falling by improving your balance by reducing the body's postural sway, stabilizing the foot and ankle, stimulating skin receptors providing feedback to the brain, improving foot clearance and reducing the risk of tripping.  Along with reducing the risk of falling by 30-60% it is easy to put on, light weight, and has no laces or latches. Other key features of the MBB include...

  1. Posterior leaf design to aid in foot clearance
  2. Custom made to maximize somatosensory
  3. Eliminates abnormal motion and weakness around the ankle
  4. No hard surfaces
  5. Cushion is built into the foot plate
  6. Added arch support
  7. Velcro latching for easy closure
If you or a loved one is dealing with a balance problem, the Moore Balance Brace is an excellent option.  Schedule an appointment with our doctor to get evaluated today.

The Step Alive Center, Center of Excellence, is also offering classes for balance and exercising.  The class has limited seating so register soon with the front desk!

Monday, August 1, 2011

What Is A Callus?

A callus is a thickened layer of skin.  They are caused by friction or repeated pressure on the skin. You will often find calluses on your hands and feet.  If you are developing a callus you may notice
  • A thick, rough, area of skin
  • A hardened raised bump
  • Tenderness of pain under your skin
  • Flaky, dry, or waxy skin
If these symptoms are causing you pain, you should make an appointment with your doctor.  You should also contact your doctor if you are diabetic. Diabetic patients who develop calluses may be at a higher risk for developing foot ulcers and may be a sign of a developing foot ulcer.

To prevent calluses wear comfortable shoes that do not rub or add excess pressure to the effected area. If you have poor feeling in your feet, check them often to make sure no rubbing or irritation is occurring.

Calluses may go away on their own, or they can be treated with products or a visit to your podiatrist.  For example, you may want to try Dr. Jill's Callus Pads to reduce the friction, pressure, and cause of the callus.  If preventative care and treatment do not work, don't hesitate to call our office at 419-423-1888 and make an appointment.  You can also go on our website to request an appointment and learn more about the care and treatment of your feet.

Features of Dr. Jill's Callus Pads
  • Cushions and protects calluses and painful areas on the bottom of the feet.
  • Made with medical grade foam.
  • Adhesive backing keeps pad in place.
  • Comfortably stays in place under socks and hosiery without taking up space.
  • For use in all styles of footwear.
  • Creates a barrier between skin and foot gear to help reduce pain.
  • Oval-shaped aperture surrounds sore spot and greatly reduces pain with each step.

Monday, January 24, 2011

What Causes Blisters?

What causes blisters?
Blisters are caused by friction from shoes or clothing which rubs repeatedly on the skin causing friction burns. As the outer layer of skin separates from the inner layers the space between fills with lymph fluid. Blisters are a common problem with athletes breaking in new shoes as well as athletes or walkers who take part in exceptionally long events such as marathons or long hill walks. Blisters do not need to be a part of every day life and can be prevented.

Blister prevention
  • Ensure that shoes fit correctly.
  • Protect the potential 'hot spots' by applying a second skin and/or taping.
  • If you wear boots such as those required for mountain walking ensure all seams are flat inside the boot. Take care of the boots, do not leave them on radiators or near heaters. This may cause the leather to shrink and seams protrude.
  • Keep feet as dry as possible. Wet shoes, boots and socks will cause blisters far quicker than dry ones.
  • Wherever possible change socks regularly and use foot powder to help keep them dry.

At the first sign of blisters:
-The first sign of blisters will be redness over the skin, possibly at the back of the heel, the instep or toes.
-Apply a second skin dressing or blister plaster and tape the effected area.
-Ensure the feet are dry and change socks.
-A highly effective but short term measure is cover the foot and effected area in petroleum jelly. This should provide instant relief from pain but as the heat from the foot melts the petroleum jelly it will run away and be ineffective.

Foot blister treatment:
  • If the blister has not burst then it may be necessary to make a small hole at the edge with a serialized pin or needle, particularly if the blister is on a weight bearing surface. A pin can be sterilized by passing it through a flame.
  • Do not drain a blood filled blister.
  • Drain the fluid but leave as much of the skin as possible covering the wound. This is an important protective layer for the underlying skin and will help to prevent infection.
  • Clean the blister with a sterilizing wipe. Cover the wound with a second skin or blister plaster: take the time to apply it correctly.
  • Also use Body Guard - Tender Touch Gel PadsThese thin, yet durable gel cushions comfortably protect blisters, areas of irritated skin, lacerations, and other lesions. Removable and reusable.
If you are still having problems with your blisters, or have any other foot problem, call our office at 419-423-1888 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Vail.  You can also visit our website at

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Get rid of those embarrassing nails

There are many different types of nail abnormalities.  Some can be self-inflicted whiles others can tell you something else is going on with your health.  I can't tell you that you will be cured overnight, because most cures do take some time.  It will take time to repair damage that has been done or to rid your body of things like bacteria that may be the cause of your embarrassing nails.

Here are some things to consider as you are looking at your nails.

Beau's lines are horizontal depressions in your fingernail.  These lines can occur after a severe illness, injury to the nail or if you have had surgery.  You can also have these lines if you are malnourished.
Brittle nails are often a result of aging, but not necessarily.  Certain diseases and conditions can result in having brittle nails.  Long-term exposure to nail polish or moisture can cause nails to peel and become brittle.  Thyroid diseases such as hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism can also cause brittle nails or cause a splitting of the nail bed from the nail plate.
Koilonychia is when you have an abnormal shaped nail. The nail has raised ridges, is thin and curves inward.  This disorder is associated with iron deficiency anemia.
Leukonychia is when you have white streaks or spots on the nails.  Leukonychia can be present with arsenic poisoning, renal failure, or pneumonia.  It can also be a rare side effect in systemic chemotherapy.
Pitting is having the presence of small depressions on the nail's surface.  Sometimes the nail is also crumbling.  The nail can also become loose and sometimes falls off.  Psoriasis may cause pitting as well as splitting of the nail plate from the nail bed.
Ridges are tiny, raised lines that develop on the nail.  These lines can form across or up and down on the nail.  Chronic picking or rubbing of the skin behind the nail can cause you to have a washboard nail.

Some other ways you can develop nail abnormalities are through an injury to the base of the nail.  If this happens, the deformity may be permanent.  Infections can also cause you to have an abnormality.  Fungus or yeast can cause a change in color, texture and the shape of your nail.  A bacterial infection can cause a change in color as well, but there may be painful areas of infection under or surrounding the skin of the nail.  If you have a severe infection, it could result in the loss of the nail.

For discoloration or yellowing of the nail, you can try  NonyX Nail Gel.  This gel will help clear out the discoloring keratin debris under the nail.  NonyX nail gel can be used on dark or yellowed nails.  The gel breaks down and removes the yellow or darkened build-up and will help keep your nails looking clear and attractive with regular use.

Some other health issues can also have an affect on your nails.  Disorders that affect the amount of oxygen in the blood can cause clubbing.  Kidney disease can cause a build-up of nitrogen waste products in the blood which in turn damages the nail.  Liver disease can damage the nail as well.

Poisons can also have an effect on your nails.  Arsenic poisoning can result in white lines and horizontal ridges on the nail.  If you ingest silver, this can turn your nails blue.

You should seek medical attention when you have any of the following symptoms:
  • Blue nails
  • Clubbed nails
  • Distorted nails
  • Horizontal ridges
  • Pale nails
  • White lines
  • White color under the nails
Some ways you can help prevent embarrassing nails include:
  • Avoid biting, picking or tearing at your nails.
  • Clip hangnails, do not pull at them.
  • Wear shoes that do not squeeze the toes together.
  • Always cut toenails straight across along the top.
  • To prevent brittle nails, keep them short and avoid nail polish.  Use a skin softening cream after washing hands and feet.
If you have concerns regarding your nail health, call 419-423-1888 or visit our website at to schedule your appointment with Dr. Vail.