The Foot Blog
Posts for: March, 2015
A number of years ago, I set about looking for a clean nail salon in the Richmond area where I could refer my patients for manicures and pedicures. You may ask, why does a podiatrist care where patients go for manicures and pedicures? Well, the truth is, nail salons are notorious for being places where you can pick up germs or a fungal infection. If you're a diabetic, or if you're undergoing chemotherapy, or if your immune system is compromised, avoiding germs and infections isn't just a good idea, it can be a matter of life and death.
So, I visited nail salons all over Richmond, looking for one that had high enough cleanliness standards that I could feel good about sending my patients there. Do you know how many truly clean nail salons I found in the area? Zero. Not one. Seeing there was a great need for my patients to have somewhere to go to get their nails done in an absolutely clean environment, I decided to open a medical-grade nail spa right here, inside The Foot & Ankle Center.
The Foot & Hand Spa is Richmond's first medical-grade nail spa that's dedicated entirely to the care of the feet and hands. In our spa, you won't have to worry about germs and infection because we follow the same rigorous cleanliness and sterilization protocols as a hospital.
If you're going anywhere else for your nail care, here are some things to look for to see how clean the facility really is:
- First, ask about the foot basin. Most salons will wipe the outside with a disinfectant between uses, but how about the inside? Do they clean the filter that's inside the tub? Do they run a disinfectant through the motor? The motor inside the tub collects a lot of really disgusting stuff, so when you put your feet in a whirlpool, if they haven't thoroughly cleaned it, then as soon as they turn it on, all the dead skin from the last 50 people who were in there before you comes out in your foot bath. Here at the Foot & Hand Spa, we run a disinfectant through the motor for 10 minutes, drain it and then disinfect the outside of the tub — and we do that between every single patient.
- Next, look at the emory board they plan to use on your nails. If it looks like it's been used, it probably has been. Do you see scratch marks? If so, then someone else's nails have probably been on that, and parts of someone else's nails are probably still in it. Possibly someone with a fungal infection. At our spa, we never re-use any non-sterilizable instruments. We use a new emory board with every client. You'll probably see us take it out of the bag before we use it on you.
- Your pedicurist is likely to use a file to remove dead skin from your feet. Does it look new? Or could it have someone else's dead skin on it? Remember, that dead skin can contain bacteria and fungus.
At our spa, you'll never have to worry about cleanliness. If you'd like to experience the benefits of a medical grade pedicure and manicure, make an appointment today!
One question we get sometimes is whether surgery is the only treatment for bunions. The answer depends on what you hope to accomplish. If you want to actually correct the bunion, then surgery is likely going to be your best option. But, if you're just looking to make the bunion less symptomatic so you can go about your daily activities without pain — or, if you just want to be able to put off having surgery until a later time, then there are non-surgical treatments that may help to ease the symptoms.
We can sometimes treat symptoms of a bunion using non-surgical methods, such as an oral anti-inflammatory medication or a small steroid injection into the bunion, if it's really inflamed. One simple thing people with bunions can do to increase their comfort is to simply wear properly fitting shoes. Since a bunion is basically a bump on the side of your foot, you need a shoe that is not going to be pressing against it. For a mild bunion, sometimes we'll fabricate a custom-made orthotic, or shoe insert. We make these right here in our clinic, and they can be worn in the shoe to support the foot in a manner that reduces pressure on the bunion.
If you'd like to learn more about the options for treating bunions, give us a call at 804-320-FOOT and request an appointment for a consultation, or come to one of the free bunion seminars we offer at our clinic from time to time.
One of the questions we hear a lot about bunion surgery is the question, "How much will it hurt?" This is often due to having seen a family member or friend go through a painful recovery period following bunion surgery, so naturally people have concerns.
Because bunion surgery can be painful, I determined a number of years ago that we needed to develop a better pain management protocol for our patients, to minimize their post-surgical pain. So, I set about to do just that. The result of that work is that our patients at The Foot & Ankle Center are now able to have bunion surgery with much less pain than they expected. In fact, we often hear how pleased patients are after they discover that the pain was much less than they imagined, thanks to our unique approach to pain management.
I'm not aware of any other clinic in the area that uses a pain management protocol like ours. We use a multi-step protocol to manage pain after bunion surgery, starting with the right medications and ending with a special type of dressing and padding that we apply to the foot. We've been offering our unique pain management solution to bunion patients for a number of years now, with good results.
If you'd like to learn more about our unique approach to managing pain after bunion surgery, or more about bunion surgery in general, give us a call at 804-320-FOOT, request an appointment for a consultation, or come to one of the free bunion seminars we offer at our clinic from time to time.