Orthotics, Orthotic Insoles - How They Help Relieve Aches and Pains

This article will help you understand:

- What Orthotics are

\"Foot Specialist\"

- Different types of Orthotics available

Orthotics, Orthotic Insoles - How They Help Relieve Aches and Pains

- Difference between Orthotic Insoles and regular Footbeds

- How Orthotics work

- Which common ailments can be treated with Orthotics

What exactly is an 'Orthotic'?

An Orthotic is a generic name for Orthotic Insoles/Shoe inserts or Orthoses used as a device that can be placed inside shoes to correct and restore the normal function of our feet. Improper foot biomechanics are responsible for many complaints such as heel pain, knee pain, and lower back pain.

Biomechanics is the science of movement that studies motion during walking, running, and sports.

Over-pronation is the term used to designate poor foot biomechanics. It makes your foot arch drop or flatten while the feet and ankles roll inwards. It is anticipated that nearly 70 percent of the population suffer from over-pronation.

Orthotics correct this over-pronation effect by restoring the feet and ankles to their normal position desired for natural foot functioning. The procedure not only alleviates foot problems but also gives relief to various other functions of the human body.

What are the different types of Orthotics available?

Generally speaking there are 3 different types of Orthotics. These are:

1) Custom-made (rigid) Orthotics

For patients suffering from more serious biomechanical disorders the custom-made (rigid) Orthotics provide a better solution. The devices are only available from a Podiatrist. Over-pronation is the most common ailment most people suffer from. Conversely, the opposite of 'pronation' is 'supination'. People suffering from this manifestation find their feet roll outwards or 'supinate' and the arch stiffens up remaining high as the foot makes contact with the ground. The deformity affects a mere 5 percent of the population and is called a Cavus or High Arch Foot. Supinators need custom-made Orthotic devices that correct the malfunction.

Persons who suffer from other deformities like large bunions, foot ulcers or completely flat feet also need to consult a Podiatrist.

How Does a Podiatrist Perform?

After initial diagnosis the Podiatrist decides on a 'customised' prescription orthotic. This is followed by a plaster cast of the patients foot (namely a negative or 'female impression') after which the initial cast is sent to the Orthotic Fabrication Laboratory to process further. From this mould a positive or male impression is formed by pouring plaster and the result is an accurate copy of the underfoot. The Orthotist or Orthotic technician fabricates the custom Orthotic that includes all the adjustments as prescribed by the Podiatrist. Now the rigid or semi-rigid Orthotic device is ready for use by the patient. Though these are very useful devices many patients find the use cumbersome and do not easily get used to the Orthotic.

2) Heat-mouldable Orthotics:

Heat-mouldable Orthotics are cheaper alternatives to expensive customised Orthotics that can cost 0 - 0 per pair. They are standard 'off-the-shelf' flexible devices made from medium density EVA material. The device can be heated to slightly alter its shape. Sometimes, wedges are added for a more customised result. Heat-mouldable Orthotics cost around 0 to 0 and are much easier to get used to than custom rigid Orthotics.

3) Pre-fabricated 'off the shelf' Orthotic:

Pre-fabricated Orthotics are soft-medium density shoe inserts available from pharmacies, on-line specialist websites, and some physiotherapists or chiropractors. People will get used to such Orthotics almost immediately and the cost ranges from to per pair. Research has shown that for 80% of people suffering from over-pronation, a pre-fabricated Orthotic will provide sufficient correction. Also after a few weeks of wear, these types of Orthotics will customise to the wearer's foot shape as a result of body weight and body heat. Most pre-fabricated Orthotic are made from EVA, a flexible material that supports the foot without hurting the arches. Especially children and elderly people benefit from a softer type of Orthotic since they cannot tolerate anything hard under the foot.

What is the difference between orthotics and regular footbeds?

There is a large difference between Footbeds and Orthotics! Regular Footbeds are purely designed to provide a cushioning effect and shock absorption. At first they may feel comfortable however footbeds do not effectively address any biomechanical problem since they do not correct over-pronation. Whereas orthotics are functional devices designed to correct and optimise our foot function. Some footbeds also feature an arch support though it may be too weak to have any appreciable effect. This is especially true if the material of construction is very soft and rubber-like.

How does an Orthotic exactly work?

First of all orthotics do a lot more than just supporting the arches. They realign the feet and ankles, restoring faulty foot function. Additionally, orthotics provide even weight distribution and take the pressure of sore spots from heels, ball of the foot, corns and between toes, and bunions. Though it is not their main purpose, the orthotics do provide some degree of shock absorption as well.

The main purpose of an orthotic insole is to improve the foot function and in many cases it will reduce pain and will help prevent future problems and injury.

There have been suggestions from various quarters that the use of Orthotics may weaken the foot muscles. According to a recent research paper from Australia "there are no reasons to doubt any decrease in muscle activity even after four weeks usage. Therefore Foot Orthoses users may not be worried through these unsupported statements."

What ailments can orthotics be used for?

Years of use has proven that most foot complaints will respond favourably to treatment with orthotics. These devices are found to be very effective for treating heel pain, heel spurs, Plantar Fasciitis, pain from bunions, callous and corns, Achilles Tendonitis, Ball of Foot Pain and Morton's Neuroma.

Our feet are the foundation of our body. Many problems in the legs, knees and back can be attributed to poor foot biomechanics. Therefore, orthotics can be very useful in the treatment of shin splints, knee pain and lower back pain. This is the reason that many physiotherapists and chiropractors have started using orthotics.

Over-pronation of the feet is the cause for the lower leg to rotate inwards and the pelvis to tilt forward - in turn putting a lot of strain and stress on the legs, knees and back. Orthotics corrects the problem of over-pronation and therefore greatly reduce internal leg rotation and forward pelvic tilt.

A study from the USA "identified the nature of a person's walk as a source of chronic lower back pain," The study further showed more than a fifty percent improvement in alleviation of back pain after wearing orthotics.


The Journal of American Podiatric Medicine May 1999, Sobel E, Levity S T,Caselli MA Division of Orthopedic Sciences,New York College of Podiatric Medicine

Vol. 94 Number 6 542-549 2004 Journal of American Podiatric Medicine

"The Conservative Management of Plantar Fasciitis"- Pfeffer GB , University of California, San Francisco, CA.

"Chronic Low-Back Pain and Its Response to Custom-Made Foot Orthoses" HOWARD J. DANANBERG, DPM, MICHELLE GUILIANO, DPM

Orthotics, Orthotic Insoles - How They Help Relieve Aches and Pains

Peter Van Dyke is a Dutch foot specialist and orthotist with a special interest in heel pain, knee-pain, low back pain and orthotics. He gives advice on effective remedies to help relieve aching feet and prevent further problems. He also works closely with a number of large orthotics manufacturers in Europe, the USA and Australia.

Blue Toe Syndrome

Blue toe syndrome is the bluish discoloration to toes as a result of tissue ischemia (lack of blood flow). The syndrome is caused by the blockage of small vessels that lead into the toes. One or more toes may be affected; in severe cases this can also manifest itself as a multi-organ problem.
There are a few causes of blue toe syndrome but the most common is the breakage of a small piece of arterial plaque usually from the abdominal aorta-iliac-femoral arterial system (located in the abdomen and groin area) which then travels down the arterial tree into the small vessels of the foot where it becomes lodged. This is known as an embolism. All tissue distal (in front of) the blockage will then turn a bluish color which represents a lack of oxygen to the tissue.
Generally patients are in their 40s, 50s, 60s, and older. The condition can occur insidiously or may be the result of abdominal surgery or an invasive vascular procedure or test.

The affected toes become cyanotic but there are other etiologies such as trauma, connective tissue disease like Scleroderma, hypercoagulability of blood as seen in polycythemia vera , atrial fibrillation and Raynauds phenomenon. In Raynauds the fingers will usually also be involved and this generally occurs in younger patients without any known history of atherosclerotic disease.
At the local level, blue toe syndrome may occur in diabetic foot infections and those who have undergone foot surgery.

\"Foot Specialist\"

Blue toe syndrome is easily misdiagnosed because in most cases the larger arteries of the foot are palpable and that directs the doctor away from a diagnosis of occlusive disease.
Treatment is geared towards alleviation of the blockage further up the arterial tree through stenting, bypass surgery, or anticoagulant therapy. Vasodilator drugs have no proven effectiveness in treatment of this condition, since this is not a vasospastic disorder.
Mild forms of the disease which affect just the toes have a good prognosis and usually subside on their own. It should be noted that sometimes the pain in the toes is disproportional to the extent of involvement of the toes and adequate analgesics should be prescribed. Multi-systemic forms where the kidney is also usually affected, the prognosis is more dubious.
In the foot, should the condition not resolve itself there is always the possibility that the condtion will worsen to gangrene and subsequent amputation of the affected toes.

Blue Toe Syndrome
Blue Toe Syndrome

Dr. Mitnick is a foot specialist with over 25 years of clinical practice treating conditions of the foot, ankle and lower leg. For more information visit www.foot-pain-explained.com

What to Do With Your Ingrown Toenail

An ingrown toenail is a common condition for both men and women. It happens when the corner or side of one of your toenails grows into the soft flesh of that toe. It usually affects one of your big toes and if not taken care of properly can lead to pain, redness, swelling and sometimes infection. This usually happens when the toenail breaks the skin and bacteria enters and causes an infection. Sometimes, skin may start to grow over the ingrown part of the nail.

Many people with ingrown toenails take care of the condition by themselves. Warm soaks and proper nail trimming may be what is needed, but sometimes it is best to see a foot specialist when you first feel the pain and the pressure. If the pain is severe or it is spreading, a podiatrist can usually relieve your discomfort and help you avoid more complications of an ingrown toenail.

\"Foot Specialist\"

If you have diabetes or another condition that causes poor circulation to your feet, go directly to your doctor rather than risk any complications.

What to Do With Your Ingrown Toenail

The signs and symptoms of an ingrown toenail include:

  • Pain and tenderness in your toe along one or both sides of the nail.
  • Redness around your toenail.
  • Swelling of your toe around the nail.
  • Infection of the tissue around your toenail. 

There are many reasons why ingrown toenails develop some of which are congenital. For instance, your toenails may be too large. People whose toenails curl under are also prone to the condition. Stubbing a toe or having a toe stepped on or some other trauma can cause a piece of the nail to jam into the skin.

High heels are also a problem because the heel transfers most of your body weight toward the front of the foot. This puts more pressure on the big toe and often deforms them over the years. This can also lead to ingrown toenails.

However, the most common cause is cutting your toenails incorrectly causing them to re-grow into the skin. Tight hosiery or shoes with narrow toe boxes make matters worse.

What You Can Do About an Ingrown Toe Nail 

Left untreated or undetected, an ingrown toenail can infect the underlying bone and lead to serious infection. If your symptoms are minor such as the toe being red and not very painful, and you don't have a complicated condition such as diabetes, you can take some simple measures at home to treat your ingrown toe nail.

  • Soak the foot in lukewarm water 2 or 3 times a day for 15 minutes. I always add Epsom salts but I'm told there's no scientific evidence this will heal anything or help the pain.
  • Massage the skin at the side of the toenail gently pushing it away from the nail.
  • Some suggest placing cotton under your toenail after soaking to help the nail grow above the skin edge. Some doctors say this is too risky because it traps bacteria.
  • However, do apply a topical antibiotic such as Neosporin or Polysporin or bacitracin. Cover the area with a band aid.

Preventing Ingrown Toenails

  • Wear sandals or other low-heeled open-toed shoes whenever possible.Wear low-heeled shoes that have enough room at the toes. If you wear stockings wear moisture-wicking socks so your toes move freely.
  • Keep your feet clean and dry.
  • Use a toenail clipper (not a fingernail clipper).
  • Cut your toenails across, going with the curve. Do not round the corners down and don't cut the toenails too short.

If you toenail becomes infected it is  time to see a doctor such as a podiatrist (foot care specialist) or a dermatologist. You may need to take oral antibiotics for an infection and the doctor may have to remove the ingrown part of your nail.

What to Do With Your Ingrown Toenail

And I invite you to find more information on successful approaches for a healthy lifestyle by visiting http://www.upsideofaging.com Claim your free reports on how to stay healthy and energetic. Ruthan Brodsky, a nationally known author on health and aging, provides you with the information you need to keep your body and your mind active and productive regardless of your age.

Surgical Removal Of Foot and Ankle Ganglion Cysts

Ganglion cysts are the most common masses in the foot and ankle, and can often be difficult to eradicate since drainage usually results in an eventual refilling of the cyst. Surgery is often necessary for permanent removal of these compressible lumps. This article will discuss ganglion cyst treatment, especially surgical removal.

A ganglion cyst is essentially a benign, fluid-filled mass that develops near joints and tendons. While the exact cause is unknown, it is generally thought that a defect forms in the tissue surrounding a tendon or a joint that allows fluid from one of these areas to penetrate through into the surrounding tissue. This fluid becomes walled off by fibrous tissue that surrounds it, and the cyst forms. It is essentially a balloon of thick, jelly-like fluid that becomes thicker than the joint or tendon fluid from which it came. The cysts can start off small, and then quickly grow. It is also not uncommon for cysts to wax and wane in size. These cysts are generally benign, and cause few issues on their own. However, the location and/or size of these cysts can become problematic, especially in the foot and ankle.

\"Foot Specialist\"

Cysts can sometimes be located near sensitive structures, such as nerve tissue, and the simple presence of the cyst expanding against this tissue can cause pain. Additionally, if the cyst is especially large or irregularly shaped, or if it is wrapped around joints or tendons, the function of the foot can be affected. This can lead to difficulty in walking, or pain. It is because of the above reasons that foot and ankle ganglion cysts are typically treated.

Surgical Removal Of Foot and Ankle Ganglion Cysts

Diagnosing ganglion cysts is usually done by an external exam, as they are either visible through the skin or can be felt under the skin surface. Ganglion cysts usually feel fairly distinct, and most physicians can make a confident diagnosis by feel alone. However, if the cyst has several bumps to it, feels unusual, or is deep or in an unusual location away from a joint or a tendon, the physician may prefer to get an MRI or ultrasound study to assess its size and appearance better.

The initial treatment of ganglion cysts can involve an attempt at drainage. Cysts usually can be drained, although smaller ones are sometimes difficult to accurately find through the skin. The old technique of hitting the cyst with a heavy book, like a Bible, is very traumatic, ruptures the cyst, and can create inflammation to the entire area. This treatment is not advised in modern medicine. The best technique for drainage is for needle and syringe drainage by a physician. The drainage is usually followed by an injection of a cortisone-like medication (corticosteroid) that reduces local inflammation and may scar the cyst origin to prevent regrowth. Unfortunately, this technique does not have a great chance of keeping the cyst from returning, as the cyst wall and the cyst origin remain in the body. The cyst typically regenerates its fluid shortly after drainage. Drainage and corticosteroid injection is safe and does work in some cases, especially for small cysts, and that is why it is attempted in the first place.

When the cyst returns and creates pain or functional limitation, that is the point at which surgery is considered. Surgical removal of cysts can be simple, or can be complex if the cyst is large or integrated into surrounding tissue. The surgical procedure for removing ganglion cysts involves making an incision directly over the area where the cyst lies, and careful separation of the cyst from the surrounding tissue without rupturing the cyst. Once the cyst ruptures, the fluid that remains can potentially become walled off again, and finding the exact ending margin of the cyst wall becomes more difficult once it is 'deflated'. The cyst must be removed in its entirety, including all of the cyst wall and the original connecting tissue. If this is not done, the cyst may simply reform. The complete removal of all this tissue is not always easy, and sometimes even the slightest of remaining tissue not visible to the surgeon can allow for a return.

Removing cysts often requires identification of several different lobes, or branches of the cyst, if it is not in one smooth piece. This exploration often requires the surgeon to gently move around surrounding vital tissues, which could have cyst material wrapped around them. This can result in a complicated removal process, and can increase the risk or likelihood of the cyst returning after surgery. It also places the surrounding vital tissue, like nerves, at risk for damage during the surgery. In rare cases, the expansion of the cyst has already damaged the surrounding tissue, and there may be lasting effects even after the surgical healing has completed.

In general, healing from removal of the cyst is successful and without complication. The skin heals readily, and deep scar tissue is not typically a problem as the cysts are usually more superficially located, aside from the base that stems from the underlying tendon or joint. An exception to this is cysts located along the back or sides of the ankle, where more tissue dissection is needed to reach the cyst. Weight bearing is usually immediately allowed, except for uncommon cysts on the bottom of the foot requiring an incision under the foot, and activity can usually be resumed in several weeks.

As one can read, ganglion cysts are a common foot mass that may be somewhat difficult to be rid of permanently. On its own, a ganglion cyst is usually benign and without significant symptoms. However, treatment is needed when the cyst causes pain or a limitation in one's activity. As a rule, one should always have a medical exam when a new mass appears on or under the skin. There are tumors that can be mistaken for cysts, and a physician can determine what the nature of the mass is. For foot and ankle masses, a foot specialist (podiatrist) is the best specialist to see first for evaluation.

Surgical Removal Of Foot and Ankle Ganglion Cysts

Dr. Kilberg provides compassionate and complete foot and ankle care to patients of all ages in the Indianapolis area. He is board certified by the American Board of Podiatric Surgery. Visit the practice website of this Indianapolis foot surgeon for more information.

The Curly Toe - Causes and Treatment

Of the many conditions which result in a change in the shape or position of the toes, the curly toe stands out as a more unique deformity that is treated in a somewhat different manner than a standard toe deformity (like a hammertoe). This article will discuss this unique deformity, and ways to treat it effectively.

Due to a variety of reasons (but mostly because of one's arch structure), the toes can gradually develop a change in their shape over the course of many years of standing and walking. The most common change is the development of the hammertoe, in which the first joint, or 'knuckle', of the toe pulls upward, while the middle of the toe flexes downward. Although rarely painful in and of itself, a hammertoe deformity can allow for excessive pressure from the top of a shallow shoe onto the toe. A corn will develop on the skin where the toe joint is prominent, which can eventually lead to pain. Another change that often develops is a rotation of the little toe towards the toe next to it. Often called a curly toe, this condition is the combination of a hammertoe deformity, and an actual inward rotation of the toe. The result of this abnormal toe position is usually a very painful corn that forms due to the pressure from the shoe on the toe, where the toe bone is now prominent due to the toe rotation. The difference between the corn that forms in this condition as opposed to that of a regular hammertoe is that this corn is less on the top of the toe than it is more along the side of the toe. The involved skin is still the 'top' of the toe technically, but the corn appears on the side because the top of the toe has rotated to the side. In this case, not only does the top of the shoe irritate the corn, but the side does as well. A second pattern of corn can also form along side the outer edge of the nail where pressure from the ground builds up due to the toe's rotation. This corn is often mistaken for an ingrown nail due to it's closeness to the nail edge itself. Removal of the side of the nail in this case will only temporarily relieve the symptoms, as the toe pressure from the rotation will allow a corn to form again despite the nail edge's removal.

\"Foot Specialist\"

The little toe is not the only toe that can curl inward. This can also be seen in the other smaller toes, although the fourth toe (the one next to the little toe) is the primary toe outside of the little toe to develop this. However, this toe does not tend to develop the same sort of painful corn as the little toe, due to the unique position of the little toe on the outside of the foot.

The Curly Toe - Causes and Treatment

Treatment of this condition is fairly straight forward. One either conservatively lives with the condition or one has the toe straightened out surgically. Self-care with gentle filing of the corn with an emery board or pumice stone after bathing can flatten the corn and limit it's potential to cause pain. Taping the toe out of a rotated position has limited benefit, and may actually cause additional discomfort. The use of a wider and deeper shoe seems to give the most benefit by reducing the external pressure on the toe. Padding the toe with gel, foam, or felt pads can provide some pressure reduction, although they need to be applied daily. Topical corn removers should be avoided as they contain skin acids that can potentially harm the surrounding good skin and create a chemical burn on the toe.

Surgery to repair this condition is possible, and is usually quite effective. This fairly simple procedure combines a fixing or straightening of the hammertoe deformity (by removing a small amount of bone near one of the toe joints), as well as a procedure to straighten out the toe rotation. Fixing the rotation can involve plastic surgery techniques to re-rotate the skin back around, or a technique to partially fuse the little toe with the base of the toe next to it to keep it stable and straight. The plastic surgery technique uses various skin incision orientations to effectively push the toe back into a non-rotated position. The fusion procedure removes part of the space in between the little toe and the fourth toe, and then stitches the skin together. Once this heals, the bases of the two toes will be as one. This has no effect on the way the foot functions in walking, and cosmetically is barely noticeable. The end result is a little toe that cannot rotate out of position any longer. Recovery is fairly simple for both the bone and skin part of the procedure, with most people able to return to a normal shoe within three to four weeks. Complication rates are low, and the toe tends to stay in the corrected position for life.

The curly toe deformity is common, can cause discomfort in shoes, and yet is easily treated. Anyone suffering from this toe deformity should see their foot specialist (podiatrist) for evaluation and treatment options specific to their toe.

The Curly Toe - Causes and Treatment

Dr. Kilberg provides compassionate and complete foot and ankle care to adults and children in the Indianapolis area. He is board certified by the American Board of Podiatric Surgery, and is a member of the American Podiatric Medical Association. He enjoys providing comprehensive foot health information to the online community to help the public better understand their feet. Visit his practice website for more information.

A Lump in the Sole of the Foot - Plantar Fibromas Explained

Anytime one feels a lump in the body, mental alarm bells ring out with fears of cancer. This natural reaction is fairly universal for most people. When the lump is felt in the bottom of the foot, where it can cause pain with every step, the fear can be even greater owing to the noticeable symptoms the lump has when walking or standing. Fortunately, true malignant tumors of deep tissue in the foot are very rare. However, it is not uncommon for many people to develop a benign firm mass on the bottom of the foot arch called a plantar fibroma (or superficial fibromatosis).

Plantar fibromas develop from a part of the foot known as the plantar fascia. The plantar fascia is a thick, strap-like dense tissue that connects the heel bone and the ball of the foot. This tissue is broad, traversing across the entire width of the foot in three distinct bands. It is essentially a thick ligament, and provides some rigidity to the arch of the foot. In some people, small nodules, or growths, can develop along the surface of the fascia, and can slowly expand over time. These growths can be single, multiple in number, or one mass with numerous areas of bulging. The nodules are well affixed to the fascia, and do not move when one tries to move the overlying skin around. In general, these nodules grow very slowly, and do not appear 'overnight'. However, they may seem to suddenly appear as most people cannot feel them until they become very large or develop pain. At times, people who rub their feet might notice them early on, but most people only notice the mass all of a sudden when it is big enough to expand the underlying skin or is tender to pressure. One can rest assured that these masses are benign, and conversion to a malignant cancer (fibrosarcoma) is almost unheard of.

\"Foot Specialist\"

Symptoms are usually related to irritation of the fascia tissue and inflammation around the nodule when one stands on the foot and places pressure on the fibroma. Many of these plantar fibromas are painless masses that are not irritated by pressure on the sole of the foot. Some are painful, though, and can limit one's ability to comfortably walk. This is especially true when the mass pushes into a sensitive tissue, such as one of the many nerves found traversing the bottom of the foot above or below the plantar fascia. Barefoot walking and shoe use can be uncomfortable due to the 'lump', and other parts of the plantar fascia can become irritated as a result.

A Lump in the Sole of the Foot - Plantar Fibromas Explained

Treatment is geared towards either accommodating the mass to make those who suffer with it more comfortable, or removing it all together. It should be noted that if the mass does not cause any discomfort, it does not need to be treated. Its growth cannot be slowed or prevented with early treatment, and aggressive treatment of a non-painful plantar fibroma is not necessary. When there is pain involved, treatment with accommodation or removal is clearly recommended. Accommodating the mass involves the use of stretches to keep the fascia limber, anti-inflammatory medication, and accommodative inserts that pad and protect the area around the mass. In some people with painful plantar fibromas, this can help relieve, or at least temporarily control, the pain. If this is not effective, then surgery is typically needed to remove the mass itself. This surgery can run the range from simple to highly complicated depending on the size of the mass. Small plantar fibromas are easily removed with out too much tissue loss, and the resulting tissue gap can eventually fill with scar tissue to keep the structure of the plantar fascia intact. In any removal procedure, it is vital that all of the fibroma, along with a margin of normal fascia and the overlying under surface of the skin be removed to help prevent recurrence. Medium and large size fibromas are much more difficult to remove. Their removal causes large gaps in the plantar fascia, and can effect the stability of the bottom of the foot to a certain degree. This also leaves open an internal area that can be apt to developing scars and adhesions in the surface under and on the skin. At times, the resulting tissue can potentially be more painful than the original fibroma if healing is poor. These gaps need to be filled in if possible to maintain integrity of the fascia and limit scar tissue. Newer tissue grafts that act as scaffolds for whatever tissue is attached to them can help with this problem. The remaining fascia tissue will creep into these grafts, effectively restoring the fascia to a similar state as before surgery (and before the mass). Whether large or small, all plantar fibromas have a fairly high rate of recurrence, and even the best surgical technique cannot necessarily prevent this from happening. Simply put, some people quickly regrow these masses even after removal. This is not a sign so much for malignancy as much as it's a sign of a common problem after excision surgery for plantar fibromas. There is no way to effectively control this potential for regrowth after surgery unfortunately.

One final note should be made regarding plantar fibromas, and foot masses in general. As stated previously, true deep foot malignant tumors are very rare...but they do occur. It is recommended that a medical evaluation by a foot specialist (podiatrist) be performed to ensure that the mass felt is simply a common plantar fibroma. An MRI may need to be performed if there are unusual characteristics to the shape or location of the mass (or even if surgery to remove it is being planned). Less commonly, a biopsy may be considered if there is great abnormality or questionable findings on the exam. While all this may seem like a lot of time and money for a little mass, it can potentially make the difference between a healthy foot and a leg amputation if there truly is something more abnormal to begin with.

A Lump in the Sole of the Foot - Plantar Fibromas Explained

Dr. Kilberg provides compassionate and complete foot and ankle care to adults and children in the Indianapolis area. He is board certified by the American Board of Podiatric Surgery, and is a member of the American Podiatric Medical Association. He enjoys providing comprehensive foot health information to the online community to help the public better understand their feet. Visit his practice website for more information.

Over-Pronation, Fallen Arches and Flat Feet

Pronation and supination are commonly heard terms, often in association with fallen arches, high arches, flat feet etc. This article explains the meaning of these terms and looks in particular at the problem of over-pronation. You will read about the following:

1) What do the terms Pronation and Supination mean?
2) What exactly is over-pronation?
3) What are the consequences of over-pronation?
4) What can we do to fix the problem of over-pronation

\"Foot Specialist\"

What do the terms 'Pronation' and 'Supination' mean?

Over-Pronation, Fallen Arches and Flat Feet

To understand the terms 'Pronation' and 'Supination', firstly we need to look at the gait cycle - that is the way we walk, or our 'walking pattern'.

The gait cycle is broken down into 3 different phases:

1) Contact phase: Firstly the outside of your heel hits the ground. This is entirely normal and it's the reason why most people's shoes wear out faster on the outside heel area of the soles. Just after the heel strikes, pronation occurs. I.e. the foot flattens out and the ankle rolls inwards. At the same time, your lower leg rotates inwards from the knee down. The pronated foot is flexible and loose, allowing it to adapt to the ground you've just stepped on. Pronation is your natural 'shock-absorbing mechanism'.

This contact phase continues until the foot is completely flat on the ground.

2) Midstance phase: The foot is flat on the ground and in this part of the gait cylce your body weight passes over your foot as the body comes forward. This is where your foot supports your body weight. The midstance phase is the part of the gait cycle where an abnormally functioning foot such as an over-pronated foot (fallen arches) or an over-supinated foot (high arch foot) will manifest its problems.

This phase ends as your body weight passes forward eventually forcing your heel to rise off the ground. At this stage supination occurs and the opposite to pronation happens: the muscles tighten and the foot becomes a rigid lever for the leg muscles to pull against. Rigidity in the foot should occur as the foot is propelled forward towards the next step. With supination, the foot rolls outwards and the lower leg rotates externally.

3) Propulsion phase: this is where the foot pushes off the ground to propel the body forward. Body weight is picked up by the ball of the foot and lastly the weight is absorbed by the big toe as you push off with that foot.

It is important to understand that both pronation and supination are part of a normal, healthy walking pattern! Pronation (rolling inward) acts as a shock absorbing process and supination (rolling outward) helps to propel our feet forward.

What exactly is over-pronation?

Over-pronation occurs when we pronate too deep and for too long, not giving the foot a chance to 'recover' and supinate. The foot stays flexible at all times. Over-pronators use a lot more energy when walking. Worse, over-pronation causes an imbalance throughtout the entire body, putting excessive strain on the feet, legs, knees and lower back.

Other terms for over-pronation are 'fallen arches', 'dropped arches' or 'collapsed arches'. The term 'flat feet' is also often used. However, a true 'flat foot' is very rare. In fact, less than 5% of the population have completely flat feet (Pes Planus) with no arch present whatsoever. Most of us (90%) have a normal to low arch and only 5% have a high arch. People with a high arch (Pes Cavus) are also called 'over-supinators'. This means that the foot stays rigid at all times and lacks its natural shock-absorbing mechanism.

It's important to appreciate that you don't have to be flat-footed to suffer from over-pronation! In fact, the vast majority of people with a 'normal- to-low arch' suffer from over-pronation. Interestingly, the arches may appear quite normal when sitting (or even standing up-right), but when we start to walk the problem of over-pronation becomes evident...with every step we take the arches collapse and the ankles roll inwards.

Over-pronation can be caused by a number of factors. Weak ankle muscles, being over-weight, pregnancy, age or repetitive pounding on hard surfaces (like pavements and concrete floors) can all lead to over-pronation. Over-pronation is also very common with athletes, especially runners.

What are the consequences of over-pronation?

Whether you have a true flat foot or have a normal-to-low arch and suffer from over-pronation (like 70% of the population), in both cases your poor walking pattern may contribute to a range of different complaints.

Many people over-pronate, however there are no clear symptoms, no aches or pains or complaints - especially in younger people (under 40's).

When people reach 40 or 50, poor foot function will start to show and over-pronation will take its toll. Many years of over-pronation will result in wear and tear in the feet, ankle and knee joints and lower back. People will simply accept these common aches and pains as a sign of ageing. Very few people realise these complaints have a lot to do with their fallen arches!

So what are the most common complaints related to over-pronation?

Plantar Fasciitis is a very common condition caused by over-pronation. As the feet flatten, the Plantar Fascia (fibrous band of ligaments under the foot) is being overly stretched, leading to inflammation in the heel, where the fascia attach to the heel bone. Plantar Fasciitis causes chronic heel pain and sometimes a heel spur develops (bony growth at the heel bone).

With over-pronation the foot continues to roll inwards, when it should be pushing off and outwards. When the foot rolls inwards the lower leg will follow and rotate internally and stay in this position (instead of rotating externally with supination).

This puts a lot of strain on the leg muscles (especially the calf muscles), causing aching legs and shin splints. Also, the twisting of the lower leg displaces the patella (knee cap). The knee is a hinge joint, designed to flex and extend (like a door, if you like). It's not designed to rotate!

Furthermore, when the legs rotate inwards the pelvis is forced to tilt forward. This results in constant strain and stress on the lower back muscles.

What can we do to fix the problem of over-pronation?

There is no real cure as such for over-pronation, however a lot can be done to prevent it. The most effective way to minimise over-pronation and its effects on the body is by wearing orthotics inside the shoes.

An 'orthotic' (orthotic insole, shoe insert or orthosis) is a device placed inside the shoes with the purpose of restoring our normal foot function. Different types of foot orthotics are available, from special custom-made devices (prescribed by a Podiatrist) to so called 'off-the-shelf' orthotics which can be purchased from pharmacies, good quality shoe stores or specialty websites.

Orthotics correct the problem of over-pronation and they re-align the foot and ankle bones to their neutral position, restoring our natural foot function. In turn, this will help alleviate problems not only in the feet, but also in other parts of the body!

In addition to wearing an orthotic, it is recommended to wear supportive shoes with some degree of built-in 'motion control'.

Motion control shoes incorporate support features into the shoe. Shoes with adequate arch support and firm heel counters help control over-pronation and will stabilise the heel and ankle during walking. Some shoes also have side posts for extra lateral support. Firm midsoles reduce pronation and protect the ankles and knees from lateral stress. The inner side of the midsole may be made of a denser material (dual density midsoles) to reduce the amount of pronation. A heavy person who overpronates will need a heavier, more supportive shoe than a light person with the same degree of pronation.

Too many shoes these days are using soft materials all-around the shoes and are very 'floppy' giving no support or stability whatsoever. In summer, many people wear open footwear such as sandals and flip-flops which are even worse in biomechanical terms.

Over-Pronation, Fallen Arches and Flat Feet

Peter Van Dyke is a Dutch foot specialist and orthotist with a special interest in heel pain , heel spurs, Plantar Fasciitis and orthotics. He gives advice on effective remedies to help relieve aching feet and prevent further problems. He also works closely with a number of large orthotics manufacturers in Europe, the USA and Australia.

Pain On Top Of The Foot

The purpose of this article is to give you information seekers an easier way to diagnose your pain on the top of the foot. I have noticed that many people use "top of foot pain" as their "search" term.

I have listed the more common problems that we foot specialists see on a regular basis, but this list is not all inclusive. Pain can occur with or without a history of trauma. Sometimes repetitive action (or microtrauma as I like to call it) can create pain on top of the foot.

\"Foot Specialist\"

Hopefully this will help you in your search for answers.

Pain On Top Of The Foot

TENDONITIS- Diffuse pain on top of the foot which may also include swelling and even redness. There may or may not be a history of trauma.

GANGLION CYST- A spongy to firm lump on top of the foot that may or may not be freely moveable. The lump itself may not be painful on pressure, but pressing on it may cause pain beneath it.

MIDTARSAL FAULT- In people whose feet have a tendency to collapse (fallen arches), there ends up being a jamming of the bones on top of your foot that will lead to pain, with or without shoes. Generally, there will be no history of trauma.

NERVE ENTRAPMENT- There are small nerves running from the ankle down to the toes that are located right under the skin. These are sensory nerves (which give us feeling on the top of the foot). It is not uncommon for these nerves to become traumatized from the pressure of a shoe (mainly tied too tight) putting pressure on the nerve which is then "jammed" into a bony projection underneath it. This nerve is then entrapped and it becomes inflamed and thus painful or in some cases there will be numbness on part of the top of the foot.

STRESS FRACTURE- Without any history of trauma, a person can develop severe pain on the top of the foot usually in the metatarsal area. It will be a localized pain, possibly with some swelling and perhaps redness.

BONE SPUR- A bone spur in the foot is usually a result of arthritic changes in the foot, bone will overgrow and produce abnormal protrusions on top of the foot. Either damage to the specific joint or pressure from your shoe on the overgrowth of bone (bone spur) will cause pain.

SUPERFICIAL PHLEBITIS- Many of the veins on the top of the foot are directly underneath the skin. Since the foot is subject to trauma every step you take, at times the nerves will become inflamed and develop a superficial phlebitis. This is not as dangerous as a deep vein phlebitis seen in the leg, but medical care is warranted.

More detailed information on this subject matter can be found at my web site.

Pain On Top Of The Foot

Dr. Mitnick is a foot specialist with over 25 years of clinical practice treating conditions of the foot, ankle and lower leg. For more information on various foot, ankle and leg conditions visit: www.foot-pain-explained.com

The Importance of Foot Hygiene in Foot Health

The importance of good foot hygiene goes far beyond the need to keep the feet from becoming dirty and developing odor. Proper foot hygiene can prevent the development of numerous foot problems, and for some individuals may save their leg from amputation. This article will discuss the way people can properly care for their feet and keep them healthy for years to come.

Foot cleanliness is an important part of keeping the body clean. Anyone who has ever walked barefoot can relate to that when the soles of the feet become soiled. However, even those who wear shoes all the time are still at risk for 'soiling' of the feet. This soiling comes not from dirt but from the natural shedding of the skin, combined with sweat residue, sock lint, or shoe debris if one does not wear socks. All of this material provides a good platform upon which bacteria and fungus can accumulate, and eventually this can cause skin infections. The most common infection seen in the skin is that from a fungus.

\"Foot Specialist\"

This infection is commonly called Athlete's foot, and millions of humans (if not nearly all) suffer from this condition from time to time. While this condition is easily treated, the long term presence of fungus can distract the skin's immune system and lead to the sneaking in of bacteria into the cracks and skin ripples that are found in Athlete's foot. Bacteria is also present in soil and on walking surfaces exposed to other bacteria (like in kitchens and baths), and barefoot walking can potentially expose the skin to these organisms. Bacterial infections are not as benign as Athlete's foot, and can enter the skin and spread up the foot into the body. For diabetics and others whose immune system is not as strong, these infections can pose a serious risk to the health of the foot and leg, and occasionally they result in an amputation if the infection is serious enough.

The Importance of Foot Hygiene in Foot Health

By washing the foot, especially in between the toes, the debris and soil that fungus and bacteria accumulates on is removed, and the skin is left with a healthy top surface. Vigorous scrubbing is not necessary, and can lead to skin irritation if one is too aggressive. Careful removal of soap residue is needed, as is the careful drying of the foot and toes to prevent skin irritation from lengthy water exposure.

Another important aspect of good foot hygiene is to keep the feet well moisturized. From time to time, especially in the winter, the foot skin will dry out. For some, this is a result of genetics or diseases which reduce the moisturization of the skin. With drier skin comes more cracks and crevasses that bacteria and fungus can use to enter the skin. Dry skin can also potentially painful cracks so deep that a wound develops. The practice of soaking the foot to either make it moister or to remove fungus or bacteria only makes this worse, as soaking depletes the skin of vital oils that help keep it moist. Some bacteria also thrive in foot baths, and frequent soaking can sometimes cause infections. The daily application of a good moisturizing cream to the feet can keep the skin moist and its surface smooth. It is important not to place the moisturizing cream in between the toes, as this area is at risk for fungus development that can also follow overly moist toe spaces.

Toenails are often ignored when foot hygiene is taken into consideration. Like every other part of the foot, the toenails need care and maintenance to prevent problems from developing. Nails that are too long are at greater risk of breaking off when the toe is stubbed. This can lead to pain, inflammation, and possibly infection of the skin around the nail itself. Nail damage can also lead to the introduction of fungus under the nail itself. The nail will become discolored, thickened, and misshapen from this infection. It is treatable, but a nail fungus infection requires a lot of time for eradication. Keeping the nails short can prevent some of this nail injury by reducing the likelihood of the nail lifting up during an injury event. In turn, this can reduce the chance that a nail fungus will develop. Although generally benign, nail fungus is still a chronic infection and should be avoided. However, not all changes to a nail's color or appearance is simply a fungus. Any color change in a toenail should be evaluated by a foot specialist or dermatologist, as some skin cancers or body-wide disease appear as changes to a toenail.

When trimming nails, care must be taken not to cut too deep into the skin sides. The reason for this involves ingrown nails. Ingrown nails develop as a result of genetics or gradual pressure injury to a nail. Contrary to popular belief, they are not caused by cutting the nail, as the nail grows from the deep end of the toe, which is not affected by the way it is cut. However, by cutting the nail too short into the side of the skin, one irritates the skin. A reaction then develops which causes skin inflammation. The inflamed skin becomes irritated against the ingrown nail that did not previously bother it, and pain subsequently is felt. Infection can follow as bacteria becomes trapped within the swollen skin border. While this condition is easily and permanently treated in-office by a foot specialist, avoiding it by trimming the nails without cutting into the skin may be an easier option.

Properly fitting shoes are another consideration in foot hygiene. Shoes are worn for many reasons, although the basic reason for shoes is to protect the feet from the ground. This protection is at risk when one wears poorly fitting shoes simply for fashion or convenience. Shoes that are too tight, too narrow, or too shallow will cause skin irritation to occur where the shoe rubs the skin. If the irritated area is over a prominent bone, such as on the toes or sides of the foot, the skin may start a process to protect itself. This process leads to the formation of corns and calluses, which is simply a thickening of the top layer of the skin created to protect the skin. Corns and calluses can cause pain, and in some cases (especially in diabetics and the elderly) can lead to the development of wounds underneath them. By reducing the shoe pressure on the skin through the use of a properly sized and fitted shoe, the development of corns and calluses can be slowed or even eliminated.

When a shoe is worn that is too big for the foot, the foot will move and piston within the shoe during walking. This ultimately can lead to toenail bruising as well as foot pain. When purchasing shoes, one's foot should be measured by a knowledgeable shoe clerk and the shoe fitted to that size, considering length AND width. A foot's width is often ignored when purchasing shoes, especially given that many retailers have scaled back the selection of different widths in stock. In the long run, purchasing shoes at a quality shoe store that carries many widths is better that the convenience of a discount retailer that has more styles but less sizing variations. The style of the shoe needs to be considered as well. Someone with a wide foot due to bunions and flat feet should not be in a tight pair of pointed flats. Unfortunately, many people stubbornly refuse to change shoe types out of concern for fashion or the inability to change old habits.

As one can see, the importance of foot hygiene involves much more that just the act of keeping the foot free from dirt and odor. Keeping the skin and nails healthy prevents the development of infections, and keeping the skin smooth and comfortable prevents the development of painful lesions that can limit activity and the enjoyment of life. Making time for the foot during daily body care can pay off in a big way over the long run.

The Importance of Foot Hygiene in Foot Health

Dr. Kilberg provides compassionate and complete foot and ankle care to adults and children in the Indianapolis area. He is board certified by the American Board of Podiatric Surgery, and is a member of the American Podiatric Medical Association. He enjoys providing comprehensive foot health information to the online community to help the public better understand their feet. Visit his practice website for more information.

Foot Pain Signs, Symptoms & Diagnosis

When it comes to foot pain, everyone is different, but the most common sign is going to be discomfort in one or more parts of the foot. The first thing a foot pain sufferer needs to do is to make sure the source of the pain isn't coming from something that isn't easily fixed, such as an ill-fitting pair of shoes or a high pair of heels. With those common culprits removed from the picture, it's a good idea to notice things like where the pain starts and if it migrates at all, what time of day and during what activity the pain is most acute, a particular event that might have caused the pain, any lingering health concerns that might have attributed to the pain and so on.

The symptoms of foot pain are pretty much common sense. Anything that you feel in your foot that isn't right. Things like swelling that won't go away, random numbness for no apparent reason in the feet, unexplained redness and either the feet being too warm or too cold without any cause. Considering how important your feet are to your basic health and wellbeing, don't' wait for one of these specific symptoms to worsen before you go seek the advice of a doctor.

\"Foot Specialist\"

Diagnosing foot pain is a fairly straight-forward affair. A podiatrist, is a foot specialist, and goes to school for a lot of years to be able to hold someone's foot in their hands and listen to the type of pain you're suffering from and be able to tell you what the problem is. You should expect your doctor to ask you about the types of shoes you wear and what physical activity you engage in that might have resulted in the foot pain. If the doctor is unable to diagnose your condition by touch, medical science has equipped the intrepid doctor with several tools that might just do the job.

Foot Pain Signs, Symptoms & Diagnosis

X rays are used to take a picture of the inside of your foot using low doses of radiation. While excessive exposure to x-rays has proven to be bad for you, getting an x-ray once in a while won't hurt. The x-ray can tell the doctor if there are small breaks, fractures or fissures that could be causing your foot pain.

MRI machines (magnetic resonance imaging) can be used in the same way as the x-ray to see inside your foot without having to cut you open. The MRI machine uses magnets to make images on a computer screen. The doctor can then tell if there are any problems with the bones and the soft tissue inside the foot. It can also help pinpoint small fractures that might not be clear on the x-ray.

If the doctor thinks it's arthritis that's causing your foot pain, he can request a synovial fluid analysis. Don't let the big medical name fool you, it's a straight forward procedure where the doctor takes fluid samples from the joints in the foot and tests them to see if the surrounding joint is arthritic.

A proper diagnosis is extremely important to ensure that you are properly treating and curing your type of foot pain.

Foot Pain Signs, Symptoms & Diagnosis

Dave Wilson writes a free newsletter to help people relieve their footpain. You can grab a copy for free here: Foot Pain Relief Free Newsletter. For further information on Foot Pain please visit Foot Pain or Foot Pain Symptoms.

Make Your Own Hand and Feet Remedies: A Few Homemade Recipes for Beauty

We abuse our feet and many of us don't know how to care for our feet's skin. Just like our face, we should also take care our feet and make it beautiful and healthy. An example of relaxing foot care is a milk and water feet soak. This can be done through mixing water and milk then applying it as a lotion on your feet. You can create your very own homemade recipes for feet and hand beauty with these simple ingredients.

Another soaking recipe is combining rose petals, rosemary and lavender sprigs, lavender oil and Epsom salt. After the mixture, your luxurious foot bath is ready! You can also mix olive oil, aloe vera, wheat germ oil, peppermint essential and eucalyptus essential oils and soak it on your feet. Foot scrubs can also be made at home. Mix the sugar and lotion, massage the mixture and apply it on your feet. To revive your tired feet, combine distilled water, vodka, peppermint and tea oil and used it as a spray for your feet.

\"feet Soak\"

Ever thought of creating your own homemade hand cream? A combination of warm water, glycerin, ammonia, cocoa butter, boric acid and stearic acid may produce cocoa butter hand cream. Apply it on your hands to have soft skin and wonderful smell. A mixture of oatmeal, lemon juice and olive oil can create an oatmeal hand scrub that can make your skin look younger and healthier. You can whiten and clean your nails by pouring a mixture of denture tablet and warm water on your nails.

For your skin, you can make a honey lemon sugar scrub through mixing sugar, sweet almond oil, lemon juice, honey and lemon essential oil. If you want to relax your aching muscles and to soothe your skin, combine Dead Sea salt, essential oil, and coconut oil and apply the mixture on your skin.

Relaxing lotions from drugstores and supermarkets can be pricey and made with harsh unnatural chemicals. If you want an inexpensive and homemade lotion alternative, you can do the following procedure. Mix melted almond oil, coconut oil, lanolin, beeswax, rosewater, aloe vera gel, rose oil and vitamin E capsule. Then, apply the mixture onto your skin. There is also another lotion called almond rose body lotion that can be made through the combination of almond oil, rose petals, vodka, water, grated beeswax and vitamin E oil.

Do you have bad odor? Do not have enough money to buy an effective deodorant? Make a homemade deodorant by combining cornstarch, baking soda, chlorophyll, vodka, distilled water, beeswax and essential oil. Mold it and apply on your underarms.

We don't typically take natural ingredients into consideration when we plan our daily and weekly beauty routines. Why not combine your own ingredients for a relaxing and radiant mixture to apply to your face, hands, or feet? Your feet will thank you with every step.

Make Your Own Hand and Feet Remedies: A Few Homemade Recipes for Beauty

Eleanor Brown is a skin care recipe expert. For more great information on homemade recipes for beauty, visit http://www.natureskincaresecrets.com.

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Detoxifying & Healing Bath & Foot Soak

Detoxifying and Healing Bath:
Set the mood for relaxation and healing by lighting a candle or candles. Put on your favorite, soul soothing music, or just listen to the water as it cascades into your bath. Add 5-8 drops of Cypress pure essential oil (or other detoxifying pure essential oil, or blend) to 1-4 cups of sea salt in a bowl, stir this blend of salt and cypress oil briefly. Your sea salts will act as a carrier for dispersing your oils into your warm bath water.

Add this mixture to your bath just before stepping in. Fill the bath up to your neck, and allow yourself to relax deeply. Soak for 15-20 minutes, or until the waters cool. During this time imagine any toxins, or negative emotion being drawn out, and cleansed completely from your body and mind.

\"foot Soak\"

Please Note: Natural sea salts are rich in minerals and charged with electrical and healing properties that you can especially benefit from in a warm bath. A sea salt bath with pure essential oils is an effective way to cleanse your chakras and auric energy field. You can purchase natural sea salt in your local health-food store in the spice section.

At the end of your soak, imagine any toxins, or negative emotion that have been cleansed from your body and mind going down the drain. Breathe deeply as you feel renewed in your body, mind, and soul, and give thanks. Conclude with an invigorating shower, using your favorite shampoo and soap. Allow yourself to luxuriate, and pamper yourself with good feelings of self love and appreciation. See yourself bathed in a pink glow of light and love. Dry off with a big fluffy towel, and continue to relax as long as you like, listen to your favorite music, read poetry, write in your journal. Do whatever feels most perfect for you in this moment!

Detoxifying & Healing Foot Soak:
You can achieve outstanding results for detoxifying and healing your body, mind, and soul with a relaxing and rejuvenating foot soak (hot or cold as desired).

Disperse one or two drops of an essential oil, or blend of your choice in a basin of water by blending them first with a teaspoon of sea salt, honey, cream, or jojoba oil and then thoroughly mixing them into your foot bath. Soak your feet for 10-15 minutes time, or until the waters begin to become tepid to the touch.

May you come to know aromatherapy as a wonderful friend, you can rely on for unconditional love, support, and healing.

Please Note: There are many cheap, synthetic copies of essential oils available, but these are not recommended for therapeutic use. Synthetic derivatives although much less expensive will never give you the desired results for therapeutic benefit and may even create adverse side effects such as allergic reactions. To achieve truly remarkable results for ones health and well-being essential oils must be absolutely pure and unadulterated. For best results purchase only premium quality essential oils. To insure a superior aroma experience please always choose essential oils that are guaranteed to be organically grown, and GC/MS tested for purity and pesticide free.

Detoxifying & Healing Bath & Foot Soak

You receive six FREE aromatherapy publications about using pure essential oils as a gift when you purchase PurePlant Essentials Organic Aromatherapy Products.

CLICK to learn about & order Energy Clearing http://www.kgstiles.com/energyclearingmoreinfo.htm

CLICK to learn about & order Cleanse & Detox blend http://www.kgstiles.com/cleansedetoxmoreinfo.htm

KG Stiles is a certified aromatherapist, holistic health practitioner and educator practicing in Ashland, Oregon, USA. She has utilized essential oils in her professional practice for more than 30 years. She is the Director of PurePlant Essentials Organic Aromatherapy, and an aromatherapy consultant and specialist in formulating aromatic blends for healthy living, including blends for colds & flu, allergy, insomnia, skin care and more. KG can formulate the aromatherapy blend that's just right for you! More Info? Contact: KG Stiles at Springhill Wellness Center, Ashland, OR (541) 941-7315. Mahalo!

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Discover Maui-Hawaii's Magic Isle

Often called the Magic Isle, Maui is filled with adventurous activities and stunning beaches that will have you experiencing the "real" Hawaii. Spend a few days lounging on Maui's beautiful beaches and it's only a matter of time before the island's exciting activities and attractions start calling to you. Unforgettable experiences can be found everywhere on Maui from unique land excursions and exciting sightseeing in the sky to aquatic adventures both in and on the water.

With 120 miles of coastline Maui offers a wide variety of beaches that range from quiet, and secluded to famous beaches such as Kaanapali or Wailea, which are ranked among the best beaches in the country. Maui's weather is consistently warm making the island's beaches a fun-filled option throughout the year. Stroll along the white, black and red sand beaches as warm waves of sparkling waters roll over your feet, soak up some sun to get that golden Hawaiian tan that will make you the envy of the office when you go home and challenge yourself with some exciting surfing lessons. Kaanapali Beach is one of Maui's most popular beaches offering tons of snorkeling, sunbathing and a beachwalk that guides locals and visitors to a variety of beachfront hotels, shopping spots and amazing restaurants.

\"feet Soak\"

Kaanapali Alii offers oceanfront luxury on Kaanapali Beach and is located near many of Maui's most popular attractions such as the Whaler's Village Museum, Lahaina and Haleakala National Park. When you're ready to experience Maui beyond the crystal blue waters and soft sand these island attractions and many more provide great alternatives. The Whaler's Village Museum is an interesting and inexpensive way to spend an afternoon in Maui. Enjoy free admission as you discover the story of sailors or "whaleman" through the help of artifacts, photo murals and interpretive graphics. The Whaler's Village Museum is located in the historic town of Lahaina. Lahaina is on Maui's west side and attracts more than two million people every year with its charm, beauty and inviting atmosphere. On Maui's east side is the Haleakala National Park. Fun for the whole family, Haleakala National Park provides visitors with the opportunity to explore the wilderness, experience native Hawaii, embark on tropical adventures and enjoy a ranger guided discovery hike.

Maui is known for its varied mountainous and coastal atmospheres. Hiking through Haleakal National Park is one way to experience Maui's natural beauty but there are many parts of Maui that have remained untouched and unspoiled. These areas are only accessible by air making Maui's many helicopter tours a popular experience. This ultimate sightseeing adventure takes you thousands of feet in the air and lets you explore the Haleakala Crater, takes you through the Hana Rainforest, which is the largest rainforest in the nation and offers amazing panoramic views of beautiful cascading waterfalls.

After spending an afternoon getting a bird's eye view of Maui why not try some of the never ending water activities that the Magic Isle offers. Enjoy snorkeling, scuba diving, sailing, surfing, jet-skiing, deep sea fishing, whale watches and more in the sparkling waters of Maui. Maui Sailing Tours and Maui Whale Watching trips are two of Maui's most exciting water adventures that also offer thrilling snorkeling and scuba diving expeditions. Scuba diving in Maui offers a one-of-a-kind experience that includes trips to Lanai Island and to the Molokini crater. Lanai Island, or the Pineapple Isle, is a popular scuba diving destination because of it lava formations which house a wide variety of marine life and also create amazing light effects. Molokini crater attracts scuba divers with its tropical fish and some of the best visibility in the state, which often exceeds 100 feet or more. Advanced scuba divers will enjoy the excitement of the Molokini Wall which is a world class wall and drift dive that often offers scuba divers encounters with gray reef sharks, manta rays and schooling fish.

Maui offers an eclectic selection of activities and attractions that will keep you busy on land, in air and in the water.With so many different options the choice is yours how to spend your Maui vacation. From hiking and sailing to scuba diving and sunbathing Maui offers vacationers adventures around every mountain and at the end of every rainbow.

Book Your Maui Vacation Online or Call (888)782-9722 Toll Free!

Discover Maui-Hawaii's Magic Isle

Lisa DiSpirito is a Hawaii expert and the Content Associate for BookIt.com® - the Internet Travel Company Offering Discounted Hawaii Hotels and Vacations with “No Booking Fees, Ever!” Visit BookIt.com® Travel Guides for Additional Hawaii Travel information including Articles, Reviews and Helpful Travel Tips.

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Toenail Fungus Remedy - Bleach Foot Soak - Remember, Safety First When Using This Home Cure

Have you ever heard of someone using that bleaching solution you use to remove the stains in your white garments not in that way though but as a toenail fungus remedy? Apparently, some people do and you can read about their testimonials in the internet and probably other publications. It is a home remedy but is still less popular compared to vinegar as a toenail fungus remedy.

Accordingly, bleach may be applied by swabbing it on the infected nails by using a cotton ball or a Q-tip. Some people have another method in using this toenail fungus remedy, preparing a diluted solution probably one tablespoon of bleach in one gallon of water and then soaking their feet for at least 10 minutes. This can be done once or twice a day for a few months until your nails are back to normal. This is to ensure that the fungus is totally eliminated, or done as a precautionary measure.

\"foot Soak\"

So how does bleach work? You see, this compound contains chlorine, a bleaching agent and disinfectant. Adding bleach to water is treating it with chlorine. This treated H2O will make its way under your toenails, where the fungus lives, and then kill it. Again, it is not a one-time treatment so you have to be patient when using this garment-whitening solution. Otherwise, your initial efforts will be useless as fungus easily grows or moves back.

Another important reminder is if you use bleach as a toenail fungus remedy, you need to thoroughly wash your feet with soap and water after every soak. Bleach is a corrosive compound and washing will prevent skin irritations. Chlorine can hurt you especially if it is too concentrated and/or your dermis is very sensitive. Make sure you consider the pros and cons before using bleach as a toenail fungus remedy.

Toenail Fungus Remedy - Bleach Foot Soak - Remember, Safety First When Using This Home Cure

Click this link to read more and find a toenail fungus remedy that will work for you, click here for the Fungisil Review and see why this natural treatment works.

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What's Good For Preventing Body Odor?

Body odor is often a result of poor hygiene or excessive sweating. When perspiration is allowed to remain on the body for a several hours, bacteria multiply and breed. Sweat is odorless, but bacterial action will result in offensive odor. Nervousness, stress, or anxiety can produce heavy sweating and indirectly promote body odors. Men generally sweat more than women, so they usually have more body odor.

Internal health problems may also cause this condition. Problems such as diabetes, zinc deficiency, liver problems, kidney problems, chronic constipation, certain parasites, or a metabolism imbalance may cause body odor. A sluggish liver, in combination with the effects of constipation, is a common cause of body odor. Toxins that accumulate in our bodies can also be the cause of BO. In today's world we are bombarded with toxins in our food and environment that can store up in the body if the liver and kidneys fail to dispose of them. Toxins linger inside the body and may be eliminated through the skin. Additionally very strong-smelling foods such as certain spices, garlic and others have strong odors which are often emitted through the skin's pores. A proper and healthy diet should help in the complete digestion of ingested food and in the prompt elimination of waste products in the body.

\"feet Soak\"

To help prevent body odor, a person should eat lots of fruits and vegetables (especially raw), and whole grains. A high fiber diet generally aids in the digestion process. Drink at least 6 to 8 glasses of water a day to help keep the kidneys clear and aid in the detoxification process. Some vitamins and herbs are considered helpful in the prevention of body odor. Herbs, which may be helpful, include: cinnamon, coriander, cumin, fennel, ginger, licorice root, nutmeg, oregano, and rosemary. Supplements which may be helpful, include: B6 (pyrodoxine), folic acid, magnesium, and zinc. Taking a bath with added baking soda may also be helpful in reducing body odor. For smelly feet, soak them in tea for about 30 minutes. Green tea or vinegar can also be applied to the body to reduce odor.

Avoid red meat, fried foods, and sugar. Also limit dairy products. Deodorants, though somewhat effective, tend to block the sweat glands, and may ultimately lead to aluminum toxicity.

Disclaimer: This article is for entertainment purposes only, and is not intended for use as diagnosis or treatment of a health problem or as a substitute for consulting a licensed medical professional.

What's Good For Preventing Body Odor?

Charles Browne is author of the book "Encyclopedia Of Healing Foods And Supplements"
A Reference Book of Vitamins, Herbs, And Other Foods Used For Nutritional Healing And Disease Prevention

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Foot Soaks For Your Painful Feet

If you spend a great deal of time on your feet, you know that when your feet hurt you feel miserable. Treating your painful feet can help you get rid of the pain and may help prevent serious problems with your feet. Soaking your feet can help to increase your circulation and promote the relaxation of your aching muscles. It is also great for the skin on your feet. After a soak your feet will feel better and you will be able to get on with your day. If you have pain that will not subside you should check with your doctor before you use any type of product that is for the treatment of painful feet. This is most important for those with diabetes. If your feet are swollen it can be the effect of a hot and humid day, or it could be a sign of a serious condition. You should be aware of the cause of your painful swollen feet before you attempt to treat them.

Some foot conditions can be treated very simply with a foot soak and a massage with a good foot lotion. Corns and calluses are two examples of these conditions. When you have built up skin that is thick and has developed over a period of time, you are suffering from calluses. The padding on the bottom of our feet becomes thin, as we age and calluses are a natural response to this thinning. You can also see calluses on the balls of the feet. Even calluses can be a sign of a serious condition, so if you have chronic pain in your feet you should seek the attention of a podiatrist. A podiatrist can remove the thick calluses on your feet. If your calluses are minor you can effectively treat them with a foot soak, which will soften the skin on your feet. Use a pumice stone after your soak to rid your feet of the calluses. If you follow up this treatment with a foot lotion you will find that your sore and painful feet feel much better. Adding pads to your shoes can also be a way to relieve the pain of calluses and other foot conditions.

\"foot Soak\"

Women under thirty are the prime targets for corns. Corns are a very common foot condition and can be quite painful. It is most likely women's shoes that cause the problem in women. Corns are actually calluses that have formed in small specific areas of the foot. Most often they are seen in the toe area where there is friction. For the effective treatment of corns a foot soak should be done every day. Use a pumice stone to remove the corns and follow with a foot lotion. If you practice this treatment every day and wear shoes that do not pinch your feet along with pads made for corns over the corn you will effectively treat your painful corns. It is a great way to relax at the end of the day.

For more generalized pain in the feet a foot soak with other treatment aids can help your feet feel less tired and painful. There are foot products that treat your feet with botanicals that are great for your feet and your emotional well-being. Massage therapy has often used botanical products to produce a feeling of well-being and the health of the patient. These are the same effects that are being sought after with the use of botanicals in the treatment of your feet. For the treatment of other conditions of the feet like athlete's foot a good healthy foot soak is perfect.

The use of peppermint has been used to promote the clearing of the mind and your emotions. It is also great for treating muscle aches and can be used for the treatment of painful feet. Lavender, juniper, and rosemary can also be combined to be a powerful treatment for pain and has been used in sports medicine. Aromatherapy has combined the effects of these botanicals to produce effective treatments and foot soaks that clear the mind and soothe the feet.

At the end of a hard day on your feet, try soaking your feet in warm or cool water and soak for at least fifteen minutes. Pat your feet dry instead of rubbing them with a towel. Apply your foot lotion when your feet are dry.

Foot Soaks For Your Painful Feet

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Few Smart Feet Care Tips

Summer time is the best time to flaunt your perfect body, manicured nails and beautiful hair...but what about your feet?

After clamping your feet in thick socks and shoes all through winters, summer gives you the right time to take out your sandals and maybe even go barefoot. However, to get attractive feet, it takes a lot of cleaning routine and care.

\"feet Soak\"

It is very essential to exfoliate the dead skin cells that accumulate periodically on the heel and other areas due to intense exposure to dust and heat. The soles have thicker skin to protect the feet from harsher substances and also support the entire weight of the body.

You can soak in your feet for at least 10 minutes twice a week to remove dead skin accumulation and soften the hardened skin. Using hot water with some bath salts relaxes tired feet and also helps to remove calluses. Use a pumice stone to vigorously rub both the sole and surface of the skin to eliminate dirt, dead skin and calluses.

Filing your nails and add a few drops of essential oil in the warm tub of water to moisturize your feet. Soak in for at least 10 minutes so that the light fragrant oils are able to penetrate inside the skin and soften it. You can also try rubbing olive oil, coconut oil or even almond oil after drying your feet to keep them soft.

For an every day routine, wash your feet well, before bedtime to remove the dirt and grime and apply an intense moisturizing lotion. Everyday applications and bi weekly soaking will give you beautiful feet in a short time. Proper cutting and filing of toe nails prevent ingrown nails, one of the leading causes of feet infections. Use a large emery filer to get a beautiful shape!

Always dry out the feet before wearing sandals or shoes as left over moisture becomes the perfect breeding ground for infections. Be sure to dry out the moisture from between your toes also. Most of the infections and diseases of the feet such as athletes Foot are a direct result of improper foot care.

So using natural oils, herbal based feet care products and keeping a cleaning routine will leave your feet beautiful and attractive all through summer and even winter. Your local drugstore or a good health shop will have such products or you can search online to see the wide variety available.

Few Smart Feet Care Tips

Anita R writes for onestoptreatment.COM that provides information on all aspects of finding Feet Care

The information provide by our Aromatherapy EXPERT! You can find more details and tips about Skin Care in our education center.

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Athletes Foot Home Remedy - Natural Remedies to Help You Fight the Fungus

If you are looking for an athlete's foot home remedy, then you'll be glad to know that there a number of products in your kitchen cabinet that can help relieve the itch. But before we offer some remedies, let's talk about the causes. Moist skin is particularly vulnerable to athlete's foot. Just about anyone can get it, but teenage and adult males are the most vulnerable.

Home Remedies

\"feet Soak\"

Garlic. Eating some garlic can be a huge benefit. Garlic has powerful anti-fungal properties.

Yogurt. One of the best fungus fighters is yogurt, It contains acidophilus, an active bacteria that fights fungi.

Baking Soda. Use baking soda to absorb the moisture in your shoes.

Cinnamon. Soak your foot in a cinnamon foot bath. Take 10 cinnamon sticks and boil them in 4 cups of water. Let it simmer for about 5 minutes, then steep for another 45 minutes, Let your feet soak in the bath for 15-30 minutes each day.

Cornstarch. Lightly browned cornstarch is very effective at absorbing the moisture from your feet. To brown the cornstarch, just sprinkle some on a pie plate and bake at 325 degrees until it begins to turn a brownish color. Let it cool and then dab some on your feet and toes.

Salt. Soaking your feet in warm salty water is an effective treatment for athlete's foot also.

Vinegar. Make a foot soak with vinegar using 1 cup of vinegar to 2 quarts of water. Soak your feet for about 15-30 minutes every night. Or you can apply it directly to the affected area by mixing 1 cup of vinegar to 1 cup of water. Use a cotton ball to apply the vinegar solution.

So, if you're looking for an athlete's foot home remedy, try one of these simple solutions, and don't forget to wear sandals in public showers.

Athletes Foot Home Remedy - Natural Remedies to Help You Fight the Fungus

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Tingling Or Numbness in Hands and Feet - A Warning Sign of Diabetes?

Ask yourself these few questions:

1. Do you wake up each morning with tingling hands?
2. Do your feet tingle every time you sit down?
3. Do you just blame it on "sleeping on" your feet or hands?

\"feet Soak\"

If you answered "yes" to any or all of these questions, then I'm glad you're reading this. The tingling or numbness in your hands and feet may be a warning sign of diabetes.

This sensation of tingling or numbness has alternative names such as:

* Loss of sensation
* Neuropathy
* Paresthesias
* Restless leg syndrome
* Sensory loss

Type 2 diabetes is gradual and many people aren't aware that they have it. Diabetes is a condition that causes the blood sugar level to be higher than normal. This high blood glucose, among other things, damages the nervous system causing the sensation of tingling or numbness.

If you're not sure if you have diabetes, look at these symptoms:

* Blurry vision
* Constant Numbness
* Constant Tingling
* Excessive thirst
* Extreme hunger
* Frequent urination
* Increased fatigue
* Irritability
* Unusual weight loss

Don't self-diagnose diabetes. You must see a medical professional for an accurate diagnosis. Still, you should keep a log when you notice these symptoms so you will be able to intelligently answer questions your medical professional will need to ask you.

Though not a complete list, some of the medical complications caused by diabetes are:

* Eye Disease
* Heart Disease
* Hypoglycemia (low blood glucose)
* Kidney Disease
* Kidney Failure
* Stomach Nerve Damage
* Stroke
* Urologic Problems

The reason why tingling or numbness isn't caught in time before it gets serious is because these sensations are similar to the feeling of having a foot or a hand "fall asleep."

Tingling and numbness is defined as an inability to feel anything when it touches your skin. Thus, the "falling asleep" sensation.

Tingling or numbness can be serious. Call your doctor immediately

1. You have a rash.
2. You have dizziness, muscle spasm, or other unusual symptoms.
3. You have tingling or numbness has no obvious cause like them "falling asleep"
4. You have tingling or numbness in the fingers and/or wrists.
5. You have tingling or numbness in your legs and it worsens when you walk around.
6. You have pain in your neck, forearms, or fingers.
7. You urinate more often.

These symptoms of tingling and/or numbness will be worse at nighttime.

If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, your life is not over and you definitely aren't alone. If you want something to help keep your diabetes under control, Diamaxol is a safe and effective product that will help you take control of your diabetes so your diabetes won't take control of you.

Tingling Or Numbness in Hands and Feet - A Warning Sign of Diabetes?

Here are four easy steps to help ensure your health and safety:
1. Eat a healthy diet
2. Exercise regularly
3. Take Diamaxol
4. Learn all you can about diabetes and natural methods of controlling your blood sugar.

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Stunning Benefits of Hydrogen Peroxide That Protect Your Health

Using Hydrogen Peroxide - Detoxifying and Alkalizing Bath or Foot Soak

One of the uses of H2O2 with great health benefits is detoxifying bath. The ingredients for this very simple, yet very effective bath are, Epsom salts (Mgso4 7H2O) and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) Put 1lb (roughly 1/2 kg) of Epsom salts and 1 pint of hydrogen peroxide (roughly 1/2 liter) into the hot bath. Your goal is to stay in hot water from 10-30 min. Since there's electro-magnetic energy released in this bath, not every person is able to stay soaked for 30 min. Sicker the person is, thus more acidic, less energy their body can handle, so therefore less time they are able to stay in the bath.

\"foot Soak\"

For the sickest, even bath is too much, so they should start with foot soaks first. In order to better understand this we have first to explain nitrogen, and its dangers to human health. End result of all metabolic functions in human body are acids. Acidic tissue cannot transport oxygen. These acids then accumulate, and surrounding area starts slowly to rot, to putrefy. This is how all diseases start. Free nitrogen being big part of metabolic waste is the biggest culprit for human health. Where is nitrogen coming from?

Air that we breathe is 77% nitrogen and the proteins that we eat have nitrogen. There's NPN, non protein nitrogen, we often see with produce that is heavily loaded with nitrogen fertilizers and pesticides, of if it's picked green so nitrogen couldn't become the form of true protein. Free nitrogen is the root off most of diseases. Now lets go back to our detoxifying bath and what happens in the bath. Remember Epsom salts are magnesium sulfate hepta hydrate. Both, magnesium and sulfates help remove nitrogen. Magnesium and heat from the hot water bring nitrogen to the surface of the skin. The skin is now acidic.

This the part where hydrogen peroxide has major role. Remember that hydrogen peroxide is molecule of water with an extra atom of oxygen loosely attached to it. Nascent, or active oxygen from H2O2, being very powerful oxidizer will buffer, neutralize these acids on our skin. After the hot bath one should immediately take cold shower. Cold shower will turn nitrogen that's left in the body, in its alkaline isotope, which will prevent our lymphatic fluids to become too acidic, so body's pH wont drop.

Once out of the shower I like to spray my skin with H2O2 mist and even more reduce remaining acidity. Personally I always use hydrogen peroxide 35% food grade in order to avoid harmful additives that over the counter H2O2 contains. Before use 35% H2O2 is to be diluted with 11 parts of water.

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Look for my other articles about hydrogen peroxide cures.

Stunning Benefits of Hydrogen Peroxide That Protect Your Health

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How to Treat Skin Fungus

The presence of skin fungus can be easily noticed. There are changes on the skin which include discoloration, patches, and presence of flakes. Some problems caused by skin fungus are tinea versicolor, athlete's foot, ring worm, and others.

The question now is, "How to cure skin fungus"? If you don't want to consult your dermatologist, you can still get rid of them through the following methods.

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• For tinea versicolor, use salicylic acid. Pour some amount on a cotton swab and rub it on the affected areas. Do it regularly. You'll see that it will diminish over time.
• A good herbal medicine is Acapulco leaf. Crush it until you squeeze its juice. Then rub it on the affected area.
• Selsun Blue or any other anti-dandruff shampoo can also be used. Apply a small amount on the area and leave it for 10 minutes. Wash it off with water. Do this daily.
• For ringworm, take over-the-counter treatment like Tinactin, Lotrimin, and Nizoral. These products usually come in cream.
• For athlete's foot, soak your feet in a solution of 1 part vinegar and 4 parts warm water. Do this twice a day.
• Baking soda paste also helps in eliminating the problem. Apply baking soda paste on your feet and let it dry then wash it off with water.
• Applying cornstarch on your feet before putting on socks can be of great help, too. It will keep your feet dry.
• For eczema, dandelion, pau d'arco, and red clover are useful. They can be used as tea or can be taken in capsule form.

Get your skin fungus treated before it's too late.

How to Treat Skin Fungus

To know more about skin fungus and its causes, click on this link: Treat Skin Fungus, or you might also like to read more about Health Tips at denznet.com.

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Bleach for Toenail Fungus

Perhaps you have heard of people using bleach for toenail fungus (onychomycosis). This is a home remedy that used to be more popular but it has been largely replaced by prescription medications and commercial home remedies. The downside of home bleach treatment is that it requires twenty to thirty minutes every day, a time commitment that many people find difficult.

On the other hand, using bleach for toenail fungus is much cheaper than almost any kind of remedy specifically marketed for onychomycosis, and most people already have some with their laundry supplies. Indeed, you may already have some stored with your cosmetics: some people are already bleaching toenails for entirely different reasons.

\"foot Soak\"

Foot care professionals recommend a weekly foot soak in a solution of one part chlorine bleach to 100 parts water, just to keep the feet feeling fresh and clean. Others recommend a stronger solution of one part bleach to 10 parts water for bleaching toenails to remove stains. In this case, the solution is applied directly to the toenail. If you're using bleach for toenail fungus, however, you'll need to be a bit more aggressive.

First, it's a good idea to trim down the nail as much as possible, and even file it down from above so that you actually make the whole nail thinner. File it down as much as you dare. Most people recommend using very diluted bleach for toenail fungus - one tablespoon in a gallon of water - and soaking for 30 minutes daily. Even better, soak for 10-15 minutes morning and evening. Bleaching toenails in this gradual, gentle way will decrease the chances that you will irritate your skin with the solution.

Some people have used more concentrated bleach for toenail fungus: a one in four solution applied directly to the nail or undiluted bleach applied to the nail and washed off after three or four minutes. Some tough individuals have just applied undiluted bleach to nails daily and left it on. Keep in mind, however, that chlorine bleach is a hazardous chemical: it is corrosive, and will damage any skin that is exposed while you're bleaching toenails. In addition, the fumes from the chemical should not be inhaled. It is much safer to use a diluted solution.

If you decide to use bleach for toenail fungus, be prepared to set aside the time daily for a couple of months. It may even take longer than this. If bleaching toenails doesn't appeal to you, consider trying one of the commercial natural remedies for onychomycosis. They are more expensive than bleach, but less so than prescription drugs, and there is scientific evidence that some of them are effective against the fungus that infects toenails.

Bleach for Toenail Fungus

R. Drysdale is a freelance writer with more than 25 years experience as a health care professional. She is a contributing editor to Bleach for Toenail Fungus, a blog dedicated to the treatment of fingernail and toenail fungus.

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