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Ask Dr.Kelly a question.

Can soapy water clear out bacteria from my toenails?

Sometimes it is difficult to tell a difference between bacteria and fungus. When a nail becomes discolored, it is important to see a doctor to determine the diagnosis since the treatment for each is different than the other.

Majority of discolorations in nails are fungal related. Fungus cannot be removed by washing or soapy water. Depending on severity, the treatment varies from topical to laser to oral medication. Occasionally the discoloration in a nail is from bacterial colony such as pseudomonas. In this case, a daily dilute vinegar soak can help eliminate it.

Do hair and nails grow at a slower rate after a certain age?

Hair and nails are like the “Canary in a coal mine” pointing to our health status. Hair and nail growth rates depend on many factors. Age is certainly one of them but is not the entire driving factor. Nutrition (including vitamins), health status, medication and person’s general wellbeing determines the growth of the hair and nails.

As we get older, our metabolism slows down which can affect the growth of hair and nail but if the person is a healthy senior then it should stay unchanged.

How do podiatrists remove a callus?

First, it must be confirmed that it is a callus. Other conditions such as psoriatic plaques or warts can look like a callous but are not treated the same way.

Once the diagnosis is established, using a surgical blade the callous is removed painlessly. A keen podiatrist will also counsel the patient on how to minimize the pressure points on the foot to prevent recurrence of the callous.
Hope this helps.

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