People usually wait for severe pain or discomfort before seeking medical help. In most cases, they tend to ignore changes that appear harmless until they turn into something critical. “If it doesn’t hurt, it’ll go away,” they would say.
However, some changes that occur in your feet may be a warning sign for a much bigger problem. At Family Foot Care of Southern Maryland, our podiatrists advise you to be cautious of these changes:
- Discoloration: Although our bodies may change colors when exposed to extreme temperatures (i.e. red in heat and blue in cold), under normal circumstances, any changes should be noted and acted upon accordingly. If you feel that your feet appear blue-ish or purple-ish in color, it could be a sign of inadequate oxygen supply to your feet. Most diabetic patients experience this. Red coloration could be a signal of infection.
- Shape distortions: In some cases, changes in the shape of your feet can be noticed immediately, whereas in others it might take a while. Joint injuries or inappropriate footwear could alter the normal shape of your feet. Likely conditions that could result include bunions, hammertoes or bone protrusions. It is important to examine your feet every day.
- Desensitization: Lack of sensation in your feet or numbness could be due to a diabetic condition known as neuropathy which should not be taken lightly. Another condition to note is the temperature of your feet. If they are unusually cold most of the time, it could mean poor blood circulation due to diabetes or anemia.
- Size abnormality: Swelling in your feet or ankles could indicate a problem in some other part of your body. It could be due to water retention in your body (fluid build-up), which might be telling you that your heart, kidneys or even liver need attention.
Your feet could be telling you of multiple problems that could aggravate over time. Listen and seek consultation from our podiatrists Dr. Jeffrey Idol, Dr. Judith Olkaba, and Dr. Ruth P. Devadas for your foot-related concerns. Visit any of our offices located at Owings, Lexington Park, LaPlata and Huntingtown, MD or contact us for an appointment today.
Despite how integral a role our feet play in our daily lives, we tend to take them for granted at times. Our heels need rest and proper care so that our feet function in the right manner.
What might cause our heels to hurt? Here are a few signs for us indicating that we need to be cautious of heel pain:
- Overuse and overexertion of our heels can damage the ligaments under our feet and cause severe pain in the heels. Rest and avoidance of intense physical activity is advised in such cases.
- “Plantar fasciitis” is inflammation in the ligament under our feet that connects the heels to our toes. Damage to this muscle results in painful heels accompanied by inflammation and even swelling. It is recommended to consult a podiatrist so that appropriate care and treatment is carried out in a timely manner.
- “Peripheral neuropathy” is a condition characterized by nerve damage in our feet and ankles due to diabetes. This results in loss of sensation and acute pain in the heels and feet. Ignoring or delaying treatment can be extremely harmful to our feet.
- Fractures and broken bones also cause heel pain that requires immediate treatment to avoid immobility and long-term damage to our feet.
- “Achilles tendonitis” is very common and occurs due to overuse and application of excessive pressure on our heels. Injuring this tendon results in painful heels and needs immediate attention.
- Calluses may occur on our heels due to uncomfortable footwear that does not allocate pressure on our feet in the right manner. Continuous and excessive weight forces the calluses to worsen and become infected in the worst cases.
Prolonged heel pain should not be taken lightly. At Family Foot Care of Southern Maryland, our podiatrists Dr. Jeffrey Idol, Dr. Judith Olkaba, and Dr. Ruth P. Devadas deal with numerous foot and ankle conditions and are equipped to provide solutions to your concerns. For your queries and consultation, feel free to visit any of our offices at Owings (410) 257-2242, Lexington Park (301) 863-6601, LaPlata (301) 934-3345, and Huntingtown (410) 535-1719, MD.
At Family Foot Care of Southern Maryland, when patients come in the one thing that we find fascinating is the amount of misinformation and misinterpretations that are prevalent about "warts". Here are some of the most common ones:
- "Poor hygienic habits cause warts."
This statement is not entirely true as warts are formed due to an infection that enters your skin. They don't result from the absence of good hygiene; rather they occur when the patient gets exposed to surfaces where the virus exists. In order for people to prevent themselves from getting infected, they should keep their slippers on in public places, especially the ones that are warm and moist as such places provide an ideal environment for the virus to exist.
- "One cannot get infected with the virus (warts) from someone else."
This virus can very easily spread from one individual to another. It may sound strange, but you can infect yourself as well from one part of your body to another. You can carry the virus when you scratch your wart and transfer it to other individuals or to different parts of your own body. It is advised that if any of your family members has warts, the rest of the family should take extra precautions when it comes to using the same bathroom and other personal hygiene items that may be in common use.
- "One can relieve themselves of warts with the removers you find at different stores."
Usually, wart removers that one finds in drug stores may prove to be ineffective and can cause more damage than removing the wart. Getting rid of warts can be very difficult. They can reappear even after the entire wart is gone. It is best to get an expert opinion from a podiatrist regarding proper diagnosis and treatment.
- "Warts really don’t need to be removed as they don’t do much harm."
Warts are not as harmful as one might think, but they can cause severe pain and discomfort. They can affect the way you perform your daily tasks, especially if they develop on your heel or at the ball of your foot. It is advised to get them removed at the earliest because they are highly contagious.
In case of queries about warts or foot health in general, feel free to contact our foot doctors or visit our four offices conveniently located in Owings, Lexington Park, LaPlata, and Huntingtown, MD. We can provide solutions to all your foot and ankle concerns so that you can enjoy a healthy and care-free life.
Toenail fungus has become extremely widespread over the years and those who suffer from this “plague” know how horrible the infected toes look. However, there seems to be a ray of hope for all such fungal fighters – laser treatment.
The onset of toenail fungus may be hard to detect as the changes that take place are slow to become apparent and they tend to aggravate with time if left untreated. These include:
- Discoloration in nails – going from yellow to brown and maybe even black.
- Cuts on toenails with dirt-like particles in between.
- Nail leaving the skin either in patches or in whole.
- Nail thickening or distorting in shape.
The latest laser technology is designed to penetrate the thickness of the toenail and reach the area where the fungus is residing. The heat pulses are aimed to kill the fungus accordingly. This neat and precise technique is gaining success; however, treatment sessions may vary depending on the type of laser machinery used and the intensity of the infection. While some patients may have to undergo several sessions before they see positive results, others may be cured with just a one-time treatment.
To date, oral anti-fungal medications have been used to treat toenail fungus. However, these oral medications have limited reach as they tend to have side effects and may tamper with additional medications that the patients may already be taking for other reasons.
Another alternate is topical medication; however, that does not have a very high success ratio.
Laser treatments are becoming more and more common as the results are promising compared to other options. Most podiatry offices are already providing these services in-house.
For a detailed examination of your feet and selection of the most effective method of treatment, come visit Family Foot Care of Southern Maryland. Dr. Jeffrey Idol and our team of foot experts will assist you through this procedure and answer any queries that you may have. Contact any of our four convenient offices located in Owings (410) 257-2242, Lexington Park (301) 863-6601, LaPlata (301) 934-3345, and Huntingtown (410) 535-1719, MD and schedule an appointment with our experts.