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Monday, 01 April 2019 17:07

How Diabetes Threatens Your Foot Health

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Diabetes is a condition characterized by high sugar levels in one’s bloodstream due to insufficient production of insulin, or a total absence of the same from one’s body. With diabetes, your feet are at great risk!

The two most likely and most dangerous conditions for feet are peripheral neuropathy and foot ulcers. Diabetic patients often experience loss of sensation in their feet due to poor blood circulation – a condition that falls in the realm of peripheral neuropathy.

Due to numbness, patients do not feel any cuts or wounds that may appear on or under their feet, causing them to become infected or turn into sores and ulcers. As patients are usually unaware of such injuries, they may not know that their wounds are becoming worse rather than getting better.

If you fear that you have diabetes or are unsure whether you are suffering from this disease or not, it is strongly advised that you seek professional help immediately. Here are a few warning signs that should be kept in mind to identify the early onset of diabetes:

  • Numbness or loss of sensation in your feet
  • Tingling or pricking sensation around the ankles and feet
  • Slow healing of cuts, injuries, and wounds
  • Excessively dry and flaky skin
  • Cracked and painful heels

Other symptoms associated with diabetes include excessive thirst and urination, weight loss, weakness or feeling of exhaustion, and slow or improper healing. If you encounter any of the above-mentioned conditions, we suggest that you consult a podiatrist as soon as possible.

Here at Family Foot Care of Southern Maryland, our expert podiatrists Dr. Jeffrey Idol, Dr. Judith Olkaba and Dr. Ruth P. Devadas specialize in treating a range of foot health related issues and provide proper care to patients with diabetes. For a thorough examination and effective solutions to your foot problems, visit our offices located in Owings, Lexington Park, LaPlata and Huntingtown, MD, or call us to schedule your appointment today.

Wednesday, 27 March 2019 14:56

Save Your Feet and Enjoy Vacations!

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Who doesn’t like a vacation away from all the hustle and bustle of our daily lives? We at Family Foot Care of Southern Maryland work to ensure that your holidays don’t get spoiled because you did not take care of your feet.

While you get ready for your vacation break, here are a few tips that will keep your feet safe and allow you to make the most of your trip:

  • Wearing uncomfortable shoes can completely wreck your holiday! With all the walking, lifting, and running around associated with traveling, it is essential that you protect your feet with comfortable and supportive shoes.
  • Travels entailing long distances or extensive walking require that you wear shoes that are either open from the front or do not restrict your toes. Allowing adequate physical and breathing space will make you more comfortable and your trip more enjoyable.
  • If you are headed to the beach or are going to indulge in water sports, make sure you carry your water shoes along. Not only do they protect your feet from cuts, insect bites and stings, they also provide protection from fungal infections that are likely to develop when exposed to moist public places.
  • With open shoes and excessive exposure to the sun, your feet are at risk of being sunburnt. Applying effective sunscreen can save you from painful burns and ultimately save your trip too!
  • Most people suffer from fluid buildup or swelling during travel. While water retention is common, you can avoid it by drinking lots of water and keeping yourself hydrated at all times.
  • Carrying a few essentials like bandages, antiseptics, antifungal and anti-allergy ointments can come in handy and ensure you are equipped to enjoy your trip.

You may want to visit your podiatrist before and after your vacation to avoid any unwanted foot conditions from occurring. Call our offices at Owings (410) 257-2242, Lexington Park (301) 863-6601, LaPlata (301) 934-3345, and Huntingtown (410) 535-1719, MD to speak with Dr. Jeffrey Idol, Dr. Judith Olkaba, and Dr. Ruth P. Devadas to address any such concerns.

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.

Tuesday, 12 March 2019 19:27

Why Do Our Heels Hurt?

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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.

Tuesday, 05 March 2019 20:56

Breaking Myths About Warts

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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.

Tuesday, 26 February 2019 20:47

A New Solution for Toenail Woes

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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.

Monday, 18 February 2019 19:53

Fall Risk Prevention

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We all want our loved ones to be safe and therefore we take extra effort to ensure their safety by taking precautions around our homes. At Family Foot Care of Southern Maryland, we want all of you, especially our seniors, to be healthy and active. According to recent statistics, one in four Americans aged 65 and above fall each year. If you are taking care of a loved one who is 65 or above, we would advise you to talk to them about the risks and preventions of falling. So start talking with the elderly today and help them discover ways they can reduce the risks of falling.

Here are some key suggestions on how you can offer help:

Promote Independence

Seniors who stumble or fall don’t usually tell their loved ones about the mishap because they fear that they are losing their independence. They believe that they may become a liability or a burden on their loved ones. Encourage independence and tell them that by taking proper preventive measures they will not give their loved ones a chance to worry. Give them the chance to be open and honest about any concerns they may have about falling.

Help make your home fall-proof

As most falls occur at home, ensure that your homes are fall-proof so that your loved ones are safe and healthy. To do that you need to consider taking the following measures:

  • Ensuring that footwear is proper.
  • Removing throw rugs or any wires or cables that are in the way.
  • Installing railings for support on the stairs.
  • Installing adequate lighting to ensure any misstep.
  • Adding grab bars and rubber mats in bathrooms.

Medical Checkups

It’s always good to know about the medical condition of the elders within your family. Ask them regularly about their health and concerns. Foot and ankle pain is where you should start because it causes a person to become imbalanced, resulting in a fall.

Advise your loved ones to 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 make an appointment with our foot experts. Our board-certified and qualified podiatrists Dr. Jeffrey Idol, Dr. Judith Olkaba, and Dr. Ruth P. Devadas can help you find out the root cause and develop treatment plans for any of their foot and ankle problems.

Tuesday, 12 February 2019 17:40

The Stress of a Stress Fracture on Your Foot

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When you hear about a fracture, you imagine a bone crushed into pieces. Well, technically speaking that is a kind of fracture, but there is another kind which is commonly referred to as a stress fracture. Stress fractures are small cracks or severe bruising within a bone and are most common in the weight-bearing bones of the feet. It is usually caused by overuse or repetitive activity and is a common foot complication in athletes.

Though you don’t have to be an athlete to develop these fractures, they usually occur when people change their activities, increasing the intensity of their exercise/work out plans all too suddenly or change the workout/exercise environment.

Symptoms of stress fracture

Stress fracture symptoms include discomfort or pain that usually occurs when you are performing a physical activity. However, it so happens that as soon as the activity stops, you start feeling comfortable and the pain diminishes during resting. If you have inflammation or a bruise on the top of your foot, please contact Family Foot Care of Southern Maryland immediately. Prolonged negligence can cause major damage.

The Treatment

Simple treatment such as wearing the right type of shoes and sneakers is always helpful in absorbing shock and reducing serious damage. Give yourself a gap and rest in-between your exercise and workout routines. If you already have pain in your feet, apply ice to reduce the swelling and pain. Make sure to keep your feet elevated.

Getting an expert opinion on the probable cause and the seriousness of the damage is always a good idea, so make an appointment with our highly-qualified and experienced team of podiatrists and know that you are in good hands. Our foot experts are available at Owings (410-257-2242), Lexington Park (301-863-6601), LaPlata (301-934-3345), and Huntingtown (410-535-1719), MD to help you get over all your foot and ankle problems timely and correctly.

Wednesday, 06 February 2019 16:03

High Heels – More Pain, Less Gain

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When you think of high heels, you think of elegance and grace. However, once you think about the aftermath, all that comes to mind is pain and sore feet. As attractive as they seem, high heel shoes can cause severe damage to women’s feet and they can suffer from various mobility issues in the long run.

Here are some of the most common problems that women face, especially those who wear high heels very frequently:

  • Due to the awkward and unnatural posture, the leg and feet muscles are constantly under stress. Extended periods of staying in such a position can lead to cramps, strained calf muscles and, in extreme cases, women may develop Achilles tendonitis.
  • At the same time, the feet are exposed to soreness, swelling, blisters, corns, bunions and the list goes on!
  • Since there is massive pressure on the toes, they too are at risk. The majority of women suffer from ingrown toenails, calluses under and on the sides of their feet, hammertoes and painful bone protrusions.
  • Women have to be extra cautious to maintain their balance in high heels. Minor slips could end up in major injuries like sprains, twisted ankles, and even bone fractures.

It is advised to avoid wearing high heels all the time. Not only do they spoil your natural body posture, but they also expose you to high risks. Walking may be problematic and even sitting or lifting can become troublesome due to backaches and other body pains.

At Family Foot Care of Southern Maryland, our experts are available at Owings (410-257-2242), Lexington Park (301-863-6601), LaPlata (301-934-3345), and Huntingtown (410-535-1719), MD. We will help and guide you regarding any concerns that you may have, especially related to pain in your ankles and feet. Foot health is important; therefore, do not delay or overlook these issues. Feel free to call at any of the four numbers listed above and schedule an appointment with our highly-qualified and experienced podiatrists for a thorough examination.

Wednesday, 30 January 2019 17:24

4 Best Ways to Prevent Foot Problems

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From bunions to ankle sprains, foot problems can keep you from staying active. Whether it’s walking to the nearest book store, running an errand, or participating in sports activities, your hard-working feet deserve special attention. Paying attention to your feet can help protect them from painful foot problems.

Here are some simple steps to prevent foot problems:

  1. Daily self-checks: Regular self-checks can help you spot problems early and keep them from getting worse. Look out for corns, swelling, redness, blisters, sores, and cuts. Keeping feet clean and dry can help avoid fungal infections.
  2. Wear good shoes: The right shoes can make your day a breeze. Wear comfortable, fitted and activity-specific shoes to keep your feet safe from different kinds of foot and ankle disorders such as blisters, corns, calluses, heel pain, bunions, hammertoes, and sprains. Have a professional measure both your feet when shopping for new shoes. Save those notorious high-heels for special occasions!
  3. Maintain a healthy weight: Your body weight can have a big impact on your health, and especially your foot health. The more weight you carry, the more stress and pressure your feet and ankles bear. Thus, being overweight can lead to serious foot concerns.
  4. Exercise: No matter how small the dose, exercise is good medicine that benefits your health and well-being, and especially your foot health. Regular exercise not only improves your cardiovascular health but it also improves almost every aspect of your health. Most foot exercises are easy to do and require no heavy or complicated machinery. Exercises like toe curls, marble pickups, big toe stretch, and sand walking can improve strength, flexibility, and mobility in the feet.

Taking a proactive approach towards treating foot and ankle problems can reap the most benefits and boost your overall health and well-being. Good management (proactive self-care) and timely measures can help prevent foot and ankle issues and improve your overall foot health. A podiatrist is the best resource for keeping your feet happy, healthy and pain-free.

If you have any aches and pains or any underlying foot and ankle problem, our foot care specialists at Family Foot Care of Southern Maryland can help. Our board-certified and qualified podiatrists have the expertise and necessary tools to root out your foot and ankle problems including diabetic foot, bone spurs, sports-related injuries, heel pain, bunions, arthritis, neuromas, plantar fasciitis, and joint pain. Dr. Jeffrey Idol, Dr. Judith Olkaba, and Dr. Ruth P. Devadas are committed to providing the highest quality foot and ankle care to patients in the Southern Maryland area at our four offices located in Owings, Lexington Park, LaPlata, and Huntingtown, MD. For more information, contact us and schedule an appointment.

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