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Monday, 25 July 2016 13:28

Treating Your Plantar Warts

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wartsThere are a lot of common foot conditions that can easily be fixed. Bunions, athlete’s foot, plantar warts, gout, ingrown toenails, and toenail fungus are all conditions that can be treated with ease. For example, ingrown toenails can be treated by soaking your feet in warm water mixed with Epsom salt for twenty minutes. Bunions can be fixed using toe spacers, but some may need surgical removal. Plantar warts can usually be treated by soaking the foot to soften the wart.

If not treated properly, plantar warts can exacerbate and become debilitating. If you would like medical assistance regarding plantar wart treatment, contact one of our podiatrists from Family Foot Care of Southern Maryland. Our doctors will provide quality care for your feet.  

About Plantar Warts

Plantar warts are the result of human papillomavirus (HPV) getting into the feet through tiny cuts or abrasions. Typically, plantar warts are contracted through walking barefoot on dirty surfaces since the virus thrives in warm and moist environments. They are mostly found on the heels or balls of the feet.

While plantar warts are generally harmless, those experiencing excessive pain, suffering from diabetes or a compromised immune system require immediate medical care. Plantar warts are easily diagnosed, usually through scraping off a bit of rough skin or by getting a biopsy.

Symptoms

  • Legions on the bottom of your feet, usually rough and grainy
  • Hard or thick callused spots
  • Wart seeds, which are small clotted blood vessels that look like little black spots
  • Pain, discomfort, or tenderness of your feet when walking or standing

Treatment

  • Freezing
  • Electric tool removal
  • Laser Treatment
  • Topical Creams (prescription only)
  • Over-the-counter medications

To help prevent developing plantar warts, avoid walking barefoot over abrasive surfaces that can cause cuts or wounds for HPV to get into. Avoiding direct contact with other warts, as well as not picking or rubbing existing warts, will help prevent the further spread of plantar warts. If you think you have developed plantar warts, it is best to speak with your podiatrist. He or she can diagnose the warts on your feet and recommend the appropriate treatment options.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located Maryland. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Monday, 18 July 2016 13:55

Avoid Feet Pain by Wearing Appropriate Shoes

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running shoe 3Although high heels have a bad rap for harming our feet, flats and sneakers are not far behind when it comes to hurting our lower extremities. Our feet have a natural padding of fat that protects and cushions them from a very young age. With overuse and poor support from particularly flat shoes, that fatty cushioning wears down over time. In order to reduce the chances of injury, podiatrists suggest alternating shoe types and using orthotic inserts.

Finding a properly-fitting shoe is important in reducing injuries and preventing foot problems. For more information about treatment, contact one of our podiatrists from Family Foot Care of Southern Maryland. Our doctorscan provide the care you need to keep your pain free and on your feet.

Proper Shoe Fitting

A common concern when it comes to foot health, having properly fitted shoes can help prevent injuries to the foot. Out feet affect our posture and gait, which in turn affects the biomechanics and overall bodily structure. With 33 joints, 26 bones, and over 100 ligaments, the potential for serious injury is much greater than one realizes. Although the feet cease growth in adulthood, they still change shape as they mature. Here are some factors to consider when it comes to investing in proper fitting shoes:

  • Be sure the shoes fit correctly right away
  • Ensure the ball of your foot fits comfortably in the widest portion of the shoes
  • Even though they may look fashionable, improper fitting shoes can either create adverse conditions or exacerbate existing ones you may already have
  • Walk along a carpeted surface to ensure the shoes comfortably fit during normal activity

Keeping in mind how shoes fit the biomechanics of your body, properly-fitting shoes is vitally important. Fortunately, it is not difficult to acquire footwear that fits correctly. Be sure to wear shoes that support the overall structure of your body. Do your feet a favor and invest in several pairs of well-fitted shoes today.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Maryland. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Monday, 11 July 2016 15:24

Gordon Ramsey Ruptures Achilles Tendon

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ankle sprainWorld-famous chef Gordon Ramsey ruptured his Achilles tendon right before an upcoming charity football match. He posted a picture from his hospital bed on social media, and notified fans that the surgery was successful in the caption. He also stated that he would not be able to participate in the charity football game because he is still in recovery. On Facebook, Ramsey wished everyone else participating in the charity event ‘good luck’.

Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact one of our podiatrists from Family Foot Care of Southern Maryland. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What is the Achilles Tendon?

The Achilles tendon is a tendon that connects the lower leg muscles and calf to the heel of the foot. It is the strongest tendon in the human body and is essential for making movement possible. Because this tendon is such an integral part of the body, any injuries to it can cause severe difficulties and should immediately be presented to a doctor.

What are the symptoms of an Achilles Tendon Injury?

There are various types of injuries that can affect the Achilles tendon. The two most common are Achilles tendinitis and ruptures of the tendon.

Achilles Tendinitis Symptoms

- Inflammation

- Dull to Severe Pain

- Increased blood flow to the tendon

- Thickening of the tendon

Rupture Symptoms

- Extreme pain and swelling in the foot

- Total immobility

Treatment and Prevention

Achilles tendon injuries are diagnosed by a thorough physical evaluation, which can include an MRI. Treatment involves rest, physical therapy, and in some cases, surgery. However, various preventative measures can be taken to avoid these injuries, such as:

- Thorough stretching of the tendon before and after exercise
- Strengthening exercises like calf raises, squats, leg curls, leg extensions, leg raises, lunges, and leg presses

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office in Maryland. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Achilles tendon injuries.

Monday, 04 July 2016 20:14

Prevent Blisters with Paper Tape

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blister7A study by Athletics Weekly suggested that paper tape can be used to prevent blisters. They found that runners who applied surgical tape to their feet before a race are less likely to get blisters on those areas compared to areas without the tape. Since paper tape is very smooth, it decreases the amount of stress under the tape which prevents blisters from forming. While the study suggests interesting findings, it is best to consult a podiatrist for information on bunion prevention.

Untreated blisters can worsen and make mobility extremely difficult and painful. For quality blister treatment, see one of our podiatrists from Family Foot Care of Southern Maryland. Our doctors will attend to all of your foot and ankle needs and answer any of your related questions.  

Blisters on the Feet

When tight or ill-fitting footwear is worn, many times a foot blister may develop. Blisters can even develop by constant rubbing from the shoe, often times leading to pain.

What is a Foot Blister?

A foot blister is a small pocket that is filled with fluid, forming on the upper most layer of the skin. Blisters are filled with clear fluid, and may lead to drainage of blood or pus if the area has become infected.

How do they Form?

Blisters of the feet are almost always the result of shoe rubbing and constant friction of the skin and material. Long periods of walking in shoes, sandals, or boots which don’t fit properly can result in a blister. Those who often have moisture or humidity in the feet, are prone to blister formation easily.

Prevention & Treatment

Proper care is vital to alleviate pain and prevent infection to the affected area of the foot. The best treatment is to leave them alone. New skin will develop under the blister and during the healing stages, your blister will pop.

If you have any questions, please contact one of our offices located in Maryland. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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diabetic foot care4Those who suffer from diabetes are also prone to infections. It is important that blood sugar is regulated to properly prevent neuropathy or vascular complications. Peripheral neuropathy is described as the loss of sensation in the feet or legs, which can lead to injuries and ulcers going unnoticed. These injuries can progress into severe foot complications. Controlling your blood sugar involves seeing your doctor, regular maintenance of the feet, and refraining from smoking.

Diabetics must pay special attention to their feet to help prevent any complications. If you believe you are having problems with your diabetic feet,consult with one of our podiatrists from Family Foot Care of Southern Maryland. Our doctors will attend to all of your foot and ankle needs.

Diabetic Foot Care

Diabetes affects millions of people every year. Diabetes can damage blood vessels in many parts of the body, including the feet. Because of this, taking care of your feet is essential if you have diabetes, and having a podiatrist help monitor your foot health is highly recommended.

The Importance of Caring for Your Feet

  • Routinely inspect your feet for bruises or sores.
  • Wear socks that fit your feet comfortably.
  • Wear comfortable shoes that provide adequate support.

Patients with diabetes should have their doctor monitor their blood levels because blood sugar levels play such a huge role in diabetic care. Monitoring these levels on a regular basis is highly advised.

It is always best to inform your healthcare professional of any concerns you may have regarding your feet, especially for diabetic patients. Early treatment and routine foot examinations are keys to maintaining proper health, especially because severe complications can arise if proper treatment is not applied.

If you have any questions, please contact one of our offices located in Maryland. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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pregnancy6For pregnant women, this means that your feet will be or already have undergone changes. As women experience a natural weight gain, they may find that their feet and ankles become swollen. Pregnant feet begin supporting more weight as well as edema causes the feet to fill with fluid and ache. You may need to invest in larger shoe sizes, as “roughly 75 percent of pregnant women experience edema, especially by the time they reach their third trimester.”

Pregnant women with swollen feet can be treated with a variety of different methods that are readily available. For more information about other cures for swollen feet during pregnancy, consult with one of our podiatrists from Family Foot Care of Southern Maryland. Our doctors will attend to all of your foot and ankle needs.

What foot problems can arise during pregnancy?

One problem that can occur is over-pronation, which occurs when the arch of the foot flattens and tends to roll inward. This can cause pain and discomfort in your heels while you’re walking or even just standing up, trying to support your baby.  

Another problem is edema, or swelling in the extremities. This often affects the feet during pregnancy, but tends to occur in the later stages.

How can I keep my feet healthy during pregnancy?

  • Wearing orthotics can provide extra support for the feet and help distribute weight evenly
  • Minimize the amount of time spent walking barefoot
  • Wear shoes with good arch support
  • Wear shoes that allow for good circulation to the feet
  • Elevate feet if you experience swelling
  • Massage your feet
  • Get regular, light exercise, such as walking, to promote blood circulation to the feet

If you have any questions, please contact one of our offices located in Maryland. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read the more about Pregnancy and Foot Health

Monday, 13 June 2016 14:32

Tips for Breaking in Your New Orthotics

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orthotics5Custom orthotic inserts are ideal for helping to correct foot conditions such as flat feet and can offer support for the overall foot structure. It’s also important that orthotics are maintained by cleaning them on a regular basis. When breaking in your custom orthotics for the first time, it is recommended to get a new pair of shoes that would have the best fit for the orthotics. Orthotics should be worn gradually for 2 hours on the first day, then adding about one additional hour to wear time each day after. If you feel discomfort from breaking in your orthotics, remove them immediately and reduce the wear time accordingly for your feet.

If you are having discomfort in your feet and would like to try orthotics, consult with one of our podiatrists from Family Foot Care of Southern Maryland. Our doctors will attend to all of your foot and ankle needs.

What are Orthotics?

Orthotics are inserts you can place into your shoes to help with a variety of foot problems such as flat feet or foot pain. Orthotics provide relief and comfort for minor foot and heel pain, but can’t correct serious biomechanical problems in your feet.

Over-the-Counter Inserts

Orthotics come in a wide variety of over-the-counter inserts that are used to treat foot pain, heel pain, and minor problems. For example, arch supports can be inserted into your shoes to help correct over arched or flat feet, while gel insoles are often used because they provide comfort and relief from foot and heel pain by alleviating pressure.

Prescription Orthotics

If over-the-counter inserts don’t work for you, or if you have a more severe foot issue, it is possible to have your podiatrist prescribe custom orthotics. These high quality inserts are designed to treat problems such as abnormal motion, plantar fasciitis, and more severe heel pain. They can even be used to help patients suffering from diabetes by treating foot ulcers and painful calluses, and are usually molded to your feet individually, which allows them to provide full support and comfort.

If you are experiencing minor to severe foot or heel pain, it’s recommended to speak with your podiatrist on the possibilities of using orthotics. A podiatrist can determine which type of orthotic is right for you and allow you to take the first steps towards being pain free.

If you have any questions, please contact one of our offices located in Maryland. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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cornsCorns and calluses develop as a result of repeated friction or pressure to the skin, but are easily treatable. Corns can develop anywhere on the toes and on the balls of the feet, usually caused by arthritis or poorly-fitting shoes. Removing your corns and calluses involves soaking them in warm water until the skin softens, then using a pumice stone to gently file the layers of skin off. Afterwards, apply lotion or cream that has salicylic acid, ammonium lactate or urea everyday.

For help dealing with corns and foot conditions, consult with one of our podiatrists from Family Foot Care of Southern Maryland. Our doctors will attend to all of your foot and ankle needs.

Corns: What are they? And how do you get rid of them?

Corns are thickenings of the skin of your feet, often developed in areas under a lot of pressure. They are often layers of the skin that have become dry, rough, and painful, and are normally smaller than calluses.

Ways to Prevent Corns

There are many ways to get rid of corns such as wearing:
- Well-fitting socks
- Comfortable shoes that are not tight around your foot
- Shoes that offer support such as padding or cushioning

Treating Corns

Treating corns involves removing the dead skin that has built up in the specific area of the foot. Salicylic acid can help in getting rid of these corns because it dissolves keratin, which is the protein that makes up a majority of corns. Podiatrists recommend that people with diabetes not use salicylic acid and should consult with their podiatrist regarding the treatment of corns.

If you have any questions, please contact one of our offices located in Maryland. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Monday, 30 May 2016 13:45

Gout, the “Disease of Kings”

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bunions7First identified by ancient Egyptians, gout is a disease that affects the joints in our body, leading to pain and inflammation. Originally known as “the disease of kings,” and “the unwalkable disease,” gout is caused when too much uric acid builds up in our blood stream, forming hard crystals in the joints. Gout is associated with factors of being overweight, drinking too much alcohol, or certain foods. The best option for treating gout is to see your doctor immediately and to limit your intake of alcohol, red meat, and seafood.

Gout is a foot condition that requires certain treatment and care. If you have any concerns regarding gout, consult with one of our podiatrists from Family Foot Care of Southern Maryland. Our doctors will attend to all of your foot and ankle needs.

What is Gout?

Gout is a type of arthritis caused by a buildup of uric acid in the bloodstream. It often develops in the foot, especially the big toe area, although it can manifest in other parts of the body as well. Gout can make walking and standing very painful and is especially common in diabetics and the obese.

People typically get gout because of a poor diet. Genetic predisposition is also a factor. The children of parents who have had gout frequently have a chance of developing it themselves.

Gout can easily be identified by redness and inflammation of the big toe and the surrounding areas of the foot. Other symptoms include extreme fatigue, joint pain, and running high fevers. Sometimes corticosteroid drugs can be prescribed to treat gout, but the best way to combat this disease is to get more exercise and eat a better diet.

If you have any questions, please contact one of our offices located in Maryland. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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plantar fasciitis6UdonisHaslem of the Heat suffered from a torn plantar fasciia in Miami’s game in early April, but hasn’t missed any games since his injury. “There’s not really much I can do but rest it, ice it, get ready for the game,” Haslem said of his injury. Haslem went on to state that he didn’t opt for surgery or any painkillers at the time, even though he had been suffering from plantar fasciitis leading up to his plantar fasciia tear.

Plantar fasciitis can be very painful and inconvenient. If you are experiencing heel pain or symptoms of plantar fasciitis, consult with one of our podiatrists from Family Foot Care of Southern Maryland. Our doctors will attend to all of your foot and ankle needs.

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot, known as the plantar fascia, and causes mild to severe heel pain.

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

·     Excessive running

·     Non-supportive shoes

·     Overpronation

·     Repeated stretching and tearing of the plantar fascia

How Can It Be Treated?

·     Conservative measures – anti-inflammatories, ice packs, stretching exercises, physical therapy, orthotic devices

·     Shockwave therapy – sound waves are sent to the affected area to facilitate healing and are usually used for chronic cases of plantar fasciitis

·     Surgery – usually only used as a last resort when all else fails. The plantar fascia can be surgically detached from the heel

While very treatable, plantar fasciitis is definitely not something that should be ignored. Especially in severe cases, speaking to your doctor right away is highly recommended to avoid complications and severe heel pain. Your podiatrist can work with you to provide the appropriate treatment options tailored to your condition.

If you have any questions, please contact one of our offices located in Maryland. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Plantar Fasciitis