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Tuesday, 01 March 2022 00:00

Cracked Heels Foot Care

Dry, cracked heels can have many causes, such as living in a dry climate or wearing open-backed shoes. In some cases, it can be a sign of a more serious underlying condition, like diabetes. Most cases of cracked heels can be treated at home with a good foot care routine. Soak your feet in warm water for 10 minutes daily to soften the skin. Then use a loofah or pumice stone to gently exfoliate the heels. Afterward, apply a moisturizer to keep heels soft and hydrated. If your cracked heels don’t improve with home care, or if the cracks are deep, painful, or bleeding, please seek the care of a podiatrist. 

Cracked heels are unsightly and can cause further damage to your shoes and feet. If you have any concerns, contact Dr. Richard Silverstein from Union Foot Care. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Cracked Heels

Cracked heels appear unappealing and can make it harder for you walk around in sandals. Aside from looking unpleasant, cracked heels can also tear stockings, socks, and wear out your shoes. There are several methods to help restore a cracked heel and prevent further damage.

How Do You Get Them?

Dry skin is the number one culprit in creating cracked heels. Many athletes, walkers, joggers, and even swimmers suffer from cracked heels. Age and skin oil production play a role to getting cracked heels as well.

Promote Healing

Over the counter medicines can help, especially for those that need instant relief or who suffer from chronic dry feet.

Wear Socks – Wearing socks with medicated creams helps lock in moisture.

Moisturizers – Applying both day and night will help alleviate dryness which causes cracking.

Pumice Stones – These exfoliate and remove dead skin, which allows for smoother moisturizer application and better absorption into the skin. 

Change in Diet

Eating healthy with a well-balanced diet will give the skin a fresh and radiant look. Your body responds to the kinds of food you ingest. Omega-3 fatty acids and zinc supplements can also revitalize skin tissue.

Most importantly, seek professional help if unsure how to proceed in treating cracked heels. A podiatrist will help you with any questions or information needed. 

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

Read more about Solutions for Cracked Heels
Tuesday, 22 February 2022 00:00

What Causes a Buildup of Uric Acid and Gout?

Gout, a type of arthritis that often affects the feet and toes, is caused by a buildup of uric acid in the bloodstream. About two-thirds of uric acid in the blood occurs naturally in the body, a product of the breakdown of cells. One-third of uric acid comes from eating foods that contain purines, chemicals that create uric acid as a byproduct when the body metabolizes them. When your body has high levels of uric acid, this substance can crystallize and lodge in your joints, causing painful gout flare-ups. Gout pain is typically sudden and severe, centered on an inflamed and swollen joint. If you have gout, it is suggested that you be under the care of a podiatrist.

Gout is a painful condition that can be treated. If you are seeking treatment, contact Dr. Richard Silverstein from Union Foot Care. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Is Gout?

Gout is a form of arthritis that is characterized by sudden, severe attacks of pain, redness, and tenderness in the joints. The condition usually affects the joint at the base of the big toe. A gout attack can occur at any random time, such as the middle of the night while you are asleep.

Symptoms

  • Intense Joint Pain - Usually around the large joint of your big toe, and it most severe within the first four to twelve hours
  • Lingering Discomfort - Joint discomfort may last from a few days to a few weeks
  • Inflammation and Redness -Affected joints may become swollen, tender, warm and red
  • Limited Range of Motion - May experience a decrease in joint mobility

Risk Factors

  • Genetics - If family members have gout, you’re more likely to have it
  • Medications - Diuretic medications can raise uric acid levels
  • Gender/Age - Gout is more common in men until the age of 60. It is believed that estrogen protects women until that point
  • Diet - Eating red meat and shellfish increases your risk
  • Alcohol - Having more than two alcoholic drinks per day increases your risk
  • Obesity - Obese people are at a higher risk for gout

Prior to visiting your podiatrist to receive treatment for gout, there are a few things you should do beforehand. If you have gout you should write down your symptoms--including when they started and how often you experience them, important medical information you may have, and any questions you may have. Writing down these three things will help your podiatrist in assessing your specific situation so that he or she may provide the best route of treatment for you.

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

Read more about Gout
Tuesday, 15 February 2022 00:00

Ingrown Toenails 101

When the toenail becomes curved and grows into the skin along the sides of the nail, it forms an ingrown toenail. This can result in pain, inflammation, redness, swelling, and in some cases an infection. Issues such as genetics, improperly trimmed toenails, sweaty feet, and shoes that are too tight can all lead to ingrown toenails. In fact, athletes are particularly prone to ingrown toenails because they sweat more often. While ingrown toenails are usually not very serious, if left untreated, they can get very painful and may even get infected. Patients with ingrown toenails who have diabetes or a compromised immune system, have persistent pain, or believe that the nail is infected should consult with a podiatrist for treating the nail. 

Ingrown toenails can become painful if they are not treated properly. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact Dr. Richard Silverstein of Union Foot Care. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails occur when a toenail grows sideways into the bed of the nail, causing pain, swelling, and possibly infection.

Causes

  • Bacterial infections
  • Improper nail cutting such as cutting it too short or not straight across
  • Trauma to the toe, such as stubbing, which causes the nail to grow back irregularly
  • Ill-fitting shoes that bunch the toes too close together
  • Genetic predisposition

Prevention

Because ingrown toenails are not something found outside of shoe-wearing cultures, going barefoot as often as possible will decrease the likeliness of developing ingrown toenails. Wearing proper fitting shoes and using proper cutting techniques will also help decrease your risk of developing ingrown toenails.

Treatment

Ingrown toenails are a very treatable foot condition. In minor cases, soaking the affected area in salt or antibacterial soaps will not only help with the ingrown nail itself, but also help prevent any infections from occurring. In more severe cases, surgery is an option. In either case, speaking to your podiatrist about this condition will help you get a better understanding of specific treatment options that are right for you.

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

Read more about Ingrown Toenails
Monday, 14 February 2022 00:00

Reminder: When Was the Last Time...?

Custom orthotics, or shoe inserts, should be periodically replaced. Orthotics must fit properly to give you the best results. Protect your feet and ankles!

Tuesday, 08 February 2022 00:00

Potential Achilles Tendon Injuries

If you feel the back of your ankle, you will notice the fibrous tissue that connects the heel bone to the calf muscle. This is known as the Achilles tendon. There are two injuries that commonly affect this tendon. The first, known as Achilles tendinopathy, occurs when there is pain on the back of the heel as a result of overuse. Common signs of Achilles tendinopathy include swelling, stiffness, and pain that is worse in the morning. The second injury is an Achilles tendon rupture or tear, which commonly occurs as a result of jumping and pivoting with a lot of force. This causes the tendon to overstretch and eventually tear. Anyone who tears their Achilles tendon will notice a severe pain and a loss of both movement and strength in the tendon. If you are experiencing pain or swelling in your Achilles tendon, it is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist who can help provide a treatment option for injuries as well as ways to prevent a rupture.

Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact Dr. Richard Silverstein of Union Foot Care. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

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 create immense 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 injuries 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 located in Havre de Grace, MD . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about What are Achilles Tendon Injuries

The presence of diabetic peripheral neuropathy (nerve damage) and peripheral artery disease (poor circulation) in many diabetic patients creates a perfect storm of factors that can make wounds difficult to detect and take longer to heal. Chronic wounds that don’t heal (ulcers) are potentially very dangerous to both the overall health of the patient as well as their affected limb. There are eight steps every diabetic should take to help prevent such ulcers: 1) check your feet daily for cuts, growths or red spots, 2) wash and thoroughly dry your feet every day, 3) moisturize your feet, except between the toes, 4) trim your toenails straight across, but not too short, 5) avoid walking barefoot, and wear shoes that fit well, 6) protect your feet from extreme heat or cold, 7) elevate your feet as much as possible when sitting, and exercise your toes and ankles to aid circulation, and 8) have a podiatrist examine your feet at least once a year.

Wound care is an important part in dealing with diabetes. If you have diabetes and a foot wound or would like more information about wound care for diabetics, consult with Dr. Richard Silverstein from Union Foot Care. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

What Is Wound Care?

Wound care is the practice of taking proper care of a wound. This can range from the smallest to the largest of wounds. While everyone can benefit from proper wound care, it is much more important for diabetics. Diabetics often suffer from poor blood circulation which causes wounds to heal much slower than they would in a non-diabetic. 

What Is the Importance of Wound Care?

While it may not seem apparent with small ulcers on the foot, for diabetics, any size ulcer can become infected. Diabetics often also suffer from neuropathy, or nerve loss. This means they might not even feel when they have an ulcer on their foot. If the wound becomes severely infected, amputation may be necessary. Therefore, it is of the upmost importance to properly care for any and all foot wounds.

How to Care for Wounds

The best way to care for foot wounds is to prevent them. For diabetics, this means daily inspections of the feet for any signs of abnormalities or ulcers. It is also recommended to see a podiatrist several times a year for a foot inspection. If you do have an ulcer, run the wound under water to clear dirt from the wound; then apply antibiotic ointment to the wound and cover with a bandage. Bandages should be changed daily and keeping pressure off the wound is smart. It is advised to see a podiatrist, who can keep an eye on it.

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

Read more about Wound Care
Tuesday, 25 January 2022 00:00

Solutions for Sweaty Feet

Do you regularly soak through your socks and shoes, regardless of the weather? Are you worried about leaving behind wet footprints when you walk around barefoot? Excessively sweaty feet may be a sign of a condition called plantar hyperhidrosis. In addition to being potentially embarrassing, this condition also increases your risk of various foot problems, such as fungal infections and injuries due to your feet slipping as you walk. Fortunately, various treatments are available for plantar hyperhidrosis. These include topical antiperspirants, iontophoresis, and botox injections into the foot. There are also special powders and shoe inserts that you can wear to absorb excess moisture. To learn more about treatments for plantar hyperhidrosis, and to find the right one for you, it’s suggested that you consult with a podiatrist.  

If you are suffering from hyperhidrosis contact Dr. Richard Silverstein of Union Foot Care. Our doctor can provide the care you need to attend to all of your foot and ankle needs.

Hyperhidrosis of the Feet

Hyperhidrosis is a rare disorder that can cause people to have excessive sweating of their feet. This can usually occur all on its own without rigorous activity involved. People who suffer from hyperhidrosis may also experience sweaty palms.

Although it is said that sweating is a healthy process meant to cool down the body temperature and to maintain a proper internal temperature, hyperhidrosis may prove to be a huge hindrance on a person’s everyday life.

Plantar hyperhidrosis is considered to be the main form of hyperhidrosis. Secondary hyperhidrosis can refer to sweating that occurs in areas other than the feet or hands and armpits. Often this may be a sign of it being related to another medical condition such as menopause, hyperthyroidism and even Parkinson’s disease.

In order to alleviate this condition, it is important to see your doctor so that they may prescribe the necessary medications so that you can begin to live a normal life again. If this is left untreated, it is said that it will persist throughout an individual’s life.

A last resort approach would be surgery, but it is best to speak with your doctor to find out what may be the best treatment for you.

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

Read more about Hyperhidrosis of the Feet
Tuesday, 18 January 2022 00:00

Ways Seniors Can Maximize Foot Care

As one ages, it becomes harder to reach down to the toes and keep toenails trimmed properly. In some cases, just gripping the clippers is difficult, if not impossible. At the same time, toenail growth decreases with age, resulting in thicker nails that are more difficult to trim. One way to soften the thicker nails and make them easier to cut is by soaking the feet for about 10 minutes in warm water. Thoroughly dry the feet, and use a clipper to make small cuts straight across the nail to lessen the chance of an ingrown toenail. If your toenails have both hardened and become discolored, you may also have developed a fungal infection. Such a condition can worsen rapidly and become painful. For that reason, it would be wise to contact a podiatrist immediately, as fungal infections may take months to eliminate. It is also suggested that seniors make regular appointments with a podiatrist for proper foot-care treatment as needed.

Proper foot care is something many older adults forget to consider. If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles, contact Dr. Richard Silverstein from Union Foot Care. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

The Elderly and Their Feet

As we age we start to notice many changes in our body, but the elder population may not notice them right away. Medical conditions may prevent the elderly to take notice of their foot health right away. Poor vision is a lead contributor to not taking action for the elderly.

Common Conditions 

  • Neuropathy – can reduce feeling in the feet and can hide many life-threatening medical conditions.
  • Reduced flexibility – prevents the ability of proper toenail trimming, and foot cleaning. If left untreated, it may lead to further medical issues.
  • Foot sores – amongst the older population can be serious before they are discovered. Some of the problematic conditions they may face are:
  • Gouging toenails affecting nearby toe
  • Shoes that don’t fit properly
  • Pressure sores
  • Loss of circulation in legs & feet
  • Edema & swelling of feet and ankles

Susceptible Infections

Diabetes and poor circulation can cause general loss of sensitivity over the years, turning a simple cut into a serious issue.

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

Read more about Elderly and their Feet
Saturday, 15 January 2022 00:00

Plantar Warts Can Be Treated!

Plantar warts are small growths that develop on parts of the feet that bear weight. They're typically found on the bottom of the foot. Don't live with plantar warts, and call us today!

Tuesday, 11 January 2022 00:00

How Turf Toe Occurs

One common sports injury that occurs in the big toe is known as turf toe. This condition, which is most common among football and soccer players, happens when the big toe is sprained because of a repetitive upward bending of the joint. This action usually takes place when the big toe is jammed or injured when pushing off while  jumping or running. Turf toe is extremely common when playing on turf, particularly because the foot is more likely to stick to the hard surface under it and jam. Common indications of turf toe include pain, swelling, and a lack of joint movement in the big toe. Turf toe is often treated by rest, ice, compression and elevation, but in extreme cases, surgery may be necessary. Athletes who notice that they have symptoms similar to turf toe would be wise to check with a podiatrist who can properly diagnose and treat the injury.

Ankle and foot injuries are common among athletes and in many sports. They can be caused by several problems and may be potentially serious. If you are feeling pain or think you were injured in a sporting event or when exercising, consult with Dr. Richard Silverstein from Union Foot Care. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Common Injuries

The most common injuries that occur in sporting activities include:

  • Achilles Tendonitis
  • Achilles Tendon Rupture
  • Ankle Sprains
  • Broken Foot
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Stress Fractures
  • Turf Toe

Symptoms

Symptoms vary depending upon the injury and in some cases, there may be no symptoms at all. However, in most cases, some form of symptom is experienced. Pain, aching, burning, bruising, tenderness, tightness or stiffness, sensation loss, difficulty moving, and swelling are the most common symptoms.

Treatment

Just as symptoms vary depending upon the injury, so do treatment options. A common treatment method is known as the RICE method. This method involves rest, applying ice, compression and elevating the afflicted foot or ankle. If the injury appears to be more serious, surgery might be required, such as arthroscopic or reconstructive surgery. Lastly, rehabilitation or therapy might be needed to gain full functionality in the afflicted area. Any discomfort experienced by an athlete must be evaluated by a licensed, reputable medical professional.  

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

Read more about Sports Related Foot And Ankle Injuries

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