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Monday, 05 November 2018 00:00

Causes of Toenail Fungus

Toenail fungus is a relatively common foot condition. If you are experiencing this type of foot ailment, you may notice symptoms including thick and yellowed toenails, debris collecting underneath brittle nails, and in severe cases, the toenails appearing deformed. This type of fungus is caused by yeast organisms that enter the nail bed and thrives in warm and dark environments. It is known to be extremely contagious, and appropriate footwear is suggested to be worn in public pools, showers, and surrounding areas. Research has shown that people who have compromised immune systems may be more susceptible in developing toenail fungus, in addition to those who have poor foot hygiene. Also, wearing closed shoes for extended periods of time may contribute to the onset of this unsightly foot condition. If you feel you have toenail fungus, it’s suggested to speak with a podiatrist who can properly begin correct treatment techniques.

For more information about treatment, 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.

Toenail Fungus Treatment

Toenail fungus is a condition that affects many people and can be especially hard to get rid of. Fortunately, there are several methods to go about treating and avoiding it.

Antifungals & Deterrence

Oral antifungal medicine has been shown to be effective in many cases. It is important to consult with a podiatrist to determine the proper regiment for you, or potentially explore other options.

Applying foot powder on the feet and shoes helps keep the feet free of moisture and sweat.

Sandals or open toed shoes – Wearing these will allow air movement and help keep feet dry. They also expose your feet to light, which fungus cannot tolerate. Socks with moisture wicking material also help as well.

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 How to Treat Your Toenail Fungus
Monday, 29 October 2018 00:00

Causes and Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis

There is a thick portion of tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot and connects the toes to the heel bone, which is referred to as the plantar fascia. If this should become injured, inflammation may occur, leading to a condition known as plantar fasciitis, which typically causes severe pain and discomfort. Research has shown the main purpose of the plantar fascia is to maintain adequate support to the arch of the foot in addition to acting like a shock absorber for the body. Some of the reasons why this ailment could develop may be from wearing shoes that do not have proper cushioning, standing for extended periods of time, or participating in sporting activities that include running or jumping. Patients who have plantar fasciitis may experience pain that radiates from the heel and may gradually increase over time. If you are afflicted with this painful condition, please counsel with a podiatrist who can properly diagnose and treat this condition.

Plantar fasciitis is a common foot condition that is often caused by a strain injury. If you are experiencing heel pain or symptoms of plantar fasciitis, 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.

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. The plantar fascia is a ligament that connects your heel to the front of your foot. When this ligament becomes inflamed, plantar fasciitis is the result. If you have plantar fasciitis you will have a stabbing pain that usually occurs with your first steps in the morning. As the day progresses and you walk around more, this pain will start to disappear, but it will return after long periods of standing or sitting.

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

  • Excessive running
  • Having high arches in your feet
  • Other foot issues such as flat feet
  • Pregnancy (due to the sudden weight gain)
  • Being on your feet very often

There are some risk factors that may make you more likely to develop plantar fasciitis compared to others. The condition most commonly affects adults between the ages of 40 and 60. It also tends to affect people who are obese because the extra pounds result in extra stress being placed on the plantar fascia.

Prevention

  • Take good care of your feet – Wear shoes that have good arch support and heel cushioning.
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • If you are a runner, alternate running with other sports that won’t cause heel pain

There are a variety of treatment options available for plantar fasciitis along with the pain that accompanies it. Additionally, physical therapy is a very important component in the treatment process. It is important that you meet with your podiatrist to determine which treatment option is best 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 Plantar Fasciitis
Monday, 22 October 2018 00:00

Possible Treatments of a Broken Ankle

Research has shown the ankle is comprised of three bones that interlock together. If an injury is endured that fractures one or more of these bones, it is often referred to as a broken ankle. There are several ligaments and tendons that are attached to these specific bones and may become displaced if the ankle becomes fractured. This typically may occur if a fall has happened and the ankle twists unnaturally. The noticeable symptoms may often include severe pain in and around the affected ankle, unsightly bruising, or difficulty in moving the toes. There are several ways to treat this condition, including wearing a protective boot, taping or wrapping the ankle, which may provide additional support, or possible surgery, which is often determined by the severity of the fracture. If you have broken your ankle, it’s advised to speak with a podiatrist as quickly as possible so the correct choice of treatment can begin.

Broken ankles need immediate treatment. If you are seeking treatment, 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. 

Broken Ankles
A broken ankle is experienced when a person fractures their tibia or fibula in the lower leg and ankle area. Both of these bones are attached at the bottom of the leg and combine to form what we know to be our ankle.

When a physician is referring to a break of the ankle, he or she is usually referring to a break in the area where the tibia and fibula are joined to create our ankle joint. Ankles are more prone to fractures because the ankle is an area that suffers a lot of pressure and stress. There are some obvious signs when a person experiences a fractured ankle, and the following symptoms may be present.

Symptoms of a Fractured Ankle

  • Excessive pain when the area is touched or when any pressure is placed on the ankle
  •  Swelling around the area
  •  Bruising of the area
  • Area appears to be deformed

If you suspect an ankle fracture, it is recommended to seek treatment as soon as possible. The sooner you have your podiatrist diagnose the fracture, the quicker you’ll be on the way towards recovery.

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 All About Broken Ankle
Monday, 15 October 2018 00:00

Is Hammertoe Uncomfortable?

If you have ever worn narrow, pointed-toe shoes, you may be a candidate to develop hammertoe. The characteristics are a noticeable deformity that affects the middle toes, and may cause severe pain and discomfort. The toes may be bent at the middle joint and face downward, giving the appearance of a hammer. The surrounding muscles may become unbalanced, and this may cause difficulty in straightening the toes. This condition may become worse if prompt treatment is not administered, which may consist of performing simple exercises that may strengthen the foot and toes. Research has shown the most common cause of hammertoe is related to incorrect shoes that are worn. Additionally, there may be other reasons why this ailment may develop, including having an elongated second toe, incurring an injury to the toes, or genetic traits may play a significant role. If you are afflicted with hammertoe, it’s strongly suggested that you seek the counsel of a podiatrist for a complete diagnosis and to gather information about proper treatment options.

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact Dr. Richard Silverstein of Union Foot Care. Our doctor will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.

Hammertoe

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that occurs due to an imbalance in the muscles, tendons, or ligaments that normally hold the toe straight. It can be caused by the type of shoes you wear, your foot structure, trauma, and certain disease processes.

Symptoms

  • Painful and/or difficult toe movement
  • Swelling
  • Joint stiffness
  • Calluses/Corns
  • Physical deformity

Risk Factors

  • Age – The risk of hammertoe increases with age
  • Sex – Women are more likely to have hammertoe compared to men
  • Toe Length – You are more likely to develop hammertoe if your second toe is longer than your big toe
  • Certain Diseases – Arthritis and diabetes may make you more likely to develop hammertoe

Treatment

If you have hammertoe, you should change into a more comfortable shoe that provides enough room for your toes. Exercises such as picking up marbles may strengthen and stretch your toe muscles. Nevertheless, it is important to seek assistance from a podiatrist in order to determine the severity of your hammertoe and see which treatment option will work best 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 Hammertoe
Monday, 08 October 2018 00:00

Are Plantar Warts Painful?

The majority of warts can be unsightly and painful, and a plantar wart is no exception. This type of wart develops on the heel of the foot and will grow inward as a result of the pressure the feet endures on a daily basis. It is known to be caused by the human papillomavirus, which is also referred to as HPV, and may be more prevalent in children and people who have compromised immune systems. This contagious virus can be transmitted by direct contact with a person who may carry the germ or from an object that may have been contaminated. Some of the symptoms that might be associated with plantar warts may include a small area that may be rough in texture on the heel of the foot. Additionally, there may be tiny black dots in the center of the wart, and you may experience pain while walking or standing. If you are afflicted with plantar warts, it’s suggested to speak with a podiatrist who can offer correct treatment options that may include removal of the wart.

Plantar warts can be very uncomfortable. If you need your feet checked, contact Dr. Richard Silverstein from Union Foot Care. Our doctor will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

About Plantar Warts

Plantar warts are the result of HPV, or human papillomavirus, getting into open wounds on the feet. They are mostly found on the heels or balls of the feet.

While plantar warts are generally harmless, those experiencing excessive pain or those 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

  • Lesions 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, can help prevent the further spread of plantar warts. However, if you think you have developed plantar warts, speak to 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 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 All About Plantar Warts

Many people who are involved in sporting activities have experienced the pain and discomfort of foot and ankle injuries. It may typically result in significant downtime from running or jumping to allow for proper healing to begin. There are several ways to possibly prevent foot and ankle injuries from occurring, including warming up the muscles before starting to run, properly stretching the muscles in the foot and ankle, in addition to gradually increasing the time spent on the chosen activity. It’s important to wear proper shoes for walking and running, and this may aid in preventing any trauma inflicted on the foot and ankle. Ankle sprains are a very common injury to endure, as well as an Achilles tendon rupture or tear. This type of injury may affect the plantar fascia, which is tissue that is located on the bottom of the foot that connects the heel to the toes. If you are experiencing any pain in the foot or ankle, it’s suggested to speak with a podiatrist as soon as possible.

Foot and ankle trauma is common among athletes and the elderly. If you have concerns that you may have experienced trauma to the foot and ankle, consult with Dr. Richard Silverstein from Union Foot Care. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Foot and ankle trauma cover a range of injuries all over the foot; common injuries include:

  • Broken bones
  • Muscle strains
  • Injuries to the tendons and ligaments
  • Stress fractures

Symptoms

Symptoms of foot and ankle injuries vary depending on the injury, but more common ones include:

  • Bruising
  • Inflammation/ Swelling
  • Pain

Diagnosis

To properly diagnose the exact type of injury, podiatrists will conduct a number of different tests. Some of these include sensation and visual tests, X-rays, and MRIs. Medical and family histories will also be taken into account.

Treatment

Once the injury has been diagnosed, the podiatrist can than offer the best treatment options for you. In less severe cases, rest and keeping pressure off the foot may be all that’s necessary. Orthotics, such as a specially made shoes, or immobilization devices, like splints or casts, may be deemed necessary. Finally, if the injury is severe enough, surgery may be necessary.

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 Foot and Ankle Fractures
Monday, 24 September 2018 00:00

How Increased Weight May Affect the Feet

Recent research has shown that approximately 70 percent of the population in the Bahamas are obese. This typically impacts the general health of the feet as a result of the additional weight the feet must endure. An increased BMI, or body mass index, generally accompanies any weight that is gained. This may produce unwanted foot conditions that may include plantar fasciitis, tendonitis, arthritis and general “wear and tear” of the bones, ligaments, and tendons. Additionally, the structure of the foot may be negatively affected, which may aid in difficulty maintaining an exercise program. While purchasing shoes, it’s important to choose shoes that fit correctly, which may help to diminish a portion of the pain that may be experienced. If you feel you are obese and would like additional information about this condition on how it may affect the feet, please consult with a podiatrist.

Obesity has become very problematic at this point in time and can have extremely negative effects on the feet. If you’re an obese individual and are concerned about your feet, 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.

Obesity and Your Feet

Since your feet are what support your entire weight when standing, any additional weight can result in pain and swelling. Being overweight is one of the main contributors to foot complications.

Problems & Complications

Extra Weight – Even putting on just a few extra pounds could create serious complications for your feet. As your weight increases, your balance and body will shift, creating new stresses on your feet. This uneven weight distribution can cause pain, even while doing the simplest tasks, such as walking.

Diabetes – People who are overweight are at serious risk of developing type-2 diabetes, which has a drastic impact on the health of your feet. As you get older, your diabetes might worsen, which could lead to loss of feeling in your feet, sores, and bruises. You could also become more prone to various infections.

Plantar fasciitis – Pressure and stress that is placed on muscles, joints, and tendons can trigger plantar fasciitis, which is an inflammation of tissue that forms along the bottom of the foot. 

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 Obesity and the Feet
Monday, 17 September 2018 00:00

Symptoms of Toenail Fungus

A condition that is referred to as onychomycosis is commonly known as a fungal infection of the toenails. It is common among people who have sweaty feet or enjoy spending time swimming. It may occur as a result of the small fungi seeping through tiny cuts in the skin, or possibly lodging between the nail and the nail bed. It may be common to find this type of infection in the toenails because of the warm environment the shoes and socks provide. There are several symptoms associated with this condition, including having a yellow, white or brown appearance, the nail becoming brittle and breaking easily, or the nail becomes uncomfortable. Despite the unsightly appearance, they typically do not pose a health threat unless the patient is diabetic. Research has shown there may be preventative measures that can be taken, including washing and drying the feet, especially between the toes, trimming the nails properly and frequently, and avoiding wearing other people’s shoes. If you feel you have a toenail fungus, it’s suggested to speak with a podiatrist as quickly as possible for a correct diagnosis and to learn about treatment options.

If left untreated, toenail fungus may spread to other toenails, skin, or even fingernails. If you suspect you have toenail fungus it is important to seek treatment right away. For more information about treatment, 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.

Symptoms

  • Warped or oddly shaped nails
  • Yellowish nails
  • Loose/separated nail
  • Buildup of bits and pieces of nail fragments under the nail
  • Brittle, broken, thickened nail

Treatment

If self-care strategies and over-the-counter medications does not help your fungus, your podiatrist may give you a prescription drug instead. Even if you find relief from your toenail fungus symptoms, you may experience a repeat infection in the future.

Prevention

In order to prevent getting toenail fungus in the future, you should always make sure to wash your feet with soap and water. After washing, it is important to dry your feet thoroughly especially in between the toes. When trimming your toenails, be sure to trim straight across instead of in a rounded shape. It is crucial not to cover up discolored nails with nail polish because that will prevent your nail from being able to “breathe”.

In some cases, surgical procedure may be needed to remove the toenail fungus. Consult with your podiatrist about the best treatment options for your case of toenail fungus.  

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 Treating Toenail Fungus

The type of footwear referred to as flip flops are popular summer shoes that are made of thin soles and typically are not meant to be worn for extended periods of time. Despite the fact that many people indulge in wearing these types of shoes, there may be moderate discomfort and symptoms that can be associated with them. These may include an achy feeling that may be present in the foot and ankle in addition to the formation of calluses and blisters. Other foot conditions that may develop as a result of wearing flip flops may be the development of bunions and hammertoes. The risk of injury may be increased from choosing to wear this type of shoe and this may occur as a result of a lack of stability. If you have questions pertaining to flip flops and would like additional information about the pros and cons for wearing this type of shoe, please schedule an appointment with a podiatrist who will be able to answer any questions you may have.

Flip-flops can cause a lot of problems for your feet. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact Dr. Richard Silverstein from Union Foot Care. Our doctor will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

Flip-Flops and Feet

Flip-flops have managed to become a summer essential for a lot of people. While the shoes may be stylish and easy to slip on and off, they can be dangerous to those who wear them too often. These shoes might protect you from fungal infections such as athlete’s foot, but they can also give you foot pain and sprained ankles if you trip while wearing them.

When Are They Okay to Wear?

Flip-flops should only be worn for very short periods of time. They can help protect your feet in places that are crawling with fungi, such as gym locker rooms. Athlete’s foot and plantar warts are two common fungi that flip-flops may help protect your feet against.

Why Are They Bad for My Feet?

These shoes do not offer any arch support, so they are not ideal for everyday use. They also do not provide shock absorption or heel cushioning which can be problematic for your feet. Additionally, you may suffer from glass cuts, puncture wounds, and stubbed toes since they offer little protection for your feet.

More Reasons Why They Are Bad for Your Feet

  • They Slow You Down
  • May Cause Blisters and Calluses
  • Expose Your Feet to Bacteria

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 Flipping Out About Flip Flops
Tuesday, 04 September 2018 00:00

How Elderly People Can Check Their Feet

Many people who are elderly may develop uncomfortable foot conditions as they age. Research has shown there may be many reasons for this to occur. This may include a loss of cushioning in the skin and the nails losing moisture, which may become brittle. If you are contending with poor circulation, any sores that may be present may prove difficult to heal. People of all ages should check their feet regularly to look for cuts, blisters, or ingrown toenails. This is especially true of the older population who may experience difficulty in seeing clearly or bending down. Some patients find it helpful to use a mirror to see the bottom of their feet, or may ask a family member or friend for assistance. It’s important to have your feet measured frequently to ensure the correct size shoe is worn, in addition to wearing socks that fit snugly but are not too tight. If you find conditions such as ingrown toenails, bunions, or corns have developed, it’s suggested to speak with a podiatrist as quickly as possible for correct treatment.

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 Foot Care

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