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Monday, 29 June 2020 00:00

How Does Gout Occur?

Elevated levels of uric acid in the blood are often the cause of a medical condition that is known as gout. Common symptoms that many patients experience are severe pain and discomfort, and it is often difficult to walk. Gout may occur as a result of eating specific foods that can include red meat, seafood, and drinks that have a high sugar content. Additional reasons can consist of genetic factors and existing medical conditions such as diabetes and obesity. After a proper diagnosis is performed, treatment can begin. It is beneficial to adopt healthy eating habits and drink plenty of water daily. If you are afflicted with gout, it is strongly advised that you are under the care of a podiatrist who can determine the correct treatment plan for you.

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.

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Wednesday, 24 June 2020 00:00

It's Time for Beautiful Feet

You don't need an excuse to have beautiful nails. Step outside without worrying about the appearance of your feet.

Monday, 22 June 2020 00:00

Possible Causes of Ingrown Toenails

The condition that is known as an ingrown toenail can happen as a result of stubbing your toe. It may cause the nail to grow into the surrounding skin, which can cause pain and discomfort. Additional reasons this ailment can happen include trimming the toenails incorrectly, or wearing shoes that are too snug. Patients have found mild relief when the nail is soaked in warm water, as this may help to soften the edges of the nail. If you have an ingrown toenail, it is strongly suggested that you consult with a podiatrist who can treat the nail before it becomes infected, and offer you correct treatment remedies.

Ingrown toenails may initially present themselves as a minor discomfort, but they may progress into an infection in the skin without proper treatment. 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 are caused when the corner or side of a toenail grows into the soft flesh surrounding it. They often result in redness, swelling, pain, and in some cases, infection. This condition typically affects the big toe and may recur if it is not treated properly.

Causes

  • Improper toenail trimming
  • Genetics
  • Improper shoe fitting
  • Injury from pedicures or nail picking
  • Abnormal gait
  • Poor hygiene

You are more likely to develop an ingrown toenail if you are obese, have diabetes, arthritis, or have any fungal infection in your nails. Additionally, people who have foot or toe deformities are at a higher risk of developing an ingrown toenail.

Symptoms

Some symptoms of ingrown toenails are redness, swelling, and pain. In rare cases, there may be a yellowish drainage coming from the nail.

Treatment

Ignoring an ingrown toenail can have serious complications. Infections of the nail border can progress to a deeper soft-tissue infection, which can then turn into a bone infection. You should always speak with your podiatrist if you suspect you have an ingrown toenail, especially if you have diabetes or poor circulation.

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.

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Monday, 15 June 2020 00:00

Stretching the Plantar Fascia

Many people who enjoy running are aware of the importance of stretching their feet. The pain that is felt from the foot condition that is known as plantar fasciitis generally occurs as a result of repetitive use. Research has indicated there are specific stretches that can be performed for the plantar fascia. These can include towel stretches, and certain massage techniques. Additionally, this part of the foot can be stretched by rolling the bottom of the foot on a tennis ball. Flexibility may be increased when the calf muscles are lengthened. This is implemented by facing a wall while standing, and gently stretching one leg at a time. If you would like more information about the benefits of stretching the feet, please consult with a podiatrist.

Why Stretching Is Important for Your Feet

Stretching the feet is a great way to prevent injuries. If you have any concerns with your feet consult with Dr. Richard Silverstein from Union Foot Care. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Stretching the Feet

Stretching the muscles in the foot is an important part in any physical activity. Feet that are tight can lead to less flexibility and make you more prone to injury. One of the most common forms of foot pain, plantar fasciitis, can be stretched out to help ease the pain. Stretching can not only ease pain from plantar fasciitis but also prevent it as well. However, it is important to see a podiatrist first to determine if stretching is right for you. Podiatrists can also recommend other ways to stretch your feet. Once you know whether stretching is right for you, here are some excellent stretches you can do.

  • Using a foam roller or any cylindrical object (a water bottle or soda can will do), roll the object under your foot back and forth. You should also exert pressure on the object. Be sure to do this to both feet for a minute. Do this exercise three times each.
  • Similar to the previous exercise, take a ball, such as a tennis ball, and roll it under your foot while seated and exert pressure on it.
  • Grab a resistance band or towel and take a seat. If you are using a towel, fold it length wise. Next put either one between the ball of your foot and heel and pull with both hands on each side towards you. Hold this for 15 seconds and then switch feet. Do this three times for each foot.
  • Finally hold your big toe while crossing one leg over the other. Pull the toe towards you and hold for 15 seconds. Once again do this three times per foot.

It is best to go easy when first stretching your foot and work your way up. If your foot starts hurting, stop exercising to ice and rest the foot. It is advised that you then see a podiatrist for help.

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.

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Monday, 08 June 2020 00:00

How Can a Fungal Toenail Develop?

Fungal toenails, while often unsightly, can also be extremely uncomfortable. They can be identified by discoloration and thickening of the toenail. In some cases the nail may become so brittle that it breaks or splits, causing a great deal of pain. Fungal toenails can be more common among people who are diabetic, have a poor immune system, lack personal hygiene, and those who do not wear proper footwear in high risk fungal contaminated environments. Some of these environments can include public swimming pools, gyms, locker rooms, and communal showers. The fungi can enter through an opening in the nail, causing the infection. If left untreated, it may spread, creating more serious foot complications. For more advice on how to treat this condition, it is suggested that you seek professional care from a podiatrist.

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.

 

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Wounds on the feet require prompt treatment, and this may be helpful in preventing serious foot conditions from developing. Wounds can occur as a result of existing medical conditions that can include diabetes, high blood pressure, and kidney disease. A wound on the foot may happen from having neuropathy, and this can cause the inability to feel any pain that is associated with cuts or bruises. There are specific methods that can be implemented which may be helpful in controlling the number of wounds that can develop on the feet. These can consist of drinking fresh water daily, wearing shoes that fit correctly, and practicing gentle stretching exercises. If you have wounds on  your feet, it is strongly advised that you are under the care of a podiatrist who can perform a diagnosis, and offer a treatment plan that is correct for you. 

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.

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Blisters on the feet can hinder a runner’s ability to enjoy the sport. They typically develop as a result of excess friction, and from shoes that do not fit correctly. Common areas for blisters to develop can include the arch, heel, and the sole of the foot. A blister is the body’s natural process to heal the area that has become damaged. It is defined as a small bubble that is filled with liquid, and this protects the raw area as new skin forms. It can be covered with a bandage until it gradually drains. Additional reasons why blisters may develop can consist of medical conditions such as psoriasis and eczema, frostbite, or allergic reactions. If you desire more information about blisters on the feet, please schedule a consultation with a podiatrist.

Blisters may appear as a single bubble or in a cluster. They can cause a lot of pain and may be filled with pus, blood, or watery serum. If your feet are hurting, 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.

Foot Blisters

Foot blisters are often the result of friction. This happens due to the constant rubbing from shoes, which can lead to pain.

What Are Foot Blisters?

A foot blister is a small fluid-filled pocket that forms on the upper-most layer of the skin. Blisters are filled with clear fluid and can lead to blood drainage or pus if the area becomes infected.

Symptoms

(Blister symptoms may vary depending on what is causing them)

  • Bubble of skin filled with fluid
  • Redness
  • Moderate to severe pain
  • Itching

Prevention & Treatment

In order to prevent blisters, you should be sure to wear comfortable shoes with socks that cushion your feet and absorb sweat. Breaking a blister open may increase your chances of developing an infection. However, if your blister breaks, you should wash the area with soap and water immediately and then apply a bandage to the affected area. If your blisters cause severe pain it is important that you call your podiatrist right away.

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.

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Monday, 25 May 2020 00:00

Heel Pain Can Be Treated!

Do you suffer from heel pain when you get up in the morning? If so, you should seek the professional help of your podiatrist and have a proper diagnosis performed. Heel pain can be caused by several different foot-related conditions.

Stress fractures primarily occur when the feet are overused. As foot muscles get tired, they are unable to absorb as much shock from impact, and the stress is transferred to the bone. Over half of all stress fractures occur in the lower leg, and athletes involved in activities such as basketball, running, and gymnastics are at a higher risk for trauma. Since stress fractures can be difficult to diagnose through an X-Ray, communicating the risk of stress fractures to doctors is key, because they may have to resort to CT scans or MRIs. If diagnosed with a stress factor, rest is key.  However, a podiatrist may be able to recommend shoe inserts or braces to help as well. For the best treatment methods, please consult with your local podiatrist. 

Stress fractures occur when there is a tiny crack within a bone. To learn more, 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.

How Are They Caused?

Stress fractures are the result of repetitive force being placed on the bone. Since the lower leg and feet often carry most of the body’s weight, stress fractures are likely to occur in these areas. If you rush into a new exercise, you are more likely to develop a stress fracture since you are starting too much, too soon.  Pain resulting from stress fractures may go unnoticed at first, however it may start to worsen over time.

Risk Factors

  • Gender – They are more commonly found in women compared to men.
  • Foot Problems – People with unusual arches in their feet are more likely to develop stress fractures.
  • Certain Sports – Dancers, gymnasts, tennis players, runners, and basketball players are more likely to develop stress fractures.
  • Lack of Nutrients – A lack of vitamin D and calcium may weaken the bones and make you more prone to stress fractures
  • Weak Bones – Osteoporosis can weaken the bones therefore resulting in stress fractures

Stress fractures do not always heal properly, so it is important that you seek help from a podiatrist if you suspect you may have one. Ignoring your stress fracture may cause it to worsen, and you may develop chronic pain as well as additional fractures.

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 Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle
Monday, 11 May 2020 00:00

Treating Cracked Heels

Cracked heels, while physically embarrassing, can also bring a great deal of discomfort and pain to the affected foot. Some common causes of cracked heels may include open-back footwear, weather, and improper skin care. To help remove the dry skin, use a filer and gently scrape the areas that are hardened. Exfoliating, washing, and thoroughly drying the feet may also be beneficial to treating cracked heels. Using a daily moisturizer can also help to ease the discomfort of cracked heels, and it keeps the skin hydrated. In order to safely treat and heal cracked feet, seek the care of your 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

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