What I do
Nail and Skin Care
Most patients do not hesitate to see a podiatrist when they are in pain. However, patients who have been coping with an irritating condition for months (or even years) often put off professional care until they are tired of failed attempts to treat their ailments at home. Our podiatrists can help you overcome fungal nails, athlete’s foot, corns, calluses, warts, and other chronic nail and skin conditions.
Athlete’s Foot is a fungal infection of the foot. It attacks the skin and grows in dark moist places. The soles of the feet contain many sweat glands, so that is the most common place for the fungus to infect the skin. Due to athletes being very active and creating a great deal of perspiration when performing their particular activities, athlete’s foot became the common term for this condition, but it can happen to anyone. People with sweaty feet or palms of their hands, a condition called hyperhidrosis, can also be susceptible to athlete’s foot, for instance.
Blisters are a pocket of fluid which forms in the outer layer of skin. Blisters are most commonly caused by excessive friction on the feet from walking barefoot, in socks only, and in shoes. Blisters can also occur when a caustic chemical causes a burn to the skin. They are often filled with clear fluid or with blood. Shoes that are too tight or loose may be a cause. Blisters can be prevented by wearing the proper shoes that fit well and wearing comfortable socks to prevent friction. Blisters are common in athletes and can often times be painful.
Corns and calluses are both accumulations of dead skin, usually due to excess pressure. The human body recognizes this extra pressure and forms layers of protective skin cells to pad these areas. This excess skin, usually found over bony pressure areas, does not cause pain. However, if the buildup becomes great enough, and the area has too much dead skin protection, it can result in pain, blistering, ulceration, and infection.
Fungus grows in dark, moist places—like the inside of socks and shoes. It can attack the soles of the feet, where the sweat glands are— a condition commonly called Athlete;s Foot. Fungus can also enter the nail bed along with the nail plate, matrix and root. This is how Fungus Toenails, or Onychomycosis, occurs.
Bacteria can cause an infection through small cracks (fissures) that can develop in the dry skin around the heel and on other parts of the foot or through corns,calluses, blisters,hangnails,ulcers. If untreated,the bacterial infection can destroy skin,tissue,and bonespread throughout the body.
Common sites of foot infections include the following:
- Blisters, corns, or callouses that bleed beneath the skin
- Scar tissue that has grown over the site of an earlier infection
- Foot ulcers caused by pressure, nerve damage,or poor circulation
- Injuries that tear or puncture the skin
High heels, ill-fitting shoes, and improperly-trimmed nails can all contribute to ingrown toenails, a condition where the sides of the toenail dig into the skin of the nail bed. If the skin becomes infected, part or all of the toenail must be removed surgically to allow proper healing.
Warts are caused by a virus that enters the body through small openings or breaks in the skin where sweat glands are prevalent, primarily the palms of the hand and soles of the feet. Moist environments that soften these skin areas, such as swimming pools and showers, can increase the chances of the virus entering the body. Not much is known as to why some individuals are susceptible to certain viruses, while others are not. This explains why only one member of a family may have plantar warts.
Foot And Ankle Pain
Are you ignoring a chronic condition because you don’t want to stay off your feet? We have experience treating sports injuries, arthritis, foot deformities and etc. We can devise a treatment strategy that works best for you. Not only do we help you recover from your injury as quickly as possible, we can schedule several follow-up visits to make sure you are healing and to prevent the condition from coming back.
A sprained ankle is an injury that occurs when you roll, twist or turn your ankle in an awkward way. This can stretch or tear the tough bands of tissue (ligaments) that help hold your ankle bones together. Ligaments help stabilize joints, preventing excessive movement. A sprained ankle occurs when the ligaments are forced beyond their normal range of motion. Most sprained ankles involve injuries to the ligaments on the outer side of the ankle.
Your feet have a great deal of pressure placed on them even before your workout begins. The simple motion of walking forces your ankle joint to support your body weight and absorb the force of your movements. When you begin to run, your foot bears the force of your body weight and high-speed impact with the ground, and must also cope with the repeated stress of pushing off and landing with each step.
A fingernail or toenail can be injured by a blow to the nail or by closing the finger or toe in a door or drawer. This kind of trauma commonly results in blood under the nail, a condition called subungual hematoma. Nails also can be accidentally torn or split, or a splinter can get under the nail. Repeated trauma to toenails, caused by ill-fitting shoes, can lead to deformities in the nails. The deformities may resemble a fungal infection; nails can be thickened or discolored and can lift away from the nail bed, which causes cosmetic concerns.
Many athletes who twist or fall on their ankles during game play will suffer an ankle sprain. However, what many patients don’t realize is that sprains often occur hand-in-hand with stress fractures, tiny breaks in the bones of the feet caused by repetitive stress. Pain in the ankle is a common symptom in both conditions, so athletes may assume they have suffered a sprain, and do not know that they have suffered a broken bone until weeks after the injury occurs.
The Achilles tendon is a fibrous band of tissue that links the muscles in your calf to your heel. The strength and flexibility of this tendon are important for jumping, running, and walking. Your Achilles tendon bears a lot of stress and pressure during everyday activities, as well as during athletic and recreational play. If it becomes inflamed, swollen, and irritated, it is called tendonitis.
Anyone can develop an Achilles tendon injury. They’re often linked to repetitive stress. The most common risk factors are:
- Increased amount or intensity of an activity or sport
- Starting a new sport
- Tight calf muscles when starting an exercise or sport, this can place more stress on your tendon
- Bone spurs on your heel, which can rub against the tendon
- Wearing the wrong shoes when you exercise
- Exercising on an uneven surface
- Treatment with fluoroquinolone, an antibiotic
Diabetic Foot Care
When talking about diabetes and your feet there are three main concerns: circulation, sensation and ability to fight off infection. All of these put you at risk for major complications, which is why diabetic foot care is so important.
Diabetes can be dangerous to your feet—even a small cut can produce serious consequences. Diabetes may cause nerve damage that takes away the feeling in your feet. Diabetes may also reduce blood flow to the feet, making it harder to heal an injury or resist infection. Because of these problems, you may not notice a foreign object in your shoe. As a result, you could develop a blister or a sore. This could lead to an infection or a non-healing wound that could put you at risk for an amputation.
Peripheral neuropathy is a common condition in diabetic patients who have difficulty controlling their blood sugar levels. High blood glucose levels can interrupt nerve signals in the hands and feet, causing pain, tingling, or even total loss of feeling.
The early symptoms of diabetic neuropathy often include:
Difficulty wearing shoes or socks due to pain in the toes
A persistent tingling or burning feeling in the feet
Inability to feel pain in the foot or toes
Muscle weakness, balance problems, or difficulty walking
Inability to feel heat or cold in the feet or toes
Pain in the feet that worsens with walking or during the night
A foot ulcer is an open sore on the foot. A foot ulcer can be a shallow red crater that involves only the surface skin. A foot ulcer also can be very deep. A deep foot ulcer may be a crater that extends through the full thickness of the skin. It may involve tendons, bones and other deep structures. People with diabetes and people with poor circulation are more likely to develop foot ulcers. It can be difficult to heal a foot ulcer. In people with these conditions, even a small foot ulcer can become infected if it does not heal quickly.
If an infection occurs in an ulcer and is not treated right away, it can develop into:
- An abscess (a pocket of pus)
- A spreading infection of the skin and underlying fat (cellulitis)
- A bone infection (osteomyelitis)
- Gangrene. Gangrene is an area of dead, darkened body tissue caused by poor blood flow.
Among people with diabetes, most severe foot infections that ultimately require some part of the toe, foot or lower leg to be amputated start as a foot ulcer.
Injury, overuse or conditions causing inflammation involving any of the bones, ligaments or tendons in the foot can cause foot pain. Arthritis is a common cause of foot pain. Injury to the nerves of the feet may result in intense burning pain, numbness or tingling (peripheral neuropathy)
Flatfeet can be caused by many factors including genetics (you were born with it), shoe wear, trauma, systemic diseases (rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes etc.), tendon ruptures, and more.
Hammertoes occur when there is a bend or contracture at the small joints at the toes. This can affect some or all of the toes including the big toes. The contracture can cause the toes to rub on shoes, cause sores on the tips of the toes, cross over other toes or even cause pain in the ball of the foot. The toe is made of 3 joints. At each joint the toe can bend and cause a different type of hammertoe.
One of the most common causes of heel pain, this occurs when the plantar fascia ligament that attaches from the heel to the ball of your foot becomes tightened or irritated. Pain is felt at its insertion point on the heel bone, or calcaneus. This can sometimes result in the formation of a heel spur as well.
The tendon going from the calf in the back of the leg and attached to the heel bone can become swollen, frayed, or partially torn. It can be difficult to walk and climb up or go down steps.
Gout is a common and complex form of arthritis that can affect anyone. It’s characterized by sudden, severe attacks of pain, swelling, redness and tenderness in the joints, often the joint at the base of the big toe.
An attack of gout can occur suddenly, often waking you up in the middle of the night with the sensation that your big toe is on fire. The affected joint is hot, swollen and so tender that even the weight of the sheet on it may seem intolerable. Gout symptoms may come and go, but there are ways to manage symptoms and prevent flares.
Metatarsalgia is a condition in which the ball of your foot becomes painful and inflamed. You might develop it if you participate in activities that involve running and jumping. There are other causes as well, including foot deformities and shoes that are too tight or too loose.
A neuroma is a painful condition, also referred to as a “pinched nerve” or a nerve tumor. It is a benign growth of nerve tissue frequently found between the third and fourth toes. It brings on pain, a burning sensation, tingling, or numbness between the toes and in the ball of the foot.
The principal symptom associated with a neuroma is pain between the toes while walking. Those suffering from the condition often find relief by stopping their walk, taking off their shoe, and rubbing the affected area. At times, the patient will describe the pain as similar to having a stone in his or her shoe. The vast majority of people who develop neuromas are women.
Arthritis is inflammation of one or more of your joints. It can cause pain and stiffness in any joint in the body and is common in the small joints of the foot and ankle. There are more than 100 forms of arthritis, many of which affect the foot and ankle
With 26 bones, 33 joints and over 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments, the foot and ankle work together to provide balance, support and mobility to the body. Trauma to any of these bones or soft tissues can result in pain and inflammation as well as difficulty walking and an inability to bear weight on the foot.Strains, sprains and fractures are the most prevalent foot and ankle injuries, affecting more than 1 million people annually in the United States. Ankle and foot trauma often occur during sports or recreational activities, but people also commonly suffer these injuries while walking or during normal activities at work or home.
Fractures of the foot include toe fractures and fractures of the middle bones of the foot (metatarsal fractures), the two small round bones at the base of the big toe (sesamoid fractures), or the bones at the back of the foot, including fractures of the heel bone (calcaneus).
A laceration is a cut through the skin. Deep cuts may require stitches. Minor cuts may be treated with surgical tape closures or skin glue.
X-rays may be done if something may have entered the skin through the cut, such as glass or rocks. You may also need a tetanus shot if you are not up to date on this vaccination and the object that caused the cut may lead to tetanus.
A foot crush injury is a severe type of broken foot condition. In this injury, the foot is compressed between two hard surfaces, resulting in a “crushing” of bones, soft tissue, and nerves. This often occurs in transportation or occupational accidents, such as if a heavy object falls on the foot, if the foot is run over by heavy machinery, or if the individual is in a car accident.
A foot sprain is an injury to the ligaments in your foot. Ligaments are strong bands of tissue that connect one bone to another to form the joints. When a ligament is injured, it can be stretched, partially torn, or completely torn.
A tendon rupture is a partial or complete tear of your tendon. Tendons are tough bands of tissue that attach your muscles to your bones. A tear may be caused by an injury or increased pressure on the tendon that occurs during sports or a fall. Your risk may be higher if you have a weak tendon.