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March 2021

Monday, 29 March 2021 00:00

Can Bunions Be Treated?

A bunion is a hard, bony bump that forms at the base of the big toe joint. The bump can be unsightly and cause pain while walking or wearing shoes. It may also push the big toe out of alignment, causing it to lean towards the smaller toes. Bunions tend to become progressively worse over time if they are not treated. Fortunately, bunions can be easily treated. Wearing roomy, comfortable shoes, using orthotic inserts or padding the bunion, and taking over-the-counter pain medications can all help manage bunion pain. For more severe bunions, surgery may be recommended. If you have bunions and would like to learn more about potential treatment options, please consult with a podiatrist.

If you are suffering from bunions, contact one of our podiatrists of Coastal Foot & Ankle Wellness Center, LLC. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is a Bunion?

A bunion is formed of swollen tissue or an enlargement of boney growth, usually located at the base joint of the toe that connects to the foot. The swelling occurs due to the bones in the big toe shifting inward, which impacts the other toes of the foot. This causes the area around the base of the big toe to become inflamed and painful.

Why Do Bunions Form?

Genetics – Susceptibility to bunions are often hereditary

Stress on the feet – Poorly fitted and uncomfortable footwear that places stress on feet, such as heels, can worsen existing bunions

How Are Bunions Diagnosed?

Doctors often perform two tests – blood tests and x-rays – when trying to diagnose bunions, especially in the early stages of development. Blood tests help determine if the foot pain is being caused by something else, such as arthritis, while x-rays provide a clear picture of your bone structure to your doctor.

How Are Bunions Treated?

  • Refrain from wearing heels or similar shoes that cause discomfort
  • Select wider shoes that can provide more comfort and reduce pain
  • Anti-inflammatory and pain management drugs
  • Orthotics or foot inserts
  • Surgery

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

Read more about Bunions
Monday, 22 March 2021 00:00

What Is Idiopathic Peripheral Neuropathy

Idiopathic peripheral neuropathy refers to damage of the peripheral nerves where cause can not be determined. When the peripheral nerves are damaged, there are often symptoms that affect the feet. These can include numbness, a tingling or burning sensation, pain, a loss of sensation, muscle weakness, muscle spasms, or difficulty moving the lower limbs. Treatment for idiopathic peripheral neuropathy that affects the lower limbs focuses on managing the symptoms of the disease. Certain medications or physical therapy may be suggested. Mobility aids, such as orthotic shoes, canes, or braces may be prescribed to help you balance and walk. For more information about peripheral neuropathy, please consult with a podiatrist.

When dealing with systemic disease of the feet, it is extremely important to check the affected areas routinely so that any additional problems are caught quickly.  If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles contact one of our podiatrists from Coastal Foot & Ankle Wellness Center, LLC. Our doctors will assist you with all of your podiatric needs.

Systemic Diseases of the Feet

Systemic diseases affect the whole body, and symptoms usually are displayed in the feet. This condition can make a patient’s ability to walk unbearable.  Systemic diseases include gout, diabetes mellitus, neurological disorders, and arthritis.

Gout – is caused by an excess of uric acid in the body. Common symptoms include pain, inflammation, and redness at the metatarsal/phalangeal joint of the base big toe. Gout can be treated by NSAIDs to relieve pain and inflammation, and other drugs that lower the acid levels in the body.

Diabetes mellitus – is an increase in the level of blood sugar that the body cannot counteract with its own insulin. Failure to produce enough insulin is a factor in Diabetes.

Diabetes of the Feet

Diabetic Neuropathy – may lead to damaged nerves and affect the feet through numbness and loss of sensation.

Peripheral Vascular Disease – can restrict the blood flow to the feet, and often times lead to amputation of the feet. 

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in St. Augustine, and Palatka, FL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Systemic Diseases of the Foot
Monday, 15 March 2021 00:00

What Causes Heel Fissures?

Heel fissures are cracks in the skin of the heels that can be painful and uncomfortable. There are many potential causes of heel fissures such as standing for prolonged periods of time. The effects of prolonged standing can be mitigated by wearing shoes that are supportive and padded in the heel area. Skin conditions, such as eczema, atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, and palmoplantar keratoderma, can all affect the skin of the heels by making them dry, scaly, or thickened, and therefore more likely to crack. You may also develop cracked heels as the result of wearing inappropriate footwear. Shoes that are backless can cause or worsen cracked heels because there is nothing to keep the back of the foot in place while pressure is exerted on it from walking or standing. The extra pressure on the foot can cause dry skin on the heels to crack. If you have painful cracked heels, it is recommended that you see a podiatrist for treatment.

Cracked heels are unsightly and can cause further damage to your shoes and feet. If you have any concerns, contact one of our podiatrists from Coastal Foot & Ankle Wellness Center, LLC. Our doctors 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 one of our offices located in St. Augustine, and Palatka, FL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Solutions for Cracked Heels
Sunday, 14 March 2021 00:00

Are You Suffering From Ingrown Toenails?

If left untreated, an ingrown toenail can lead to more serious concerns, such as an infection. Knowing proper nail care can help in the prevention of an ingrown toenail. Give us a call, and get treated!

Certain strains of Human Papillomavirus (HPV) can produce individual or clustered plantar warts on the sole of the foot where there is friction or pressure. Although harmless, these small and flat lesions can be uncomfortable or even painful. Plantar warts are contagious and can spread from person to person in communal spaces like public showers. They are most common in 12-16 year olds, and people most at risk for plantar warts have weakened immune systems, or cuts or scrapes on their feet. These warts can eventually disappear, but it may take years for them to do so. Home remedies for pain relief or removal may be tempting, but they can be ineffective or even risky. For professional treatment, consult with a podiatrist who has many effective and safe ways to remove or resolve plantar warts.

Plantar warts can be very uncomfortable. If you need your feet checked, contact one of our podiatrists from Coastal Foot & Ankle Wellness Center, LLC. Our doctors 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 one of our offices located in St. Augustine, and Palatka, FL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about What Are Plantar Warts?
Monday, 01 March 2021 00:00

Ways to Help Prevent Falling

Falling is a common occurrence among patients who are sixty-five years and older. The feet can become hurt as a result of falling, and a broken foot, ankle or toe is not uncommon. There are methods that can be implemented that can help to prevent falling that consist of removing worn rugs from the living area, and improving lighting in the house. Many seniors find it beneficial to use a bathmat in the shower, in addition to installing grab bars in the toilet area. Strengthening the body may help in preventing falling episodes as well. If you would like more information about how falling can affect the feet, and techniques on how to prevent falling, please consult with a podiatrist.

Preventing falls among the elderly is very important. If you are older and have fallen or fear that you are prone to falling, consult with one of our podiatrists from Coastal Foot & Ankle Wellness Center, LLC. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality advice and care.

Every 11 seconds, an elderly American is being treated in an emergency room for a fall related injury. Falls are the leading cause of head and hip injuries for those 65 and older. Due to decreases in strength, balance, senses, and lack of awareness, elderly persons are very susceptible to falling. Thankfully, there are a number of things older persons can do to prevent falls.

How to Prevent Falls

Some effective methods that older persons can do to prevent falls include:

  • Enrolling in strength and balance exercise program to increase balance and strength
  • Periodically having your sight and hearing checked
  • Discuss any medications you have with a doctor to see if it increases the risk of falling
  • Clearing the house of falling hazards and installing devices like grab bars and railings
  • Utilizing a walker or cane
  • Wearing shoes that provide good support and cushioning
  • Talking to family members about falling and increasing awareness

Falling can be a traumatic and embarrassing experience for elderly persons; this can make them less willing to leave the house, and less willing to talk to someone about their fears of falling. Doing such things, however, will increase the likelihood of tripping or losing one’s balance. Knowing the causes of falling and how to prevent them is the best way to mitigate the risk of serious injury.  

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

Read more about Falls Prevention
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