Posts for category: Foot Conditions
Athlete's foot is one of the most common fungal infections of the skin and is frequently seen in our office. Whether you've had it or not, it's important to understand how you can avoid and treat this highly contagious infection if you do contract it.
The fungus that causes athlete's foot thrives in damp, moist environments and often grows in warm, humid climates, such as locker rooms, showers and public pools; hence the name "athlete's foot. " This infection can itch and burn causing the skin on your feet and between your toes to crack and peel.
Tips For avoiding Athlete's Foot:
- Keep your feet dry, allowing them to air out as much as possible
- Wear socks that draw moisture away from your feet and change them frequently if you perspire heavily
- Wear light, well-ventilated shoes
- Alternate pairs of shoes, allowing time for your shoes to dry each day
- Always wear waterproof shoes in public areas, such as pools, locker rooms, or communal showers
- Never borrow shoes due to the risk of spreading a fungal infection
A mild case of athlete's foot will generally clear up on its own with over-the-counter antifungal creams and sprays. But since re-infection is common due to its contagious nature, many people require prescribed anti-fungal medication to effectively treat the infection. Generally, it's always best to consult with your podiatrist before choosing a treatment.
Mild cases of athlete's foot can turn severe and even cause a serious bacterial infection. If you notice your rash has become increasingly red, swollen and painful or you develop blisters and sores, call our office right away. Athlete's foot left untreated could eventually spread to other body parts and infect other people around you.
With the right treatment, you'll be cured of your athlete's foot in no time, which means the sooner you can enjoy the activities you love without pain and irritation!
What Causes Warts?
Got foot warts? Nearly everyone will have a wart at some point in their lives. Warts are typically small, hard skin growths caused by an infection with humanpallilloma virus. Foot warts are treatable. Foot warts are among the most common dermatologic conditions podiatrists treat. Read on to learn about the causes of warts.
An HPV Infection
Common warts are caused by by an HPV infection. Over 100 types of HPV exist. Certain types of HPV infection cause cervical cancer. Some types of HPV infection cause foot warts, while others cause warts that appear on the face, neck, or hands. Of the 100 types of HPV, about 60 cause common warts on areas such as the hands or feet.
Wart viruses are contagious. You can get foot warts from skin-to-skin contact with people who have warts. However, not all HPV strains are highly contagious. You can get the wart virus by touching an object that another person's wart touched, such as clothing, towels, shoes, or exercise equipment.
Breaks in Your Skin
HPV infects the top layer of skin and usually enters the body in an area of damaged or cut skin. Cuts from shaving can provide an avenue for infection. Getting a scrape can also bring on common warts. Foot warts are very common in swimmers whose feet are scratched by rough pool surfaces.
A Weak Immune System
In most cases, your immune system defeats an HPV infection before it creates a wart. Someone with a weakened immune system is more vulnerable and therefore more likely to develop warts. Immune systems can be weakened by HIV or by immunosuppressant drugs used after organ transplants.
If you want to get rid of foot warts, see your podiatrist as soon as possible. Many types of effective wart treatments are available. They include salicylic acid, cantharidin, cryotherapy, laser treatment, and surgery. Your podiatrist can help you get rid of foot warts once and for all!
When most people think about foot deformities they most often think about bunions; however, hammertoes are just as common. This unassuming deformity comes about gradually, so you may not even notice it until it’s too late. “What is a hammertoe?” You might be wondering. A hammertoe affects the middle joint of a toe (often the smaller toes), causing the toe to bend downward. In severe cases, a hammertoe will look almost claw-like.
There are two kinds of hammertoes: flexible and rigid. As you might imagine, a flexible hammertoe is one in which you can still straighten the toe out. If you aren’t able to straighten the affected toe then this is a rigid hammertoe. A flexible hammertoe isn’t as serious as a rigid one; however, it’s important that you take care of your hammertoe to make sure that it doesn’t get worse.
While there is no way to cure a hammertoe there are simple measures you can take to prevent it from progressing. First and foremost, you need to take a look at the shoes you are wearing and make sure that they aren’t too tight. When you slip your feet into your shoes, does it cause your toes to bunch up against one another? If so then this could make your hammertoe worse.
Instead, opt for shoes with an ample toe box, which will allow your toes to wiggle and move around freely. If you have a structural imbalance within the foot this can leave you prone to foot problems such as hammertoes and bunions. To correct this imbalance, talk to your foot doctor about getting custom orthotics (shoe inserts), which can be placed into your shoes to help provide cushioning, support, and shock absorption for your feet.
If pain or stiffness does rear its ugly head you can choose to take an over-the-counter pain reliever like ibuprofen, which can tackle both pain and inflammation in one fell swoop, or you can place a towel-wrapped ice pack (never put ice directly on the skin, as it can cause severe burns) over the area for several minutes.
Just as you can buy pads to cover a bunion or callus, you can also buy a non-medicated protective pad to cover over a hammertoe. Since the deformed toe joint juts out this can leave the toe prone to calluses, which can cause pain when wearing shoes. To prevent a callus from forming, you can apply a protective pad over the deformed toe joint before putting on shoes.
Of course, if you are dealing with significant or frequent pain, or if the hammertoe is rigid, then you will want to turn to a podiatric specialist. In severe cases, surgery may be recommended to correct the disfigured joint.
Functioning normally when you are regularly in pain can be extremely difficult. Pain can race through the foot at the most inopportune times and can cause you to falter during the most routine tasks. Sometimes the pain comes sharply, while at other times it burns and tingles. Living with this type of pain can be due to a neuroma. A neuroma is a condition in which a nerve becomes inflamed and has excess growth. It wreaks havoc on the foot and can greatly impact your lifestyle.
When it comes to neuromas, there is not always a precise reason as to why one develops. There are different types of behaviors or circumstances that can contribute to the making of a neuroma:
Deformities of the foot that impact mobility can be linked to a neuroma. For example, a flat foot or high arch can cause a neuroma to develop. This is because feet that are not stable while moving around can cause damage to the joints of the foot. The joints have many different nerves in and around them that can become irritated and turn into a neuroma.
A traumatic injury or incident can also cause a neuroma to grow. If a nerve is damaged and begins to swell or become inflamed, it can spur the growth of a neuroma.
Wearing the wrong shoes can also propel your foot into the world of the neuroma. If your shoes are too narrow and squeeze your toes, or put pressure on your forefoot in general, you could find yourself with a neuroma in no time.
Overuse or repeated stress of the foot can create a neuroma. Athletes who are constantly jumping or moving around are especially prone to neuromas due to the constant stress and use of their feet for their passion.
Neuromas can appear slowly and you may not even realize you have one until it’s too late. Symptoms of a neuroma include forefoot pain and pain between the toes, tingling, numbness, swelling, and pain when bearing weight on the ball of the foot. Neuroma pain can impact your daily life and functionality.
Suspect you are suffering from neuroma pain? Don’t wait until walking is unbearable – take action now by visiting a podiatrist. Call Dr. Andrew H. Cohen of Mid-Michigan Foot & Ankle Center located in Saginaw and Bay City, Michigan. You can reach our office at 989-790-8009 or make an appointment online today. Do not let neuroma pain rule your life.
When you suffer from heel pain, you are suffering from a constant ache. You use your feet all the time to stay mobile and, in doing so, cause your heels to hurt more. Since you are so busy, it is hard to find time to really sit down and think of some ways to help reduce your pain. Don’t worry though, we have compiled a list of tips for you so you can use them as you get on with your busy lifestyle.
- Wear your shoes around the house when you are home at night. Walking barefoot or with slippers can cause more pain because there is no cushion or support to help the heel recover.
- Stretch out your calves. Go slowly so you do not overextend your muscles and end up in the podiatrist’s office with a sprain.
- Begin all new exercise regimens slowly. This allows the body to get used to the new exercises and prevent overuse or strain.
- Buy a pair of new shoes that have good quality support and cushioning to help your heel.
- Try to lose some weight. If you are carrying around excess weight, you are putting more pressure on your heels. Excess pressure and shock can cause or worsen plantar fasciitis so much that it can render someone immobile if not treated seriously.
- Avoid uneven walking surfaces. These can cause more strain or force your foot to roll.
- Consult your podiatrist before starting a new exercise regimen. Exercise is a good way to stay healthy, but if you suffer from chronic heel pain, certain exercises may not be right for you.
- Get some orthotics. Your podiatrist can make custom fitting orthotics that insert directly into your shoe. These help to support the heel and often prevent pain.
- If you feel pain that wasn’t there before, call your podiatrist. If you do not already have a podiatrist, consider choosing our office. We have had many years of experience in treating painful heels.
Heel pain can cause you a lot of grief, but it can be managed with the correct regimen. Call Dr. Andrew H. Cohen of Mid-Michigan Foot & Ankle Center, located in Saginaw and Bay City, Michigan. You can reach our office line at 989-790-8009 or make an appointment online today. You do not have to live with plantar fascia pain – let us help.