Serving Ashburn/Leesburg, Fairfax/Burke, Reston/Herndon and McLean /Great Falls VA.
By Family Foot and Ankle Centers
December 06, 2017
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Sunscreen   Sun Damage  

You’ve been told time and time again to always sport that sunscreen before going outside. You’re all lathered up to protect yourself from the sun’s powerful rays butSunscreen, Sun Damage hold on just a moment. Didn’t you forget something? If you haven’t been putting sunscreen on your feet then you may just want to read further!

While you may be applying sunscreen every day in an effort to protect yourself from skin cancer, you may have forgotten one rather important area of the body that also requires sunscreen: your feet. Just like the rest of your body, skin cancer can develop anywhere on feet. Since this is a less obvious location, most people won’t catch the issue until it’s become widespread and serious. Melanoma symptoms can sometimes be very subtle and unless you are getting regular foot exams and performing self-exams regularly you may not notice skin cancer in inconspicuous areas such as between toes or under the toenails.

When it comes to sunscreen it’s important to apply it about 15 to 20 minutes before going outside. Sunscreen should be broad spectrum and protect against both UVA and UVB rays. Remember to reapply sunscreen after sweating or swimming (or at least every two hours). A good rule of thumb is, if your feet are going to be exposed to the sun then it’s time to apply sunscreen. Even if you are just walking around outside in flip-flops, you should still put sunscreen on your feet before leaving the house.

Of course, even when practicing good sunscreen application, it’s still important to inspect your feet thoroughly and regularly so that if there are any changes to the health of your feet that you’ll be able to tell right away and come in to see a podiatrist as soon as possible.

If you do notice a suspicious mole or growth it’s important that you play it safe and have it checked out by a foot doctor. Skin cancer can happen to anyone. Isn’t it time you protected your skin? Reach out to a podiatrist if you have any questions or concerns about your foot health.

By Family Foot and Ankle Centers
November 15, 2017
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Calluses  

Your feet work hard for you day in and day out so it doesn’t come as much of a surprise that many people will deal with foot problems at some point. Perhaps you areCalluses prone to developing blisters or maybe you have noticed more and more calluses forming on your feet.

You may find that you develop calluses more easily if you wear tight-fitted shoes for long periods of time that rub against the skin. A callus is a thick patch of skin that has developed over time as a way to protect the skin from further irritation and damage.

While guitarists and gymnasts will often develop calluses on their hands and fingers, anyone can develop calluses on their feet. In fact, it is one of the most common places where calluses appear. While calluses are never serious for healthy individuals, they can certainly cause pain (especially when walking). While calluses can form anywhere on the feet they are often found on the balls of the feet. You may also notice calluses on the small toes, particularly if you have shoes that are too tight and rub against your foot.

So, can you speed up the healing process and remove the callus on your own? Well, in fact, you can! However, this is contingent on the fact that you are a healthy individual who doesn’t have diabetes or nerve damage in your feet. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes a podiatrist should address any changes in your foot health right away, no matter how small and insignificant it may seem. Otherwise, if you are healthy, you may be able to remove the callus safely from your own home.

One of the best ways to remove this thick layer of skin is to pumice it away. Soak your feet in warm water for around 10 minutes to soften the skin. Then use a pumice stone and gently rub it against the callus. Make sure to never rub too aggressively, as it could remove too much skin. If you want to have the calluses removed but are too nervous to handle this issue yourself, a foot care professional would be happy to help. Of course, you can also opt for non-medicated over-the-counter protective pads to place over the callus to protect it from rubbing and chafing against your shoes while you give it time to heal.

Of course, calluses will go away over time all on their own without treatment. It’s just important that you stop wearing shoes that could be causing calluses and that you only wear shoes that provide ample room for your feet so they aren’t rubbing against your skin. This alone will prevent calluses from forming and allow your current calluses to go away.

If in doubt about your foot health, it’s important to have a podiatrist on your side that you can trust. Call a foot specialist today if you have questions about how to care for callused feet or if you are experiencing other foot problems.

By Family Foot and Ankle Centers
November 03, 2017
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Heels   Pain  

Are you someone who loves their high heels and just can’t part with these shoes? There are a lot of women who love sporting skyscraper-high heels, whether for Heelswork or just a night on the town. If you are guilty of wearing heels more often than not, then you may end up facing heel pain more than someone who wears supportive footwear. If you are dealing with heel pain caused by the shoes you wear, then here’s how to treat your heel pain.

First and foremost, it’s time to ditch those shoes. Yes, it may be difficult at first, but your feet will thank you. You can still find stylish shoes that offer the arch support your feet need. While the plantar fascia tissue, which runs from the heel bone to the toes, can take quite a bit of wear and tear, it can still become overstretched and lead to painful conditions like plantar fasciitis. Luckily, the problem is one that can be treated with simple, conservative measures.

So, how can you tackle your heel pain? In most cases, resting your feet and avoiding certain activities can help give those overworked ligaments and muscles the time they need to heal properly. When your feet are feeling tired or sore you can also try an over-the-counter pain reliever which can keep swelling down.

Of course, there are instances in which you will want to see a podiatrist for care if you have heel pain. If you have been dealing with pain that hasn’t responded to at-home treatment for over two weeks or if your pain is so severe that you can’t move then it’s time to seek immediate care from a medical professional. In some situations, bracing, cortisone injections, shockwave therapy and even surgery may be required if your heel pain is severe enough.

Don’t let heel pain affect your quality of life. If foot pain has become the norm then it’s time you turned to a foot doctor to get the care you deserve. We are here to help.

By Family Foot and Ankle Centers
October 26, 2017
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Heel Pain  

Don't know what to do about that pain in your heel? The podiatrists at Family Foot and Ankle Center often treat heel pain in their heel painReston/Herndon, Ashburn/Leesburg, Fairfax/Burke and McLean/Great Falls offices. They share information about common heel conditions and explain what can be done to decrease your pain.

Common causes of heel pain

Your heel may ache or throb if you have one of these conditions:

  • A Stone Bruise: If you have a stone bruise, your heel will feel tender and sore if you touch it or put pressure on it when you walk. Stone bruises can occur due to stepping on a hard object or running or walking in shoes that don't provide enough support or cushioning.
  • Plantar Fasciitis: Plantar fasciitis is a painful condition that occurs when the plantar fascia on the bottom of your foot becomes inflamed. The fascia is tough band of tissue that serves as the connection between your heels and toes. If you have plantar fasciitis, you may notice that your pain is worse in the morning or after you sit or lie down for a while.
  • Heel Spurs: Heel spurs are caused by calcium deposits. You may develop them if you've had plantar fasciitis, regularly participate in activities that involve running or jumping, wear unsupportive shoes or are overweight.
  • Plantar Calluses: Plantar calluses cause a thick, painful build up of skin on your heel. They can occur if poorly fitting shoes rub against your heel or you wear socks that don't fit well.
  • Achilles Tendinitis: An inflammation in the Achilles tendon, the tight tendon at the back of your ankle, may also cause ankle pain. The condition tends to affect runners, particularly those who wear worn-out shoes, and people who are obese or have flat feet. Your risk of developing Achilles tendinitis increases with age.

How can my foot doctor help?

A visit to a Reston/Herndon, Ashburn/Leesburg, Fairfax/Burke or McLean/Great Falls office is a good idea if you have a heel pain that hasn't improved after a week or two of home treatment. Relieving your pain can be as simple as shaving your callus or injecting cortisone to ease your Achilles tendinitis pain. Adding a prescription insert to your shoes can be helpful if you have plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendinitis. Exercises or physical therapy may also be effective in relieving the pain of both conditions. Depending on the cause of your condition, you may also benefit from other therapies, including walking boots, splints, shockwave therapy or even surgery.

Are you ready to put an end to your ankle pain? Schedule an appointment by calling (703) 723-2719 for Reston/Herndon office, (703) 723-9267 for the Ashburn/Leesburg office, (703) 273-9818 for the Fairfax/Burke office or (703) 556-8637 for the McLean/Great Falls office.

By Family Foot and Ankle Centers
October 13, 2017
Category: Foot Problem
Tags: Athlete's Foot  

Athlete’s foot is a harmless fungal infection that happens to countless people every year. If you are someone who doesn’t wear your shower shoes at your local gym’sAthlete's Foot locker room or the community pool then you may find yourself prone to developing athlete’s foot. If athlete’s foot does happen to you, it’s important that you not only treat the issue but also know how to treat it so that it fully goes away. Here’s what to do if you find yourself faced with this fungal problem.

If you already know you have athlete’s foot then the next step is to treat it. More often than not this issue can be treated with over-the-counter medications. This means that you can easily go to your local pharmacy and find an anti-fungal medication that could clear up your athlete’s foot over time. Of course, if you are someone who gets athlete’s foot regularly, has severe athlete’s foot symptoms or you also have diabetes then you’ll want to see your podiatrist right away.

In some cases, over-the-counter medications aren’t enough to get rid of the infection. If this is the case then a foot doctor will be able to prescribe a much stronger antifungal cream or topical medication. It can take a couple weeks for symptoms to clear up. Make sure that you continue to use the medication until it is finished otherwise you could risk a reinfection.

In the meantime, there are ways to care for your feet either during an infection or after the infection has been treated to prevent another one in the future. This means keeping feet dry at all times, whether you are stepping out of the shower or the pool. Whenever feet get wet, thoroughly dry them off to prevent them from becoming a breeding ground for fungus to grow.

Look for footwear and socks that have breathable materials. If you are prone to sweaty feet, apply an antifungal powder to your feet or your shoes before putting on footwear. When you take your shoes off make sure to give them a full day to air out before wearing them again. You can also apply more talcum powder in the shoes to eat up the moisture while they air dry.

You’ll also want to protect your feet in public areas where fungus thrives. Local swimming pools, gym showers, and locker rooms are breeding grounds for fungus. Always wear protective sandals whenever you are in these environments.

Whether you are dealing with a nasty bout of athlete’s foot or you just have questions about ways to properly care for your feet, it’s the perfect time to turn to a podiatrist who has all the answers.

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