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Posts for category: Foot Care

By Family Foot and Ankle Center
April 16, 2015
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Children's Feet   Kids Feet  
 
During the school year, your children maintain their normal school routine with frequent activities and are constantly on the go.  In order to maintain their busy schedules it is vital that their feet are protected against the aches and pains of non-stop daily activities.  From infants and toddlers to high school kids, the need for continual foot relief is constant.  Pain in your child’s foot or ankle is never normal, as there is no such thing as “growing pains.”  Visit one of our locations in Ashburn, Fairfax, Reston and McLean, VA if you have any pain that lasts more than a few days, or that is severe enough to limit the child’s walking, as soon as possible.  
 

Infants and Toddlers

Whether your infant or toddler is in school or daycare, their feet need extra protection early on to promote healthy feet later on in their lives.  The size and shape of your baby’s feet change dramatically during their first year.  Too much pressure or strain can affect the shape of their feet as a baby’s feet are flexible.  When choosing shoes for your baby make sure their shoes and socks do not squeeze the toes as this can cause damage to their precious toes. 
 
As your infant continues to grow, it is important not to force your toddler to walk before he or she is ready to.  Once your toddler does begin to walk, watch your toddler’s gait – the way in which they walk.  Many toddlers may have a pigeon-toe gait, which is normal, while some initially learn to walk landing on their toes instead of their heels.  Most children will outgrow both of these problems, but other conditions detected early can be treated more easily.  
 

Proper Shoes for Your Children

Before you head to the store to buy your kids shoes, follow some simple guidelines provided by your podiatrist to prevent or minimize foot problems from poorly fitting or worn out shoes.  Your child’s feet can grow up to two sizes in six months, so you need to account for growth when purchasing new shoes.  This doesn’t mean that you need to buy shoes that are too big as oversized shoes cause the foot to slide forward, putting excessive pressure on the toes.  A good fitting shoe is about a finger’s width from the end of the shoe to the tip of the big toe.  If your child’s shoes are too tight, it can cause blisters, corns and calluses, or worse, ingrown nails that become can become infected.  
 
Shoes will lose their shock absorption over time, so it is important to inspect new and old shoes for proper cushioning and arch support.  If your child’s shoes exhibit wear and tear around the edges of the sole, replace them with new shoes that have adequate support.  When buying new shoes, check to see that the toe box flexes easily and the shoe does not bend in the middle of the sole.  Worn-out shoes elevate the risk for heel pain, Achilles tendonitis and even ankle sprains and stress factors – be sure to replace then as soon as possible.  
 
Remember to check your child’s shoe size often, as they will continually change shoe sizes as they grow.  With your podiatrist’s care, the risk of bone problems can be reduced.  Contact one of our locations in Ashburn, Fairfax, Reston and McLean, VA today if your child is experiencing any pain in their feet due to injury or abnormal growth.
By Family Foot and Ankle Center
April 03, 2015
Category: Foot Care
A fungal infection in one of your toenails can be both uncomfortable and unsightly. To fix the problem, there are both topical and oral treatments that can be used. If you are suffering from a fungal toenail, visit one of our locations in Ashburn, Fairfax, Reston and McLean, VA as soon as possible to find out the best way to fix your problem. 
 
Fungal toenails tend to affect older men most often, because as you get older there is a diminished flow of blood to your toes and a longer period of exposure to fungi. Here are a few more of the most common factors that can increase your chances of getting a fungal toenail:
  • Walking barefoot in wet public areas. Walking without shoes in swimming pools, showers or gyms can increase your chances of a fungal infection.
  • Sweating heavily. If your feet are constantly sweaty, fungus will be more likely to survive and thrive near your toes in your shoe. 
  • Diabetes. Diabetes restricts the flow of blood to the extremities. Because of this, your immune system will be less prepared to fight off the fungal infection.
  • Poor shoes. If you wear shoes that do not ventilate or effectively absorb perspiration well, fungus will be able to thrive near your feet. 

Options To Treat Fungal Toenails

To learn about what treatment options you have, schedule an appointment with your local podiatrist. Currently, there are over the counter creams and ointments available, but they generally are not as effective as prescribed medications from your podiatrist. When you see your podiatrist, depending on the severity of the infection, he or she will usually prescribe either an oral medication or a topical cream. 
 
Oral medications are generally taken for 6 to 12 weeks. They work by helping a new nail to grow without any infection. Because of this, the infection is removed very slowly. You won’t be fully rid of the infection for four months or longer. Your podiatrist may also prescribe a topical medication that you will apply directly to your toenail. 
 
Generally this medication is used in conjunction with oral medication. In the most extreme cases, your podiatrist in may perform surgery to remove your nail. If this happens, your nail will grow back very slowly, possibly taking up to a year to fully grow back.
 
To learn more about how to treat your fungal toenail or to schedule an appointment, make an appointment at either our Ashburn, Fairfax, Reston or McLean, VA office today. 
By Family Foot and Ankle Center
March 25, 2015
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Ingrown Toenails  

Toenail Fungus Do you have painful, tender ingrown toenails that make simply walking difficult? Even if they're not that bad yet, leaving ingrown nails untreated can lead to trouble getting around, or even the full removal of the nail.

At Family Foot and Ankle Center, you'll find final foot relief for your pesky ingrown toenail symptoms.Sometimes, ingrown toenails are caused by people trimming their toenails too short or too much shoe pressure from ill-fitting footwear. But other common causes of ingrown toenails include:

  • injury
  • fungus infection
  • heredity
  • poor foot structure

Regardless of how the infection begins, ingrown toenails can become painful in a hurry, first feeling swollen and tender before manifesting themselves as painful, red, and infected as surrounding skin begins to grow over the affected nail.

Check out a few tips on ingrown toenail prevention below, followed by do-it-yourself relief options offered by the helpful podiatrists at Family Foot and Ankle Center:

Ingrown Toenail Prevention

Keep your feet free from ingrown toenail infections by:

  • Trimming toenails from end-to-end-- without rounded corners.
  • Only wearing footwear that fits properly.
  • Washing your feet regularly, particularly after engaging in an activity that gets them dirty.

Ingrown Toenail Relief

You can provide relief for already incurred ingrown toenails by remembering to:

  • Soak your feet in warm, soapy water at least twice daily.
  • Stop wearing ill-fitting footwear.
  • Take prescribed antibiotics-- some medication can be of aid in the fight against ingrown toenail infections.
  • Come see your trusted podiatrist, who might suggest surgical removal of some or all of the ingrown toenail in severe cases.

Regardless of why or how your ingrown toenails came to be, the painful results are often the same - but they don't have to be! Trust the gentle hands of your podiatrists at Family Foot and Ankle Center, right here Reston, VA. We also offer convenient locations in Fairfax , McLean, and Ashburn. Give us a call at (703) 723-2719 today, for full foot relief that starts now!

By Family Foot and Ankle Center
March 18, 2015
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Bunions  
One of the most common forefoot problems are bunions, which are also referred to as Hallux Valgus. The bunion is a prominent bump on the inside of the foot around the big toe joint.  The bone, which protrudes towards the inside of the foot, can often result in pushing the big toe under or over the second toe.  
 
Although bunions are a common foot deformity, there are often misconceptions about them and your podiatrist in Fairfax works to help you understand.  Many people may even go about their lives not realizing they have a bunion because it does not initially cause pain.  Bunions are a progressive disorder in which the bump becomes increasingly prominent.  Symptoms usually appear at later stages, but some people may not exhibit any.
 

Treating Your Bunion: Tips from Your Fairfax Podiatrist

Since bunions are bone deformities, they are not able to be resolved by themselves. The first goal of bunion treatment is to relieve pressure and pain that is caused by irritations, while the second is to stop any progressive growth of the enlargement.  Some common methods used for treating your bunion and reducing pressure include:
 
  • The use of protective padding to eliminate the friction against shoes and help alleviate inflammation and skin problems.
  • Removal of corns and calluses on the foot. 
  • Changing to carefully-fitted footwear designed to accommodate the bunion and not contribute toward its growth.  
  • Orthotic devices to help stabilize the joint and place the foot in the correct position for walking and standing.
  • Exercises to maintain joint mobility and prevent stiffness or arthritis.
  • Splints for nighttime wear to help the toes and joint align properly.
 
When early treatments fail, or your bunion begins to worsen over time, a consultation with your Fairfax podiatrist will be needed.  Depending on the size of the enlargement and pain, your podiatrist in Fairfax may recommend surgery.  It is important to not ignore foot pain, as it can worsen over time.  Protect your feet and seek treatment immediately. 
By Family Foot and Ankle Center
March 03, 2015
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Proper Footwear   Heel Pain  
Is heel pain keeping you down?  In pursuit of healthy bodies, pain is often the enemy. Pain that occurs right after an injury or early in an illness may play a protective role, often warning us about the damage we have suffered.  Plantar fasciitis (heel pain) is a foot condition in which a band of tissue in the sole of the foot becomes inflamed, leading to severe heel pain.  The heel pain can be so bad that it hurts to walk, much less exercise or do daily activities.  If one step causes shooting pain in your heel—especially when you get out of bed in the morning or stand up after sitting for a long period of time—plantar fasciitis may be to blame.  Contact your podiatrist in Fairfax immediately for proper diagnosis and treatment of your pain. 
 

Understanding Heel Pain with Help from Your Podiatrist in Fairfax

Plantar fasciitis, or heel pain, occurs when the plantar fascia is strained over time beyond its normal extension.  This causes the soft tissue fibers of the fascia to tear or stretch at points along its length, leading to inflammation, pain and possibly the growth of a bone spur where it attaches to the heel bone.
 
Inflammation may become irritated by shoes that lack appropriate support, mainly in the arch area and by the constant irritation associated with an athletic lifestyle.  Resting may provide temporary relief, but when you resume walking you may experience a sudden elongation of the fascia band, which stretches and pulls on the heel.  As you walk the pain may lessen or even disappear, but that may just be a false sense of relief as the pain often will return after prolonged rest or extensive walking.  
 
You can take steps now to avoid heel pain, including:
  • Wear shoes that fit well
  • Wear proper shoes for each activity
  • Do not wear shoes with excessive wear on heels or soles
  • Prepare properly before exercising by stretching and warming up
  • Pace yourself when you participate in athletic activities
  • Don’t underestimate your body’s need for rest and good nutrition
  • Lose excess weight
If pain and other symptoms of inflammation persist, you should limit your normal daily activities and contact your Fairfax podiatrist at Fairfax Office immediately.  


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