Posts for category: Foot Care
A minor cut or scratch on your foot is usually not cause for alarm, but certain kinds of wounds on your feet can become infected and lead to other health problems if they are not treated promptly.
Perhaps you've nicked your skin while trimming your toenails. Maybe your new shoes didn't fit properly and you have an uncomfortable blister on your ankle. Or you were outside working in your garden and discovered a rusty nail the hard way by stepping on it. These don't seem like cause for much concern, but foot wounds can necessitate immediate medical attention in some instances.
Certain ailments can make dealing with foot wounds profoundly more challenging. For instance, a simple blister in a healthy person would require a minimal amount of treatment in order to heal. But for someone who has poor circulation or neuropathy, found in individuals with diabetes and autoimmune or vascular disorders, the complications could be dire. These diseases, particularly diabetes, reduce feeling in the extremities and suppress healing. This means a scratch or cut on the foot can ulcerate, become infected and potentially lead to amputation if not treated promptly.
Patients who are at risk for foot wound complications should work directly with their physicians to understand how to prevent wounds and the management of existing wounds. This includes rigorous cleaning and careful inspection of the feet daily.
Feet are particularly susceptible to puncture wounds, as sharp objects on the ground may not be immediately seen as someone is walking. These injuries can be concerning because of the potential for harmful bacteria to thrive in the lowoxygen environment. The depth of the wound can cause pieces of debris to become trapped, and without proper care and cleaning, this can lead to a serious infection.
It is important to seek medical care as soon as possible after receiving a deep puncture wound on your foot, particularly if it penetrated your shoe. You may need a tetanus shot booster if you haven't received one in the last five to ten years. Even after visiting an emergency department, following up with a podiatrist afterwards is essential to ensure the injury site is clean and healing properly.
If you are diabetic or have another vascular disorder, it is important to maintain good hygiene and to stay in contact with your podiatrist in the event of an injury. Other foot wounds should be seen by a doctor to determine the best treatment.
Excessive sweating of the feet can be an embarrassing problem that can also lead to infection. Learn how to deal with sweaty feet through these tips.
Most people only notice sweating during hot weather or stressful situations. However, some have a condition called hyperhidrosis, which makes them genetically predisposed to sweating more often than the average person. Because the feet have a large amount of sweat glands, they are the one of the most common areas for hyperhidrosis to occur. With the skin constantly exposed to moisture, the feet are more susceptible to odor and infection.
Controlling this frustrating problem can involve one or more of the following techniques:
Talking about your sweaty feet may feel uncomfortable, but it's important to discuss your symptoms with a podiatrist to devise the best treatment for you. Many people respond well to prescriptionstrength antiperspirants. These contain a higher concentration of aluminum chloride than that found in storebought products.
There is reported success with injections of botulinum toxin to stop the sweat glands' production. These treatments typically last between 3 and 9 months. There is also the possibility of using oral medications, called anticholinergics, but these can produce undesirable side effects such as dry mouth, constipation, and visual disturbances with longterm use.
People with hyperhidrosis must follow a strict hygiene regimen to combat their condition. Washing daily with antibacterial soap will help control infection and odor. Your feet should be dried thoroughly after bathing and powder such as cornstarch should be applied. Socks should be made of synthetic, breathable materials designed to draw moisture away from your feet. Cotton socks tend to hold moisture in and thus should be avoided.
The FDA recently approved iontophoresis devices, which submerge the feet in treated water and conduct a very low electrical current through the affected skin. These treatments are usually performed in a physician's office and take approximately an hour. There are also several surgical procedures available, but these are generally avoided unless all other treatments have been exhausted.
Having sweaty feet is a problem that can affect more than just your extremities it can have a profound impact on your selfesteem and social interaction. Your podiatrist is wellequipped to combat this issue; call today for an appointment.
Learn some helpful tips for how to properly care for your feet after foot surgery.
It’s probably a relief to know that your foot surgery is finally behind you and now you can focus your attention on healing. Of course, your recovery period will depend on you. After all, how you care for your foot after surgery may be the difference between a longer or shorter recovery time. From the office of your Fairfax, Reston, McLean, and Ashburn, VA podiatrists, find out how to protect your healing foot.
It’s extremely important that for the first two weeks after your procedure that you keep your foot elevated as much as possible. Swelling can be painful, but you can combat this by elevating the foot higher than the heart to drain the fluid.
Depending on the extent of your surgery, you may choose to relieve your discomfort through over-the-counter pain relievers. However, we will give most patients a prescription pain medication because they are often more effective for treating post-surgical pain. Note: Always let us know beforehand if there are any medications you are allergic to.
Whether you choose a frozen gel pack or a bag of frozen peas they can all work well for alleviating pain and swelling. Because bare skin should never be exposed to ice, always make sure that the ice is wrapped in a towel or that your skin has a sterile dressing over it. Ice the foot for up to 20 minutes at a time multiple times throughout the day.
A lot will depend on whether you are able to bear weight after your surgery or not. Those who can’t bear any weight will often use crutches. On average, most patients that aren’t allowed to bear weight after surgery will need to stay off the foot for about 6 weeks (the length of time might be longer for those with diabetes or bone issues).
If you are allowed to bear weight after your surgery, your Fairfax, Reston, McLean, and Ashburn, VA foot doctors will most likely recommend wearing a special shoe that will distribute the weight better to protect the area of the foot that has just been treated.
When to Call Us
If you start to notice redness around the sutures, pus, increased pain or you have a fever you need to give us a call right away. These are all signs of an infection and they need to be treated as soon as possible.
For more information about your foot health, please contact your podiatrist at Family Foot and Ankle Center. Call your local office or visit www.familyfootandankle.com to schedule your appointment today!
Fairfax, VA - (703) 273-9818
Reston, VA - (703) 723-2719
McLean, VA - (703) 556-8637
Ashburn, VA - (703) 723-9267
Give your ankles optimal stability and protection when hitting the basketball court.
When you’re playing a rousing game of basketball it can be hard to think about anything else. With your head in the game you may not even be thinking about whether your feet and ankles are getting the best protection they need to stay strong and to prevent injury; however, with the sudden stops and quick changes in movement your ankles can take quite the beating. To prevent injury to your ankles, here are some ways you can protect them while also enjoying your next game!
Opt for supportive shoes: While no shoe can completely prevent foot injuries from happening, some high top tennis shoes can absorb some of the shock and improve an athlete’s performance while in the game by offering better traction and structural support.
Consider an ankle brace: If you are suffering from Achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, a sprain or stress fracture, then it might be time to consider wearing an ankle brace while in the game. These braces consist of soft shells, semirigid material and stirrups that offer superior ankle joint stability and protection, making movement easier.
These braces are also meant to provide relief while promoting better performance. Some studies have even found that those players who wore ankle braces were less likely to deal with injuries than players who didn’t.
Perform proprioceptive exercises: While wearing better shoes and supportive braces can be helpful, it won’t prevent ankle sprains and other injuries. For those who have already suffered from sprains in the past, your lack of balance may be to blame. To improve your muscle, tendon and ligaments’ response to certain movements, exercises such as singleleg balances and inverted hamstring stretches can improve your proprioception.
Don’t overexert yourself: If you’ve already suffered from ankle injuries in the past, you’ll really want to pay close attention to your body. If you notice pain, then stop playing and give yourself some time to rest and recoup. Those who have been injured in the past are often more likely to develop a similar injury in the future. Don’t play the game if something doesn’t feel right.
Of course, even with the most diligent care and attention, accidents can still happen. If you experience any ankle injury while on the court, it’s important not to push yourself. The sooner you rest and get off your ankle the faster you will heal. If you think you’ve injured your ankle, then it’s time to see your podiatrist for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan!
Find out how to prevent and treat running injuries.
If athletes could have it their way, they would enjoy every mile of their run without experiencing any pain, discomfort or soreness. While this sounds ideal, it’s sadly not the reality we live in. With uneven and sometimes rough and rocky terrain, runners face a variety of conditions that are tough on their feet and ankles and can cause serious issues. Here are some of the most common running injuries we see and what you can do about them.
This condition often occurs because of repeated stress or overuse and affects the Achilles tendon, which connects the calf muscles to the back of the heel. When a runner develops Achilles tendinitis, this means the tendon is irritated and often stiff.
- Risk Factors: This condition is usually the result of a sudden increase in training, which can put unnecessary pressure on your calves. While it’s great to push yourself during your workout, you must create realistic goals to prevent injuries.
- Care: You will want to rest whenever you can and elevate your foot. Apply ice for 10 to 20 minutes a day, several times a day. Also, perform strengthening and stretching exercises like heel drops, and opt for low-impact cardio instead.
- Workout Impact: If you notice pain during or after your run you need to halt all activities until your injury is better. This is certainly not a condition that you want to continue to work out with. If you stop your workouts while the condition is still minor, you will have a faster healing time than someone who continues to work out through the pain.
Repeated stress and overtraining are the two main causes of these fractures, which can be caused by increasing your workout intensity or duration too fast. They are one of the most serious conditions that runners face.
- Risk Factors: However, those who’ve been running longer are less at risk for stress fractures than those who just started. Women are also more prone to stress fractures than men, often due to a lack of sufficient calorie intake or other nutritional deficits.
- Care: Stay off your foot until you can walk without pain. Once this happens, you can slowly incorporate jogging into your routine. You can use OTC pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medications to relieve pain and swelling. Talk to your podiatrist about whether you may need crutches.
- Workout Impact: Do not workout while you have a stress fracture. You should take anywhere from eight to 16 weeks away from your workouts. This, of course, will depend on the severity of your fracture. Again, opt for swimming or other low-impact sports in the meantime.
If you ever experience severe or chronic pain in your feet or ankles it’s important to contact your podiatrist right away. While at-home care can certainly alleviate your symptoms, if your symptoms affect your daytoday activities, then it’s time to seek medical attention.