Venous ulcers can be painful and difficult to treat. Knowing how they form is essential to treating them before they advance.
Venous ulcers, also called vascular, stasis or varicose ulcers, form when the veins in the lower extremities do not allow for sufficient blood flow back to the heart. They typically appear as dark purple or red blotches under the skin on the inside of the leg between the ankle and the calf. Over time, they can ulcerate, creating an open wound that is painful, inflamed and itchy. These ulcers are typically slow to heal and can harbor infection as a result.
Recognizing the signs
If you notice a dark bruiselike area forming on one or both of your lower legs, contact your doctor immediately. Treating these pools of stagnant blood before they turn into ulcers is extremely important.
The first step in treating venous ulcers is to promote blood circulation. Alternate lying down with your feet propped up to the level of your heart with daily walking. Physical activity helps the blood to move through your body more efficiently. Even after an ulcer has healed, wearing compression stockings at all times (except for bathing and sleep) will also help to encourage the blood to continue to circulate properly.
Recurring ulcers may require skin grafts or surgery.
Although venous ulcers can be caused by other problems, they are often caused by lifestyle issues such as smoking, obesity and inactivity. Maintaining a healthful diet and a regimen of regular exercise can help prevent a multitude of problems, including the formation of venous ulcers.
It is important to remember that if an ulcer has formed, early treatment is usually more successful than waiting until the ulcer has become larger or infected. If you think you may be at risk for venous ulcers or other circulatory problems, talk with your doctor.
No one likes smelly shoes; here are some fast and easy ways to eliminate shoe odors.
Sometimes our day just wouldn’t be complete without our morning runs; however, sweating and active feet can often cause some rather unpleasant shoe odors. You don’t even have to be athletic to deal with this problem. Even just wearing the same shoes all day can cause this embarrassing issue. If you’ve started to notice an unpleasant smell coming from your shoes, there are ways to combat this problem without needing to toss them out.
- Use a newspaper: After wearing your shoes all day be sure to put newspaper in them immediately after taking them off. Even if you haven’t exercised in your shoes, your feet can still sweat. Absorb some of the odorproducing sweat by putting newspapers in your shoes. Leave the paper in until you’re ready to wear them, and you’ll be amazed at how fresh they still smell.
- Put them in the freezer or outside: While this sounds like an unusual method, putting your shoes in the freezer is a highly effective way to kill the bacteria that cause shoe odors (the bacteria is no match for the extreme cold). However, before you just toss your shoes into the freezer, it’s best to put them in a plastic bag first so you don’t contaminate your freezer and its contents. Leave the shoes inside overnight, then and take them out and let them thaw a bit before wearing. And if you happen to live in a climate where the temperature regularly drops below freezing at night, putting the shoes in a paper bag and leaving them out for the night isn’t a bad idea either!
- Create your own odorkilling powder: Baking soda is a miracle agent that can remove odors from just about anything, so why not your shoes? You don’t have to spend a ton of money on odorfighting products when you can make your very own powder with things you can easily find in your kitchen. Mix three tablespoons of baking soda with one tablespoon of cornstarch, and then add a couple drops of your favorite essential oil before mixing everything together. Sprinkle the powder into your shoes and let it sit overnight. Just be sure to dump out the powder before wearing them.
Follow these handy tips, and your shoes will smell brand new again. Don’t just shove your shoes in the closet after a long day, deodorize them to keep your shoes smelling fresh and clean!
As the weather heats up, you may begin pulling your summer clothing and sandals out from the back of your closet. However, after keeping your feet in socks and slippers all winter, you may notice that your toenails look a little “funky”. Luckily, your podiatrist can help. Toenail fungus is a common and treatable condition which affects many people everywhere. Learn more about toenail fungus with help from your podiatrists at Family Foot and Ankle Center with offices in Fairfax, Reston, McLean, and Ashburn, VA.
What causes toenail fungus?
Fungi love moist, warm environments and do not need light in order to grow. This makes your toes and feet, routinely tucked inside socks and shoes, the perfect breeding ground for fungi. The fungi enter the skin through tiny cuts or scrapes and through tiny separations between the nail bed and toenail. Those who are often in warm, moist environments like gym locker rooms and public pools are more at-risk for toenail fungus. Additionally, males, those with decreased blood flow, and individuals who are of older age are at-risk for toenail fungus.
Identifying Toenail Fungus
Toenail fungus has some tell-tale symptoms. It begins as a white or yellow dot on the toenail and presents more symptoms over time. They include:
- a thickened nail
- a yellowed nail
- a nail with crumbling edges
- a nail with a dull or matte finish instead of shine
- distorted shape
- separation of the nail and nail bed
How can lasers treat toenail fungus?
There are many over-the-counter remedies for toenail fungus. However, these remedies work over long periods of time with continued use. If over-the-counter medications do not yield results, it may be time to see your podiatrist. FDA-Approved laser treatment for toenail fungus, available at Family Foot and Ankle Care, has proven effective and has no known side effects. The laser generates heat. The pigments in the affected toenail absorb the heat, which kills the fungal cells.
For more information on laser treatments for toenail fungus, 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
Monitoring your child's foot growth and health is an invaluable part of preparing for their future.
Parents have a lot to worry about from diet to exercise to interaction with peers, their children's health is a constant concern. While their kids' feet might not be at the top of most parents' priority list, it's a vital part of their development. Remember these tips:
Above all else, it is imperative to be sure your growing child is wearing the proper shoes. Their bones are are still very flexible and need to be positioned properly in their footwear. Don't wait for them to complain about discomfort often the contortion of their feet happens so gradually that neither you nor your child may realize it.
This is also true of athletic shoes they should be comfortable and offer proper support for the type of activity your child will be doing. Inquire at your podiatrist's office about their brand recommendations.
Kids outgrow shoes fast
All parents know that feeling: your child has outgrown yet another pair of shoes. Experts advise that younger children's feet tend to grow faster. Therefore, toddlers will generally go up in size every two to three months. By the time your child is three years old, he or she will likely stay in the same size for about six months. Up until kids are in their early teens, parents can expect to replace the children's shoes at least once, if not twice, a year.
No bare feet outdoors
Childhood memories often include the feeling of running through fresh grass in bare feet, but doctors caution against this idyllic rite of passage. Sharp, dirty objects on the ground may be discovered the hard way by stepping on them. Not only are they painful, but deep puncture wounds can harbor harmful bacteria, including tetanus.
Talk to your podiatrist if you have any questions or concerns about your child's foot or ankle health.
Certain foods should be eliminated from your diet if you want to alleviate this condition.
If you have gout then chances are you know it. Gout is a severe and painful attack on the joints, most often reserved for the joint at the base of the big toe. Gout is a form of arthritis that can affect both men and women, but tends to happen more often in men. Those with gout experience symptoms suddenly and may describe the pain as feeling as if their toe is on fire. Gout is anything but pleasant; however, what you eat could help improve your condition and prevent a recurrence.
While it can be challenging to eliminate your nightly glass of vino, if you are suffering from gout you may need to remove alcohol altogether just to be safe. While it’s certainly not a comparable replacement, you should be choosing water over alcoholic beverages. Beer is particularly bad for those with gout, as both the alcohol and the brewer’s yeast can trigger a flare up.
Say No to Sugar
Sugar gets a bad rap, and rightfully so. Besides the laundry list of other issues sugar causes, it can also raise your uric acid levels. As gout is brought about by too much uric acid in the bloodstream, this naturally can lead to more flare ups.
Limit PurineRich Foods
If you have gout your podiatrist has probably already warned you about staying away from purinerich foods like seafood and organ meats. When our body ingests purine, it begins to break it down into uric acid. While avoiding alcohol and sugar are probably your most effective ways to stop gout, it’s not a bad idea to also limit foods high in purines.
No one should have to explain how great regular exercise is for your body; however, for those who are at a greater risk for developing gout, you will want to spend a little extra time making sure you are getting routine exercise. When you work, out you reduce your urate (salt created from uric acid) levels, which in turn reduces the likelihood that you will develop gout.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
When you are overweight your uric acid levels will also be elevated. To ensure that this doesn’t continue, you will want to eat a healthy, balanced diet to help you maintain a healthier weight. Avoid diets that promote high levels of protein and low levels of carbohydrates, as these diets tend to be high in purine consumption.
Sometimes overthecounter pain relievers aren’t enough to reduce your gout pain. If this is the case, talk to your podiatrist about other medications you can take to alleviate your symptoms.
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