By Family Foot and Ankle Center
January 15, 2015
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Healthy Feet   Diabetes   Foot Hygiene  
Diabetes causes a condition of painful nerve damage called peripheral neuropathy. Neuropathy can affect your entire body, but most often the legs and feet are the body’s most prone areas to serious health problems.  Damage to the nerves can cause the loss of feeling in your feet, making it difficult to detect extreme temperatures and pain as easily or readily as someone who does not have diabetes. Understanding the connection between foot care and diabetes is important to avoid more serious health problems. Visit your podiatrist in Fairfax at Family Foot and Ankle Center, about the best ways to care for your feet. 

Inspect Your Feet Regularly

If you have diabetes, it’s crucial to examine your feet every day and after every injury, regardless of how minor you may think the injury is.  If you notice redness, swelling, persistent pain, numbness, tingling or any other unusual signs on any part of your foot, call your Fairfax podiatrist immediately as this could signify serious health problems. 
It’s also recommended that people with diabetes see a podiatrist for annual checkups.  A professional podiatrist in Fairfax can detect signs of changes, broken skin or ulcers that can be detrimental to the health of your feet and body. He can also check your blood circulation, identify loss of sensation or detect areas of high pressure- all of which require professional medical attention. 

Small Foot Problems Can Lead to Bigger Problems

If you have diabetes, even the smallest foot problems such as a cut, can turn into more serious complications.  Some of these small complications include:
  • Ulcers that don’t heal
  • Corns
  • Calluses
  • Cracked heels
  • Hammertoes
  • Bunions
  • Ingrown toenails
With these complications, you run the risk of developing diabetic peripheral neuropathy, which is a condition that develops slowly and worsens over time, and Charcot foot, which is a condition in which the bones of the foot are weakened enough to fracture.  Taking extra precautions and caring for even the smallest problem can save your foot. 

Keep Your Feet Healthy with Proper Foot Hygiene

Everyone needs to practice good foot hygiene daily, but people with diabetes should pay extra attention to keeping their feet clean in order to prevent health problems.  If you have diabetes your podiatrist in Fairfax urges you to:
  • Wash your feet daily with lukewarm water and mild soap, making sure to dry them thoroughly, especially between the toes. 
  • Keep the skin on your feet smooth and soft by applying a non-irritating moisturizer, avoiding the areas between the toes. Doing so can help prevent cracks and sores that lead to infection. 
  • Avoid ingrown toenails than can get infected by keeping them neatly trimmed straight across.
  • Wear clean, dry socks and change them every day.
  • Avoid walking barefoot to protect feet from harmful foreign particles. 
  • Never attempt to remove corns, calluses or other sores from your feet on your own. See your Fairfax podiatrist for safe and pain free removal. 
Early detection, simple care and regular inspections can go a long way to avoid serious foot complications related to diabetes. Diabetes is serious, especially when it comes to your feet. If you have diabetes, talk with your podiatrist in Fairfax about what you can do now to keep your feet safe, strong, and healthy. 
By Family Foot and Ankle Center
January 06, 2015
Category: Podiatrist
Tags: Toenail Fungus  

Toenail fungus is an embarrassing problem that can cause foot pain and lead to the loss of a nail over time if it’s not properly treated. Learn more about this foot issue and how you can get the most technologically advanced help available from the Reston laser toenail fungus treatment office of Dr. Richard S. Mendelsohn, D.P.M., F.A.C.F.A.S.

What Is Toenail Fungus?
Toenail fungus is a growth that begins beneath the tip of your nail. Its official name is “onychomycosis” or “tinea unguium.” The Toenail Fungusfungus, if not eliminated before it has a chance to get stronger, will eventually find its way deeper and deeper into the nail bed until it has completely taken over. In a worst case scenario, the nail gets thick, dark or yellow and becomes painful when you wear closed-toed shoes. Sometimes the fungus will begin to spread to all of the toes and Reston laser toenail fungus treatment is the best way to stop it in its tracks.

How Can Fungus on the Toes Be Prevented?
Nail fungus thrives in warm, wet environments like public swimming pools in the summertime and hot tubs. To prevent the growth of fungus on your toenails, follow these simple tips:

  • avoid keeping your feet in moisture for long periods of time, such as a wet pair of socks
  • wash your feet thoroughly with clean water after leaving a pool or beach
  • avoid walking outside barefoot (especially when there’s moisture on the ground)
  • wear flip flops when you shower in a public gym or dorm bathroom
  • inspect your toenails carefully for cuts, separations and hangnails where fungus can easily find a way into the nail bed (this needs to be thoroughly cleaned and treated)

If you already have symptoms of a toenail fungus, you can take steps to reverse it by applying an anti-fungal product, but in severe cases you need professional help from a podiatrist.

Toenail Fungus Treatment
If your toenail fungus problem has gone beyond prevention steps, schedule an appointment with Reston laser toenail fungus treatment Dr. Richard S. Mendelsohn today. He will evaluate your problem and consult you about the latest and most effective treatment for this common problem. His office can be reached at (703) 273-9818 or by visiting to make an appointment request online.

By Family Foot and Ankle Center
January 02, 2015
Category: Foot Care

Keep your Children Active by Following Proper Foot Care

You often worry about your children’s teeth, eyes, and other parts of their body.  You teach them how to wash, brush, and groom, but what do you do about your child’s feet as they are still developing?  Many adult foot ailments, as with other health issues, have their origins in childhood and can be present at birth.  Periodic professional attention from your Fairfax podiatrist and regular foot care can minimize these problems in your child’s life later on.  
Neglecting your child’s foot health invites problems in other parts of the body, such as the legs and back.  Foot health begins in childhood because your child’s feet must carry him or her for a lifetime.  Your child’s life is certain to be happier and more enjoyable if you have your child develop strong, healthy feet as he or she grows into adulthood. 

Your Podiatrist in Fairfax Explains: The Early Years

The human foot is one of the most complicated parts of the body with 26 bones, as well as ligaments, muscles, blood vessels and nerves.  The feet of an infant are soft and pliable and abnormal pressure can cause deformities.  In the first year, a child’s foot grows rapidly reaching almost half their adult foot size.  Podiatrists consider the first year to be the most important in regards to development.  To help ensure normal growth, allow your baby to kick and stretch his or her feet and make sure shoes and socks do not squeeze their toes.  
Your toddler will walk when he or she is ready and you should try not to force this act.  Watch your child’s gait once he or she begins to walk.  Pay close attention to see if their toe touches down instead of the heel or if your child always sits while others actively play.  Many toddlers have a pigeon-toe gait, which is normal and some initially learn to walk landing on their toes instead of their heels.  Most children outgrow these problems, but your podiatrist in Fairfax can treat other conditions detected early more easily. 

Footwear for your Child

Children should not wear shoes until they can walk, so avoid pram shoes, which are normally soft, and usually made to match outfits.  For babies, avoid tightly wrapped blankets that prevent kicking and leg movement.  Walking barefoot, where it is safe, is good for children.  Your child’s feet are vulnerable to deformity from any ill-fitting footwear or hosiery until the bones are completely formed at about 18 years of age.  In addition, socks made from natural materials are better for your child’s feet than stretch-fit socks.  
When buying shoes for your child, the shape of the shoe and the toe area should be wide and round, allowing for toes to move and spread.  It is also important for the shoe to have a lace or a buckle, without this your child’s toes will claw to hold the shoe on.  The heel of the shoe should not be too high, as high heels can also result in foot deformity.  
Start early in taking care of your children’s feet because neglecting foot health is an invitation to severe problems.  Contact your podiatrist in Fairfax for further consultation on your child’s growing, active feet.  Having strong, healthy feet allows your child to walk, run, and play so take extra precautions and protect their feet in order to provide them a lifetime of healthy feet. 
By Family Foot and Ankle Center
December 15, 2014
Category: Foot Care

Remain Active in Sports with Help from Your Fairfax, VA Podiatrist

From weekend warriors to professional athletes, it is important to take care of your feet to remain fit and active while participating in sports and other recreational activities.  With repeated pounding that runners’ feet receive on paved surfaces or the side-to-side motion seen in court sports, there is no question that athletes’ feet and ankles are prime candidates for injuries.  It is important to be on the lookout for some of the common problems associated with athletes – from ankle sprains to heel pain.  With help from your podiatrist in Fairfax, VA at Family Foot and Ankle Center, you can take charge of your feet and avoid the bench.

Heel Pain/Plantar Fasciitis 

Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the connective tissue, called the plantar fascia, which stretches from the base of the toes, across the arch of the foot, to the point at which it inserts into the heel bone.  It is also commonly referred to as heel or arch pain.  Over-pronation may be a cause of plantar fasciitis.  As the foot rolls inward excessively when walking, it flattens your foot, lengthens the arch, and puts added tension on the plantar fascia.  Over time, this repetition causes inflammation of your heel and arch.  Your podiatrist in Fairfax, VA will determine the best treatment option to alleviate your pain. 

Orthotics Provide Comfort and Stability

Your Fairfax, VA podiatrist offers orthotics to reduce pain and restore proper function to the feet, thus relieving pain.  An orthotic device is inserted into the shoe and is designed to restore and aid the natural foot function. This is achieved by realigning the foot and ankles to their natural position, allowing muscles and joints to move with less stress and tension. 
Many people can benefit from orthotics, including people with jobs that require standing or walking for extended periods of time.  Common foot ailments, such as corns, calluses, Morton’s neuroma, flat foot, hammertoe and plantar fasciitis can often be improved with the help of a custom-made shoe insert that fits comfortably into the shoe.  
Orthotic devices allow the bones, tendons and muscles of the feet and lower legs to function at their highest potential. Orthotics can decrease discomfort and improve function, not only in the foot, but also in other parts of the body so that everyday tasks aren’t painful. 
Foot pain is never normal and should not be ignored.  Always visit your Fairfax, VA podiatrist for proper diagnosis and treatment. Whether you are active in sports or simply want to relieve pain caused by the stresses of everyday tasks, you can benefit from a custom made orthotic device.  
As an athlete it is important to remain on your feet.  With the help of sports podiatry and your Fairfax, VA podiatrist, you can ensure the health of your feet. 
By Family Foot and Ankle Centers
December 10, 2014
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Heel Pain  

Your Reston podiatrist gives you the lowdown on heel pain treatments.

Sometimes nothing feels better than getting in a really great run. Whether you participate in the Runners Marathon of Reston every year or you just enjoy pounding the pavement around your neighborhood, it’s important that your feet are able to keep up the sameHeel Pain pace. After all, working out is great for your body and your mind. However, there are times that even the best athletes will notice problems. If you’ve been experiencing heel pain as of late, it’s important to nip the problem in the bud before it keeps you from your workouts.

Q. What causes heel pain?

A. There are several things that can cause heel pain. For a lot of runners and athletes this pain could be due to overpronation. This means your foot tilts inward as you walk, putting unnecessary pressure on certain parts of your foot. This can lead to inflammation of the fascia, better known as plantar fasciitis.

Other heel pain causes are heel spurs, Achilles tendinitis and rheumatoid arthritis. If you’re noticing persistent pain even when you walk, it’s time to see your Reston podiatrist for a diagnosis.

Q. How do you treat plantar fasciitis-related heel pain?

A. Our first line of treatment is always conservative. Why go right for the more invasive treatments if you don’t have to! Here are some of the most common heel pain treatments:

Over-the-counter medication: Certain anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen and Aleve can help ease pain and swelling related to heel pain.

Ice packs: Icing your heel pain can also provide some relief. Never apply ice directly to your skin. Always wrap it in a cloth or paper towel. You can ice your foot several times throughout the day but never for more than 20 minutes at a time. Like icing? Try this: freeze a water bottle and roll it under your foot (remember to wear socks!) for a few minutes a day. This can help ease some of the inflammation. While the coldness might not be the most pleasant experience, it’s most definitely better than pain.

Orthotics: From arch support to heel cups, custom-made orthotics can help you distribute pressure evenly throughout the foot, making walking and even running more comfortable.

Physical therapy: During your visit, we will show you some exercises to help stretch and stabilize the plantar fascia. You can do these exercises anywhere, including the comfort of your own home.

Sometimes these treatments won’t work for more persistent heel pain cases. In which case, we may consider extracorporeal shock wave treatment (ESWT) to treat your heel pain. Through the use of sound waves, we can activate your foot’s healing process. If you’re interested in heel pain treatment in Reston, give us a call. We want you to be able to lace up your shoes and going for your next run again soon.

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