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Monday, 29 April 2019 00:00

What Is Toenail Fungus?

Toenail fungus is a fairly common condition that starts with a visible white or yellow spot under the tip of the toenail. If the fungal infection worsens the toenail may become discolored and thicken, then begin to crumble. Symptoms of progressing toenail fungus are thickened nails, whitish to yellow-brown discoloration, brittleness, distorted in shape, darkened color, and foul smell. Some toenail fungus is mild and doesn’t necessarily require treatment, but if it becomes painful or you notice some of the previously mentioned symptoms then it is a good idea to take steps toward getting rid of the fungus. Toenail fungus can affect just one nail, or it can affect multiple nails on the foot. If you think you may have toenail fungus, then it is recommended you speak with a podiatrist in order to receive the proper treatment.

For more information about treatment, contact one of our podiatrists of Family Foot Care. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Toenail Fungus Treatment

Toenail fungus is a condition that affects many people and can be especially hard to get rid of. Fortunately, there are several methods to go about treating and avoiding it.

Antifungals & Deterrence

Oral antifungal medicine has been shown to be effective in many cases. It is important to consult with a podiatrist to determine the proper regiment for you, or potentially explore other options.

Applying foot powder on the feet and shoes helps keep the feet free of moisture and sweat.

Sandals or open toed shoes – Wearing these will allow air movement and help keep feet dry. They also expose your feet to light, which fungus cannot tolerate. Socks with moisture wicking material also help as well.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Valatie and Albany, NY. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Treating Toenail Fungus
Tuesday, 23 April 2019 00:00

Foods Related to Gout

When excess uric acid exists in the bloodstream, crystals can form that lie in the joints of the big toe. When this occurs, it can produce a painful condition known as gout. There are several symptoms that are associated with this ailment, which often include severe pain and discomfort, redness, or swelling. Some patients are more susceptible to gout attacks if diuretics are taken, which can treat high blood pressure, in addition to taking low-dose aspirin. If episodes of gout are infrequent, avoiding them may be as simple as implementing healthy dietary changes. Foods that are high in purine levels can cause uric acid crystals to form in the joints, and it is beneficial to eliminate them from your diet. These foods include shellfish, red meat, and excessive alcohol. If the gout attacks become severe, it is suggested to consult with a podiatrist who can recommend treatment, which may include medication.

Gout is a painful condition that can be treated. If you are seeking treatment, contact one of our podiatrists from Family Foot Care. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What is Gout?

Gout is a form of arthritis that is characterized by sudden, severe attacks of pain, redness, and tenderness in the joints. The condition usually affects the joint at the base of the big toe. A gout attack can occur at any random time, such as the middle of the night while you are asleep.

Symptoms

  • Intense Joint Pain - Usually around the large joint of your big toe, and it most severe within the first four to twelve hours
  • Lingering Discomfort - Joint discomfort may last from a few days to a few weeks
  • Inflammation and Redness -Affected joints may become swollen, tender, warm and red
  • Limited Range of Motion - May experience a decrease in joint mobility

Risk Factors

  • Genetics - If family members have gout, you’re more likely to have it
  • Medications - Diuretic medications can raise uric acid levels
  • Gender/Age - Gout is more common in men until the age of 60. It is believed that estrogen protects women until that point
  • Diet - Eating red meat and shellfish increases your risk
  • Alcohol - Having more than two alcoholic drinks per day increases your risk
  • Obesity - Obese people are at a higher risk for gout

Prior to visiting your podiatrist to receive treatment for gout, there are a few things you should do beforehand. If you have gout you should write down your symptoms--including when they started and how often you experience them, important medical information you may have, and any questions you may have. Writing down these three things will help your podiatrist in assessing your specific situation so that he or she may provide the best route of treatment for you.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Valatie and Albany, NY. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Flip-flops are a popular shoe to wear during the summer months, despite the damage that may occur to your feet. It is a natural reaction to clench your toes to help keep the shoe on the foot, and this may gradually change the way you walk. The muscles in the feet and calves may be affected, and this can lead to having sharp pains in the heel. Research has indicated that it may be acceptable to wear flip-flops occasionally, and this may limit any potential damage the feet may receive.  If you generally walk for long distances, it is best to wear a sandal that has a strap on the back to help keep the shoe on the foot. If you would like additional information on how flip-flops may affect the feet, speak to a podiatrist who can answer any questions you may have.

Flip-flops are not always the best choice of footwear. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact one of our podiatrists from Family Foot Care. Our doctors will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

Flip-Flops and Feet

When the weather starts warming up, people enjoy wearing flip-flops.  Flip-flops are comfortable, stylish, and easy to slip on and off; they're perfect for any summer beach goer.  However, these shoes can cause harm to the feet.

How Can Flip-Flops Affect Me Long-Term?

  • Ankle problems
  • Hip problems
  • Lower back problems
  • Pain in the balls of the feet
  • Problems with foot arches
  • Changes in the way you walk

Are There Injuries Associated with Flip-Flops?

Yes.  Since flip-flops are relatively weak and do not provide the same amount of support as sneakers, people who wear flip-flops regularly are more susceptible to injuries. On top of that, the open nature of the shoe makes your feet more prone to other problems, such as cuts and even infections.  Common injuries and ailments include:

  • Sprained ankles
  • Blisters
  • Infections
  • Cuts and Scrapes

I like Wearing Flip-Flops. Are There Safe Alternatives?

When buying flip-flops, try to find ones that have sturdy soles and that are made of high-quality materials that will support for your feet.  These flip-flops will cost more but will also last longer as a result.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Valatie and Albany, NY.  We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Flip Flops and Your Feet
Monday, 08 April 2019 00:00

Causes of Cracked Heels

Many patients have dry, hardened skin on the heels of their feet. In severe cases, deep cracks may form. These deep cracks are known as fissures, and in the heels can also be referred to as cracked heels. This uncomfortable ailment may be caused by standing for extended periods of time throughout the day. Existing medical conditions, which can include eczema or dermatitis, may contribute to the development of cracked heels. Wearing shoes that have an open back may also contribute to development. Cracked heels can also be a result of the lack of support the fatty pad in the heel receives when the feet endure pressure from walking. Mild relief may be found when the feet are washed and dried thoroughly, followed by using an effective moisturizer. This may help the skin on the feet maintain flexibility. If you have developed cracked heels, consult with a podiatrist to learn about additional treatment options.

Cracked heels are unsightly and can cause further damage to your shoes and feet. If you have any concerns, contact one of our podiatrists from Family Foot Care. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Cracked Heels

Cracked heels appear unappealing and can make it harder for you walk around in sandals. Aside from looking unpleasant, cracked heels can also tear stockings, socks, and wear out your shoes. There are several methods to help restore a cracked heel and prevent further damage.

How Do You Get Them?

Dry skin is the number one culprit in creating cracked heels. Many athletes, walkers, joggers, and even swimmers suffer from cracked heels. Age and skin oil production play a role to getting cracked heels as well.

Promote Healing

Over the counter medicines can help, especially for those that need instant relief or who suffer from chronic dry feet.

Wear Socks – Wearing socks with medicated creams helps lock in moisture.

Moisturizers – Applying both day and night will help alleviate dryness which causes cracking.

Pumice Stones – These exfoliate and remove dead skin, which allows for smoother moisturizer application and better absorption into the skin. 

Change in Diet

Eating healthy with a well-balanced diet will give the skin a fresh and radiant look. Your body responds to the kinds of food you ingest. Omega-3 fatty acids and zinc supplements can also revitalize skin tissue.

Most importantly, seek professional help if unsure how to proceed in treating cracked heels. A podiatrist will help you with any questions or information needed. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Valatie and Albany, NY. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Solutions for Cracked Heels

Many dancers are aware of the benefits of stretching the feet. This may be helpful in maintaining a proper range of motion. When the feet are pointed and flexed, it may help in loosening the calf muscles, in addition to keeping the ankles healthy. An effective stretch may be done by using an exercise band. This can be accomplished by sitting on the floor with your feet pointed up, while pulling your feet toward you with the band around the soles of the feet. Additionally, many people find it helpful to stand on a step as the heels hang over the edge, and the feet can gently be stretched by moving the heels up and down. There are many positive reasons for stretching the feet. If you would like to learn about stretching techniques that will benefit the feet, it is advised to speak to a podiatrist.

Stretching the feet is a great way to prevent injuries. If you have any concerns with your feet consult with one of our podiatrists from Family Foot Care. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Stretching the Feet

Being the backbone of the body, the feet carry your entire weight and can easily become overexerted, causing cramps and pain. As with any body part, stretching your feet can serve many benefits. From increasing flexibility to even providing some pain relief, be sure to give your feet a stretch from time to time. This is especially important for athletes or anyone performing aerobic exercises, but anyone experiencing foot pain or is on their feet constantly should also engage in this practice.

Great ways to stretch your feet:

  • Crossing one leg over the others and carefully pull your toes back. Do 10-20 repetitions and repeat the process for each foot
  • Face a wall with your arms out and hands flat against the wall. Step back with one foot and keep it flat on the floor while moving the other leg forward. Lean towards the wall until you feel a stretch. Hold for 30 seconds and perform 10 repetitions for each foot
  • Be sure not to overextend or push your limbs too hard or you could risk pulling or straining your muscle

Individuals who tend to their feet by regular stretching every day should be able to minimize foot pain and prevent new problems from arising.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Valatie and Albany, NY. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Stretching Your Feet
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