Posts for: June, 2018
Warts are areas of hard skin that can present in different forms. They may appear to look like a callus, some are bubbled, and some can be distinguished by small black dots. The dots are the blood vessels that supply the wart. Warts are caused by an infection of the human papilloma virus (HPV). HPV is a transmittable virus that can be spread through contact. HPV thrives in warm moist places such as public swimming pools and gym locker rooms. The virus typically enters the foot through small cracks or breaks in the skin. Not everyone who comes in contact with the virus will develop a wart, but it is always best to take proper precautions. Plantar warts are warts found on the bottom of the foot, typically on the heel or ball of the foot near the toes. Plantar warts can be solitary (just a single wart) or mosaic (a cluster of warts). Since these warts are found on the soles of the feet, they can become painful when weight bearing.
The best prevention method is to always wear proper footwear and never walk barefoot. Keep your feet clean and dry by wearing breathable shoes and changing socks as needed. While it is unlikely to transmit the virus just by touching a wart, it is recommended to use a separate wash cloth for the affected area. Be sure to seek treatment for any household members affected to prevent the spread to others.
Without treatment, some warts may resolve on their own in six months to two years. The most effective treatment combines modalities. Topical and oral medications may be prescribed. The wart may be debrided (clearing the area of dead skin), and laser treatment may be used. Laser therapy is fast and effective as it seals off the blood vessels that supply the wart with nutrients.
If you think you have a wart, notice a change in skin on the bottom of your foot, or have a lesion on your foot, call our office today for a consultation.
What is it?
Are you suffering from white or yellow, brittle or thick toenails? These are signs of onychomycosis, commonly known as toenail fungus. While unsightly, this condition is typically painless, but may be accompanied by a foul odor. Though it is called a fungus, other causes include yeasts and molds. Toenail fungus is contagious and can easily be spread among family members and contracted from public places. Left untreated a fungal infection can cause permanent damage to the nails; and in those with weakened immune systems, the infection can spread beyond the feet.
While anyone can contract toenail fungus, it is more common among the elderly population. It can be picked up from public places such as swimming pools, gyms, and showers. Those patients in immunosuppressed states are also more susceptible to the condition. Other risk factors include: obesity, diabetes, and smoking.
Antifungal topical treatments that are applied directly to the nails are typically recommended. In some cases, an oral medication may also be prescribed. A podiatrist can perform a nail biopsy to determine the type of fungus causing the infection so that the best treatment can be prescribed. In recent years, the FDA has approved the use of laser treatment for toenail fungus. The Cutera Genesis Plus Laser is available to patients in our Willow Street office and has shown to be highly effective in the treatment of toenail fungus.
As with any condition, prevention is key. Keep your nails trimmed properly ensuring not to cut them too short. Wear proper fitting shoes that are breathable and disinfect them with a good spray, often. Synthetic socks help to wick moisture away from the feet keeping them drier than a cotton blend and deterring the growth and spread of fungus. Always avoid going barefoot in public places. If a member of the household is affected, get them treatment immediately to prevent the spread to others.
If you are concerned about your nails, especially if you are diabetic, contact our office today. Toenail fungus is not something that should just be covered up. Let us provide an effective treatment to prevent the spread and transmission of the fungus and get your nails looking their best!
Orthotics are devices added to footwear that help alleviate pain, improve walking gait, reduce the risk of ulcers, and promote stability. Orthotics provide support to the heels, arches, and balls of the feet. They come in a variety of materials and lengths, depending on the manufacturer. Pricing ranges greatly with orthotics. Over-the -counter inserts are less costly than a prescribed pair of custom orthotics but, wear out much faster. So, which is better for you? Read more below on the comparisons of the two.
This type of orthotic can easily be found at any drugstore or shoe retailer. The orthotics are made for the “general” population assuming all feet are the same. They typically last three to nine months depending on the wearer and the quality of the shoe in which they are being used. They can be helpful with alleviating acute foot or ankle problems. OTC orthotics typically provide extra cushion with a foam or gel material. While they are cost-effective up front, one must consider the constant cost of replacing them every few months.
Custom Prescription Orthotics
Custom orthotics are prescribed by a podiatrist, following a thorough examination. Custom orthotics provide comfort while also correcting gait mechanics. State-of-the-art digital technology is used to scan each foot separately. The scan is then sent to a laboratory where an orthotic is created based on the topography of each foot. Since these are specially made, the material used for them is much more durable and typically will last five to ten years. While the cost up front is greater than an OTC insert, in the long run, the custom orthotics are more cost-effective.
Almost everyone can benefit from a good orthotic. Whether the issue be acute (short term) or chronic (long lasting), orthotics help correct walking mechanics while providing support. Orthotics are especially helpful for those suffering from plantar fasciitis, tendonitis, diabetic ulcers, and general foot and heel pain. If you have more questions regarding orthotics and inserts, contact our office today!