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Monday, 12 November 2018 00:00

What Does A Plantar Wart Look Like?

Common warts are caused by the human papillomavirus, which is known as HPV. The top layer of the skin becomes thickened and grows outward and will typically appear as a small bump. A plantar wart also originates from the same virus, and the exception is that it grows inward on the heel of the foot. This is typically a result of the pressure the heels endure from consistent walking and standing for the majority of the day. This condition is commonly accompanied by severe pain and discomfort. Therefore, walking may be difficult. It may appear as a hardened area on the heel of the foot, and may have small blood vessels in the center, which appear as tiny black dots. If you feel you have a plantar wart, it’s advised to speak to a podiatrist as quickly as possible, so proper treatment techniques can commence.

Plantar warts can be very uncomfortable. If you need your feet checked, contact one of our podiatrists from Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctors will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

About Plantar Warts

Plantar warts are the result of HPV, or human papillomavirus, getting into open wounds on the feet. They are mostly found on the heels or balls of the feet.

While plantar warts are generally harmless, those experiencing excessive pain or those suffering from diabetes or a compromised immune system require immediate medical care. Plantar warts are easily diagnosed, usually through scraping off a bit of rough skin or by getting a biopsy.

Symptoms

  • Lesions on the bottom of your feet, usually rough and grainy
  • Hard or thick callused spots
  • Wart seeds, which are small clotted blood vessels that look like little black spots
  • Pain, discomfort, or tenderness of your feet when walking or standing

Treatment

  • Freezing
  • Electric tool removal
  • Laser Treatment
  • Topical Creams (prescription only)
  • Over-the-counter medications

To help prevent developing plantar warts, avoid walking barefoot over abrasive surfaces that can cause cuts or wounds for HPV to get into. Avoiding direct contact with other warts, as well as not picking or rubbing existing warts, can help prevent the further spread of plantar warts. However, if you think you have developed plantar warts, speak to your podiatrist. He or she can diagnose the warts on your feet and recommend the appropriate treatment options.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Shillington and Hamburg, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about All About Plantar Warts
Monday, 05 November 2018 00:00

How to Notice Flat Feet

There are many people who experience flat feet, and a common sign is the absence of an arch at the bottom of the foot. There is an obvious way of recognizing flat feet, and this is generally observed when the foot is placed on the ground and noticing if the arch is present. Research has shown that most babies are born with flat feet and the arch will generally fully develop at approximately 6 years of age. The majority of people who have flat feet may not experience any discomfort, and this may not interfere with daily activities. Treatment may be necessary if certain symptoms are experienced, including difficulty in walking or maintaining balance, or if you feel pain or stiffness in your feet. If you are afflicted with flat feet, it’s advised to speak to a podiatrist who can offer suggestions on correct treatment options, which may include wearing supportive insoles or possible surgery.

Flatfoot is a condition many people suffer from. If you have flat feet, contact one of our podiatrists from Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What are Flat Feet?

Flatfoot is a condition in which the arch of the foot is depressed and the sole of the foot is almost completely in contact with the ground. About 20-30% of the population generally has flat feet because their arches never formed during growth.

Conditions & Problems:

Having flat feet makes it difficult to run or walk because of the stress placed on the ankles.

Alignment – The general alignment of your legs can be disrupted, because the ankles move inward which can cause major discomfort.

Knees – If you have complications with your knees, flat feet can be a contributor to arthritis in that area.  

Symptoms:

  • Pain around the heel or arch area
  • Trouble standing on the tip toe
  • Swelling around the inside of the ankle
  • Flat look to one or both feet
  • Having your shoes feel uneven when worn

Treatment:

If you are experiencing pain and stress on the foot you may weaken the posterior tibial tendon, which runs around the inside of the ankle. 

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Shillington and Hamburg, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Flatfoot

Research has shown there are several differences between shoes made for walking and shoes to run in. The typical running shoe is generally constructed with added cushioning, which aids in promoting stability. Additionally, the soles may be thicker, which may cause potential trip hazards. There may be more sizes and colors to choose from in running shoes, which may make it easier to locate a comfortable pair. For serious walkers, it’s beneficial to purchase walking shoes that are designed to move the foot through the proper motion of walking. One significant difference in the styles of walking and running include runners landing flat-footed and walkers typically landing on their heels. If you are seriously considering pursuing either activity as a hobby, please consult with a podiatrist who can offer advice on which type of shoe is best for you.

For more information about walking shoes versus running shoes, consult with one of our podiatrists from Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctors can measure your feet to determine what your needs are and help you find an appropriate pair of footwear.

Foot Health: The Differences between Walking & Running Shoes

There are great ways to stay in shape: running and walking are two great exercises to a healthy lifestyle. It is important to know that running shoes and walking shoes are not interchangeable. There is a key difference on how the feet hit the ground when someone is running or walking. This is why one should be aware that a shoe is designed differently for each activity.

You may be asking yourself what the real differences are between walking and running shoes and the answers may shock you.

Differences

Walking doesn’t involve as much stress or impact on the feet as running does. However, this doesn’t mean that you should be any less prepared. When you’re walking, you land on your heels and have your foot roll forward. This rolling motion requires additional support to the feet.

Flexibility – Walking shoes are designed to have soft, flexible soles. This allows the walker to push off easily with each step.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Shillington and Hamburg, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Differences between Walking and Running Shoes

If you notice a large bony protrusion on the side of your big toe, you may have what is referred to as a bunion. It is considered to be a deformity, and there may be several reasons why this condition may occur. Research has shown that genetics may play a significant role in the formation of bunions. If you happen to have a pre-existing case of bunions, wearing shoes that do not fit correctly could possibly make it even worse. This type of footwear may include shoes that have a narrow toe area, which does not have adequate room for the toes to move about in. This may result in the toes being forced to squeeze into an area that is too small. There is a significant reduction in the development of bunions in non-western countries and this may be a result of wearing shoes that fit correctly. If you feel you have a bunion, it’s suggested to speak with a podiatrist who can begin treatment options that are right for you.

If you are suffering from bunions, contact one of our podiatrists of Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What is a Bunion?

A bunion is formed of swollen tissue or an enlargement of boney growth, usually located at the base joint of the toe that connects to the foot. The swelling occurs due to the bones in the big toe shifting inward, which impacts the other toes of the foot. This causes the area around the base of the big toe to become inflamed and painful.

Why do Bunions Form?

Genetics – Susceptibility to bunions are often hereditary

Stress on the feet – Poorly fitted and uncomfortable footwear that places stress on feet, such as heels, can worsen existing bunions

How are Bunions Diagnosed?

Doctors often perform two tests – blood tests and x-rays – when trying to diagnose bunions, especially in the early stages of development. Blood tests help determine if the foot pain is being caused by something else, such as arthritis, while x-rays provide a clear picture of your bone structure to your doctor.

How are Bunions Treated?

  • Refrain from wearing heels or similar shoes that cause discomfort
  • Select wider shoes that can provide more comfort and reduce pain
  • Anti-inflammatory and pain management drugs
  • Orthotics or foot inserts
  • Surgery

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Shillington and Hamburg, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Bunions
Monday, 15 October 2018 00:00

What are the Causes of an Ingrown Toenail?

A medical condition that is known as onychocryptosis, also referred to as an ingrown toenail, can cause uncomfortable pain and soreness. This is a condition that generally develops when the corner of the toenail cuts into the skin surrounding the nail. There are several causes for this ailment to occur, including wearing shoes that are pointed in the toe area, frequently wearing high heels, or choosing to wear shoes that are too tight. Additionally, if the toenails are trimmed improperly, this may also cause a toenail to become ingrown. It’s important to have this condition treated promptly, and this may possibly avoid a fungal infection from developing. If you have developed this condition, you are most likely aware of the noticeable symptoms. These may include a liquid that drains from the affected area, increased pain and swelling, and a possible fever if the infection is severe. If you have an ingrown toenail, it is strongly suggested that you speak with a podiatrist as quickly as possible to discuss treatment options.

Ingrown toenails may initially present themselves as a minor discomfort, but they may progress into an infection in the skin without proper treatment. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact one of our podiatrists of Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails are caused when the corner or side of a toenail grows into the soft flesh surrounding it. They often result in redness, swelling, pain, and in some cases, infection. This condition typically affects the big toe and may recur if it is not treated properly.

Causes

  • Improper toenail trimming
  • Genetics
  • Improper shoe fitting
  • Injury from pedicures or nail picking
  • Abnormal gait
  • Poor hygiene

You are more likely to develop an ingrown toenail if you are obese, have diabetes, arthritis, or have any fungal infection in your nails. Additionally, people who have foot or toe deformities are at a higher risk of developing an ingrown toenail.

Symptoms

Some symptoms of ingrown toenails are redness, swelling, and pain. In rare cases, there may be a yellowish drainage coming from the nail.

Treatment

Ignoring an ingrown toenail can have serious complications. Infections of the nail border can progress to a deeper soft-tissue infection, which can then turn into a bone infection. You should always speak with your podiatrist if you suspect you have an ingrown toenail, especially if you have diabetes or poor circulation.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Shillington and Hamburg, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Ingrown Toenails
Monday, 08 October 2018 00:00

Causes and Symptoms of Gout

The medical condition referred to as gout is often the result of excess uric acid in the blood levels. Crystals will typically form and lodge in the joints of the big toe, and may cause severe pain and discomfort. There are several symptoms associated with this condition, and these may include swelling, redness and tenderness at the base of the big toe. The crystals generally cause inflammation and there may be extreme pain that is associated with this. Gout attacks may be the result of an inherited trait, or may occur from the foods that are ingested. Specifically, these foods may include an overindulgence of red meat, alcohol, or shellfish, and these may affect the uric acid in the blood. If you are suffering from this condition, please consult with a podiatrist as quickly as possible for correct treatment remedies.

Gout is a painful condition that can be treated. If you are seeking treatment, contact one of our podiatrists from Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. 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 one of our offices located in Shillington and Hamburg, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Gout
Monday, 01 October 2018 00:00

What Type of Virus Causes Plantar Warts?

If you should develop a plantar wart, you may often be aware of the pain and discomfort that is associated with it. They are typically common warts, and form on the heel of the foot. The pain may be at it’s worse in the morning after rising, and may often feel like pieces of glass that have lodged in your heel. Research has shown that plantar warts originate from the human papillomavirus, and often lives and thrives in warm and moist places that may include locker and shower room floors, pools, and surrounding areas. It can typically enter the body thru small cracks in the sole of the foot and prevention of this virus may be accomplished by wearing appropriate shoes, while in these areas. There are several noticeable symptoms associated with this ailment, including a small and hardened round area appearing on the heel of the foot, possibly with black dots occupying the center. If you have developed a plantar wart, it’s suggested to seek counsel from a podiatrist as quickly as possible to begin the best course of treatment.

Plantar warts can be very uncomfortable. If you need your feet checked, contact one of our podiatrists from Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctors will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

About Plantar Warts

Plantar warts are the result of HPV, or human papillomavirus, getting into open wounds on the feet. They are mostly found on the heels or balls of the feet.

While plantar warts are generally harmless, those experiencing excessive pain or those suffering from diabetes or a compromised immune system require immediate medical care. Plantar warts are easily diagnosed, usually through scraping off a bit of rough skin or by getting a biopsy.

Symptoms

  • Lesions on the bottom of your feet, usually rough and grainy
  • Hard or thick callused spots
  • Wart seeds, which are small clotted blood vessels that look like little black spots
  • Pain, discomfort, or tenderness of your feet when walking or standing

Treatment

  • Freezing
  • Electric tool removal
  • Laser Treatment
  • Topical Creams (prescription only)
  • Over-the-counter medications

To help prevent developing plantar warts, avoid walking barefoot over abrasive surfaces that can cause cuts or wounds for HPV to get into. Avoiding direct contact with other warts, as well as not picking or rubbing existing warts, can help prevent the further spread of plantar warts. However, if you think you have developed plantar warts, speak to your podiatrist. He or she can diagnose the warts on your feet and recommend the appropriate treatment options.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Shillington and Hamburg, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about What Are Plantar Warts?
Monday, 24 September 2018 00:00

What is a Plantar Wart?

The location for plantar warts to develop is on the heel of the foot. The wart will typically grow into the foot as a result of the constant pressure the feet endure by standing, walking or running for the majority of the day. They are known to be caused by the human papillomavirus, which is also referred to as HPV, and is considered to be the most common viral infection of the skin. This particular virus can enter the body through small cuts on the bottom of the foot, and it often thrives in moist and warm areas. People who frequently swim in pools or use public showers may be prone to contracting plantar warts. There are symptoms indicative of plantar warts, and these may include severe pain and discomfort while walking, standing or running, in addition to small black dots appearing in the center of the wart. If you have developed a plantar wart, please consult with a podiatrist for the best treatment techniques for you.

Plantar warts can be very uncomfortable. If you need your feet checked, contact one of our podiatrists from Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctors will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

About Plantar Warts

Plantar warts are the result of HPV, or human papillomavirus, getting into open wounds on the feet. They are mostly found on the heels or balls of the feet.

While plantar warts are generally harmless, those experiencing excessive pain or those suffering from diabetes or a compromised immune system require immediate medical care. Plantar warts are easily diagnosed, usually through scraping off a bit of rough skin or by getting a biopsy.

Symptoms

  • Lesions on the bottom of your feet, usually rough and grainy
  • Hard or thick callused spots
  • Wart seeds, which are small clotted blood vessels that look like little black spots
  • Pain, discomfort, or tenderness of your feet when walking or standing

Treatment

  • Freezing
  • Electric tool removal
  • Laser Treatment
  • Topical Creams (prescription only)
  • Over-the-counter medications

To help prevent developing plantar warts, avoid walking barefoot over abrasive surfaces that can cause cuts or wounds for HPV to get into. Avoiding direct contact with other warts, as well as not picking or rubbing existing warts, can help prevent the further spread of plantar warts. However, if you think you have developed plantar warts, speak to your podiatrist. He or she can diagnose the warts on your feet and recommend the appropriate treatment options.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Shillington and Hamburg, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Plantar Warts
Monday, 17 September 2018 00:00

What is Plantar Hyperhidrosis?

If you have feet that produce excessive sweat, you may have a condition that is referred to as plantar hyperhidrosis. It typically affects a relatively small percentage of the population, and may generally commence in childhood or adolescence. It is known to be an uncomfortable foot condition and may lead to additional foot issues such as fungal infections. Most patients that are afflicted with this ailment experience dry feet while sleeping, despite the fact that both feet may sweat profusely during the day. Treatment options for mild cases of plantar hyperhidrosis may include wearing inner soles that can absorb the excess sweat, in addition to wearing cotton socks, which may reduce the onset of infections. For severe cases of this condition, it’s suggested to speak with a podiatrist who can discuss proper treatment options for you.

If you are suffering from hyperhidrosis contact one of our podiatrists of Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctors can provide the care you need to attend to all of your foot and ankle needs.

Hyperhidrosis of the Feet

Hyperhidrosis is a rare disorder that can cause people to have excessive sweating of their feet. This can usually occur all on its own without rigorous activity involved. People who suffer from hyperhidrosis may also experience sweaty palms.

Although it is said that sweating is a healthy process meant to cool down the body temperature and to maintain a proper internal temperature, hyperhidrosis may prove to be a huge hindrance on a person’s everyday life.

Plantar hyperhidrosis is considered to be the main form of hyperhidrosis. Secondary hyperhidrosis can refer to sweating that occurs in areas other than the feet or hands and armpits. Often this may be a sign of it being related to another medical condition such as menopause, hyperthyroidism and even Parkinson’s disease.

In order to alleviate this condition, it is important to see your doctor so that they may prescribe the necessary medications so that you can begin to live a normal life again. If this is left untreated, it is said that it will persist throughout an individual’s life.

A last resort approach would be surgery, but it is best to speak with your doctor to find out what may be the best treatment for you.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Shillington and Hamburg, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Hyperhidrosis of the Feet

Many people have experienced pain in the feet after frequently wearing high heels, and research has shown this may cause possible damage to the feet. For many women, the muscles in the feet may endure additional strain as a result of shortened calf muscles. The feet may be permanently flexed in addition to the toes existing in a pointed position. Other conditions involving the feet may include hammer toes, ligament tears, or bunions. Some women may be at a greater risk for fractures if high heels are worn socially and balance may be affected by alcohol. Despite the risks of possible foot injuries, many women will continue to wear high heels on a daily basis. By choosing proper shoes to wear, certain foot conditions may be avoided. These may include wearing shoes with a larger area for the toes to move about and keeping the heel as short as possible. If you would like additional information about how your feet are affected by high heels, please consult with a podiatrist.

High heels have a history of causing foot and ankle problems. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact one of our podiatrists from Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Effects of High Heels on the Feet

High heels are popular shoes among women because of their many styles and societal appeal.  Despite this, high heels can still cause many health problems if worn too frequently.

Which parts of my body will be affected by high heels?

  • Ankle Joints
  • Achilles Tendon – May shorten and stiffen with prolonged wear
  • Balls of the Feet
  • Knees – Heels cause the knees to bend constantly, creating stress on them
  • Back – They decrease the spine’s ability to absorb shock, which may lead to back pain.  The vertebrae of the lower back may compress.

What kinds of foot problems can develop from wearing high heels?

  • Corns
  • Calluses
  • Hammertoe
  • Bunions
  • Morton’s Neuroma
  • Plantar Fasciitis

How can I still wear high heels and maintain foot health?

If you want to wear high heeled shoes, make sure that you are not wearing them every day, as this will help prevent long term physical problems.  Try wearing thicker heels as opposed to stilettos to distribute weight more evenly across the feet.  Always make sure you are wearing the proper shoes for the right occasion, such as sneakers for exercising.  If you walk to work, try carrying your heels with you and changing into them once you arrive at work.  Adding inserts to your heels can help cushion your feet and absorb shock. Full foot inserts or metatarsal pads are available. 

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Shillington and Hamburg, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Effect of High Heels on the Feet
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