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Monday, 14 January 2019 00:00

Preventing and Treating Toenail Fungus

The toenail infection that is known as onychomycosis, or toenail fungus, will most likely not disappear on its own. The possibility of the nail bed becoming infected, which may gradually destroy the toenails, may increase unless this type of fungus is properly treated. Research has shown there may be effective ways that can be implemented, which may prevent toenail fungus. These may include washing and thoroughly drying your feet before wearing shoes, trimming the toenails straight across, which may aid in preventing the nail to grow past the top of the toe, and wearing appropriate shoes in public showers, pools, and surrounding areas. Possible treatments for this unsightly foot condition may include using specific medications in addition to surgically removing a portion of the nail. If you see the beginning stages of toenail fungus, it is advised to consult with a podiatrist who can properly diagnose and treat this condition.

For more information about treatment, 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.

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 one of our offices located in Shillington and Hamburg, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Toenail Fungus
Monday, 07 January 2019 00:00

Different Types of Blisters on the Feet

A common reason why blisters form on the feet may be a result of consistent friction between the toes or on the back of the heel. A blister is typically a small area that resembles a bubble and is filled with fluid. This is the body’s natural defense mechanism to ensure the skin under the blister is protected. Research has shown there are different types of blisters that may form, including pinch blisters, which may be a result of a toe that is curled under the toe next to it, causing a blister to form in between the two toes. Additionally, interdigital blisters may be caused by an allergic reaction to an insect bite, and may lead to an infection. Patients who have eczema or athlete's foot may be familiar with the types of blisters these uncomfortable conditions may cause. If shoes that are worn do not fit correctly, blisters may form on the pinky toe or if excess rubbing exists on the back of the foot, it may cause unsightly blisters on the back of the heel. If you would like to learn about how to prevent blisters on the feet or need information about proper treatment techniques, it’s suggested to speak with a podiatrist.

Blisters may appear as a single bubble or in a cluster. They can cause a lot of pain and may be filled with pus, blood, or watery serum. If your feet are hurting, 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.

Foot Blisters

Foot blisters are often the result of friction. This happens due to the constant rubbing from shoes, which can lead to pain.

What are Foot Blisters?

A foot blister is a small fluid-filled pocket that forms on the upper-most layer of the skin. Blisters are filled with clear fluid and can lead to blood drainage or pus if the area becomes infected.

Symptoms

(Blister symptoms may vary depending on what is causing them)

  • Bubble of skin filled with fluid
  • Redness
  • Moderate to severe pain
  • Itching

Prevention & Treatment

In order to prevent blisters, you should be sure to wear comfortable shoes with socks that cushion your feet and absorb sweat. Breaking a blister open may increase your chances of developing an infection. However, if your blister breaks, you should wash the area with soap and water immediately and then apply a bandage to the affected area. If your blisters cause severe pain it is important that you call your podiatrist right away.

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 Blisters on the Feet

Many diabetic patients are aware of the importance of properly taking care of their feet. A common condition that can affect this group of people may be a form of neuropathy, and this may inhibit the ability to feel any wounds or cuts that may be present on the feet. Additionally, the skin may become dry as a result of being diabetic, and measures can be taken that may provide moderate relief. This may include washing and drying the feet thoroughly, followed by utilizing a good moisturizer on most of the foot. It’s important to avoid applying this product between the toes, which may aid in preventing a possible infection. Diabetics may experience foot ulcers, which is an uncomfortable and painful condition that occurs on the bottom of the foot or under the big toe. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is strongly suggested to consult with a podiatrist as quickly as possible who can determine the best course of treatment for you.

Diabetic foot care is important in preventing foot ailments such as ulcers. If you are suffering from diabetes or have any other concerns about your feet, 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.

Diabetic Foot Care

Diabetes affects millions of people every year. The condition can damage blood vessels in many parts of the body, especially the feet. Because of this, taking care of your feet is essential if you have diabetes, and having a podiatrist help monitor your foot health is highly recommended.

The Importance of Caring for Your Feet

  • Routinely inspect your feet for bruises or sores.
  • Wear socks that fit your feet comfortably.
  • Wear comfortable shoes that provide adequate support.

Patients with diabetes should have their doctor monitor their blood levels, as blood sugar levels play such a huge role in diabetic care. Monitoring these levels on a regular basis is highly advised.

It is always best to inform your healthcare professional of any concerns you may have regarding your feet, especially for diabetic patients. Early treatment and routine foot examinations are keys to maintaining proper health, especially because severe complications can arise if proper treatment is not applied.

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 Diabetic Foot Care
Wednesday, 26 December 2018 00:00

What Is the Definition of Plantar Fasciitis?

There is a portion of tissue that is located on the bottom of the foot, which is referred to as the plantar fascia. The purpose of this tissue is to connect the heel bone to the toes. Severe pain and discomfort may develop in the heel area if the plantar fascia becomes inflamed. It may feel worse in the morning upon arising, and the pain may gradually diminish as the day progresses. This condition is known as plantar fasciitis, and there may be several reasons why this ailment may develop. Common causes may include being obese, which may exert excess weight on the heels, wearing shoes that fit incorrectly, in addition to standing on hard surfaces for extended periods of time. Research has shown there may be gentle stretches that can be performed, which may bring temporary desired relief. If you suspect you may have this uncomfortable condition, it is advised to seek the counsel of a podiatrist as quickly as possible who can perform a correct diagnosis and proper treatment techniques can begin.

Plantar fasciitis can be very painful and inconvenient. If you are experiencing heel pain or symptoms of plantar fasciitis, 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.

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot, known as the plantar fascia, and causes mild to severe heel pain.

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

  • Excessive running
  • Non-supportive shoes
  • Overpronation
  • Repeated stretching and tearing of the plantar fascia

How Can It Be Treated?

  • Conservative measures – anti-inflammatories, ice packs, stretching exercises, physical therapy, orthotic devices
  • Shockwave therapy – sound waves are sent to the affected area to facilitate healing and are usually used for chronic cases of plantar fasciitis
  • Surgery – usually only used as a last resort when all else fails. The plantar fascia can be surgically detached from the heel

While very treatable, plantar fasciitis is definitely not something that should be ignored. Especially in severe cases, speaking to your doctor right away is highly recommended to avoid complications and severe heel pain. Your podiatrist can work with you to provide the appropriate treatment options tailored to your condition.

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 Fasciitis
Monday, 17 December 2018 00:00

Three Areas of Peripheral Neuropathy

Patients who are afflicted with peripheral neuropathy are typically familiar with a tingling sensation or numbness in their feet that generally accompanies this uncomfortable condition. Additional symptoms may include difficulty in walking, feeling a stabbing pain that may be in the feet, or experiencing muscle weakness. Research has shown the peripheral nerves are categorized into three areas. One group is known as the motor nerves and will affect performing activities that may include walking or picking up an object. Additionally, sensory nerves affect the ability to differentiate between hot and cold, or objects that are smooth or rough. Finally, autonomic nerves control specific functions of the body, which may include digestion, heart rate, and blood pressure. If you are experiencing symptoms in the feet that may indicate neuropathy, it is suggested to consult with a podiatrist, so a proper diagnosis can be performed.

Neuropathy

Neuropathy can be a potentially serious condition, especially if it is left undiagnosed. If you have any concerns that you may be experiencing nerve loss in your feet, consult with one of our podiatrists from Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment for neuropathy.

What is Neuropathy?

Neuropathy is a condition that leads to damage to the nerves in the body. Peripheral neuropathy, or neuropathy that affects your peripheral nervous system, usually occurs in the feet. Neuropathy can be trigged by a number of different causes. Such causes include diabetes, infections, cancers, disorders, and toxic substances.

Symptoms of Neuropathy Include:

  • Numbness
  • Sensation loss
  • Prickling and tingling sensations
  • Throbbing, freezing, burning pains
  • Muscle weakness

Those with diabetes are at serious risk due to being unable to feel an ulcer on their feet. Diabetics usually also suffer from poor blood circulation. This can lead to the wound not healing, infections occurring, and the limb may have to be amputated.

Treatment

To treat neuropathy in the foot, podiatrists will first diagnose the cause of the neuropathy. Figuring out the underlying cause of the neuropathy, whether it be diabetes, toxic substance exposure, infection, or others, will allow the podiatrist to prescribe the best treatment. If the nerve has not died, then it’s possible that sensation may be able to return to the foot.

Pain medication may be issued for pain. Electrical nerve stimulation can be used to stimulate nerves. If the neuropathy is caused from pressure on the nerves, then surgery may be necessary.

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 Neuropathy
Monday, 10 December 2018 00:00

What Are Flat Feet?

The condition that is referred to as flat feet occurs when the arch of the foot is lower than normal. It may also be known as fallen arches and is typically noticeable when the middle of the foot lies flat on the ground. Most babies are born with flat feet, and normal arches will gradually develop as the child ages. There may be specific medical conditions as to why flat feet may occur in adults and these may include having diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, or cerebral palsy. There may be noticeable symptoms that patients may notice, including pain in the heel and other parts of the foot, which may be a result of the feet adapting to this condition. Treatment methods may include wearing custom-made orthotics, wearing supportive shoes, and performing specific exercises that may improve overall flexibility in the feet. If you have flat feet, it is suggested to speak with a podiatrist who can advise on proper treatment options that are correct for you.

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 What is Flexible Flat Foot?
Monday, 03 December 2018 00:00

Different Types of Foot Surgery

There are several painful and uncomfortable foot conditions that may improve if foot surgery can be performed. If a severe fracture in the foot is experienced and the bone protrudes from the skin, surgery can be an effective way to position the bone back into its correct position. A surgical procedure referred to as joint fusion may be performed to correct bunions or damage that has occurred, which may be a result of arthritis. Additionally, arthroscopic surgery may be useful in removing tissues that have become inflamed in the early stages of arthritis. If you are afflicted with the condition that is known as hammertoe, surgery may be a necessary step in straightening the toes that are bent. If you have uncomfortable heel pain and other treatment methods have been exhausted, surgery may be successful in eliminating or reducing this type of pain. It is advised to consult with a podiatrist if you have foot conditions and may be considering surgery for relief.

Foot surgery is sometimes necessary to treat a foot ailment. To learn more, contact one of our podiatrists of Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctors will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

When Is Surgery Necessary?

Foot and ankle surgery is generally reserved for cases in which less invasive, conservative procedures have failed to alleviate the problem. Some of the cases in which surgery may be necessary include:

  • Removing foot deformities like bunions and bone spurs
  • Severe arthritis that has caused bone issues
  • Cosmetic reconstruction

What Types of Surgery Are There?

The type of surgery you receive will depend on the nature of the problem you have. Some of the possible surgeries include:

  • Bunionectomy for painful bunions
  • Surgical fusion for realignment of bones
  • Neuropathy decompression surgery to treat nerve damage

Benefits of Surgery

Although surgery is usually a last resort, it can provide more complete pain relief compared to non-surgical methods and may allow you to finally resume full activity.

Surgical techniques have also become increasingly sophisticated. Techniques like endoscopic surgery allow for smaller incisions and faster recovery times.

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 Foot and Ankle Surgery
Monday, 26 November 2018 00:00

Causes of Blisters on the Feet

One of the main reasons blisters on the feet may develop is from friction that may typically come from wearing shoes and socks that are too tight. They appear as a small area filled with fluid, which is a natural protectant of the skin, and will commonly develop as a result of an injury or infection that has occurred. When a blister develops on the foot, pain and discomfort will generally accompany this ailment and can possibly be treated by placing a cover over it while wearing shoes. There may be several additional reasons why blisters may form on the feet. These may include being exposed to freezing temperatures, which may cause frostbite, or the opposite may be true when the skin endures an extreme sunburn. If you have an allergic reaction to an insect bite or to a specific chemical, unsightly blisters may form to protect the skin as the healing process occurs. If you are experiencing blisters on the feet, it is suggested to speak with a podiatrist for information about treatment options.

Blisters are prone to making everyday activities extremely uncomfortable. If your feet are hurting, 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.

Foot Blisters

Foot blisters develop as a result of constantly wearing tight or ill-fitting footwear. This happens due to the constant rubbing from the shoe, which can often lead to pain.

What are Foot Blisters?

A foot blister is a small fluid-filled pocket that forms on the upper-most layer of the skin. Blisters are filled with clear fluid and can lead to blood drainage or pus if the area becomes infected.

How do Blisters Form?

Blisters on the feet are often the result of constant friction of skin and material, usually by shoe rubbing. Walking in sandals, boots, or shoes that don’t fit properly for long periods of time can result in a blister. Having consistent foot moisture and humidity can easily lead to blister formation.

Prevention & Treatment

It is important to properly care for the affected area in order to prevent infection and ease the pain. Do not lance the blister and use a Band-Aid to provide pain relief. Also, be sure to keep your feet dry and wear proper fitting shoes. If you see blood or pus in a blister, seek assistance from a podiatrist.

 

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 Blisters

Many elderly patients may experience difficulty in properly taking care of their feet. This may be a result of the inability to bend down and reach them, in addition to the possibility of not being able to see them. The importance of proper foot care as people age is important to practice daily, which may aid in maintaining balance, keeping the feet strong to support the weight of the body, and to possibly walk with ease. Research has shown that many foot conditions may be a result of improper foot care over the course of time, and these may include the formation of bunions, corns, or fungal infections. Diabetes may be a common ailment among the elder population and may often cause unwanted foot conditions. It’s important to wear shoes and socks that fit correctly, have the toenails properly trimmed, and to observe any sores or cuts that are not healing in a timely fashion. Please consult with a podiatrist for additional information about the importance of properly taking care of elderly feet.

If you need your feet checked, contact one of our podiatrists  of Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctors will attend to all of your foot and ankle needs and provide you with quality treatment.

Geriatrics and Podiatry
When people age, some common issues that may occur are bone density loss, dry skin, poor circulation, and rough brittle nails. These issues may also affect your foot health if the necessary steps are not taken to alleviate the problems.

It is important to take care of your feet because feet that are injured or diseased can affect your overall health. Having painful feet hinders your ability to do daily activities or may decrease your willingness to do the things that you need to do.

Visiting Your Geriatrician
As we age, health problems become more likely, so it is essential to visit your doctor for check-ups to ensure that you are doing the best you can to take care of your health. It is recommended to check your feet frequently for any possible cuts, bruises, swelling, corns or any other irregularities. 

Taking Care of Elderly Feet
Cracked or dry feet can be treated by applying moisturizer often. It is also important not to wear old socks because the older the sock is, the higher the possibility there will be that there is bacteria there. Wear fresh socks and make sure they fit properly.

Proper foot health means that you can have a more active lifestyle and you will not be bogged down by pain. Foot health also leads to good circulation, which is paramount for overall health.

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 tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Geriatrics and Podiatry
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
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