You've had them before, and you'd like to be rid of them for good. What are they? The medical term is verrucas, but your Howell, NJ, podiatrist will call them plantar warts. All you know is that they hurt. At Family Foot Health Center in Howell, podiatrists Dr. Richard Lesser and Dr. William Hoffman diagnose and treat plantar warts, giving patients the clear skin they like and the pain free feet they deserve. Learn more here about these nuisance skin lesions.
The details on warts
Physicians at the Cleveland Clinic say that millions of people of all ages suffer from plantar warts. These rough, circular, raised bumps are totally benign, but because they start on the skin surface and grow inward, they become painful and particularly so when located on the soles of the feet. In addition, warts are usually dark in color, may be spotted, and grow into clusters when not treated. So warts are unsightly as well.
Verrucas are highly contagious, being caused by the Human Papillomavirus, the same microoganism linked to oral and cervical cancers and some STDs. Warts, however, are not cancerous but simply pop up on broken areas of the skin easily penetrated by germs.
The American Board of Podiatric Surgery says that cryosurgery (freezing) and cautery (burning) are typical treatment options for plantar warts. Alternatively, Dr. Lesser or Dr. Hoffman may prescribe topical creams or ointments (commonly containing salicylic acid) to lift warts off the skin surface. Avoid over the counter preparations.
The best way to treat plantar warts, however, is preventing them from forming in the first place. While basic foot care cannot guarantee you never will develop plantar warts, your Howell, NJ, podiatrists advise these steps toward clearer, healthier and more comfortable feet:
- Wash your feet daily with soap and water, and dry them completely, especially between the toes.
- Examine your feet for any changes in skin color, roughness, cracks, bumps or anything that seems different about your normal foot configuration.
- Apply moisturizer to the entire foot surface every day.
- Wear shoes when walking out doors.
- Wear flip flops in public showers and around any swimming pool, sauna or hot tub.
- Change to clean, moisture wicking socks daily, or whenever they get wet or sweaty.
Keep your feet that way. See your podiatrist in Howell, NJ, at least yearly, or if you are diabetic, as the doctor recommends. For an appointment at Family Foot Health Center, call (732) 370-1100.
The feet have more sweat glands than any other part of the body, which means they have the ability to sweat profusely. With your feet encased in your shoes all day and the sweat unable to evaporate, bacteria will begin to grow rapidly. Bacteria then begins to break down the sweat, generating an unpleasant odor. Other factors can contribute to increased perspiration, including anxiety, hormonal changes, medications and various skin conditions.
Foot odor is a common problem, especially among those who perspire excessively, but it can be both embarrassing and physically uncomfortable. If you suffer from foot odor, rest assured that simple lifestyle changes and improved personal hygiene can help reduce and eliminate the smell.
Easy Ways to Eliminate Foot Odor
Since most foot odor is caused from excess sweat and the growth of odor-causing bacteria, it's relatively easy to control and reduce foot odor on your own. Start by taking the following preventative steps:
- Keep your feet clean by washing them with an antibacterial soap on a regular basis to minimize bacteria.
- Keep feet dry as moisture enables the growth of bacteria.
- Alternate shoes and avoid wearing the same pair for multiple days in a row.
- Choose open shoes such as sandals when possible, allowing air onto the feet which evaporates sweat and slows the growth of bacteria.
- Wear cotton socks which wick away moisture and absorb perspiration.
- Apply foot sprays and powders to the feet. Ask your podiatrist for recommended products.
- Disinfect, wash and discard foul smelling shoes as necessary.
The causes of foot odor are typically not harmful to your health, but do create an environment for the growth of fungus and bacteria. It's not unusual for infections such as toenail fungus and athlete's foot to develop as a result.
When improving your foot hygiene doesn't help reduce the smell, you may need to visit your podiatrist, as persistent foot odor can indicate an infection or a severe case of hereditary sweating. In these cases, a prescription ointment may be required to treat the problem. Visit our office, and we'll work with you to determine the cause and most effective treatment for your condition!
If you're a runner, it goes without saying that your feet take the brunt of the punishment. In fact, for runners the feet are more vulnerable to injury than any other part of the body. Luckily, both long-distance runners and casual joggers can improve their performance by paying extra attention to their feet and taking steps to prevent common foot problems. Poor fitting footwear is often the source of many foot problems caused by running. A visit to our practice can help you determine the best shoes for your foot structure.
A Runner's Roadblock
While many running-related foot injuries can result from a fall or twisted ankle, most running injuries are caused by overuse, meaning the majority of runners experience foot and ankle pain because they do too much for too long. Runners should be aware of the signs of foot problems that can slow them down if not treated promptly. Common foot and ankle injuries experienced by runners include:
Achilles Tendonitis: Achilles tendonitis and other calf-related injuries are prevalent in runners. Poor training, overuse and improper footwear are the three most common reasons for this condition. A sudden increase in distance or pace can strain the muscles and tendons in the foot and ankle, causing small tears within these structures that result in pain and inflammation. Appropriate shoes and training are the most important steps to preventing Achilles tendonitis. Conservative treatment includes rest, ice, stretching and sometimes orthotics or physical therapy.
Heel Pain: Runners develop heel pain more than any other foot-related injury. Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain, the result of placing excessive stress on the ligament in the bottom of the foot. Rest, stretching and support are the best ways to ease the pain and inflammation. Reduce your mileage and avoid hill and speed workouts. Stretch before and after you run, and ice your heel after each workout. Special splints and shoe inserts from our practice may also provide support and relief for your heel pain.
Stress Fractures: Stress fractures are small cracks in the surface of a bone. Runners generally notice gradual muscle soreness, stiffness and pain on the affected bone, most often in the lower leg or the foot. Early diagnosis is critical, as a small fracture can spread and eventually become a complete fracture of the bone. Stress fractures are typically caused by increasing training more quickly than the body's ability to build up and strengthen the bone.
If you have symptoms of a stress fracture, you should stop running immediately and see a podiatrist. This injury can keep a runner off the track for several weeks, and is not an injury that you can run through. Depending on the severity of the stress fracture, a cast may be necessary.
If you experience chronic foot pain from running, make an appointment with a podiatrist. Leaving foot injuries untreated could result in more serious conditions, ultimately keeping you from your best performance. Keep in mind that these are not the only foot ailments caused by running, and when at-home foot care isn't effective, you'll need to be evaluated by a podiatrist. As in most cases, prevention is the best medicine. Good footwear, proper training and recognizing a problem before it becomes serious are your keys to staying on the road and avoiding foot injuries.
Your feet support your lifestyle. Running, walking, sports, the activities of daily living--they can't happen without healthy feet. At Family Foot Health Center, podiatrists Dr. Richard Lesser and Dr. William Hoffman dedicate their time, continuing education and hands-on diagnostic and treatment skills to making your feet and ankles the happiest ever.
Why we have foot problems
It's recommended that adults get their feet examined by a foot doctor annually and more often if you are diabetic. What are some common foot issues, and how can your podiatrist in Howell, NJ, help?
Well, your foot doctor would tell you that scores of foot and ankle problems stem from a few contributing factors. If a patient can be aware of them and try to avoid their consequences, then he or she will be a step ahead, so to speak, in keeping the lower extremities healthy.
Typically, foot and ankle issues center around a few basic causes:
- Overuse--standing too much or engaging in repetitive motions such as bouncing on the balls of the feet
- Poorly fitting shoes such as high heels or flip-flops
- Germs, such as Tinea pedis, the culprit behind fungal nails and athlete's foot
- Traumatic injuries related to sports or occupation
- Hereditary factors
Here are problems your podiatrist in Howell sees at Family Foot Health Center. After an examination and consultation, Dr. Lesser or Dr. Hoffman can recommend treatments suitable for your overall health and lifestyle.
Toenail fungus Caused by Tinea pedis and encouraged by moist, dark environments such as sweaty shoes and socks, toenail fungus affects young and old alike. The fungal toenail is yellow, brittle, thick and may separate from the nail bed. Skin around the nail may itch, swell and become red. Your podiatrist offers oral and topical antifungal medications and laser treatments which effectively kill the fungus on contact. Also, he recommends wearing well-ventilated shoes and moisture wicking socks and washing feet daily. Avoid damp floors in the locker room or poolside by wearing shower sandals.
Plantar fasciitis This painful condition affects the broad band of connective tissue that extends from the heel to the base of the toes. Overuse causes it, and it may be relieved with rest, ice, elevation and anti-inflammatory medications. Customized shoe inserts take pressure off the arch of the foot, and the foot doctor says obesity exacerbates the problem. If a heel spur co-exists with plantar fasciitis, surgical removal of the excess bone helps as do plantar fascia release procedures.
Bunions Often running in families, this deformity of the big toe joint causes pain, corns, calluses, and impaired walking and sporting activities. A sore, red painful bump on the side of the foot is almost diagnostic for bunions, and X-ray confirms them. A change in shoes, shoe padding, orthotics and stretching help. Surgical bunionectomy is a last resort.
How are your feet?
Help them be their best with a podiatric exam at Family Foot Health Center in Howell, NJ. Call today for an appointment: (732) 370-1100.
The arch structure of our feet determines how we walk, which means our arches need to be both sturdy and flexible in order to adjust to different walking surfaces. For most people, their feet have a curve or an arch at the bottom that provides flexibility and shock absorption. But for the five percent of adults in the U.S. with flat feet, also known as fallen arches, the arches of their feet are either partially or completely collapsed.
One common type of flatfoot is adult-acquired flatfoot. It is caused by overstretching the tendon that supports the arch. Flexible flatfoot is also common and occurs when the foot is flat when standing, but returns to a normal arch in non-weight-bearing positions.
Factors that increase your risk of flat feet include:
- Excess weight
- Injury to your foot or ankle
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
When to See Your Podiatrist
Most adults with a fallen arch experience little to no pain. For these patients, treatment is rarely necessary. Painful flatfoot, however, may be the sign of a congenital abnormality or an injury to the muscles and tendons of the foot. Pain can be severe, making it difficult to walk, wear shoes and perform simple everyday tasks. More than achy feet, flatfoot can also lead to other, more serious problems and pain for your ankles, knees, back and hips.
Common symptoms associated with flat feet Include:
- Swelling along the inside of the ankle
- Feet that tire easily or ache after standing for an extended period of time
- A lack of mobility in your foot and difficulty standing on your toes
- Sore, swollen feet; especially in the heel or arch of your foot
Steps Away from Flat Foot Pain Relief
If you are experiencing pain caused by flat feet, visit our practice for an evaluation. We can identify the cause of your pain and recommend the best treatments for your type of arch.
Talk with your podiatrist about the following treatment options:
- Shoe inserts/ Orthotics
- Shoe modifications
- Rest and ice
- Stretching exercises
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications
Whether you were born with flat feet or you acquired fallen arches over time, if your flat feet are causing you pain or interfering with your day to day activities, visit our practice. We can work with you to determine the best treatment options to eliminate the pain, improve your mobility and get you back to the activities you love.
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