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.
People with diabetes are prone to foot problems, often developing from a combination of poor circulation and nerve damage. Damage to the nerves in the legs and feet diminishes skin sensation, making it difficult to detect or notice pain or temperature changes. A minor sore or scrape on your foot may get infected simply because you don't know it is there. A decrease in blood flow makes it difficult for these injuries to heal. And when a wound isn't healing, it's at risk for infection. Left untreated, minor foot injuries can result in ulceration and even amputation.
Foot Care for Diabetics
Simple daily foot care can help prevent serious health problems associated with diabetes.
We recommend the following tips for keeping your feet healthy and preventing foot complications:
- Wash feet daily. Keep feet clean with mild soap and lukewarm water, and dry thoroughly.
- Moisturize. Moisturize daily to keep dry skin from cracking, and avoid putting lotion between your toes as this may cause infection.
- Trim your toenails carefully. Cut straight across, avoiding the corners; visit our office for assistance
- Never treat corns or calluses on your own. Visit your podiatrist for treatment.
- Protect your feet from hot and cold.
- Keep the blood flowing in your feet and legs. Elevate your feet when sitting, don't sit cross-legged, and stay active.
- Inspect your feet every day. Check your feet for cuts, redness, swelling and nail problems. Contact our practice if you notice anything unusual, even the slightest change.
- Avoid smoking. Smoking restricts blood flow in the feet
- Wear comfortable, supportive shoes and never walk barefoot
- Visit our practice for regular exams. Seeing a podiatrist at our office regularly can help prevent diabetic foot problems.
At our practice, we understand that living with diabetes can be challenging. Let's discuss simple ways you can reduce your risk of foot injuries. We'll work with you to create a treatment plan that fits your lifestyle and gets you back on your feet so you can enjoy the things you love. Remember to inspect your feet every day. If you detect an injury, no matter how small, come in for an exam right away.
If you are dealing with stubborn or chronic fungal toenail infections, find out how we can help.
Do you tend to walk around the gym's locker room or showers barefoot? You may not realize it, but there are tons of bacteria and fungus growing in these communal areas. If you are someone who does this often, then you may find yourself dealing with a nasty fungal infection. From the office of our Howell, NJ, podiatrists, Dr. Richard Lesser and Dr. William Hoffman, find out more about toenail fungus and when laser therapy may be the best option for treating it.
If you’ve been trying over-the-counter fungal infection treatments for a while now and still aren’t able to properly treat your fungal infection, then it might be time to talk to our Howell foot doctors. Unfortunately, a lot of OTC antifungal medications aren’t able to penetrate through the hard layers of the toenail to destroy the fungus living underneath.
When you turn to a foot specialist there are two options from which to choose. We may recommend an oral antifungal, which could be far more effective at killing the fungal infection. Of course, if you are someone who deals with severe and recurring toenail fungus, then you may benefit from laser treatment.
This laser treatment is an amazingly effective way of killing the fungus onychomycosis. By directing this laser over the toenail, these specific light waves are safely able to penetrate through the nail to heat up and kill the fungus while leaving the healthy skin and nail unharmed. This procedure is painless and will only take about one hour to complete. In many cases, the patient will only need to come in once for treatment to be successful.
Of course, many people assume that once the fungus is killed that the nail will immediately turn clear. It’s important to keep in mind that it will take time for the now healthy nail to grow out clear. This can take a couple of months before you start to notice the clear portion of the nail growing out, but seeing these results can be quite exciting for chronic fungal infection sufferers.
If you want to find out if you are the ideal candidate for laser fungal treatment, then call Family Foot Health Center in Howell, NJ, today. Let us treat that stubborn infection once and for all.
Corns and calluses are thick, hardened areas of skin that develop in response to your body's natural defense to repeated pressure or friction. While neither condition presents a long-term or serious health risk, they can be painful, irritating and unattractive.
Identifying a Corn or Callus
Corns and calluses are similar in nature, but differ in size and location. Corns are smaller than calluses and usually have a hard, thickened center surrounded by red, inflamed skin. They typically develop on the tops and sides of your toes and can be painful when touched. Calluses generally develop on your heels and balls of your feet. They vary in size and shape, although almost always larger than corns.
For most people who develop calluses or corns, eliminating the source of pressure is usually enough to make the thickened skin disappear. We recommend the following for treating corns and calluses:
- Wear comfortable shoes and socks. When footwear fits properly, there is less opportunity for friction and rubbing to occur.
- Soak your feet in warm, soapy water to help remove corns and calluses. Rub the thickened skin with a pumice stone to remove toughened layers more easily.
- Keeping your feet moisturized with foot cream or lotion will help improve the quality of your skin and rid your feet from calluses or corns.
When to Seek Care
When corns and calluses don't respond to conservative care, contact our office for a careful evaluation. We can investigate the possible causes of your corn or callus, safely remove the thick, hardened area of skin, and recommend appropriate footwear and treatment, including padding and inserts. Never attempt to cut away a corn or callus on your own, especially if you have diabetes or poor circulation. Instead, seek advice for careful removal and proper care.
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