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By Family Foot Health Center
July 19, 2018
Category: Foot Condition
Tags: Bunions  

BunionsHow your podiatrists in Howell can help

If you are dealing with hammertoes, you already know how difficult it can be to put on shoes. You may be having difficulty walking, and may be experiencing foot pain. The good news is there are effective treatments to eliminate the discomfort and disfigurement of hammertoes. Dr. Richard Lesser and Dr. William Hoffman at Family Foot Health Center in Howell, NJ, want to share the facts about hammertoes and how you can get relief.

A hammertoe results from muscles holding your toe at an angle. Over time, the muscles and tendons lose their ability to relax and you will be unable to straighten out your toe. This imbalance results in your toe bending outward at the middle joint, resembling a hammer. You will typically see a hammertoe in the second, third, or fourth toe.

There are a few reasons your toe might be bending in the wrong position. You can develop a hammertoe if you:

  • Wear shoes that don’t fit well, without enough toe room
  • Have a muscle or tendon imbalance in your foot
  • Have a degenerative joint condition like arthritis
  • Have experienced a traumatic injury to your toe
  • Experience pressure from a callus or bunion
  • Have a high arch in your foot, causing your foot to press forward

If you notice you are developing a hammertoe, you can try:

  • Changing to wider shoes that won’t cramp your toes
  • Wearing open shoes or sandals
  • Stretching out each of your toes with your fingers
  • Doing toe exercises by trying to grab objects off of the floor
  • Taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen
  • Using pads or cushions to support your feet

For stubborn cases of hammertoe, your best option is to see the experts, your podiatrists at Family Foot Health Center. They offer several effective treatments including:

  • Splints and other devices to straighten and realign your toe
  • Custom orthotics or footwear to correct muscle/tendon imbalance
  • Prescription strength anti-inflammatory medication
  • Surgical realignment in severe cases

If you are dealing with hammertoes, it’s time to get relief by calling Dr. Lesser and Dr. Hoffman at Family Foot Health Center in Howell, NJ. Don’t wait to get relief, call today!

By Family Foot Health Center
July 05, 2018
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Hammertoes  

When most people think about foot deformities they most often think about bunions; however, hammertoes are just as common. This unassuming deformity comes about gradually, so you may not even notice it until it’s too late. “What is a hammertoe?” You might be wondering. A hammertoe affects the middle joint of a toe (often the smaller toes), causing the toe to bend downward. In severe cases, a hammertoe will look almost claw-like.

There are two kinds of hammertoes: flexible and rigid. As you might imagine, a flexible hammertoe is one in which you can still straighten the toe out. If you aren’t able to straighten the affected toe then this is a rigid hammertoe. A flexible hammertoe isn’t as serious as a rigid one; however, it’s important that you take care of your hammertoe to make sure that it doesn’t get worse.

While there is no way to cure a hammertoe there are simple measures you can take to prevent it from progressing. First and foremost, you need to take a look at the shoes you are wearing and make sure that they aren’t too tight. When you slip your feet into your shoes, does it cause your toes to bunch up against one another? If so then this could make your hammertoe worse.

Instead, opt for shoes with an ample toe box, which will allow your toes to wiggle and move around freely. If you have a structural imbalance within the foot this can leave you prone to foot problems such as hammertoes and bunions. To correct this imbalance, talk to your foot doctor about getting custom orthotics (shoe inserts), which can be placed into your shoes to help provide cushioning, support, and shock absorption for your feet.

If pain or stiffness does rear its ugly head you can choose to take an over-the-counter pain reliever like ibuprofen, which can tackle both pain and inflammation in one fell swoop, or you can place a towel-wrapped ice pack (never put ice directly on the skin, as it can cause severe burns) over the area for several minutes.

Just as you can buy pads to cover a bunion or callus, you can also buy a non-medicated protective pad to cover over a hammertoe. Since the deformed toe joint juts out this can leave the toe prone to calluses, which can cause pain when wearing shoes. To prevent a callus from forming, you can apply a protective pad over the deformed toe joint before putting on shoes.

Of course, if you are dealing with significant or frequent pain, or if the hammertoe is rigid, then you will want to turn to a podiatric specialist. In severe cases, surgery may be recommended to correct the disfigured joint.

By Family Foot Health Center
June 05, 2018
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Toenail Fungus  

Struggling with toenail fungus? Toenail fungus is an infection underneath the surface of the toenail caused by fungus. It can make your toenail fungustoenail get thicker or change color. It can also be painful. Left untreated, the fungal infection could spread to other toenails, your fingernails, or skin. Family Foot Health Center, which is located in Howell, NJ, offers treatments for toenail fungus. Dr. Richard Lesser and Dr. William Hoffman are some of the top podiatrists in Howell, NJ.

1. Topical Nail Polish- Topical nail lacquer is used to treat fungal infections of the fingernails and toenails. Topical nail lacquer works by stopping the growth of nail fungus. The nail lacquers which are currently available to treat nail fungus are amorolfine and ciclopirox nail lacquers. Topical treatment with nail lacquer may last as long as one year. 

2. Topical Creams- Topical antifungals are often prescribed to treat toenail fungus. You apply these products directly to the toenail and surrounding skin to a toenail fungus infection. Common topical antifungals include terbinafine (Lamisil) and clotrimazole (Lotrimin AF). Topical creams should be applied exactly as directed by your podiatrist. 

3. Medication- Oral antifungus medications are also prescribed to treat toenail fungus. Options include itraconazole (Sporanox) and terbinafine (Lamisil). These medications help the toenail grow free of infection. Patients typically take this type of medication for 6 to 12 weeks. 

4. Laser Therapy- Laser therapy is one of the newer innovations in fighting toenail fungus infections. The laser works by shining a beam of light into a nail infected with fungus. The laser penetrates the toenail and vaporizes the fungus on the toenail. Laser therapy reaches to the core of the infection and destroys the fungus completely.

5. Surgery- In some cases, surgical treatment may be necessary. Surgical nail removal can be done in your podiatrist's office. During surgical nail removal, your podiatrist will inject a local anesthetic into your toe so you will not feel any pain. Your podiatrist will then loosen the folds of skin around the nail and separate the nail from the toe by easing a tool beneath the nail.

Toenail fungus is an embarrassing condition that impacts your quality of life. Don't wait another minute- call Family Foot Health Center at 732-370-1100 today to schedule an appointment in Howell, NJ. Get your life back on track by receiving the best treatment available.

By Family Foot Health Center
May 30, 2018
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Child Podiatry   Foot Care   Footwear  

While it might not be something you think about often (or at all), the health of your child’s feet is important. Your child is growing by leaps and bounds and certain habits and other factors can affect how your child’s feet develop or if they experience injuries or other problems down the road. Unfortunately, a lot of children end up wearing shoes that are far too small for their feet, which can lead to pain, structural imbalances and certain foot deformities.

We know that going shoe shopping is certainly not a walk in the park for most parents; however, it’s an important component to making sure your child maintains healthy feet. There are many things to think about when it comes to picking the right shoes, and your podiatrist can also provide suggestions and tips to make the world of shoe shopping easier for you and your little one.

Some factors that you should consider when shopping for the right shoes include:

  • Your child’s age
  • The shoe’s material
  • Your child’s shoe size
  • The shoe’s structure

A good rule of thumb is to shop for shoes every 2 months when your child is between the ages of 1 and 2 years old. Once they reach three and four, you’ll want to purchase new shoes approximately every four months. At the point that your child is five or six years old, every six months is a good time to swap out old shoes for new ones.

As you might already know, the bones of a baby or infant’s feet are soft and haven’t fully developed. To protect your child’s feet it’s important that they wear socks and soft shoes. Make sure that as your child’s feet grow that the toes have room to wiggle and move around within the shoes. Bunched-up toes are a major no-no!

Since your little one is growing by leaps and bounds it is important that you are constantly checking their shoe size for changes. Remember that feet swell throughout the day, so shoe shopping should be done at the end of the day when feet are at their largest. If you aren’t sure what size shoe your little one wears, you can ask one of the store’s footwear specialists for help.

Of course, you can’t forget the importance of choosing the right socks, as well. Socks can prevent your little one from blisters, calluses and other foot problems. They can also wick away sweat and prevent fungal infections. When it comes to choosing the right socks for your little one consider the type of fabric, your child’s activity level, the size of your child’s feet and sensitivities they might have to certain fabrics.

When in doubt, you should talk to a foot doctor who can provide you with advice, answer any questions you might have about your child’s developing feet and also provide comprehensive care, when needed.

By Family Foot Health Center
April 27, 2018
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Bunions  

BunionsWhat is a Bunion?

Are you dealing with a bunion? A bunion is a protrusion of the bone at the base of the big toe. While a bunion may seem like a bump, according to the (APMA) American Podiatric Medical Association a bunion is actually the enlargement of the joint at the base of the big toe – the metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint. While bunions are a common foot disorder, it is not something that you should ignore as bunions can cause discomfort and become inflamed if left untreated.
 

What Causes Bunions?

Bunions can be hereditary and aggravated by the shoes you wear, especially high heels or shoes that don’t have enough room for your toes. Certain factors can also contribute to the development of bunions, such as if you have flat feet or low arches or if your feet pronate (when the ankles roll in towards each other during movement and cause excessive and prolonged pressure on the joints in the feet). If you are dealing with bunions, or think that you are, it’s important to seek help from a qualified podiatrist to get the care you need to relieve your pain and discomfort.
 

How a Podiatrist Can Help

Your podiatrist may recommend certain conservative at home steps you can take to minimize the discomfort. The first thing they may recommend is that you look at or change the kind of shoes you wear. It’s important to find shoes that are wide enough to accommodate your toes. Shoes such as high heels are likely to make the problem worse. Bunion pads can also help with your discomfort.
Severe bunion pain can restrict your mobility. Untreated bunions can continue to get worse if you don’t do something about them and can lead to other issues such as calluses and corns, or you may experience pain or redness on the site of the bunion, as well as swelling.
Other treatment options include orthotics or a combination of physical therapy and medication to relieve pressure and inflammation of the bunion. In severe cases, surgery may be needed to resolve the issue.
 

Prevention is Key

We all like to remain active, and oftentimes it is the result of this activity that can make your bunion pain worse. You should visit your podiatrist if you notice any issues so they can be caught and treated as early as possible. Call our office today.




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