Items filtered by date: July 2021

Your feet are covered most of the day. If you're diabetic, periodic screening is important for good health. Numbness is often a sign of diabetic foot and can mask a sore or wound.

Tuesday, 27 July 2021 00:00

Flip-Flops and Your Gait

Flip-flops may be the most popular footwear of the summer, but that doesn’t mean that flip-flops are good for your foot health. While they may keep your feet cool, flip-flops can also alter your gait, or walking pattern. When you wear flip-flops, you typically need to scrunch up your toes around the ends of the shoes in order to keep them on. This can stretch the plantar fascia ligament that runs along the bottom of the foot and lead to heel and arch pain and plantar fasciitis. Another thing you might be doing to keep those flip-flops on your feet is walk with shorter strides and turn your ankles inward while you walk. This altered gait can cause long term ankle and hip problems. This summer, if you must wear flip-flops, choose ones made of a sturdier material and wear them infrequently. For more information about the effects of footwear on your feet, please consult with a podiatrist. 

Flip-flops are not always the best choice of footwear. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact one of our podiatrists from Itasca Foot & Ankle. Our doctors will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

Flip-Flops and Feet

When the weather starts warming up, people enjoy wearing flip-flops.  Flip-flops are comfortable, stylish, and easy to slip on and off; they're perfect for any summer beach goer.  However, these shoes can cause harm to the feet.

How Can Flip-Flops Affect Me Long-Term?

  • Ankle problems
  • Hip problems
  • Lower back problems
  • Pain in the balls of the feet
  • Problems with foot arches
  • Changes in the way you walk

Are There Injuries Associated with Flip-Flops?

Yes.  Since flip-flops are relatively weak and do not provide the same amount of support as sneakers, people who wear flip-flops regularly are more susceptible to injuries. On top of that, the open nature of the shoe makes your feet more prone to other problems, such as cuts and even infections.  Common injuries and ailments include:

  • Sprained ankles
  • Blisters
  • Infections
  • Cuts and Scrapes

I like Wearing Flip-Flops. Are There Safe Alternatives?

When buying flip-flops, try to find ones that have sturdy soles and that are made of high-quality materials that will support for your feet.  These flip-flops will cost more but will also last longer as a result.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office  located in Itasca, IL .  We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Tuesday, 20 July 2021 00:00

How Can I Prevent Foot Ulcers?

Diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs) are a common complication of diabetes. These foot wounds are difficult to detect in their early stages and heal slowly and poorly, creating a high risk of infection. Fortunately, it is possible to prevent DFUs. The first step in doing so is to protect your feet. Wear comfortable, well-fitting shoes and avoid walking barefoot, even in the home. Small injuries to the foot can go unnoticed and worsen over time due to the lower limb nerve damage and poor circulation that many diabetics face. Protecting your feet helps to avoid those small injuries. Another important step in preventing DFUs is to inspect the feet daily for any abnormalities, such as cuts, scrapes, sores, discoloration, pain, or strange sensations like tingling and numbness. If you notice anything unusual during a daily inspection, contact a podiatrist as soon as possible. A podiatrist can diagnose and treat foot ulcers before they become too severe.

Wound care is an important part in dealing with diabetes. If you have diabetes and a foot wound or would like more information about wound care for diabetics, consult with one of our podiatrists from Itasca Foot & Ankle. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

What Is Wound Care?

Wound care is the practice of taking proper care of a wound. This can range from the smallest to the largest of wounds. While everyone can benefit from proper wound care, it is much more important for diabetics. Diabetics often suffer from poor blood circulation which causes wounds to heal much slower than they would in a non-diabetic. 

What Is the Importance of Wound Care?

While it may not seem apparent with small ulcers on the foot, for diabetics, any size ulcer can become infected. Diabetics often also suffer from neuropathy, or nerve loss. This means they might not even feel when they have an ulcer on their foot. If the wound becomes severely infected, amputation may be necessary. Therefore, it is of the upmost importance to properly care for any and all foot wounds.

How to Care for Wounds

The best way to care for foot wounds is to prevent them. For diabetics, this means daily inspections of the feet for any signs of abnormalities or ulcers. It is also recommended to see a podiatrist several times a year for a foot inspection. If you do have an ulcer, run the wound under water to clear dirt from the wound; then apply antibiotic ointment to the wound and cover with a bandage. Bandages should be changed daily and keeping pressure off the wound is smart. It is advised to see a podiatrist, who can keep an eye on it.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Itasca, IL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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A hammertoe occurs when the middle joint in a toe is stuck in a bent position and the toe curls down, rather than laying flat. This deformity can develop in any toe other than the big toe. An imbalance in the muscles or tendons in the feet can lead to a hammertoe forming over time. Genetics may predispose certain people to hammertoes, which can be brought on by wearing pointy, narrow high heels. Having bunions, or certain diseases such as Charcot-Marie-Tooth, diabetes, or arthritis, can also contribute to the development of a hammertoe. In the early stages, the contraction is flexible and the toe can still move. In time, the bent toe can become rigid as the condition progresses. That is why it is important to seek the care of a podiatrist in the early stages, when more conservative therapies can be deployed to correct the deformity without surgery.

Hammertoe

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact one of our podiatrists from Itasca Foot & Ankle. Our doctors will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that affects the joints of the second, third, fourth, or fifth toes of your feet. It is a painful foot condition in which these toes curl and arch up, which can often lead to pain when wearing footwear.

Symptoms

  • Pain in the affected toes
  • Development of corns or calluses due to friction
  • Inflammation
  • Redness
  • Contracture of the toes

Causes

Genetics – People who are genetically predisposed to hammertoe are often more susceptible

Arthritis – Because arthritis affects the joints in your toes, further deformities stemming from arthritis can occur

Trauma – Direct trauma to the toes could potentially lead to hammertoe

Ill-fitting shoes – Undue pressure on the front of the toes from ill-fitting shoes can potentially lead to the development of hammertoe

Treatment

Orthotics – Custom made inserts can be used to help relieve pressure placed on the toes and therefore relieve some of the pain associated with it

Medications – Oral medications such as anti-inflammatories or NSAIDs could be used to treat the pain and inflammation hammertoes causes. Injections of corticosteroids are also sometimes used

Surgery – In more severe cases where the hammertoes have become more rigid, foot surgery is a potential option

If you have any questions please contact our office  located in Itasca, IL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Tuesday, 06 July 2021 00:00

What Is a Ringworm Infection?

Despite the creepy-crawly implications of its name, ringworm is actually not a worm at all, but rather a fungal infection. The name ringworm comes from the red, scaly, itchy, ring-shaped rash that appears on infected skin. This type of infection often affects the feet and is commonly referred to as “athlete’s foot.” The rash associated with athlete’s foot can affect any part of the foot, but is usually found in between the toes or on the soles of the feet. It is highly contagious and can easily spread to other people or other parts of the body. Athlete’s foot can be treated through topical or oral antifungal medications. If you have a red, scaly rash on your feet, it is suggested that you seek the care of a podiatrist. 

Athlete’s Foot

Athlete’s foot is often an uncomfortable condition to experience. Thankfully, podiatrists specialize in treating athlete’s foot and offer the best treatment options. If you have any questions about athlete’s foot, consult with one of our podiatrists from Itasca Foot & Ankle. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality treatment.

What Is Athlete’s Foot?

Tinea pedis, more commonly known as athlete’s foot, is a non-serious and common fungal infection of the foot. Athlete’s foot is contagious and can be contracted by touching someone who has it or infected surfaces. The most common places contaminated by it are public showers, locker rooms, and swimming pools. Once contracted, it grows on feet that are left inside moist, dark, and warm shoes and socks.

Prevention

The most effective ways to prevent athlete’s foot include:

  • Thoroughly washing and drying feet
  • Avoid going barefoot in locker rooms and public showers
  • Using shower shoes in public showers
  • Wearing socks that allow the feet to breathe
  • Changing socks and shoes frequently if you sweat a lot

Symptoms

Athlete’s foot initially occurs as a rash between the toes. However, if left undiagnosed, it can spread to the sides and bottom of the feet, toenails, and if touched by hand, the hands themselves. Symptoms include:

  • Redness
  • Burning
  • Itching
  • Scaly and peeling skin

Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosis is quick and easy. Skin samples will be taken and either viewed under a microscope or sent to a lab for testing. Sometimes, a podiatrist can diagnose it based on simply looking at it. Once confirmed, treatment options include oral and topical antifungal medications.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Itasca, IL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

 

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