The Doctor's In

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July 02, 2018
Category: Uncategorized
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All About Warts

Warts (aka Verruca) typically appear on hands and feet. They present as rough small tumors or cauliflower like or a solid blister. The virus that causes plantar warts is not highly contagious but can be transmitted through tiny cuts or breaks in skin. Since everyone has a different immune system, not every person who comes in contact with the virus will develop a wart. The virus is called the human papillomavirus of which there are 100 types.

Plantar warts have increased incidence in children and young adults between 12-16 years old who share common areas. Warts can be persistent and new warts can grow as fast as old warts disappear.They can be painful especially if they grow on weight bearing surfaces like the feet. Usually the portion of the wart under the skin is two times the size of the wart you see, it tends to grow into deeper layers of skin due to pressure.

You should seek medical advice if:

  • - Your warts change in size or color
  • - If they become painful
  • - If they persist, recur or multiply in spite of home treatment
  • - If you have diabetes, circulatory problems
  • - If you cannot confidently identify the lesion.

Simple examination by a podiatrist can let you know if warts are present. The doctor may "pare" the lump (remove the hard outer skin) with a scalpel. Corns and calluses do not have a blood supply and should not bleed but warts have pinpoint bleeding when debrided. 

Doctors usually use common treatments in combination such as;

Salicylic acid in a 40% concentration. The acid peels off the infected skin a little at a time. This can take time and healthy skin must be protected.

Freezing (cryotherapy) is the most common treatment and usually effective but also requires several applications. The chemical can cause a blister and the wart tissue sloughs off.

Aggressive forms of treatment include:

  • - Electrodessication
  • - Laser surgery
  • - Immunotherapy
  • - Imiquinod (Aldara)

None of these treatments should be used without a doctor's care if you are diabetic, pregnant, breast feeding or immunocompromised. Prevention is the key!

To decrease your risk:

  • - Do not pick warts, that can spread the virus.
  • - Do not go barefoot in public areas. Wear shoes or sandals at public pools or locker rooms.
  • - Avoid contact with warts.
  • - Keep your feet clean and dry.

 

If warts are becoming a problem in your life, feel free to call our office today! Our highly skilled team is ready to handle any and all plantar warts! (239) 936-2454

Summers in Florida (or any Southern state) can be brutal. Aside from all of the torrential downpurs and the threat of hurricanes is the HEAT. Heat that just hangs over us like a dense fog. But how does the weather affect our feet? 

Blisters

A blister is a small pocket of fluid that can develop on any part of your body. In regards to the feet, the main cause of this condition is due to friction, like when you are walking along the beach on a summer afternoon. Walking or standing for several hours each day can put pressure on your heels, soles, and toes. In many cases. blisters can form from ill-fitting shoes, whether they are too loose or too tight. When the shoes rub up against the skin, the fluid builds up underneath the upper layer of skin. 

In relation to the heat, blisters arise from excessive moisture or perspiration. When the foot's sweat clogs up the glands, a blister can form. In addition to being heat related, this is commonly seen in athletes or runner who are wearing sneakers often. 

Keeping your feet dry and wearing properly fitting shoes are they keys to preventing blisters. Although there are many home treatments for this condition, if the problem persists, please call a podiatrist to see what your best treatment option is.

Heat Rash

Heat rash is usually characterized by small rashes, red bumps all over a patch of skin. Sometimes they can even get large enough to resember hives or welts. Another sign is that the little bumps itch... badly. and itching them can make it worse!! Heat rashes develop on overheated skin. When the sweat glands are blocked, sweat builds up under the skin, creating the reddish bumps. Because in the summertime we have humif air and plenty of moisure, you can get is pretty easily in places that do not get enough cool, dry air, like your feet.

So what do you do about it? First thing's first, do NOT put moisuturizer on it, you are only going to block the sweat glands and make it worse! You SHOULD: Keep your feet cool and dry (take off those shoes and socks!), get an anti-itch powder for your socks, change your socks often, and alternate your shoes to allow them to breathe. For immediate relief, use some calamine lotion or OTC hydrocortisone cream on the itchy patches. The important thing is to just let your feet breathe and stay dry as much as possible!

Athlete's Foot

Athlete's Foot, or tinea pedis, is a skin disease that affects the sole of the foot and the skin between the toes. Usually, it has a scaly, red, raw appeatance and occasionally might have small, oozing blisters and it can affect both athletes and non-athletes. Frequently, it is caused by a fungal infection and contracted in locations where there is a lot of human contact, such as gyms, locker rooms, swimming pools, and nail salons. Athlete's foot has also been called "jungle rot", a term used by members of the armed services serving in tropical climates. 

These fungal infections are enhanced by warmth and moisture, especially by wearing closed-toes shoes in this summer heat! Up to 70% of the population may develop athlete's foot at some time in their life. There are a wide variety of products on the market for this condition, but there are even more options available to you when you see a doctor. 

If you are having any consistent or recurring issues with any of these heat-related conditions, please call our office today! Being unfortable is no way to spend your summer and we may have some solutions available to you that you never even knew of. These are conditions seen very commonly in our office and our highly skilled team is ready to help you take the first step towards better foot health. Contact us as (239) 936-2454 for all of your foot care needs!

Do you have tingling in your toes? Does the pain or sensation keep you awake at night? 

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may have what we call peripheral neuropathy. And don't worry, you're not alone.

Around 20 million people in the United States suffer from some form of peripheral neuropathy, which is a condition that develops due to some kind of damage to your peripheral nervous system. This nervous system is the communication netowrk that send information from your brain and spinal cord to every other part of the body. The word neuropathy itself means nerve disease, or damage. There are a range of symptoms such as numbness and tingling, or pricking sensations (paresthesia), or muscle weakness. Areas of the body may become hypersensitive which leads to intense feelings of touch and pain may occur in response to something that ususally does not cause pain. Even more severe symptoms include burning pain (especially at night), muscle wasting, paralysis, or organ dysfunction. 

The peripheral nerves that are affected send information back to the brain and spinal cord, such as messages when your feet are cold. They also carry signals from the brain and spinal cord to the muscles to get your body to move! Damage to your peripheral nervous system can interfere with these messages. Just like static on a terephone line, neuropathy distorts and interrupts messages from your brain and spinal cord to the rest of your body. 

But what causes this condition???

- Physical injury - from accidents or repetitive motions

- Diseases or disorders - diabetes, vasculitis, autoimmune diseases, kidney conditions, cancer, infections

- Exposure to toxins - medication toxicity, environmental toxins, heavy alcohol consumption

- Genetics - this can also be inherited if there is a family history, but this finding is relatively new and research is currently being done

What do we recommend?

If you think that you may be experiencing the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy in the feet, it is important for you to see a doctor as soon as you can to discuss your treatment options. If you are in the early stages, there may be more options than if you are catching this at a later stage. Our group is very experienced with managing individuals with this condition and we are happy to help you take the first step towards feeling better! Give us a call today! (239) 936-2454

 

Image result for pediatric foot

Common Pediatric Foot Problems

Children are often the joys in our lives, but what happens when that little bundle of joy develops pain and problems in the feet? It pains us to see our children in pain, but the solution might be as simple as seeing your friendly, neightborhood podiatrist! Foot problems in your child may appear at birth, shortly after, or once they have started walking. But when is the right time to call in a doctor to examine their feet? 

If you notice any of the following conditions in your child, please call our office at (239) 936-2454 right away to schedule an appointment!

Pediatric Heel Pain

Heel pain in a child is a common children’s foot problem we see in our office. One of the first signs is that you may notice is your child limping or not wanting to walk on one of his/her feett. Pediatric heel pain is differs from adult heel pain in that the child’s foot is still growing, and as a result, is more flexible.

Your child’s heel pain may be due to an abnormality of the heel bone’s growth area. In these cases, the growth area of the heel bone becomes inflamed and pain worsens when your child tries to walk or participate in any activity. Other heel pain causes can include a fracture, bone tumor, bursitis (inflammation of the joint) or infection.

If you notice your child limping or complaining of heel/arch pain, you should have the child’s evaluated by a podiatrist as soon as possible.

 

In-toeing or Out-toeing in Children

Another common children’s foot problem we see is In-toeing, often referred to as walking pigeon-toed. Instead of the foot pointed straight-ahead, the foot turns inward. Sometimes in-toeing occurs with only one foot, or it may affect both feet. The child may limp, stumble or even trip and fall when running or walking. In-toeing may be due to a structural issue with the foot itself or it may be related to the leg or hips.

Out-toeing is the reverse of in-toeing, where the child’s foot points outward when they are walking. Again, this problem can affect one or both feet, and it can cause the child to stumble or even fall when running or walking.

Both in-toeing and out-toeing are considered structural problems and when these problems are caught early they are easy to correct. Most parents are able to spot in-toeing or out-toeing in their child, usually shortly after the child begins to walk. If you suspect this condition, you should bring your child in for an evaluation with our podiatrist.

 

Toe-Walking in Children

Another children’s foot problem that is seen in toddlers or even older children who are walking more on their toes or the front of the their foot, rather than putting their heel down on the ground. The child who toe-walks may appear to “bounce” as they walk.

This problem may be due to bone abnormality in the child’s foot or a neurologic issue, though most often it is due to the tendon at the back of the leg, called the Achilles tendon, being too short.

Most of the time, a tight Achilles tendon can be treated conservatively through shoe modification, orthotics, or a variety of ways, although in severe cases our podiatrists may do a small procedure to help lengthen the tendon.

 

Bunions in Children

A child with a painful bunion is also another common problem. Did you hear that right??? Yes, a child can have bunions! Some people mistakenly believe bunions is an “old person’s” problem, but the truth is that many children develop bunions. Often a child develops a bunion secondary to another, more significant, deformity of the foot.

Most of the time, bunions in children can be treated without any type of surgery. It is important for parents to bring in their child as soon as they see a bunion beginning to form. In some cases, surgery may be necessary and podiatrists may do a small out-patient surgery to correct the child’s bunion.

 

Flatfeet in Children (Over pronation in Children)

Flatfeet is called pes planus is another common children’s foot problem we treat at our office. In basic terms, a flatfoot is a foot that has a very low arch or no height to the arch. A child with a flatfoot may or may not have pain.

Flatfeet are related to the development of all kinds of foot, ankle and leg pain and problems. Your child may have difficulty walking or may complain of “tired” feet. Flatfeet are often due to excess pronation (or hyperpronation). Over pronation may cause the foot to flatten excessively, potentially causing foot pain, heel pain and even ankle, leg, knee or hip pain.

Fortunately, treating flatfeet is easy!! Often we make a simple arch support that molds to your child’s foot, called an orthotic. Orthotics are custom-made to your child’s foot and slip in your child’s shoes. Generally, the younger your child is when he or she begins wearing orthotics the better.

 

Ingrown Toenails in Children

Ingrown toenails and toenail problems are common in people of all ages and children are certainly no exception. An ingrown toenail can be painful and cause your child (or you!) to limp and avoid wearing closed-toe shoes. Our office provides treatment of painful ingrown toenails just about every day. In fact, a painful ingrown toenail is one of the most common foot problems our podiatrists treat in general.

Alleviating an ingrown toenail is easy and fast when it is addressed promptly. It is important that you do not ignore your child’s ingrown toenail as it can become infected and lead to other complications.

 

Plantar Warts

The list of children’s foot problems would not be complete without mentioning plantar warts. Plantar warts of the feet (or the foot) show up on the bottom of a child (or adult’s) foot, though warts can occur anywhere on the foot or even the toes.

Warts are due to a virus and they tend to affect children’s feet more commonly than adults. Plantar warts are easy to catch but they can spread rapidly—they are highly contagious. Even worse, plantar warts can be irritating or even painful. Some children or young adults have pain from the plantar wart when walking or standing.

Parents who notice a plantar wart on their child’s foot should see a podiatrist immediately, before the wart spreads. Most of the treatments for plantar warts are easy and painless. 

 

If you notice any of these problems in your child, make an appointment to see our doctor right away! With locations in both Cape Coral and Fort Myers, making an appointment is a breeze! Call (239) 936-2454 today!

So you trip and fall walking your dog one afternoon and your ankle swells up... What do you do? 

Do you:                                                                                        

A. Cry

B. Go to the emergency room

C. Leave it alone, it'll probably be fine

D. See a podiatrist 

If you selected B, you are probably right, as you might want to see a doctor right away depending on the severity. But after you are discharged, you definitely will want to see a podiatrist for your follow up care. Even selecting answer D right away and calling a local podiatrist can save you time & money and you can see someone who is specialized in those kinds of injuries. 

So what is a podiatrist???

The American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) classifies a podiatrist as a doctor of podiatric medicine (very specific right?). In other words, a podiatrist is a physician who treats the foot, ankle and related structures of the leg. This can include preventative care and foot care management as well as acute injuries. Podiatrists complete 4 years of training in a medical school and three years of hospital residency training similar to that of other physicians. They can also focus in different fields such as surgery, sports medicine, wound care, pediatrics, and diabetic care. 

You may be wondering, why is all of this information important?? Well, your feet play a very important role in your daily life. Imagine if you lost your feet; what would you do? You'd have to rethink how you get around and perform your daily activities! Not only are they important, feet are very complex structures as they stabilize, absorb shock, and propel you into all of life's challenges. Avoiding problems such as wounds, fungus, callous buildup, imbalance, and flat feet are all things that a podiatrist can help you do through regular visits. 

If you are interested in learning more about the role of feet in your health, please schedule an appointment with Lee Podiatry, where we'd like to help you take the first step towards feeling better! (239) 936-2454 

 

Stay tuned for new blog posts every week!