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August 2020

Monday, 31 August 2020 00:00

What Caused My Cracked Heels?

Dry, cracked heels can have a variety of different causes. Standing for prolonged periods of time, especially on a hard floor, wearing thin-soled shoes, or obesity, can increase pressure on the heel, causing cracks to appear. Conditions such as eczema, atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, palmoplantar keratoderma, and juvenile plantar dermatosis affect the skin of the feet and could increase the risk of developing cracked heels. Certain systemic conditions, like diabetes or neuropathy, can make one more likely to develop cracks and may make it more difficult to feel those cracks due to a loss in sensation in the feet. Another common cause of dry, cracked heels is footwear without a proper back, such as open sandals and flip-flops, because they expose your heels to the elements and don’t provide adequate support. If you have dry, cracked heels that are causing you pain or discomfort, please seek the care of a podiatrist.

Cracked heels are unsightly and can cause further damage to your shoes and feet. If you have any concerns, contact one of the podiatrists from JE Foot & Ankle Associates. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Cracked Heels

Cracked heels appear unappealing and can make it harder for you walk around in sandals. Aside from looking unpleasant, cracked heels can also tear stockings, socks, and wear out your shoes. There are several methods to help restore a cracked heel and prevent further damage.

How Do You Get Them?

Dry skin is the number one culprit in creating cracked heels. Many athletes, walkers, joggers, and even swimmers suffer from cracked heels. Age and skin oil production play a role to getting cracked heels as well.

Promote Healing

Over the counter medicines can help, especially for those that need instant relief or who suffer from chronic dry feet.

Wear Socks – Wearing socks with medicated creams helps lock in moisture.

Moisturizers – Applying both day and night will help alleviate dryness which causes cracking.

Pumice Stones – These exfoliate and remove dead skin, which allows for smoother moisturizer application and better absorption into the skin. 

Change in Diet

Eating healthy with a well-balanced diet will give the skin a fresh and radiant look. Your body responds to the kinds of food you ingest. Omega-3 fatty acids and zinc supplements can also revitalize skin tissue.

Most importantly, seek professional help if unsure how to proceed in treating cracked heels. A podiatrist will help you with any questions or information needed. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Fleming Island and Palm Coast, FL. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Solutions for Cracked Heels
Monday, 24 August 2020 00:00

The Two Types of Plantar Warts

Plantar warts are warts that appear on the bottom of the feet. They are caused by the human papillomavirus, also known as HPV. A plantar wart may resemble a callus, as it is characterized by tough, thick tissue. It may cause pain while you stand or walk, or when any pressure is applied to it. Tiny black dots, which are actually dried blood contained in tiny blood vessels, often appear on the surface of plantar warts. There are two types of plantar warts. Solitary plantar warts are single warts that appear on their own and slowly increase in size. They may eventually multiply, forming additional warts. Mosaic plantar warts are a cluster of several small warts that grow together in the same area, and are usually more difficult to treat. If you have plantar warts, it is strongly recommended that you visit a podiatrist for treatment.

Plantar warts can be very uncomfortable. If you need your feet checked, contact one of the podiatrists from JE Foot & Ankle Associates. Our doctors will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

About Plantar Warts

Plantar warts are the result of HPV, or human papillomavirus, getting into open wounds on the feet. They are mostly found on the heels or balls of the feet.

While plantar warts are generally harmless, those experiencing excessive pain or those suffering from diabetes or a compromised immune system require immediate medical care. Plantar warts are easily diagnosed, usually through scraping off a bit of rough skin or by getting a biopsy.

Symptoms

  • Lesions on the bottom of your feet, usually rough and grainy
  • Hard or thick callused spots
  • Wart seeds, which are small clotted blood vessels that look like little black spots
  • Pain, discomfort, or tenderness of your feet when walking or standing

Treatment

  • Freezing
  • Electric tool removal
  • Laser Treatment
  • Topical Creams (prescription only)
  • Over-the-counter medications

To help prevent developing plantar warts, avoid walking barefoot over abrasive surfaces that can cause cuts or wounds for HPV to get into. Avoiding direct contact with other warts, as well as not picking or rubbing existing warts, can help prevent the further spread of plantar warts. However, if you think you have developed plantar warts, speak to your podiatrist. He or she can diagnose the warts on your feet and recommend the appropriate treatment options.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Fleming Island and Palm Coast, FL. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about What Are Plantar Warts?
Monday, 17 August 2020 00:00

Stop and Drop the Flip-Flops

Flip-flops are the go-to shoe of the summer, but did you know that your flip-flops may be harming your feet? Because they provide little support to the foot as you walk, they can cause pain in the bottom of the foot or heel, especially if you have flat feet. They may also increase your likelihood of slipping, tripping, or falling as the loose shoes flop around while you walk. The effort required of your toes to keep the shoes on your feet can also lead to various foot deformities, such as hammertoes and bunions. Flip-flops that place a plastic strap between your tender toes can increase your chances of developing painful blisters as you walk. Finally, the porous foam material that most flip-flops are made of can trap fungus inside your shoes, which can eventually infect your feet. For these reasons, it is best to steer clear of flip-flops, or to at least wear them for only short periods of time. For more information on footwear, please speak 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 the podiatrists from JE Foot & Ankle Associates. 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 one of our offices located in Fleming Island and Palm Coast, FL.  We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Flip Flops and Feet
Monday, 10 August 2020 00:00

Surgery for Bunions

A bunion, also known as hallux valgus, is a common deformity of the big toe. Bunions occur when the joint between the foot and toe is overextended, causing the big toe to bend towards the little toes. In severe cases, the big toe might even go over or under the second toe. This typically results in pain and inflammation, and can even cause arthritis to develop in the big toe. A bunion may sometimes require surgical correction. In cases where less invasive treatments have failed, surgery might be recommended to correct painful misalignment, to fix the deformity before it becomes worse, to reduce mobility restrictions, or to improve the cosmetic appearance of the foot. If you have a painful bunion, it is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist to explore treatment options.

If you are suffering from bunions, contact one of the podiatrists of JE Foot & Ankle Associates. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is a Bunion?

A bunion is formed of swollen tissue or an enlargement of boney growth, usually located at the base joint of the toe that connects to the foot. The swelling occurs due to the bones in the big toe shifting inward, which impacts the other toes of the foot. This causes the area around the base of the big toe to become inflamed and painful.

Why Do Bunions Form?

Genetics – Susceptibility to bunions are often hereditary

Stress on the feet – Poorly fitted and uncomfortable footwear that places stress on feet, such as heels, can worsen existing bunions

How Are Bunions Diagnosed?

Doctors often perform two tests – blood tests and x-rays – when trying to diagnose bunions, especially in the early stages of development. Blood tests help determine if the foot pain is being caused by something else, such as arthritis, while x-rays provide a clear picture of your bone structure to your doctor.

How Are Bunions Treated?

  • Refrain from wearing heels or similar shoes that cause discomfort
  • Select wider shoes that can provide more comfort and reduce pain
  • Anti-inflammatory and pain management drugs
  • Orthotics or foot inserts
  • Surgery

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Fleming Island and Palm Coast, FL. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about What Are Bunions?

If you are suffering from tenderness, pain, or stiffness in the joints of your feet or ankles, call us to schedule an appointment.

Monday, 03 August 2020 00:00

Foot Changes During Pregnancy

There are many changes women endure during their pregnancy. The feet are generally affected, and swelling is a common ailment. This may be a result of various reasons, which can include an increase in leg pressure from the growing fetus, the development of flat feet, and the arch and ankle may become unstable. Additionally, hormonal changes may be responsible for hot and burning sensations that can occur in the feet. Many pregnant women find relief when their feet are frequently elevated, and it is beneficial to reduce sodium intake. If you would like more information about remedies that can help your feet to feel better during pregnancy, is it suggested that you consult with a podiatrist.

Pregnant women with swollen feet can be treated with a variety of different methods that are readily available. For more information about other cures for swollen feet during pregnancy, consult with one of the podiatrists from JE Foot & Ankle Associates. Our doctors will attend to all of your foot and ankle needs.

What Foot Problems Can Arise During Pregnancy?

One problem that can occur is overpronation, which occurs when the arch of the foot flattens and tends to roll inward.  This can cause pain and discomfort in your heels while you’re walking or even just standing up, trying to support your baby.  

Another problem is edema, or swelling in the extremities. This often affects the feet during pregnancy but tends to occur in the later stages. 

How Can I Keep My Feet Healthy During Pregnancy?

  • Wearing orthotics can provide extra support for the feet and help distribute weight evenly
  • Minimize the amount of time spent walking barefoot
  • Wear shoes with good arch support
  • Wear shoes that allow for good circulation to the feet
  • Elevate feet if you experience swelling
  • Massage your feet
  • Get regular, light exercise, such as walking, to promote blood circulation to the feet

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Fleming Island and Palm Coast, FL. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Foot Care for Pregnant Women
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