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Monday, 14 May 2018 00:00

Why Do Bunions Develop?

A bunion is an abnormal growth that forms on the bottom of the big toe. Typical symptoms include swelling, pain, and redness surrounding the area of the big toe, and the entire foot may change shape as a result of the bunion. Choosing to wear poorly fitting shoes may cause this condition to develop, in addition to having a family history of bunions. This ailment may be prevented by wearing shoes that have adequate room for the toes to move freely, and shoes with a lower heel are preferred. If you enjoy running or jogging, your feet should be properly supported in running shoes that fit correctly. It’s suggested to schedule a consultation with a podiatrist who is skilled in properly diagnosing this condition. Treatment options can be discussed, which may include custom-made orthotics for temporary relief or surgery for removal of the bunion.

If you are suffering from bunion pain, contact Dr. Michael Doughty of Doughty Podiatry, P.A. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What is a Bunion?

Bunions are painful bony bumps that usually develop on the inside of the foot at the joint of the big toe. As the deformity increases over time, it may become painful to walk and wear shoes. Women are more likely to develop bunions since they often wear tight, narrow shoes that shift their toes together. Bunion pain can be relieved by wearing wider shoes with enough room for the toes.

Causes

  • Genetics – some people inherit feet that are more prone to bunion development
  • Inflammatory Conditions - rheumatoid arthritis and polio may cause bunion development
  • Wearing Improper Footwear - shoes that are narrow and pointed

Symptoms

  • Redness and inflammation
  • Pain and tenderness
  • Callus or corns on the bump
  • Restricted motion in the big toe

In order to diagnose your bunion, your podiatrist may ask about your medical history, symptoms, and general health. Your doctor might also order an x-ray to take a closer look at your feet. Nonsurgical treatment options include orthotics, padding, icing, changes in footwear, and medication. If nonsurgical treatments don’t alleviate your bunion pain, surgery may be necessary.

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

Read more about Bunions
Monday, 07 May 2018 00:00

Symptoms of Stress Fractures

If you are experiencing a dull achy feeling in your feet, you may have what is referred to as a stress fracture. It consists of small cracks in the bones of the feet, and is generally caused by a repetitive stress that’s inflicted on the foot. Causes of this type of fracture may include jogging frequently, adding additional intensity to the duration of the run, or extending the period of time the running activity is pursued. There are several symptoms that may be apparent, including weakness in the foot, and pain that won't cease and eventually worsens, specifically at night. It may be possible to prevent stress fractures from occurring by choosing to wear proper footwear, maintaining a proper nutritional lifestyle, and gradually increasing the intensity of running. After a diagnosis is performed, proper treatment may begin, which may include wearing a cast or undergoing surgery for severe stress fractures. Please consult with a podiatrist to learn more about stress fractures of the foot or ankle.

Stress fractures occur when there is a tiny crack within a bone. To learn more, contact Dr. Michael Doughty from Doughty Podiatry, P.A. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain free and on your feet.

How Are They Caused?

Stress fractures are the result of repetitive force being placed on the bone. Since the lower leg and feet often carry most of the body’s weight, stress fractures are likely to occur in these areas. If you rush into a new exercise, you are more likely to develop a stress fracture since you are starting too much, too soon.  Pain resulting from stress fractures may go unnoticed at first, however it may start to worsen over time.

Risk Factors

  • Gender – They are more commonly found in women compared to men.
  • Foot Problems – People with unusual arches in their feet are more likely to develop stress fractures.
  • Certain Sports – Dancers, gymnasts, tennis players, runners, and basketball players are more likely to develop stress fractures.
  • Lack of Nutrients – A lack of vitamin D and calcium may weaken the bones and make you more prone to stress fractures
  • Weak Bones – Osteoporosis can weaken the bones therefore resulting in stress fractures

Stress fractures do not always heal properly, so it is important that you seek help from a podiatrist if you suspect you may have one. Ignoring your stress fracture may cause it to worsen, and you may develop chronic pain as well as additional fractures.

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

Read more about Dealing with Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle
Monday, 30 April 2018 00:00

The Effects Obesity Has On the Feet

It’s important to maintain proper foot care, and added weight can result in the development of numerous foot conditions. Being overweight may limit the type of exercise that is needed for correct body care, and the feet may be negatively affected. Edema, which is often referred to as swollen ankles, is a common side effect the feet may endure as a result of extra weight. The feet will be among the many parts of the body that will be positively affected after losing weight, which can include better blood circulation and more manageable edema. Choosing shoes with maximum support, which may typically consist of a sturdy sole, can aid the foot in achieving optimum comfort. Please schedule a consultation with a podiatrist to acquire additional information of how obesity can affect the feet

The more you weigh, the harder your feet must work to support your body. If you’re an obese individual and are concerned about your feet, contact Dr. Michael Doughty from Doughty Podiatry, P.A. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Obesity and your Feet

People who are overweight are putting more pressure on their ankles, knees, and hips as well as their feet. This unfortunately can lead to variety of different issues.

Problems & Complications Stemming from Obesity

  • When the body is overweight, it tries to compensate by changing the way that it moves. An obese person may lean forward and put extra weight on the wrong part of the foot. This puts unnecessary stress on the feet.
  • Obese people are also more likely to develop type II diabetes which is a condition that causes a lot of foot problems. People with diabetes often don’t feel the cuts and sores that they may have on their feet, which can lead to more complicated and severe issues.
  • Plantar fasciitis is another foot condition that can be caused by obesity. Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the tissue along the bottom of the foot, which causes pain and stiffness while walking and climbing stairs.

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

Read more about How Obesity Affects Your Feet

Research has shown the foot consists of 26 bones. If you have endured a fall resulting in severe pain in your foot, one of these bones may have been fractured, and this is often referred to as a broken foot. General symptoms of a sprain and a fracture typically include swelling and pain, so it’s advised to be able to differentiate between the two. This can be accomplished by comparing both feet and looking for breaks in the skin, which may result from a broken bone. Additional indications of a broken foot may be a feeling of dizziness, extreme discomfort, and pain while attempting to walk, or feeling a bone in the foot snap as the injury occurs. Temporary relief can be found in resting the foot by limiting attempts to walk, in addition to elevating the leg as soon as possible. A proper diagnosis will typically consist of performing an X-ray, which can determine the severity of the fracture. Please consult with a podiatrist for proper treatment options, which may include a walking boot or cast.  

A broken foot requires immediate medical attention and treatment. If you need your feet checked, contact Dr. Michael Doughty from Doughty Podiatry, P.A. Our doctor  can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Broken Foot Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

A broken foot is caused by one of the bones in the foot typically breaking when bended, crushed, or stretched beyond its natural capabilities. Usually the location of the fracture indicates how the break occurred, whether it was through an object, fall, or any other type of injury. 

Common Symptoms of Broken Feet:

  • Bruising
  • Pain
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Blue in color
  • Numbness
  • Cold
  • Misshapen
  • Cuts
  • Deformities

Those that suspect they have a broken foot shoot seek urgent medical attention where a medical professional could diagnose the severity.

Treatment for broken bones varies depending on the cause, severity and location. Some will require the use of splints, casts or crutches while others could even involve surgery to repair the broken bones. Personal care includes the use of ice and keeping the foot stabilized and elevated.

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

Read more about Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment for a Broken Foot
Monday, 16 April 2018 00:00

How Does Athlete’s Foot Occur?

A fungal infection is the cause of a condition referred to as athlete’s foot. It survives in areas that are warm and moist, and this is one of the reasons why the feet are typically affected. Research has suggested that shoes and socks worn should consist of a breathable material, which may stop the fungi from flourishing. It’s considered to be a contagious condition and can be picked up in public showers and around pool areas. At this point, the fungus typically enters the body through any blisters or cuts that are found on the feet. A common symptom of this ailment may include an itchy feeling, which can occur between the toes and on the top of the foot. There are several ways to prevent this fungus from infecting your feet, including washing and drying the feet completely and wearing appropriate shoes while in a public shower and any surrounding areas. If you are afflicted by this condition, please consider scheduling a consultation with a podiatrist.

Athlete’s foot is an inconvenient condition that can be easily reduced with the proper treatment. If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles, contact Dr. Michael Doughty from Doughty Podiatry, P.A.  Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Athlete’s Foot: The Sole Story

Athlete's foot, also known as tinea pedis, can be an extremely contagious foot infection. It is commonly contracted in public changing areas and bathrooms, dormitory style living quarters, around locker rooms and public swimming pools, or anywhere your feet often come into contact with other people.

Solutions to Combat Athlete’s Foot

  • Hydrate your feet by using lotion
  • Exfoliate
  • Buff off nails
  • Use of anti-fungal products
  • Examine your feet and visit your doctor if any suspicious blisters or cuts develop

Athlete’s foot can cause many irritating symptoms such as dry and flaking skin, itching, and redness. Some more severe symptoms can include bleeding and cracked skin, intense itching and burning, and even pain when walking. In the worst cases, Athlete’s foot can cause blistering as well. Speak to your podiatrist for a better understanding of the different causes of Athlete’s foot, as well as help in determining which treatment options are best for you.

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

Read more about Athlete's Foot
Monday, 09 April 2018 00:00

What Do Hammertoes Look Like

A condition in which the middle toes are bent facing downward, often appearing as a deformity, is referred to as hammertoe. This condition can be painful and may cause the formation of other conditions such as corns and calluses. Wearing shoes that are too tight is one of the reasons for this ailment to develop, in addition to having a predisposed inherited gene. When the shoes are not fitting properly, the toes become crammed into an area that does not provide adequate room and can produce an altered foot structure. There are several forms of treatments, including taping the foot and toes to relieve uncomfortable pressure, strengthening the foot and toe muscles, or surgery for permanent removal of the hammertoe. It’s suggested to schedule a consultation with a podiatrist to learn about the best treatment options for you.

Hammertoe

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact Dr. Michael Doughty from Doughty Podiatry, P.A. Our doctor will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.

Hammertoe

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 Baltimore, MD. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about What Are Hammertoes?
Monday, 02 April 2018 00:00

How To Prevent Toenail Fungus

There are several early signs that can indicate you may have toenail fungus.  Such indicators may include the nails becoming thick and yellowed, and may crumble when touched. An infection is likely to develop if the nail is left untreated, allowing the fungus to grow. The aging process may be a factor in developing this ailment, in addition to having poor blood circulation. Medical conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, or athlete’s foot allow easier access for the fungus to enter the body through the tiny openings in the skin these conditions may cause. Toenail fungus lives in moist environments, and socks and shoes that are worn without proper ventilation make it ideal for this fungus to grow. There are several ways to prevent this condition from developing, and these may include trimming the nails straight across, wearing appropriate shoes in public showers or pools, and utilizing a moisturizer to prevent cracked skin. A consultation with a podiatrist is suggested for a complete diagnosis and possible treatment options that are right for you.

For more information about treatment, contact Dr. Michael Doughty of Doughty Podiatry, P.A. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Toenail Fungus Treatment

Toenail fungus is a condition that affects many people and can be especially hard to get rid of. Fortunately, there are several methods to go about treating and avoiding it.

Antifungals &  Deterrence

Oral antifungal medicine has been shown to be effective in many cases. It is important to consult with a podiatrist to determine the proper regiment for you, or potentially explore other options.

Talcum powder – applying powder on the feet and shoes helps keep the feet free of moisture and sweat.

Sandals or open toed shoes – Wearing these will allow air movement and help keep feet dry. They also expose your feet to light, which fungus cannot tolerate. Socks with moisture wicking material also help as well.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Baltimore, MD. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Toenail Fungus

If you’ve broken your toe, the chances are favorable that your toe endured trauma, generally due to a heavy object falling on it or possibly stubbing it and causing it to jam. The two toes that most often experience a fracture are the pinky and the big toe. This seldom occurs in the other toes because they are protected by the toes next to them. One of the first signs of a broken toe may include pain and swelling, in addition to possible bruising in the affected toe and surrounding area. If the bone appears to be protruding, often occurring after a harsh fall, an X-ray may be necessary to determine the severity of the fracture. Treatment may consist of taping the toe to the one next to it or utilizing a splint for the affected toe. It’s suggested to consult with a podiatrist to learn more about symptoms and treatment options for a broken toe.

A broken toe can be very painful and lead to complications if not properly fixed. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact Dr. Michael Doughty from Doughty Podiatry, P.A. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What to Know About a Broken Toe

Although most people try to avoid foot trauma such as banging, stubbing, or dropping heavy objects on their feet, the unfortunate fact is that it is a common occurrence. Given the fact that toes are positioned in front of the feet, they typically sustain the brunt of such trauma. When trauma occurs to a toe, the result can be a painful break (fracture).

Symptoms of a Broken Toe

  • Throbbing pain
  • Swelling
  • Bruising on the skin and toenail
  • The inability to move the toe
  • Toe appears crooked or disfigured
  • Tingling or numbness in the toe

Generally, it is best to stay off of the injured toe with the affected foot elevated.

Severe toe fractures may be treated with a splint, cast, and in some cases, minor surgery. Due to its position and the pressure it endures with daily activity, future complications can occur if the big toe is not properly treated.

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

Read more about What to Know About a Broken Toe
Monday, 19 March 2018 00:00

Can Airplane Travel Affect Circulation?

If you’ve been on an airplane for several hours, you may know that circulation problems in the feet can develop. It typically occurs when your feet have limited mobility due to small areas. The formation of blood clots can be a result of poor circulation and can be prevalent in diabetics. Generally, the symptoms are easily noticed and may consist of tingling, pain, and swelling in the area where the clot has formed. There are several ways to protect the feet from poor circulation, and these may include avoiding foods that are salty, stretching the feet as often as possible, and walking up and down the aisle of the airplane. If you experience symptoms of this ailment, please schedule a consultation with a podiatrist for more information on ways to avoid poor circulation.

Poor circulation is a serious condition and needs immediate medical attention. If you have any concerns with poor circulation in your feet contact Dr. Michael Doughty of Doughty Podiatry, P.A. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Poor Circulation in the Feet

Poor blood circulation in the feet and legs is can be caused by peripheral artery disease (PAD), which is the result of a buildup of plaque in the arteries.

Plaque buildup or atherosclerosis results from excess calcium and cholesterol in the bloodstream. This can restrict the amount of blood which can flow through the arteries. Poor blood circulation in the feet and legs are sometimes caused by inflammation in the blood vessels, known as vasculitis.

Causes

Lack of oxygen and oxygen from poor blood circulation restricts muscle growth and development. It can also cause:

  • Muscle pain, stiffness, or weakness   
  • Numbness  or cramping in the legs 
  • Skin discoloration
  • Slower nail & hair growth
  • Erectile dysfunction

Those who have diabetes or smoke are at greatest risk for poor circulation, as are those who are over 50. If you have poor circulation in the feet and legs it may be caused by PAD, and is important to make changes to your lifestyle in order to reduce risk of getting a heart attack or stroke. Exercise and maintaining a healthy lifestyle will dramatically improve conditions.

As always, see a podiatrist as he or she will assist in finding a regimen that suits you. A podiatrist can also prescribe you any needed medication. 

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

Read more about Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment of Poor Blood Circulation in the Feet

It’s important to practice good foot care, and this is especially true of the elderly population. This may include checking the feet daily, and if this proves to be a difficult task, a family member may be able to help. Recent research has shown that it's beneficial to elevate the feet as much as possible, and this will enable the blood to circulate freely. The feet typically get larger as the aging process occurs, and a key element in having healthy feet is to choose shoes that fit properly and comfortably. Some of the foot problems that elderly people need to be aware of developing are fungal and bacterial conditions, and this can include athlete’s foot and warts. Prevention of these conditions and others such as corns, calluses, and ingrown toenails is imperative in maintaining good foot health. Please consider scheduling a consultation with a podiatrist for additional information on how to take care of elderly feet.

Proper foot care is something many older adults forget to consider. If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles, contact Dr. Michael Doughty from Doughty Podiatry, P.A. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

The Elderly and their Feet

As we age we start to notice many changes in our body, but the elder population may not notice them right away. Medical conditions may prevent the elderly to take notice of their foot health right away. Poor vision is a lead contributor to not taking action for the elderly.

Common Conditions 

  • Neuropathy – can reduce feeling in the feet, and can hide many life threating medical conditions.
  • Reduced flexibility – prevents the ability of proper toenail trimming, and foot cleaning. If left untreated, it may lead to further medical issues.
  • Foot sores – amongst the older population can be serious before they are discovered. Some of the problematic conditions they may face are:
  • Gouging toenails affecting nearby toe
  • Shoes that don’t fit properly
  • Pressure sores
  • Loss of circulation in legs & feet
  • Edema & swelling of feet and ankles

Susceptible Infections

Diabetes and poor circulation can cause general loss of sensitivity over the years, turning a simple cut into a serious issue.

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

Read more about Elderly and their Feet
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