Blog

Tuesday, 02 January 2018 00:00

The Causes of Cracked Heels

Dry skin may often be the cause of cracked heels, sometimes causing pain and bleeding. Often called fissures, the skin may become yellowed, flaky and callused, possibly resulting in difficulty walking. Pressure and friction, usually caused by standing for long periods at a time, is a common cause of this condition. Additionally, shoes that have thin soles where the heel of the foot is exposed may also be a lead to cracked heels. Pressure that’s incurred on the feet from being overweight may cause the foot to expand sideways, which can crack the skin. Having an underactive thyroid may lead to sweat glands not working properly, possibly causing dry skin to crack. There are several treatment options, such as utilizing a good moisturizing cream and wearing shoes that fit properly to accommodate sore heels. A consultation with a podiatrist may be helpful in prevention advice and treatment options.

Cracked heels are unsightly and can cause further damage to your shoes and feet. If you have any concerns, 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.

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 our office located in Baltimore, MD. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Solutions for Cracked Heels
Tuesday, 26 December 2017 00:00

The Importance of Standing During the Work Day

A sedentary lifestyle may be linked to numerous health issues, including diabetes and high blood pressure.  For these individuals, it may be necessary to increase the amount of time standing during the day; this may be helpful in easing potential back problems and improving posture and strength.  There are many ways to incorporate standing throughout the work day, such as portioning your lunch time to include walking.  Meetings that consist of walking instead of sitting around a table may be beneficial as well. Standing desks may be another option, which can help increase alertness and therefore increase productivity.  Another helpful habit to acquire is using the stairs instead of an elevator, in addition to parking your car further away from the building you are entering to promote walking.

While working on the feet, it is important to take the proper care of them. For more information about working on your feet, contact Dr. Michael Doughty from Doughty Podiatry, P.A. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Working on Your Feet

Standing on your feet for long periods of time can cause stress and pain in your feet. Your whole body may experience change in terms of posture, back pain, bunions, callouses and or plantar warts. There are ways to avoid these conditions with proper foot care, smart choices and correct posture.

Positive Changes

Negative heeled shoe – Choosing this shoe type places the heel slightly lower than the ball of the foot. These are great for overall foot health. Find shoes that fit you correctly.

Go barefoot – Our feet were not designed to be enclosed for all hours of the day. Try to periodically expose your feet to air.

Eliminate Pain

Foot Exercises – Performing simple exercises, incorporating yoga and doing stretches are beneficial. This will allow increased blood flow to the area and muscles of the foot.

Achilles tendon – Stretching the foot out flat on the floor will relax the calf muscles and tendon. These exercises can be performed almost anywhere. Make sure you add these exercises to your daily regimen. 

With a little bit of this information and knowing more about foot health, you will notice changes. Foot stretches and proper footwear will help with pain and prevent further issues.

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 Working on Your Feet
Monday, 18 December 2017 00:00

The Causes of Gout

Painful attacks in the joints of the foot, especially the big toe, may be indicative of a condition referred to as gout. When an excess of uric acid builds up in the body, it can typically form into crystals; this can inflame the joints, possibly causing severe pain and swelling. Long-term arthritis is common if the cartilage is damaged due to a build up of crystals. Most sufferers of gout can find relief in lifestyle changes, including a healthy diet and exercise. Lowering the amount of uric acid in the body is an effective way in treating gout and can possibly be achieved by drinking plenty of water and limiting alcohol. Additionally, avoiding red meat and consuming a diet rich in vitamin C may also be helpful in eliminating crystals from the kidneys. If  you experience pain in the big toe and foot, a consultation with a podiatrist is advised.

Gout is a foot condition that requires certain treatment and care. If you are seeking treatment, contact Dr. Michael Doughty from Doughty Podiatry, P.A. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What is Gout?

Gout is a type of arthritis caused by a buildup of uric acid in the bloodstream. It often develops in the foot, especially the big toe area, although it can manifest in other parts of the body as well. Gout can make walking and standing very painful and is especially common in diabetics and the obese.

People typically get gout because of a poor diet. Genetic predisposition is also a factor. The children of parents who have had gout frequently have a chance of developing it themselves.

Gout can easily be identified by redness and inflammation of the big toe and the surrounding areas of the foot. Other symptoms include extreme fatigue, joint pain, and running high fevers. Sometimes corticosteroid drugs can be prescribed to treat gout, but the best way to combat this disease is to get more exercise and eat a better diet.

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 Everything You Need to Know About Gout
Monday, 11 December 2017 00:00

Finding the Right Footwear for Each Activity

When it comes to buying shoes, it’s important to buy footwear that is suitable for what you will be doing. If you plan on running, try to find footwear that is breathable, flexible, supportive, and comfortable. While you should look for these traits in all footwear, different environments require different features. Hiking, for example, requires a more rigid shoe that may not be as breathable, especially if they are designed for cold weather environments. Walking, on the other hand, can be performed in running shoes that are comfortable and well-fitted. If you go rock climbing, then rock climbing shoes are essential as they have superior gripping to help prevent falls. However, rock climbing shoes are not very supportive and are meant to be tight around the feet. These attributes make them unsuitable for everyday wear. Wearing the right type of shoes is vital to preventing foot injuries and will allow you to more safely enjoy all your favorite outdoor activities.

If you are a runner, wearing the right running shoe is essential. For more information, 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.

Choosing the Right Running Shoe for Your Foot Type

To increase performance and avoid the risk of injury, it is important to choose the right running shoe based on your foot type. The general design of running shoes revolves around pronation, which is how the ankle rolls from outside to inside when the foot strikes the ground.

  • Neutral runners are able to choose from a wide variety of shoes, including minimalist shoes or even going barefoot.
  • Runners who overpronate, or experience an over-abundance of ankle rolling, should choose shoes that provide extra motion control and stability.
  • Runners who underpronate, or supinate, have feet that have high arches and lack flexibility, preventing shock absorption. They require shoes with more flexibility and cushion.

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 Choosing the Right Running Shoe for Your Foot Type
Tuesday, 05 December 2017 00:00

How Rheumatoid Arthritis Can Affect the Feet

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disease that causes swelling in the heel and joints and can be very painful. It commonly affects the small joints of the feet. Corns and hammertoes can develop, and bunions may be exacerbated due to the weakened ligaments in the foot. Common symptoms that may occur include clicking and popping sounds, locked joints due to stiffness, and difficulty walking. Plantar fasciitis can also develop because the tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot becomes inflamed. Stretching exercises, which increases the flexibility of the foot and toes, can help bring some relief. Additionally, wearing comfortable and supportive shoes may also make your feet feel better. Avoid poorly-fitted footwear such as high heels, as they increase pressure on the feet. Please consult with a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis if you have pain in your feet. Podiatrists are trained to handle arthritis in the foot and ankle and will be able to help with the condition.

Because RA affects more than just your joints, including the joints in your feet and ankles, it is important to seek early diagnosis from your podiatrist  if you feel like the pain in your feet might be caused by RA. For more information, contact Dr. Michael Doughty of Doughty Podiatry, P.A. Our doctor will assist you with all of your podiatric concerns.

What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder in which the body’s own immune system attacks the membranes surrounding the joints. Inflammation of the lining and eventually the destruction of the joint’s cartilage and bone occur, causing severe pain and immobility.

Rheumatoid Arthritis of the Feet

Although RA usually attacks multiple bones and joints throughout the entire body, almost 90 percent of cases result in pain in the foot or ankle area.

Symptoms

  • Swelling and pain in the feet
  • Stiffness in the feet
  • Pain on the ball or sole of feet
  • Joint shift and deformation

Diagnosis

Quick diagnosis of RA in the feet is important so that the podiatrist can treat the area effectively. Your doctor will ask you about your medical history, occupation, and lifestyle to determine the origin of the condition. Rheumatoid Factor tests help to determine if someone is affected by the disease.

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 Rheumatoid Arthritis in the Feet
Monday, 27 November 2017 00:00

Foot Related Conditions Caused by Obesity

There are a number of health conditions that are affiliated with obesity. Swollen feet and varicose veins are common in obese people. Additionally, painful conditions such as cracked heels can also occur from obesity due to excessive pressure on the area. Obesity generally also contributes to diabetes, which can affect the nerves in the feet. Subsequently, patients are often unable to feel cuts or blisters, which may lead to foot ulcers. Poor balance may occur as a result of strained walking, which typically leads to falls and injury. Additionally, flat feet can develop, which may lead to conditions like plantar fasciitis. Following a healthy diet that is low in sugar may help control obesity. Maintaining a regular exercise program will aid in keeping obesity under control. Typically, obesity leads to feet that are wider than average, so look for shoes that fit properly. A podiatrist can conduct a foot examination and provide tips on obesity and how it affects the feet.

Obesity has become very problematic at this point in time and can have extremely negative effects on the feet. 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

Since your feet are what support your entire weight when standing, any additional weight can result in pain and swelling. Being overweight is one of the main contributors to foot complications.

Problems & Complications

Extra Weight – Even putting on just a few extra pounds could create serious complications for your feet. As your weight increases, your balance and body will shift, creating new stresses on your feet. This uneven weight distribution can cause pain, even while doing the simplest tasks, such as walking.

Diabetes – People who are overweight are at serious risk of developing type-2 diabetes, which has a drastic impact on the health of your feet. As you get older, your diabetes might worsen, which could lead to loss of feeling in your feet, sores, and bruises. You could also become more prone to various infections.

Plantar fasciitis – Pressure and stress that is placed on muscles, joints, and tendons can trigger plantar fasciitis, which is an inflammation of tissue that forms along the bottom of the foot. 

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 How Obesity Affects Your Feet
Monday, 20 November 2017 00:00

How to Take Care of Your Feet

Although many people take care of their facial skin and hands, they may lose sight of their feet, which often fall to the bottom of the body care priority list. Painful consequences from doing this may include fungal infections, cracked heels, and corns. Washing the skin between the toes is important, as the area can harbor infections if not cleansed properly. Drying the feet is also important, as athlete’s foot may occur if they are left wet. This is especially true if socks and shoes are worn immediately afterward. Additionally, moisturizing is another preferred practice and may prevent chapped and cracked skin. Protecting the feet from wounds and other injuries can be accomplished by wearing socks and comfortable shoes. Occasionally soaking your feet in warm water for a few minutes will not only feel good, but will help soften the skin.

Everyday foot care is very important to prevent infection and other foot ailments. 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.

Everyday Foot Care

Often, people take care of their bodies, face and hair more so than they do for their feet. But the feet are a very important aspect of our bodies, and one that we should pay more attention to. Without our feet, we would not be able to perform most daily tasks.

It is best to check your feet regularly to make sure there are no new bruises or cuts that you may not have noticed before. For dry feet, moisturizer can easily be a remedy and can be applied as often as necessary to the affected areas. Wearing shoes that fit well can also help you maintain good foot health, as well as making it easier to walk and do daily activities without the stress or pain of ill-fitting shoes, high heels, or even flip flops. Wearing clean socks with closed shoes is important to ensure that sweat and bacteria do not accumulate within the shoe. Clean socks help to prevent Athlete’s foot, fungi problems, bad odors, and can absorb sweat.

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 Every Day Foot Care
Sunday, 12 November 2017 00:00

Thickened Toenails May Be Toenail Fungus

Toenail fungus usually first appears as a yellow or white spot underneath the toenail. The moist environment of the shoes can cause the fungus to grow, and the nail may begin to thicken and possibly crumble, becoming extremely unsightly.  It typically comes from walking barefoot around a public pool, or from the showers in a locker room. Treatment of this fungus may include prescription oral medication, topical creams, or laser treatment. Some patients have tried drug-free remedies that contain antifungal ingredients, however, the efficacy of these treatments is highly contested. For a proper prognosis be sure to consult with a podiatrist.

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
Monday, 06 November 2017 00:00

Different Types of Corns

If you have a hard, thickened area of skin on the foot you may possibly have a corn. This condition comes from rubbing, which puts pressure on the skin. Corns form on the feet, which may make walking difficult and painful. There are a few different types of corns, one being soft which typically develops between the toes. Another type is a hard corn, which is a small patch of thickened skin with a portion of softer skin in the center. There are also seed corns that consist of a group of smaller corns, and tend to occur on the bottom of the feet. Ill-fitting shoes are the most common causes of this foot disorder. Women are more likely to develop corns because of frequent wearing of high heels. These shoes put pressure on the toes which can lead to thickening of skin on the foot. Wearing shoes without socks may be another cause of corns, which can lead to friction

If you have any concerns regarding your feet and ankles, contact Dr. Michael Doughty of Doughty Podiatry, P.A. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Corns: What are they? And how do you get rid of them?
Corns can be described as areas of the skin that have thickened to the point of becoming painful or irritating. They are often layers and layers of the skin that have become dry and rough, and are normally smaller than calluses.

Ways to Prevent Corns
There are many ways to get rid of painful corns such as wearing:

  • Well-fitting socks
  • Comfortable shoes that are not tight around your foot
  • Shoes that offer support

Treating Corns
Treatment of corns involves removing the dead skin that has built up in the specific area of the foot. Consult with Our doctor to determine the best treatment option for your case of corns.

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 Corns: What Are They, and How Do You Get Rid of Them
Monday, 30 October 2017 00:00

How to Alleviate Symptoms of Gout

Gout results from sharp crystals being formed when there is an abundance of uric acid in the blood. The big toe is usually the first place for this to happen, although, if not treated, it may spread to other joint areas like the knee or elbow. If there is tenderness or stiffness in the joint, this could potentially be a sign of gout. Using ice on the affected joint and drinking plenty of water can help to reduce symptoms. If you think that you might have gout, a podiatrist will be able to properly diagnose you and lead you on the path to recovery and future prevention.

Gout is a foot condition that requires certain treatment and care. If you are seeking treatment, contact Dr. Michael Doughty from Doughty Podiatry, P.A. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What is Gout?

Gout is a type of arthritis caused by a buildup of uric acid in the bloodstream. It often develops in the foot, especially the big toe area, although it can manifest in other parts of the body as well. Gout can make walking and standing very painful and is especially common in diabetics and the obese.

People typically get gout because of a poor diet. Genetic predisposition is also a factor. The children of parents who have had gout frequently have a chance of developing it themselves.

Gout can easily be identified by redness and inflammation of the big toe and the surrounding areas of the foot. Other symptoms include extreme fatigue, joint pain, and running high fevers. Sometimes corticosteroid drugs can be prescribed to treat gout, but the best way to combat this disease is to get more exercise and eat a better diet.

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 Everything You Need to Know About Gout
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