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Monday, 29 January 2018 00:00

How Do I Know If I Have a Bunion?

If you have a bump on the side of your big toe, there is a chance that you may have a bunion. It's common for the structure of the foot to change as a result of the big toe being pushed toward the other toes. This worsens misalignment in the toes, resulting in the bony protrusion developing. This progressive condition is commonly caused by a predisposed, inherited trait affecting the structure of the foot. Poor-fitting shoes do not cause bunions, although they may advance the progression of the disorder. Common symptoms may include experiencing numbness or a burning sensation, in addition to observing swelling and redness in the area. Some patients may notice calluses developing on the big toe, and movement may become restricted. A treatment option can include choosing the right shoes with enough room so the toes can be comfortable and move freely. Activities that irritate the bunion, such as standing for long periods of time, should be avoided. If you are experiencing pain from a bunion, a consultation with a podiatrist is advised.

If you are suffering from bunions, 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?

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 cause bunions to form

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

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A broken foot typically occurs from a fall or repeated activities that put stress on the foot. If your child complains of pain, swelling, and bruising, the chances are high that the foot is broken. To properly diagnose this condition, an x-ray, CAT scan, or MRI is typically taken, depending on the severity of the break. Once the broken foot is confirmed, treatment may consist of wearing a cast, which restricts movement in the leg and therefore allows healing to occur. Additional treatment suggestions include resting and elevating the foot by utilizing pillows. This may be beneficial in reducing any swelling that’s present. Obtaining a tetanus shot may be considered if the skin on the foot has cuts from the injury. A podiatrist is trained to handle a broken foot and should be contacted immediately if you suspect your child has suffered one.

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.

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Monday, 15 January 2018 00:00

Does My Baby Have an Ingrown Toenail?

When a toe is affected by the nail pressing into the skin, this condition is referred to as an ingrown toenail. This condition affects not only grown adults, but children and babies as well. Your baby may cry when the big toe rubs against a shoe or sock, and the tender skin will often be painful. A blister may emerge, and if an infection occurs, the discharge will be yellowish in color if it breaks. To prevent this condition, it’s recommended to use a nail clipper instead of scissors, which allows the nail to be cut straight across. Babies' feet typically grow fast, so it’s crucial to check the fit of the shoes and socks often. A consultation with a podiatrist may be advised for treatment options, which may include administering an antibiotic and possibly trimming the nail away from the skin.

Ingrown toenails can become painful if they are not treated properly. For more information about ingrown toenails, 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.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails occur when a toenail grows sideways into the bed of the nail, causing pain, swelling, and possibly infection.

Causes

  • Bacterial infections
  • Improper nail cutting such as cutting it too short or not straight across
  • Trauma to the toe, such as stubbing, which causes the nail to grow back irregularly
  • Ill-fitting shoes that bunch the toes too close together
  • Genetic predisposition

Prevention

Because ingrown toenails are not something found outside of shoe-wearing cultures, going barefoot as often as possible will decrease the likeliness of developing ingrown toenails. Wearing proper fitting shoes and using proper cutting techniques will also help decrease your risk of developing ingrown toenails.

Treatment

Ingrown toenails are a very treatable foot condition. In minor cases, soaking the affected area in salt or antibacterial soaps will not only help with the ingrown nail itself, but also help prevent any infections from occurring. In more severe cases, surgery is an option. In either case, speaking to your podiatrist about this condition will help you get a better understanding of specific treatment options that are right 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.

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Many people who suffer from arthritis know that it not only occurs in the hands or knees, but is commonly present in the feet. The cushioning between the joints breaks down over time due to wear and tear and may cause severe pain. The joints become swollen and inflamed, causing the many people experiencing this condition to seek pain relief. There are several ways to prevent this ailment, including eliminating any excess weight placed upon the feet, which is accomplished by shedding unwanted pounds. If most of your day consists of standing, wearing shoes that fit correctly will help in finding moderate relief in addition to taking over-the-counter pain medications. If these remedies are not effective and the pain becomes severe, please consider a consultation with a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis and treatment options.

Arthritis can be a difficult condition to live with. If you are seeking treatment, 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.

Arthritic Foot Care  

Arthritis is a joint disorder that involves the inflammation of different joints in your body, such as those in your feet. Arthritis is often caused by a degenerative joint disease and causes mild to severe pain in all affected areas. In addition to this, swelling and stiffness in the affected joints can also be a common symptom of arthritis.

In many cases, wearing ill-fitting shoes can worsen the effects and pain of arthritis. Wearing shoes that have a lower heel and extra room can help your feet feel more comfortable. In cases of rheumatoid arthritis, the arch in your foot may become problematic. Buying shoes with proper arch support that contour to your feet can help immensely.

Alleviating Arthritic Pain

  • Exercises that stretch the foot can prevent further pain and injury and increase mobility
  • Most of the pain can be alleviated with anti-inflammatory drugs, heat, and topical medications
  • Massages can help temporarily alleviate pain.

It is best to see your doctor for the treatment that is right for your needs and symptoms. Conditions vary, and a podiatrist can help you determine the right method of care for your feet.

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.

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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.

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