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Monday, 03 August 2020 00:00

Why Are My Heels Cracked?

Cracked heels are unfortunately a common condition that can occasionally lead to heel pain and even infection. There are many reasons why your heels may be cracked. Not drinking enough water, which causes dehydration, may make the skin all over your body dry and cracked, including the skin on your heels. Having chronically sweaty, wet feet or sunburned soles can also create peeling skin and cracks on your heels. Certain underlying skin conditions, such as eczema, psoriasis, contact dermatitis, and athlete’s foot often lead to dry, cracked heels as well. If you have painful cracked heels, consult with a podiatrist, who can provide you with treatment and relief.

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
Monday, 27 July 2020 00:00

Common Foot Injuries in Cyclists

Riding a bicycle can be great exercise. However, as with any sport, there is a risk of injury. Foot pain is unsurprisingly common in cyclists. A burning sensation, numbness, or pain on the underside of the foot is a frequent complaint and may be due to excess pressure being put on the nerves of the feet. This can be avoided by wearing appropriate shoes that provide support and allow your feet adequate room to move. A podiatrist can assist you in choosing the right shoes and may prescribe orthotics depending on the cause and severity of your pain. Another common complaint among cyclists is plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the band of tissue that runs underneath the foot. See a podiatrist to diagnose and treat this condition and to learn about how you can prevent future injuries. 

Ankle and foot injuries are common among athletes and in many sports. They can be caused by several problems and may be potentially serious. If you are feeling pain or think you were injured in a sporting event or when exercising, consult with Dr. Michael Doughty from Doughty Podiatry, P.A. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Common Injuries

The most common injuries that occur in sporting activities include:

  • Achilles Tendonitis
  • Achilles Tendon Rupture
  • Ankle Sprains
  • Broken Foot
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Stress Fractures
  • Turf Toe

Symptoms

Symptoms vary depending upon the injury and in some cases, there may be no symptoms at all. However, in most cases, some form of symptom is experienced. Pain, aching, burning, bruising, tenderness, tightness or stiffness, sensation loss, difficulty moving, and swelling are the most common symptoms.

Treatment

Just as symptoms vary depending upon the injury, so do treatment options. A common treatment method is known as the RICE method. This method involves rest, applying ice, compression and elevating the afflicted foot or ankle. If the injury appears to be more serious, surgery might be required, such as arthroscopic or reconstructive surgery. Lastly, rehabilitation or therapy might be needed to gain full functionality in the afflicted area. Any discomfort experienced by an athlete must be evaluated by a licensed, reputable medical professional.  

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 Sports Related Foot and Ankle Injuries

Your feet are covered most of the day. If you're diabetic, periodic screening is important for good health. Numbness is often a sign of diabetic foot and can mask a sore or wound.

Monday, 20 July 2020 00:00

Vascular Testing with a Podiatrist

Vascular testing is used by podiatrists to make sure that there is adequate blood flow to your lower limbs. Reduced blood flow can be dangerous if left undiagnosed and untreated.  Vascular testing may be performed if you are experiencing pain, numbness, or weakness in your legs, have poorly healing wounds, or have a history of diabetes or cardiovascular disease. Vascular tests are generally noninvasive and painless. The doctor may perform an ultrasound of your legs and feet, check your pulse by hand, measure and compare the blood pressures of your arm and ankle, and perform a visual examination of your lower limbs. If you suspect that you may have reduced blood flow to your legs, discuss it with your podiatrist today.

Vascular testing plays an important part in diagnosing disease like peripheral artery disease. If you have symptoms of peripheral artery disease, or diabetes, consult with Dr. Michael Doughty from Doughty Podiatry, P.A. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

What Is Vascular Testing?

Vascular testing checks for how well blood circulation is in the veins and arteries. This is most often done to determine and treat a patient for peripheral artery disease (PAD), stroke, and aneurysms. Podiatrists utilize vascular testing when a patient has symptoms of PAD or if they believe they might. If a patient has diabetes, a podiatrist may determine a vascular test to be prudent to check for poor blood circulation.

How Is it Conducted?

Most forms of vascular testing are non-invasive. Podiatrists will first conduct a visual inspection for any wounds, discoloration, and any abnormal signs prior to a vascular test.

 The most common tests include:

  • Ankle-Brachial Index (ABI) examination
  • Doppler examination
  • Pedal pulses

These tests are safe, painless, and easy to do. Once finished, the podiatrist can then provide a diagnosis and the best course for treatment.

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 Vascular Testing in Podiatry
Monday, 13 July 2020 00:00

Mild Relief for Ingrown Toenails

The medical condition that is referred to as an ingrown toenail occurs when the edges of the nail grow into the surrounding skin. This can happen as a result of wearing shoes that do not have adequate room for the toes to move freely in. Additionally, it can develop from trimming the toenails incorrectly. This is an ailment that gradually develops, and may cause severe pain and discomfort. Patients may find relief when the affected nail is soaked in warm water, and this often helps to soften the skin. An effective treatment method consists of gently lifting the edge of the nail, which may be beneficial in reducing a portion of the swelling. If you are afflicted with an ingrown toenail, it is advised that you consult with a podiatrist who can properly treat this condition.

Ingrown toenails may initially present themselves as a minor discomfort, but they may progress into an infection in the skin without proper treatment. 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 are caused when the corner or side of a toenail grows into the soft flesh surrounding it. They often result in redness, swelling, pain, and in some cases, infection. This condition typically affects the big toe and may recur if it is not treated properly.

Causes

  • Improper toenail trimming
  • Genetics
  • Improper shoe fitting
  • Injury from pedicures or nail picking
  • Abnormal gait
  • Poor hygiene

You are more likely to develop an ingrown toenail if you are obese, have diabetes, arthritis, or have any fungal infection in your nails. Additionally, people who have foot or toe deformities are at a higher risk of developing an ingrown toenail.

Symptoms

Some symptoms of ingrown toenails are redness, swelling, and pain. In rare cases, there may be a yellowish drainage coming from the nail.

Treatment

Ignoring an ingrown toenail can have serious complications. Infections of the nail border can progress to a deeper soft-tissue infection, which can then turn into a bone infection. You should always speak with your podiatrist if you suspect you have an ingrown toenail, especially if you have diabetes or poor circulation.

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 Ingrown Toenail Care
Monday, 06 July 2020 00:00

Toenail Fungus is an Infection

The medical condition that is known as toenail fungus may be common among older adults. It is an infection that is caused by a fungus that lives and thrives in warm and moist environments. These types of places include public swimming pools, communal shower room floors, and surrounding areas. It is considered to be contagious, and it is beneficial to wear appropriate shoes while in these areas. One of the first signs of this ailment is a white or yellow spot on the toenail. It is recommended that the affected nail is filed and buffed, as this may limit the amount of room the fungus has to grow in. If you are afflicted with toenail fungus, it is advised that you seek the counsel of a podiatrist who can properly treat this condition. 

If left untreated, toenail fungus may spread to other toenails, skin, or even fingernails. If you suspect you have toenail fungus it is important to seek treatment right away. 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.

Symptoms

  • Warped or oddly shaped nails
  • Yellowish nails
  • Loose/separated nail
  • Buildup of bits and pieces of nail fragments under the nail
  • Brittle, broken, thickened nail

Treatment

If self-care strategies and over-the-counter medications does not help your fungus, your podiatrist may give you a prescription drug instead. Even if you find relief from your toenail fungus symptoms, you may experience a repeat infection in the future.

Prevention

In order to prevent getting toenail fungus in the future, you should always make sure to wash your feet with soap and water. After washing, it is important to dry your feet thoroughly especially in between the toes. When trimming your toenails, be sure to trim straight across instead of in a rounded shape. It is crucial not to cover up discolored nails with nail polish because that will prevent your nail from being able to “breathe”.

In some cases, surgical procedure may be needed to remove the toenail fungus. Consult with your podiatrist about the best treatment options for your case of toenail fungus.  

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 Treating Toenail Fungus
Monday, 29 June 2020 00:00

Caring for Foot Wounds

Our feet endure pressure during the majority of the day. It is important to promptly treat existing cuts or bruises on the feet, as this may be helpful in preventing foot wounds from developing. Patients who may be susceptible to developing wounds on the feet can include people who are diabetic or have medical conditions consisting of elevated cholesterol and blood pressure. It is beneficial to wear shoes and socks that are comfortable, in addition to trimming the toenails properly. A wound on the foot will heal faster when treated quickly, and it is strongly advised that you speak with a podiatrist who can effectively treat foot wounds.

Wound care is an important part in dealing with diabetes. If you have diabetes and a foot wound or would like more information about wound care for diabetics, consult with Dr. Michael Doughty from Doughty Podiatry, P.A. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

What Is Wound Care?

Wound care is the practice of taking proper care of a wound. This can range from the smallest to the largest of wounds. While everyone can benefit from proper wound care, it is much more important for diabetics. Diabetics often suffer from poor blood circulation which causes wounds to heal much slower than they would in a non-diabetic. 

What Is the Importance of Wound Care?

While it may not seem apparent with small ulcers on the foot, for diabetics, any size ulcer can become infected. Diabetics often also suffer from neuropathy, or nerve loss. This means they might not even feel when they have an ulcer on their foot. If the wound becomes severely infected, amputation may be necessary. Therefore, it is of the upmost importance to properly care for any and all foot wounds.

How to Care for Wounds

The best way to care for foot wounds is to prevent them. For diabetics, this means daily inspections of the feet for any signs of abnormalities or ulcers. It is also recommended to see a podiatrist several times a year for a foot inspection. If you do have an ulcer, run the wound under water to clear dirt from the wound; then apply antibiotic ointment to the wound and cover with a bandage. Bandages should be changed daily and keeping pressure off the wound is smart. It is advised to see a podiatrist, who can keep an eye on it.

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 Wound Care
Wednesday, 24 June 2020 00:00

It's Time for Beautiful Feet

You don't need an excuse to have beautiful nails. Step outside without worrying about the appearance of your feet.

Monday, 22 June 2020 00:00

Eating Properly While Pursuing Running

Many runners understand the importance of listening to the body, especially in the case of trying to prevent an injury as a result of overuse. Runners who are new to this sport can become injured from running excess miles in the beginning. Additionally, injuries can happen from running at accelerated speeds. It is helpful to drink plenty of water during the day, get an adequate amount of rest, and eat foods that are rich in nutrients. People who enjoy the sport of running often alternate going for a run with cardiovascular exercises, which can include cycling and swimming. If you would like more information about how to prevent running injuries, and how they can impact the feet, please consult with a podiatrist.

Exercising your feet regularly with the proper foot wear is a great way to prevent injuries. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact Dr. Michael Doughty of Doughty Podiatry, P.A. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

How to Prevent Running Injuries

Many common running injuries are caused by overuse and overtraining. When the back of the kneecap starts wearing out and starts causing pain in your knee, this is commonly referred to as runner’s knee. Runner’s knee is a decrease in strength in your quadriceps and can occur if you’re not wearing properly fitted or supporting shoes. To prevent runner’s knee, focusing on hip strengthening is a good idea, as well as strengthening your quads to keep the kneecaps aligned.

What Are Some Causes of Running Injuries?
- One cause of a common running injury is called iliotibial band syndrome.
- Plantar fasciitis is also another common injury.
- Stress fractures can occur from overtraining, lack of calcium, or even your running style.

Best Ways to Prevent Running Injuries
- Wear footwear that fits properly and suits your running needs.
- Running shoes are the only protective gear that runners have to safeguard them from injury.
- Make a training schedule. Adding strengthening exercises as well as regular stretching can help keep you strong and limber and can lessen the possibility of injuries.
- Stretching keeps muscles limber; this will help you gain better flexibility.

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 to Prevent Running Injuries
Monday, 15 June 2020 00:00

What is Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome?

The Tarsal Tunnel is a narrow opening in the ankle that leads arteries, veins, tendons, and nerves to the foot. Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome occurs when the tibial nerve is squeezed anywhere along this tunnel. While flat feet lead to a higher risk of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome, an injury, diabetes, or an abnormal structure like a bone growth, can all lead to the compression or squeezing of the nerve. Symptoms are usually felt in the ankle or bottom of the foot and include a tingling or burning sensation, numbness, and shooting pain. In order to prevent permanent damage to the nerve, it is important to have Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome diagnosed by a podiatrist as soon as possible. A podiatrist will be able to diagnose the extent of the injury and determine the best course of treatment that may include surgery, therapy, orthotic devices, or simply rest.

Tarsal tunnel syndrome can be very uncomfortable to live with. If you are experiencing tarsal tunnel syndrome, 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.

Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

Tarsal tunnel syndrome, which can also be called tibial nerve dysfunction, is an uncommon condition of misfiring peripheral nerves in the foot. The tibial nerve is the peripheral nerve in the leg responsible for sensation and movement of the foot and calf muscles. In tarsal tunnel syndrome, the tibial nerve is damaged, causing problems with movement and feeling in the foot of the affected leg.

Common Cause of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

  • Involves pressure or an injury, direct pressure on the tibial nerve for an extended period of time, sometimes caused by other body structures close by or near the knee.
  • Diseases that damage nerves, including diabetes, may cause tarsal tunnel syndrome.
  • At times, tarsal tunnel syndrome can appear without an obvious cause in some cases.

The Effects of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

  • Different sensations, an afflicted person may experience pain, tingling, burning or other unusual sensations in the foot of the affected leg.
  • The foot muscles, toes and ankle become weaker, and curling your toes or flexing your foot can become difficult.
  • If condition worsens, infections and ulcers may develop on the foot that is experiencing the syndrome.

A physical exam of the leg can help identify the presence of tarsal tunnel syndrome. Medical tests, such as a nerve biopsy, are also used to diagnose the condition. Patients may receive physical therapy and prescriptive medication. In extreme cases, some may require 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 and ankle needs.

Read more about Treating Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
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