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Keeping Your Heels Soft to Prevent Them From Cracking

When you apply weight to your foot, the skin on your heels expands. If this skin is dry and lacking elasticity, cracks in the skin may eventually form. Dry, cold weather, obesity, open-back shoes, standing on hard floors for an extended period of time, and conditions that cause dry skin can all contribute to heels becoming stiff and cracked. To avoid getting cracked heels, keep them moisturized. The best way to seal in moisture is to apply ointment or cream—containing hyaluronic or lactic acid, mineral oil, lanolin or petrolatum—right after a shower or bath. If your heels are already thickened and cracked, you can try to thin them down by gently rubbing them with a pumice stone or applying a keratolytic agent, unless you have diabetes, nerve damage, or poor circulation. If cracked heels are allowed to deepen, they may become painful and bleed, and possibly even become infected. If your cracked heels have progressed to this point, or you need help getting them smooth and supple again, make an appointment with your local podiatrist.

Cracked heels are unsightly and can cause further damage to your shoes and feet. If you have any concerns, contact one of our podiatrists from Advanced Foot & Ankle Medical Center . 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 our office located in Thousand Oaks, CA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Advanced Treatments for Diabetic Foot Ulcers

Diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs) affect approximately 15% of Americans who have diabetes. These wounds can be difficult to treat, as they often go undetected until they have progressed and have a poor blood supply, which makes the healing process very slow. Furthermore, people with diabetes are at greater risk of having an impaired immune system, making the wounds more likely to become infected. Fortunately, there have been many recent breakthroughs in wound treatment. Negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) uses wound dressing and airtight film with a suction device to cover the wound, drain fluid, and promote healthy new tissue growth. Skin grafting has also advanced and can be used to treat DFUs in some patients. To learn more about advanced diabetic wound care, consult with a podiatrist today. 

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 one of our podiatrists from Advanced Foot & Ankle Medical Center . Our doctors 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 Thousand Oaks, CA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Wounds That Don't Heal Need to Be Checked

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.

Arthroscopy for the Ankle

Arthroscopy is a “keyhole” or minimally invasive surgical procedure podiatric surgeons use for viewing and making repairs inside the ankle joint without making large incisions or performing open surgery. An arthroscope (a long, flexible tube with a light and tiny video camera attached) is inserted through a small incision into the ankle joint. The images from the video camera are projected onto a large screen, giving the surgeon a view inside the ankle to assess damage and make a diagnosis. Surgery can be performed with tiny surgical instruments that have been inserted through other small incisions. Arthroscopic surgery reduces the risk of infection, and typically involves shorter hospital stays and reduced recovery times. Make an appointment with a podiatrist to see if arthroscopy might be helpful to diagnose or treat your ankle issue

Foot surgery is sometimes necessary to treat a foot ailment. To learn more, contact one of our podiatrists of Advanced Foot & Ankle Medical Center . Our doctors will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

When Is Surgery Necessary?

Foot and ankle surgery is generally reserved for cases in which less invasive, conservative procedures have failed to alleviate the problem. Some of the cases in which surgery may be necessary include:

  • Removing foot deformities like bunions and bone spurs
  • Severe arthritis that has caused bone issues
  • Cosmetic reconstruction

What Types of Surgery Are There?

The type of surgery you receive will depend on the nature of the problem you have. Some of the possible surgeries include:

  • Bunionectomy for painful bunions
  • Surgical fusion for realignment of bones
  • Neuropathy decompression surgery to treat nerve damage

Benefits of Surgery

Although surgery is usually a last resort, it can provide more complete pain relief compared to non-surgical methods and may allow you to finally resume full activity.

Surgical techniques have also become increasingly sophisticated. Techniques like endoscopic surgery allow for smaller incisions and faster recovery times.

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

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Types of Ankle Sprains

Ankle sprains occur when one or more ligaments that support the ankle are overstretched or torn. This often happens during a sudden twisting of the ankle while walking or running, or due to a direct impact while playing sports. There are three types of ankle sprains. A lateral sprain is the most common type of ankle sprain, as the small lateral ligaments along the outside of the ankle are the most easily injured due to their size and lower strength and resilience relative to other ligaments in the ankle. Another type of sprain is a medial ankle sprain, which affects the ligaments along the inside of the ankle. A high ankle sprain is relatively rare and affects the ligaments located above the ankle joint and between the two leg bones. If you have sprained your ankle, it is strongly suggested that you seek medical care from a podiatrist. A podiatrist can determine the type and severity of your sprain and find the right treatments for you.

Ankle sprains are common but need immediate attention. If you need your feet checked, contact one of our podiatrists from Advanced Foot & Ankle Medical Center . Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

How Does an Ankle Sprain Occur?

Ankle sprains take place when the ligaments in your ankle are torn or stretched beyond their limits. There are multiple ways that the ankle can become injured, including twisting or rolling over onto your ankle, putting undue stress on it, or causing trauma to the ankle itself.

What Are the Symptoms?

  • Mild to moderate bruising
  • Limited mobility
  • Swelling
  • Discoloration of the skin (depending on severity)

Preventing a Sprain

  • Wearing appropriate shoes for the occasion
  • Stretching before exercises and sports
  • Knowing your limits

Treatment of a Sprain

Treatment of a sprain depends on the severity.  Many times, people are told to rest and remain off their feet completely, while others are given an air cast. If the sprain is very severe, surgery may be required.

If you have suffered an ankle sprain previously, you may want to consider additional support such as a brace and regular exercises to strengthen the ankle.

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

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When Should I Visit a Podiatrist?

A podiatrist is a doctor that specializes in the treatment of foot conditions. There are many issues with the feet that can develop that a podiatrist should address. For example, if you have a wound or sore that won’t heal, a podiatrist should examine it, especially if you have diabetes. Any joint pain, pain with elevated legs, pain that increases with activity, or severe pain that lasts more than a day, can be from a variety of issues. Numbness, tingling or a burning can indicate neuropathy. Any discolorations in the feet or toes should be looked at as well because of the possibility of an infection. Lastly, if you are starting to run more often, a podiatrist can help identify potential problems and give advice to avoid them. If you have any other questions about issues regarding your feet, don’t hesitate to ask your podiatrist.

If you are experiencing pain in the feet or ankles, don’t join the stubborn majority refusing treatment. Feel free to contact one of our podiatrists from Advanced Foot & Ankle Medical Center . Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is a Podiatrist?

Someone would seek the care of a podiatrist if they have suffered a foot injury or have common foot ailments such as heal spurs, bunions, arch problems, deformities, ingrown toenails, corns, foot and ankle problems, etc.

Podiatric Treatment

A podiatrist will treat the problematic areas of the feet, ankle or lower leg by prescribing the following:

  • Physical therapy
  • Drugs
  • Orthotic inserts or soles
  • Surgery on lower extremity fractures

A common podiatric procedure a podiatrist will use is a scanner or force plate which will allow the podiatrist to know the designs of orthotics. Patients are then told to follow a series of tasks to complete the treatment. The computer will scan the foot a see which areas show weight distribution and pressure points. The podiatrist will read the analysis and then determine which treatment plans are available.

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

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What Is This Rash on My Feet?

A rash on the feet can be indicative of a variety of medical conditions. One of the most common reasons for a foot rash is a fungal infection called athlete’s foot. The rash characteristic of athlete’s foot is usually scaly, flakey, itchy, and red, and it may also sting or burn. Irritant contact dermatitis is an allergic skin reaction that can affect the feet. A contact dermatitis rash features dry, cracked, scaly - but not itchy - skin in a localized area. Allergic contact dermatitis is caused by a more severe allergic reaction and often presents as small, pink or red skin bumps, spots, or blisters that are very itchy. Other conditions that can lead to a foot rash include hand foot and mouth disease, eczema, psoriasis, scabies, an insect bite, and medical conditions like chicken pox, shingles, and Lyme disease. If you have a rash on your feet, please consult 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 one of our podiatrists from Advanced Foot & Ankle Medical Center .  Our doctors 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 Thousand Oaks, CA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about How to Deal with Athlete's Foot

Why Pain in Your Heel May Be Worse in the Morning

There are different conditions that cause stiffness or pain in your heel that gets worse in the morning. Pain from conditions such as plantar fasciitis—where the long band of tissue on the bottom of the foot becomes inflamed—can be worse in the morning because blood supply to the feet is reduced while you sleep. Similarly, an inflammation of the tissue that connects the heel bone with the calf muscles (Achilles tendinitis) can also be more painful upon waking. This can also be caused by poor circulation, or the fact that calf muscles are shortened while at rest and may become painful when they are stretched as you take your first steps. Unlike plantar fasciitis, however, heel pain from Achilles tendinitis typically does not subside after moving around and warming up the heel. If you have any pain in your heel, seek the care of a podiatrist to determine its cause and the best course of treatment.

Many people suffer from bouts of heel pain. For more information, contact one of our podiatrists of Advanced Foot & Ankle Medical Center . Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Causes of Heel Pain

Heel pain is often associated with plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is a band of tissues that extends along the bottom of the foot. A rip or tear in this ligament can cause inflammation of the tissue.

Achilles tendonitis is another cause of heel pain. Inflammation of the Achilles tendon will cause pain from fractures and muscle tearing. Lack of flexibility is also another symptom.

Heel spurs are another cause of pain. When the tissues of the plantar fascia undergo a great deal of stress, it can lead to ligament separation from the heel bone, causing heel spurs.

Why Might Heel Pain Occur?

  • Wearing ill-fitting shoes                  
  • Wearing non-supportive shoes
  • Weight change           
  • Excessive running

Treatments

Heel pain should be treated as soon as possible for immediate results. Keeping your feet in a stress-free environment will help. If you suffer from Achilles tendonitis or plantar fasciitis, applying ice will reduce the swelling. Stretching before an exercise like running will help the muscles. Using all these tips will help make heel pain a condition of the past.

If you have any questions please contact our office located in Thousand Oaks, CA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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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.

Visiting a Podiatrist for Pain on the Top of the Foot

Because the foot supports the body and is made up of a complex network of bones, ligaments and tendons, foot pain can be debilitating and needs medical care. Different conditions can lead to issues in different locations on the foot. Common issues that cause pain on the top of the foot include extensor tendonitis, a Lisfranc injury, a midtarsal joint sprain, a navicular stress fracture, or a Morton’s neuroma. While these injuries are all different and complex, there are a few indications that a podiatrist should examine your condition. These indications include severe pain and swelling, an inability to complete normal daily tasks or to put weight on the foot, a change in sensation of the foot (such as numbness), and pain and weakness in the area that lasts more than two weeks.    

Foot Pain

Foot pain can be extremely painful and debilitating. If you have a foot pain, consult with one of our podiatrists from Advanced Foot & Ankle Medical Center . Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Causes

Foot pain is a very broad condition that could be caused by one or more ailments. The most common include:

  • Bunions
  • Hammertoes
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Bone Spurs
  • Corns
  • Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Ingrown Toenails
  • Arthritis (such as Gout, Rheumatoid, and Osteoarthritis)
  • Flat Feet
  • Injury (from stress fractures, broken toe, foot, ankle, Achilles tendon ruptures, and sprains)
  • And more

Diagnosis

To figure out the cause of foot pain, podiatrists utilize several different methods. This can range from simple visual inspections and sensation tests to X-rays and MRI scans. Prior medical history, family medical history, and any recent physical traumatic events will all be taken into consideration for a proper diagnosis.

Treatment

Treatment depends upon the cause of the foot pain. Whether it is resting, staying off the foot, or having surgery; podiatrists have a number of treatment options available for foot pain.

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

Read more about Foot Pain

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