Items filtered by date: November 2023
Diabetes can harm the nerves and blood vessels in your feet, reducing your ability to feel injuries. Minor foot problems like calluses, blisters, or cracks can develop into serious foot ulcers, often on the ball of the foot or under the big toe. These ulcers can become infected and lead to gangrene, potentially requiring the amputation of toes, parts of the foot, or even the leg. If you have a foot ulcer, it is vital to keep weight off the affected area to aid healing. For diabetics, early treatment of foot issues is crucial to prevent them from worsening. If you have diabetes, it is strongly suggested that you make routine appointments with a podiatrist to make sure your foot health is properly managed.
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 Ocotillo Foot and Ankle Centers. 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.
Fungal nail infections, medically known as onychomycosis, can be stubborn and challenging to treat. Traditional methods consisting of topical antifungal creams or oral medications may not always provide the desired results. In such cases, laser treatment for fungal nails has emerged as an alternative solution. Laser treatment, often referred to as laser therapy or laser fungal nail treatment, is a non-invasive procedure designed to target and eradicate the fungal infection in toenails or fingernails. During the procedure, a specialized laser emits a focused beam of light, which generates heat that penetrates the infected nail and the underlying fungal structures. This controlled heat effectively kills the fungus without causing damage to surrounding tissues. Laser treatment for fungal nails is considered a safe and efficient option, particularly for individuals who are reluctant to use or cannot tolerate traditional medications. If you have developed toenail fungus, it is suggested that you schedule an appointment with a podiatrist who can determine if laser treatment is right for you.
Laser treatment can be an effective way to get rid of toenail fungus. If you have any questions about laser treatment, consult with one of our podiatrists from Ocotillo Foot and Ankle Centers. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality treatment for fungal nails.
What Are Toenail Fungal Infections?
Onychomycosis, or fungal infection of the nail, is a relatively common and non-serious condition. Around 10 percent of U.S. citizens are afflicted with fungal nails. Common forms of fungus that infect the nail include dermatophytes, yeasts, and molds.
Symptoms of Toenail Fungal Infections Include:
- Nail thickening
- Brittleness of the nail
- Discoloration of the nail
Diagnosis for Fungal Nails
Fungal infections are diagnosed by fungal culture and microscopy. This will rule out any other conditions such as nail trauma, psoriasis, lichen planus, and onychogryphosis.
What Is Laser Treatment?
Laser treatment is a non-invasive, safe, quick, and painless procedure that uses the heat from a laser to kill fungus in the nail. Each infected nail is targeted with a laser for several minutes. The treatment is usually utilized several different times over a select period. During this time, a podiatrist will keep an eye on the infection.
Human Papilloma Virus, or HPV, is a large family of viruses, with over 150 types, and it is common for individuals to contract at least one type during their lifetime. Symptoms vary depending on the HPV strain, and while approximately 75 percent of HPV types cause common warts, others lead to more serious conditions. Often, HPV shows no symptoms, making some of its effects silent. For instance, plantar warts are a lesser known manifestation of HPV. They develop under the pressure points of the feet, such as the heels or the balls of the feet, and can be identified by their hard, grainy texture. Although they can be painful due to their location, some individuals may not notice them if they are not causing discomfort. It is advisable to examine your feet regularly, checking for any new growths or changes, including warts, as they could indicate an HPV infection. If you find you have a wart on your foot, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist to have it examined and treated as necessary.
Plantar warts can be very uncomfortable. If you need your feet checked, contact one of our podiatrists from Ocotillo Foot and Ankle Centers. Our doctors will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.
About Plantar Warts
Plantar warts are the result of HPV, or human papillomavirus, getting into open wounds on the feet. They are mostly found on the heels or balls of the feet.
While plantar warts are generally harmless, those experiencing excessive pain or those suffering from diabetes or a compromised immune system require immediate medical care. Plantar warts are easily diagnosed, usually through scraping off a bit of rough skin or by getting a biopsy.
- Lesions on the bottom of your feet, usually rough and grainy
- Hard or thick callused spots
- Wart seeds, which are small clotted blood vessels that look like little black spots
- Pain, discomfort, or tenderness of your feet when walking or standing
- Electric tool removal
- Laser Treatment
- Topical Creams (prescription only)
- Over-the-counter medications
To help prevent developing plantar warts, avoid walking barefoot over abrasive surfaces that can cause cuts or wounds for HPV to get into. Avoiding direct contact with other warts, as well as not picking or rubbing existing warts, can help prevent the further spread of plantar warts. However, if you think you have developed plantar warts, speak to your podiatrist. He or she can diagnose the warts on your feet and recommend the appropriate treatment options.
Flat feet, also known as fallen arches, is a common condition where one or both feet lack the typical arch structure. Instead, the bottom of the foot lies flat on the ground. While babies are initially born with flat feet, their arches generally begin to develop by the age of two or three. However, some people may continue to have flat feet into adulthood. In older children, common symptoms of flat feet include foot or ankle pain, heel or arch pain, and discomfort during walking and running. Adults with flat feet may experience symptoms such as tired or achy feet after prolonged standing, sports activities, or exercise. Many also experience lower back, hip, and knee pain. In children, many cases are attributed to what is called flexible flat feet, a result of loose joint connections and baby fat between the foot bones. This can cause the arch to collapse when the child stands. In adults, flat feet can be linked to factors like weakened or torn tendons, rheumatoid arthritis, midfoot fractures, or ligament injuries. Recognizing the signs and understanding the underlying causes of flat feet is essential for proper management and treatment. If you believe that flat feet are causing health and mobility problems for you or your child, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist for an exam, a gait assessment, and appropriate treatment options.
What Are Flat Feet?
Flatfoot is a condition in which the arch of the foot is depressed and the sole of the foot is almost completely in contact with the ground. About 20-30% of the population generally has flat feet because their arches never formed during growth.
Conditions & Problems:
Having flat feet makes it difficult to run or walk because of the stress placed on the ankles.
Alignment – The general alignment of your legs can be disrupted, because the ankles move inward which can cause major discomfort.
Knees – If you have complications with your knees, flat feet can be a contributor to arthritis in that area.
- Pain around the heel or arch area
- Trouble standing on the tip toe
- Swelling around the inside of the ankle
- Flat look to one or both feet
- Having your shoes feel uneven when worn
If you are experiencing pain and stress on the foot you may weaken the posterior tibial tendon, which runs around the inside of the ankle.
Constant care and regular evaluation are important for a foot or ankle fracture. If left untreated, foot or ankle fractures can worsen over time and create more serious problems.
Don't wait to be examined if you believe you've experienced a foot or ankle fracture.