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Are you someone who avoids the podiatrist because you fear medical procedures? Well, if you’re living with an ingrown toenail, you have nothing to worry about from our corrective procedure.

 

An ingrown toenail occurs when the nail corner or tip begins to grow into the skin. Not all ingrown toenails are painful, but the nail exerts pressure on the skin, causing secondary inflammation near the nail border. You can generally identify an ingrown toenail by its appearance.

 

Ingrown toenails can recur even after nail clipping. If you experience pain, redness, and drainage from an ingrown toenail, you are likely a candidate for a corrective procedure.

 

This procedure takes place in our office and can be completed in about 15 minutes. First, your podiatrist numbs the affected toe. Next, the nail border is loosened and the ingrown portion of the nail is removed. Lastly, a medicine is applied to the nail so that portion of the nail does not regrow.

 

Patients may experience some mild soreness after the procedure, but are able to resume normal activity almost immediately. Full healing time is approximately 2-4 weeks. All of the podiatrists at the FAAWC are board certified in surgery and have performed numerous ingrown toenail corrective procedures.

 

If you’re suffering from a painful or unsightly ingrown toenail, call the FAAWC today to schedule your appointment.

 
January 03, 2019
Category: Uncategorized
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If you see a bony bump at the base of your big toe and your big toe is pushing toward your second toe, you may have a bunion. A bunion, also called Hallux Valgus, forms when the joint capsule and tissues are stretched, allowing for an abnormal motion of the toe. Over time, the bunion will be “track bound” or unable to be moved back into the anatomic position.

 

Bunions are usually the result of inheriting a biomechanical instability. This could be flat feet, tight calf muscles, excessive flexibility of the ligaments, or abnormal bone structure. Arthritic conditions such as gout, rheumatoid arthritis, and psoriatic arthritis can also affect bunion formation. While tight shoes don’t cause bunions, they can accelerate the process.

 

Bunion pain is characterized by a dull ache. Though additional pressure from shoes can lead to a deeper, burning pain. While not all bunions hurt, they can lead to other issues such as bursitis, hammertoes, and other forefoot conditions.

 

As soon as you notice a bunion forming, you should visit a podiatrist. They will complete a baseline assessment and suggest treatments and preventative measures to stop the bunion from worsening. If you begin experiencing pain from your bunion, a podiatrist can help with that too. Bunions sometimes occur during juvenile years, and those should be checked at the onset.

 

Your podiatrist may recommend padding the bunion, wearing wider shoes, and utilizing custom orthotics to help control loose joints. Injections for pain and mobility are also available. Joint alignment can also be restored through surgical correction.

 

If you have a bunion or suspect one is forming, call the FAAWC today to schedule an appointment.



 

Whether you enjoy traversing the winter landscapes or you stay cozied up inside under the blankets, proper foot care during winter is critical for your health. If your feet aren’t dressed properly when you step outside, you are putting yourself at risk for a variety of cold injuries. Inside your home, feet still play a large part in body temperature regulation and comfort. Consider these handy tips to keep your feet healthy this winter.

 

When You’re Inside:

  • At a minimum, wear socks indoors to keep your feet toasty warm. This helps your body retain heat, so you can lower the thermostat and your utility bill.
  • Wearing shoes inside is better than a pair of socks. Designate a pair of shoes or slippers for indoor use only and put them on as soon as you get home.
  • Use rugs and runners on cold floors to help protect feet if you insist on going barefoot. This can also help prevent slips and falls from snow tracked inside.
  • Don’t put your feet next to a direct heat source to warm them. If your feet are cold, you may not feel the true heat of the fireplace or radiator.

When You’re Outside:

  • Wear thick, sweat-wicking socks such as wool. Don’t be fooled into thinking ski socks are warmer. They simply have extra cushioning where the ski boot hits the foot and shin.
  • Change your socks and shoes immediately if your feet get wet. Wet feet are subject to frostbite and other cold injuries.
  • Winter shoes and boots need to have a good tread for walking on snow and ice. Avoid wearing high heels or flip-flops that expose feet to the cold.

 

READ MORE: Cold Injuries

If you want to avoid cold injuries and stay healthy this winter, then you need to pay attention to your feet. Proper foot care in winter can help promote overall well-being and health. If you are experiencing pain or symptoms of a cold injury, call the FAAWC today to schedule your appointment.

 

 

What goes around comes around. And around and around and around…

The four chambers of your heart pump approximately 2000 gallons of blood through your heart and around your body each day. Your life depends on this blood circulating properly. But when your circulatory system isn’t functioning fully, you may end up with intermittent claudication.

Intermittent claudication is a condition in which leg muscles become blood deprived during movement and exercise. This manifests as cramping, weakness, numbness, tingling, or pain in the legs and feet. Pain and weakness will be temporary until the legs are rested but will return immediately upon resuming activity. Long-term intermittent claudication can cause shiny or blotchy skin, hair loss on the legs, and perpetually cold feet.

Intermittent claudication is a symptom of a more serious condition called atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis occurs when the arteries in your legs have become blocked by plaque buildup. Because this happens over time, intermittent claudication mostly affects adults over 50 years old. Certain risk factors—including obesity, smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and heart disease—can increase your chances of developing intermittent claudication.

Your podiatrist can diagnose intermittent claudication by comparing the blood pressure in your ankles to each other and to the blood pressure of your arm. A radically reduced blood pressure in one or both legs can indicate an issue. In some cases, the pulse may be absent in one leg if there is a total blockage. Ultrasounds, MRA (magnetic resonance angiography), and other scans can also give doctors a fuller picture of the underlying atherosclerosis and any blockages.

Intermittent claudication can be controlled with lifestyle changes such as smoking cessation, losing weight eating healthier, and walking for exercise. Associated conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes all need to be well controlled. Your physician may prescribe medications to reduce clots and help improve blood flow. Complete blockages may require surgical intervention.

While intermittent claudication itself is not life or limb threatening, it can have a significant impact on your health and quality of life. If you’ve been experiencing weakness, tingling, or pain in your legs with simple activity, call the FAAWC today. The sooner you call, the sooner you’ll be on your way to better health.

‘Tis the season…

…for cold injuries that is

If you’re going outside this winter, you need to be aware of the different types of cold injuries, what they feel and look like, and how to treat them. Cold injuries can be temporary or serious and life-threatening. Keep an eye out for these common cold-related problems.

Hypothermia

Hypothermia occurs when the body is losing heat faster than it can produce it. The average body temperature is 98.6 degrees. Hypothermia begins to set in when the body drops below 95 degrees. Hypothermia occurs in three stages

  1. Increased shivering and reduced blood circulation
  2. Weak pulse, slow breathing, confusion, and lack of coordination
  3. Shivering ceases, weak or absent respiration and pulse, loss of consciousness

If you or someone you’re with is experiencing hypothermia, get them to warmth immediately. Remove any wet clothing and wrap the affected person in blankets. Warm, non-alcoholic drinks and hot-water compresses on the neck, chest, and groin areas can help with rewarming.

Frostnip

Frostnip is the first stage leading to frostbite. Blood vessels in the skin constrict to direct blood flow and heat to the internal organs. Frostnip mostly occurs on exposed skin such as ears, noses, and fingers. The skin may turn pale or bright red and feel extremely cold to the touch. Numbness in the affected area is common. Frostnip is generally not serious and can be combatted by seeking warmth. Do not use direct heat as you may not be able to correctly gauge temperature due to numbness.

Frostbite

Frostbite occurs when the extremities are exposed to extreme cold. In mild or superficial frostbite, ice crystals form within the top layers of the skin. Skin changes from red to pale white and the affected extremity may tingle or even hurt with a pins-and-needles feeling. Numbness soon follows. In severe frostbite, ice crystals penetrate through the skin to the tissue beneath. Pain may dissolve as numbness sets in. Frostbite can result in permanent tissue death at this stage.

Treatment for both superficial and severe frostbite involves a gradual rewarming of the body. Never try to rewarm with direct heat and do not attempt to thaw frostbite if there is any chance of refreezing as this can result in additional complications and a higher chance of extremity amputation.

Chilblains/Pernio

Chilblains, also known as pernio, occur after exposure to prolonged cold but not freezing temperatures. Chilblains can be recognized by sores or bumps that appear after exposure to cold. This can also result in redness, swelling, and itching. Unlike frostbite, chilblains are generally not dangerous and will recede over one to three weeks. However, open sores can lead to infection and further complications. Chilblains occurring on the feet should be treated by a podiatrist to avoid infection.

 

The best way to avoid a cold injury is to stay indoors and keep warm. If you do go outside, be sure to wear proper socks, gloves, and other winterwear to protect yourself from the cold. At the first sign of a cold injury, seek shelter and warmth immediately. If you’ve suffered a cold-related injury to your feet, make an appointment with the FAAWC today!