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pedal

November 2023

Wednesday, 29 November 2023 21:28

Everyday Foot Care Tips for Healthy Feet

foot healthOur feet bear the brunt of our daily activities, making everyday foot care an essential part of maintaining overall well-being. There are several practical tips to ensure your feet stay healthy and pain-free. These can begin with washing your feet daily, ensuring to dry thoroughly, especially between the toes. Keeping your toenails trimmed straight across and not too short may help to prevent ingrown toenails. Choose comfortable, well-fitting shoes that provide proper arch support and cushioning. Additionally, it is beneficial to alternate your shoes to give them time to air out, reducing the risk of foot odor and fungal infections. Regularly moisturize your feet to prevent dry, cracked skin. Performing regular foot stretches and massages can help improve circulation and relieve tension. Be mindful of foot pain or discomfort, as early intervention can prevent more significant issues. Lastly, maintaining a healthy weight and staying active can reduce the strain on your feet. If you would like to have more information about everyday foot care tips, it is suggested that you confer with a podiatrist.

Everyday foot care is very important to prevent infection and other foot ailments. If you need your feet checked, contact Dr. Robert Hope of Riverside Podiatry. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Everyday Foot Care

Often, people take care of their bodies, face and hair more so than they do for their feet. But the feet are a very important aspect of our bodies, and one that we should pay more attention to. Without our feet, we would not be able to perform most daily tasks.

It is best to check your feet regularly to make sure there are no new bruises or cuts that you may not have noticed before. For dry feet, moisturizer can easily be a remedy and can be applied as often as necessary to the affected areas. Wearing shoes that fit well can also help you maintain good foot health, as well as making it easier to walk and do daily activities without the stress or pain of ill-fitting shoes, high heels, or even flip flops. Wearing clean socks with closed shoes is important to ensure that sweat and bacteria do not accumulate within the shoe. Clean socks help to prevent Athlete’s foot, fungi problems, bad odors, and can absorb sweat.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Tuscaloosa, and Fayette, AL. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your podiatric needs.

Read More About Everyday Foot Care

Wednesday, 29 November 2023 21:27

Everyday Foot Care

Our feet are arguably one of the most important parts of the body. When it comes to health and beauty routines, the feet and toenails are usually ignored. You should always practice proper footcare to avoid any fungal infections or ailments that can not only ruin the appearance of your feet, but also cause pain. Ignoring any foot problems could potentially lead to an expensive doctor’s visit.

The most important step in proper foot care is to wash your feet daily. You should wash them with soap and water. Doing this will cleanse your feet of dirt, sweat and bacteria. It is crucial that you clean between the toes and pat your feet dry with a towel afterward. Your toenails are also an important part of the feet and you may find that they get dirtier in the summer when you wear sandals. It is important that you practice proper toenail care in addition to cleaning the rest of your feet. When trimming your nails, you should always trim straight across instead of in a rounded shape. Trimming in a curved shape may lead to ingrown toenails.

Moisturization is also important for foot care, and you should be moisturizing your feet every day. The best way to prevent dry feet is to rub lotion or petroleum jelly on your clean feet at night and put socks over them. In the morning, your feet should be soft and moisturized.

Another crucial step in proper foot care is to wear the right shoes for whichever activity you are going to partake in. In warmer weather, you should wear shoes that allow your feet to breathe. It is best to avoid shoes such as flip-fops that do not provide arch support. Tight shoes may also be harmful, and they may even cause you to develop bunions.

If you plan on taking a shower in a public area, you should be especially careful, so you do not pick up any fungi. Showers are prone to harboring different types of bacteria and fungi. You should always wear shower shoes or flip flops when walking around in locker rooms and public showers. Avoid sharing shoes with other people because this is another way that fungus may be spread.

If you are experiencing any problems with your feet you should speak with your podiatrist to determine the best method of treatment for you.

Wednesday, 22 November 2023 22:41

Symptoms of Athlete’s Foot

athletes footAthlete’s foot, medically known as tinea pedis, is a common and extremely contagious fungal infection that targets the skin on the feet, particularly the spaces between the toes. Among the primary indicators of athlete’s foot is persistent itching and burning sensations experienced between the toes and on the soles of the feet. The discomfort caused by this incessant itching can significantly impact daily activities, leading individuals to find relief through constant scratching or rubbing, which may serve to spread the infection. Redness and inflammation in the affected areas are also signs of athlete's foot. Prolonged exposure to moisture or heat, such as wearing sweaty shoes or walking barefoot in communal areas like public showers or pool areas, tends to exacerbate these symptoms. Peeling and cracking of the skin, especially in areas prone to excessive sweating or friction, are common occurrences in athlete’s foot. The skin may take on a dry, flaky appearance, resembling sunburn or dry skin, making diagnosis challenging without proper knowledge. In certain cases, athlete’s foot may result in blister formation, particularly when excess moisture is trapped within shoes or socks. Unlike blisters from other conditions, those caused by athlete's foot are typically smaller and may contain clear fluid or pus. It is vital not to pop these blisters, as doing so can increase the risk of infection. For help in managing the effects of athlete’s foot, it is suggested that you make an appointment 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 Dr. Robert Hope of Riverside Podiatry. Our doctor 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 offices located in Tuscaloosa, and Fayette, AL. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your podiatric needs.

Read More About Athlete’s Foot

Wednesday, 22 November 2023 22:40

Athlete's Foot

Athlete’s foot, or tinea pedis, is a skin disease caused by a fungal infection.  The infection typically occurs between the toes, and the feet are most subject to this disease because shoes best create the warm, dark, and moist environment in which fungus thrives.  Other areas that create a similar environment, such as swimming pools, public showers, and locker rooms; can also promote fungi growth. 

Symptoms of athlete’s foot include dry skin, itching, scaling, inflammation, and blistering.  Sometimes, blisters can evolve into the cracks or breaks in the skin.  The exposed tissue can then create pain, swelling, and discharge.  The spread of infection can cause itching and burning as well.

While athlete’s foot commonly occurs between the toes, it may also spread to the toenails or soles of the feet.  Other parts of the body, such as the groin or underarms, can also become infected if they are touched after the original area of infection is scratched.  Aside from physical contact, athlete’s foot can also spread through the contamination of footwear, clothing or bedsheets.

Proper foot hygiene is essential in preventing athlete’s foot.  You can prevent the fungus from spreading by frequently washing your feet using soap and water, thoroughly drying the feet between the toes, changing shoes and socks every day to reduce moisture, and ensuring that bathroom and shower floors are disinfected.  Other tips include using shower shoes, avoiding walking barefoot in public environments, wearing light and airy shoes, and wearing socks that keep the feet dry.

While treatment for athlete’s foot can involve topical or oral antifungal drugs, mild cases of the infection can be treated by dusting foot powder in shoes and socks.  Any treatment used can be supplemented by frequently bathing the feet and drying the toes.  If proper foot hygiene and self-care do not ease your case of athlete’s foot, contact your podiatrist.  He will determine if the underlying cause of your condition is truly a fungus.  If that is the case, a comprehensive treatment plan may be suggested with the inclusion of prescription antifungal medications.

Thursday, 16 November 2023 22:36

Common Causes of Heel Pain

heel painHeel pain is a prevalent issue that affects people of all ages, whether you are an athlete, a busy professional, or a parent. Plantar fasciitis is the most common complaint of heel pain. It occurs when excessive pressure on the feet damages the plantar fascia ligament, resulting in pain and stiffness. This condition is often associated with activities that put stress on the feet, like running or standing for extended periods. The next most common causes of heel pain are sprains and strains, which are injuries to the body. These ailments can range from minor to severe and are often the result of physical activities or accidents. A fractured heel can be caused by accidents, falls, or severe trauma. This is considered a medical emergency and requires urgent care. If you experience sudden, severe pain in your heel, in addition to swelling and difficulty bearing weight, it is beneficial to seek immediate medical attention. Achilles tendonitis is another common reason for heel pain, caused when the tendon connecting the calf muscles to the heel becomes inflamed due to overuse injuries. Finally, bursitis is an inflammation of the fluid filled sacs surrounding joints, where tendons, skin, and muscle tissues meet bones. It can lead to heel pain and discomfort. If you have any type of heel pain that inhibits your daily life, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist for a diagnosis and treatment options. 

Many people suffer from bouts of heel pain. For more information, contact Dr. Robert Hope of Riverside Podiatry. Our doctor 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 feel free to contact our offices located in Tuscaloosa, and Fayette, AL. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your podiatric needs.

Read More About Heel Pain

Thursday, 16 November 2023 22:36

Heel Pain

Heel pain can be difficult to deal with, especially if you do not know what the underlying cause is. If you ignore your heel pain, the pain can magnify and potentially develop into a chronic condition. Depending on the location of your heel pain, you have developed a specific condition.  

One condition is plantar fasciitis.  Plantar fasciitis is caused by the inflammation of the plantar fascia, or the band of tissue that connects the heel bone to the base of the toes. The pain from this condition is initially mild but can intensify as more steps are taken when you wake up in the morning. To treat this condition, medication will likely be necessary. Plantar fasciitis is often associated with heel spurs; both require rest and special stretching exercises.

There are various options your podiatrist may suggest for heel pain.  Treatment options for heel pain typically include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), which may reduce swelling and pain. Other options are physical therapy, athletic taping, and orthotics. In severe cases of heel pain, surgery may be required.

Preventing heel pain is possible.  If you are looking to prevent heel pain from developing in the future, be sure to wear shoes that fit you properly and do not have worn-down heels or soles. Be sure to warm up properly before participating in strenuous activities or sports that place a lot of stress on the heels. If you are experiencing any form of heel pain, speak with your podiatrist to determine the underlying cause and receive the treatment you need.

Thursday, 09 November 2023 17:56

Infections From Foot Blisters

blistersBlisters typically form as a natural response to a skin injury, often emerging on the feet due to friction from footwear. They create a protective fluid-filled sac that acts like a bandage, shielding the injured skin and facilitating the healing process. However, when the blister's protective covering breaks, it becomes susceptible to infection. An infected foot blister can result in specific symptoms, including the presence of pus and a warm sensation upon touch. Neglecting an infected blister also can result in a potentially dangerous bacterial skin infection. Often painful infections originating from a blister, whether bacterial, viral, or fungal, may spread to other parts of the body. This may potentially lead to sepsis, which is a life threatening bloodstream infection. Recognizing the signs of an infected foot blister includes checking for warmth, an unpleasant odor, pus discharge, or pain and swelling that surrounds the blister. Bleeding when touched or a lack of healing progress are also concerning indicators. If you have a foot blister and you suspect it is infected, it is strongly suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist to have it medically evaluated and treated.

Blisters are prone to making everyday activities extremely uncomfortable. If your feet are hurting, contact Dr. Robert Hope of Riverside Podiatry. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Foot Blisters

Foot blisters develop as a result of constantly wearing tight or ill-fitting footwear. This happens due to the constant rubbing from the shoe, which can often lead to pain.

What Are Foot Blisters?

A foot blister is a small fluid-filled pocket that forms on the upper-most layer of the skin. Blisters are filled with clear fluid and can lead to blood drainage or pus if the area becomes infected.

How Do Blisters Form?

Blisters on the feet are often the result of constant friction of skin and material, usually by shoe rubbing. Walking in sandals, boots, or shoes that don’t fit properly for long periods of time can result in a blister. Having consistent foot moisture and humidity can easily lead to blister formation.

Prevention & Treatment

It is important to properly care for the affected area in order to prevent infection and ease the pain. Do not lance the blister and use a Band-Aid to provide pain relief. Also, be sure to keep your feet dry and wear proper fitting shoes. If you see blood or pus in a blister, seek assistance from a podiatrist.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Tuscaloosa, and Fayette, AL. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your podiatric needs.

Read More About Blisters

Thursday, 09 November 2023 17:56

Blisters

Blisters are pockets of fluid that occur under the top layer of your skin. These fluid pockets are usually filled with pus, blood, or serum. Blisters may itch or hurt and can appear as a single bubble or in clusters.

The most common types of blisters are friction blisters. This type of blister may be caused by wearing shoes that are too tight. Friction blisters can also occur on the hands. A change in temperature may also cause blisters on the feet. In the freezing air, frostbite on your toes can lead to blisters, as well as sunburn from hot weather.

The best way to treat a blister is to keep it clean and dry. Most blisters will get better on their own. Once the skin absorbs the fluid within the blister, it will flatten and eventually peel off. You should avoid popping your blister unless you podiatrist does it for you. Additional treatment options include applying an ice pack to the blister or using over-the-counter blister bandages to cover the affected area.

If your blister becomes discolored, inflamed, or worsens it is advised that you speak to your podiatrist. Blisters that are yellow, green, or purple may be infected and require immediate medical attention. Blisters that are abnormally colored may be a sign of a more serious underlying health condition such as herpes.

Friday, 03 November 2023 14:05

Excessive Foot Sweat

Picture1Excessive foot sweating, known as focal hyperhidrosis, is a common but distressing condition. It involves uncontrollable sweating of the feet even when not hot or physically active. Treatments can help manage its impact. Normal sweating occurs when you are hot, exercising, anxious, or nervous, as the nervous system triggers sweat glands to cool the body. Medical conditions, including diabetes, menopause, thyroid problems, and nervous system disorders, can cause excessive sweating of the feet. Some medications may contribute to this as well. While excessive sweating itself does not harm health, it can significantly affect quality of life, causing emotional distress, skin conditions, and discomfort. Diagnosis involves a medical evaluation to rule out underlying causes. Treatment options can include medications, therapy, and in severe cases, surgery. Moderate relief can consist of keeping the feet clean and dry, wearing moisture-wicking socks made from breathable fabrics, and seeking emotional support if needed. If you suffer from excessively sweaty feet, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist for a proper evaluation and treatment.

If you are suffering from hyperhidrosis contact Dr. Robert Hope of Riverside Podiatry. Our doctor can provide the care you need to attend to all of your podiatric needs.

Hyperhidrosis of the Feet

Hyperhidrosis is a rare disorder that can cause people to have excessive sweating of their feet. This can usually occur all on its own without rigorous activity involved. People who suffer from hyperhidrosis may also experience sweaty palms.

Although it is said that sweating is a healthy process meant to cool down the body temperature and to maintain a proper internal temperature, hyperhidrosis may prove to be a huge hindrance on a person’s everyday life.

Plantar hyperhidrosis is considered to be the main form of hyperhidrosis. Secondary hyperhidrosis can refer to sweating that occurs in areas other than the feet or hands and armpits. Often this may be a sign of it being related to another medical condition such as menopause, hyperthyroidism, and even Parkinson’s disease.

In order to alleviate this condition, it is important to see your doctor so that they may prescribe the necessary medications so that you can begin to live a normal life again. If this is left untreated, it is said that it will persist throughout an individual’s life.

A last resort approach would be surgery, but it is best to speak with your doctor to find out what may be the best treatment for you.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Tuscaloosa, and Fayette, AL. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your podiatric needs.

Read More About Hyperhidrosis of the Feet

Friday, 03 November 2023 14:05

Hyperhidrosis of the Feet

Each foot, on average, has about 250,000 eccrine sweat glands that produce half a pint of sweat each day. Sweating is a natural and important bodily function. It regulates the body’s temperature by cooling the skin so that it does not overheat.  In individuals with hyperhidrosis, the sympathetic nervous system works in "overdrive", producing far more sweat than what is required. People with plantar hyperhidrosis experience an excess amount of sweat on their feet. It is estimated that 2% to 3% of all Americans suffer from some form of hyperhidrosis. This condition is often caused by neurologic, endocrine, infectious, and other systemic disease. Other factors that may trigger the condition are heat and emotions.

People with hyperhidrosis may notice an overabundance of sweat on their feet, along with a strong odor. The feet may also have a wet appearance coupled with infections such as athlete’s foot or toenail fungus. The sweat may even appear in low temperatures, such as during the winter months. People with plantar hyperhidrosis often need to change their socks several times throughout the day.

The specific cause of hyperhidrosis is unknown, and many believe it may be caused by over-activity. However, others believe the condition is genetic.  Caffeine and nicotine are known to cause excitement and nervousness which are two emotions that may make the condition worse.

If you are looking to treat your hyperhidrosis the most important thing you should do is wash your feet every day.  You may even need to wash your feet twice a day, if necessary.  You should also make sure you are wearing the right socks. Wool and cotton socks are both known to be good for ventilation, meaning they allow the feet to breathe. You should avoid socks made from nylon which trap moisture and lead to sogginess. Other common treatment options are over-the-counter antiperspirants that contain a low dose of metal salt.  In some cases, prescription strength antiperspirants that contain aluminum chloride hexahydrate may be necessary. In severe cases, surgery may be required.

Untreated hyperhidrosis can easily lead to complications.  Some complications that may arise from the disorder include nail infections, warts, and bacterial infections.  Consequently, it is important that you seek treatment from your podiatrist if you suspect that you may have plantar hyperhidrosis.

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