Prevention Methods to Avoid Cracked Heels

A lack of moisture in the skin of the feet may result in a condition known as cracked heels. It is often preceded by thickened skin on the heels which may become brown or yellow. Severely cracked heels are called fissures and may bleed or become infected. Cracked heels can develop for various reasons like standing on hard surfaces for most of the day and wearing shoes that have an open back. Additionally, there are medical conditions that can cause cracked heels, including dermatitis, psoriasis, and thyroid disorders. Relief may be found when the feet are soaked in warm water, followed by applying a good moisturizer. Some patients find that it may be helpful to use a pumice stone to effectively remove hardened skin. To avoid cracked heels, the best methods to implement consist of wearing closed, supportive shoes, and practicing everyday foot care. If you are afflicted with cracked heels, it is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist to determine the best treatment option for you. 

If the skin on your feet starts to crack, you may want to see a podiatrist to find treatment. If you have any concerns, contact one of our podiatrists from Foot & Ankle Centers of Charlotte County . Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Cracked Heels

It is important to moisturize your cracked heels in order to prevent pain, bleeding, and infection. The reason cracked heels form is because the skin on the foot is too dry to support the immense pressure placed on them. When the foot expands, the dry skin on the foot begins to split.

Ways to Help Heal Them

  • Invest in a good foot cream
  • Try Using Petroleum Jelly
  • Ease up on Soaps
  • Drink Plenty of Water

Ways to Prevent Cracked Heels

  • Moisturize After Showering
  • Skip a Shower
  • Keep Shower Water Lukewarm
  • Don’t Scrub Your Feet

If you are unsure how to proceed in treating cracked heels, seek guidance from a podiatrist. Your doctor will help you with any questions or information you may need. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Punta Gorda and Port Charlotte, FL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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All About Morton’s Neuroma

Morton’s neuroma is named for a doctor who discovered this condition in 1876. It affects the nerve that runs between the long bones of the foot, commonly the 3rd and 4th metatarsals. The main symptoms of Morton’s neuroma are pain and numbness in the toes above the affected metatarsals. It can produce the same symptoms in the nerve between the 2nd and 3rd metatarsals. Morton’s neuroma usually affects only one foot and rarely affects two nerves of the same foot. The exact cause of Morton’s neuroma is not clear, but it is thought to be the result of a thickening of the nerve. This effect may be produced by chronic compression of the nerves. About three-quarters of people with Morton’s neuroma are women between the ages of 40 and 50. It is believed that tight or poorly fitting shoes greatly contribute to the formation of Morton’s neuroma, and it is common among runners and ballet dancers. Symptoms include pain that starts in the ball of the foot and shoots into the nearby toes. There also may be burning and tingling, along with a feeling of having a small pebble in the shoe. For a diagnosis and treatment options for Morton’s neuroma, it is suggested that you visit a podiatrist. 

Morton’s neuroma is a very uncomfortable condition to live with. If you think you have Morton’s neuroma, contact one of our podiatrists of Foot & Ankle Centers of Charlotte County . Our doctors will attend to all of your foot care needs and answer any of your related questions.  

Morton’s Neuroma

Morton's neuroma is a painful foot condition that commonly affects the areas between the second and third or third and fourth toe, although other areas of the foot are also susceptible. Morton’s neuroma is caused by an inflamed nerve in the foot that is being squeezed and aggravated by surrounding bones.

What Increases the Chances of Having Morton’s Neuroma?

  • Ill-fitting high heels or shoes that add pressure to the toe or foot
  • Jogging, running or any sport that involves constant impact to the foot
  • Flat feet, bunions, and any other foot deformities

Morton’s neuroma is a very treatable condition. Orthotics and shoe inserts can often be used to alleviate the pain on the forefront of the feet. In more severe cases, corticosteroids can also be prescribed. In order to figure out the best treatment for your neuroma, it’s recommended to seek the care of a podiatrist who can diagnose your condition and provide different treatment options.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Punta Gorda and Port Charlotte, FL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Arthritis Can Cause Pain in the Feet and Ankles

If you are suffering from tenderness, pain, or stiffness in the joints of your feet or ankles, call us to schedule an appointment.

What Are Systemic Diseases?

Systemic diseases are health problems that can affect various body parts. Two systemic health issues that frequently affect the feet are diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis. In both cases, treating the disease can help prevent or relieve foot symptoms. Wearing bigger shoes and using molded inserts can also help in preventing the need for surgery, which might be necessary if symptoms are severe. If you suffer from a health condition that is negatively affecting your feet and causing you discomfort, seek the counsel of a podiatrist who can help you feel more comfortable.

When dealing with systemic disease of the feet, it is extremely important to check the affected areas routinely so that any additional problems are caught quickly.  If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles contact one of our podiatrists from Foot & Ankle Centers of Charlotte County . Our doctors will assist you with all of your podiatric needs.

Systemic Diseases of the Feet

Systemic diseases affect the whole body, and symptoms usually are displayed in the feet. This condition can make a patient’s ability to walk unbearable.  Systemic diseases include gout, diabetes mellitus, neurological disorders, and arthritis.

Gout – is caused by an excess of uric acid in the body. Common symptoms include pain, inflammation, and redness at the metatarsal/phalangeal joint of the base big toe. Gout can be treated by NSAIDs to relieve pain and inflammation, and other drugs that lower the acid levels in the body.

Diabetes mellitus – is an increase in the level of blood sugar that the body cannot counteract with its own insulin. Failure to produce enough insulin is a factor in Diabetes.

Diabetes of the Feet

Diabetic Neuropathy – may lead to damaged nerves and affect the feet through numbness and loss of sensation.

Peripheral Vascular Disease – can restrict the blood flow to the feet, and often times lead to amputation of the feet. 

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Punta Gorda and Port Charlotte, FL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Can Gout Be Prevented?

People who experience gout often have severe pain and discomfort. It is a form of arthritis that affects the joints in the big toe. The pain comes from inflammation that occurs in these joints and is often debilitating. Gout attacks may occur due to genetics or consuming specific foods. These foods include red meat, organ meat, shellfish, and alcoholic beverages. Existing medical conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, or kidney disorders may also contribute to the onset of gout. There are effective prevention techniques that may help to reduce gout episodes. Incorporating a gentle exercise routine and changing eating habits that can accommodate healthy foods are generally successful in reducing further attacks. If you have had one or several bouts of gout, it is strongly advised that you are under the care of a podiatrist who can help you manage this painful condition.

Gout is a painful condition that can be treated. If you are seeking treatment, contact one of our podiatrists from Foot & Ankle Centers of Charlotte County . Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Is Gout?

Gout is a form of arthritis that is characterized by sudden, severe attacks of pain, redness, and tenderness in the joints. The condition usually affects the joint at the base of the big toe. A gout attack can occur at any random time, such as the middle of the night while you are asleep.

Symptoms

  • Intense Joint Pain - Usually around the large joint of your big toe, and it most severe within the first four to twelve hours
  • Lingering Discomfort - Joint discomfort may last from a few days to a few weeks
  • Inflammation and Redness -Affected joints may become swollen, tender, warm and red
  • Limited Range of Motion - May experience a decrease in joint mobility

Risk Factors

  • Genetics - If family members have gout, you’re more likely to have it
  • Medications - Diuretic medications can raise uric acid levels
  • Gender/Age - Gout is more common in men until the age of 60. It is believed that estrogen protects women until that point
  • Diet - Eating red meat and shellfish increases your risk
  • Alcohol - Having more than two alcoholic drinks per day increases your risk
  • Obesity - Obese people are at a higher risk for gout

Prior to visiting your podiatrist to receive treatment for gout, there are a few things you should do beforehand. If you have gout you should write down your symptoms--including when they started and how often you experience them, important medical information you may have, and any questions you may have. Writing down these three things will help your podiatrist in assessing your specific situation so that he or she may provide the best route of treatment for you.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Punta Gorda and Port Charlotte, FL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Are People Still Wearing High Heels?

High Heel sales dropped 71% in 2020, according to fashion trends, and it is unclear whether they will ever increase or whether we even want to wear them as much anymore. The pandemic and associated shutdowns curtailed fancy dressing and going out. Many women relied on athletic shoes and flats during this time. It is uncertain of what will happen in the future, but we know that more people are working from home now and high heel sales started to decline before the pandemic. Business casual took on new meaning with younger professionals who wore trendy high-tops, clogs, and Uggs to work. Streetwear became high fashion, and there were shifts in what was appropriate attire for an office. Comfort is in. People are also at their best when they look it and feel it. Frequently wearing high heels can cause foot issues and younger people are less willing to feel foot pain. It is beneficial that fashion is changing and wearing them only for special occasions may be on the rise. If you want to learn more about how to properly care for your feet to get you through a lifetime of changing footwear trends, please consult with a podiatrist. 

High heels have a history of causing foot and ankle problems. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact one of our podiatrists from Foot & Ankle Centers of Charlotte County . Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Effects of High Heels on the Feet

High heels are popular shoes among women because of their many styles and societal appeal.  Despite this, high heels can still cause many health problems if worn too frequently.

Which Parts of My Body Will Be Affected by High Heels?

  • Ankle Joints
  • Achilles Tendon – May shorten and stiffen with prolonged wear
  • Balls of the Feet
  • Knees – Heels cause the knees to bend constantly, creating stress on them
  • Back – They decrease the spine’s ability to absorb shock, which may lead to back pain.  The vertebrae of the lower back may compress.

What Kinds of Foot Problems Can Develop from Wearing High Heels?

  • Corns
  • Calluses
  • Hammertoe
  • Bunions
  • Morton’s Neuroma
  • Plantar Fasciitis

How Can I Still Wear High Heels and Maintain Foot Health?

If you want to wear high heeled shoes, make sure that you are not wearing them every day, as this will help prevent long term physical problems.  Try wearing thicker heels as opposed to stilettos to distribute weight more evenly across the feet.  Always make sure you are wearing the proper shoes for the right occasion, such as sneakers for exercising.  If you walk to work, try carrying your heels with you and changing into them once you arrive at work.  Adding inserts to your heels can help cushion your feet and absorb shock. Full foot inserts or metatarsal pads are available. 

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Punta Gorda and Port Charlotte, FL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Pros and Cons of Flat Feet

Flat feet is a condition in which the entire bottoms of the feet rest completely against the floor, obscuring any natural foot arch. There are many disadvantages of having flat feet. For example, people with flat feet are susceptible to back pain and may experience a lack of stability when engaging in physical activities, like running or walking. Many people wonder if there are any potential advantages to this condition. The answer is complicated. Despite the many disadvantages, it might be the case that some incidences of flat feet could improve the absorption of shocks. If you are a swimmer, flat feet may also be very helpful because they can act as a kind of flipper. Flat feet, of course, are not entirely advantageous. Contact a podiatrist today if you have flat feet to learn more about your condition.


 

Flatfoot is a condition many people suffer from. If you have flat feet, contact one of our podiatrists from Foot & Ankle Centers of Charlotte County . Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

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.  

Symptoms

  • 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

Treatment

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. 

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Punta Gorda and Port Charlotte, FL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Plantar Warts Can Be Treated!

Plantar warts are small growths that develop on parts of the feet that bear weight. They're typically found on the bottom of the foot. Don't live with plantar warts, and call us today!

Various Reasons the Feet May Become Swollen

The medical term for swelling is called edema. Edema can be caused for several reasons and it is common in the feet and ankles. Many pregnant women can have swollen feet, and this symptom may become more pronounced during the third trimester. Additionally, existing kidney disease may contribute to developing edema, and diabetic patients may see evidence of this on their feet. Sitting on a plane or in a car for extended periods may cause this condition to occur due to a lack of movement, which may cause reduced blood circulation. People who have edema may have skin that is shiny around the affected area and gravity can increase the swelling in the feet. Edema may be controlled by implementing lifestyle changes. These can include reducing salt intake, wearing compression stockings, and elevating the feet above the heart. If you are experiencing swollen feet, it is suggested that you speak with a podiatrist who can diagnose and treat this condition.

Swollen feet can be a sign of an underlying condition. If you have any concerns, contact one of our podiatrists of Foot & Ankle Centers of Charlotte County . Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Swollen feet are a common ailment among pregnant women and people who stand or sit for extended periods. Aging may increase the possibility of swollen feet and patients who are obese often notice when their feet are swelling too. There may be medical reasons why swollen feet occur:

  • Phlebitis - A condition that causes the veins to become inflamed and can also cause leg pain.
  • Liver disease - This may lead to low blood levels of albumin which is a protein. This can cause fluid in the blood to pass into the tissues and several areas of the body can become swollen.
  • Heart failure - When the heart doesn’t pump properly the blood that is normally pumped back to the heart can pool in the veins of the legs causing swollen feet.
  • Kidney disease - One of the main functions of the kidneys is releasing excess fluid in the body. This type of condition can make it difficult for the kidneys to function properly, and as a result the feet may become swollen.
  • Deep-vein thrombosis (DVT)- This is a serious condition where blood clots form in the veins of the legs. They can block the return of blood from the legs to the heart which may cause the feet to swell. It is important to be treated by a podiatrist if this condition is present.

Swollen feet can also be caused by bone and tendon conditions, including fractures, arthritis, and tendinitis. Additionally, there may be skin and toenail conditions and an infection may cause the feet to swell. Patients who take medicine to treat high blood pressure may be prone to getting swollen feet. 

Many patients elevate their feet to help relieve the swelling and this is generally a temporary remedy. When a podiatrist is consulted the reason behind the swelling can be uncovered and subsequently treated.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Punta Gorda and Port Charlotte, FL . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.


 

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Plantar Fasciitis in Seniors

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common sources of heel pain. It is caused by inflammation of the plantar fascia, the band of tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot, from the heel bone to the toes. The plantar fascia plays an important role in supporting the arch of the foot and absorbs shock from walking. Plantar fasciitis can feel like a deep, stabbing pain at the front part of the heel and is often worse after arising from sleep, standing on hard surfaces, or sitting for long periods. Things that may cause plantar fasciitis include participating in activities that stretch or tear the tissue, being overweight, or having an abnormal gait. Wearing ill-fitting shoes, especially those that cramp the toes or with poor support, including high heels, is also problematic. The biggest risk factor for this condition is advanced age because of the wear and tear from a lifetime of foot use. This can be debilitating to this age group and interfere greatly with mobility and quality of life. If you are a senior and suffer from plantar fasciitis, it is important to obtain treatment from a podiatrist before the pain becomes chronic.

Plantar fasciitis can be very painful and inconvenient. If you are experiencing heel pain or symptoms of plantar fasciitis, contact one of our podiatrists  from Foot & Ankle Centers of Charlotte County . Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot, known as the plantar fascia, and causes mild to severe heel pain.

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

  • Excessive running
  • Non-supportive shoes
  • Overpronation
  • Repeated stretching and tearing of the plantar fascia

How Can It Be Treated?

  • Conservative measures – anti-inflammatories, ice packs, stretching exercises, physical therapy, orthotic devices
  • Shockwave therapy – sound waves are sent to the affected area to facilitate healing and are usually used for chronic cases of plantar fasciitis
  • Surgery – usually only used as a last resort when all else fails. The plantar fascia can be surgically detached from the heel

While very treatable, plantar fasciitis is definitely not something that should be ignored. Especially in severe cases, speaking to your doctor right away is highly recommended to avoid complications and severe heel pain. Your podiatrist can work with you to provide the appropriate treatment options tailored to your condition.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Punta Gorda and Port Charlotte, FL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Plantar Fasciitis

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