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Monday, 15 January 2018 00:00

The Causes of Cracked Heels

Dry skin may often be the cause of cracked heels, sometimes causing pain and bleeding. Often called fissures, the skin may become yellowed, flaky and callused, possibly resulting in difficulty walking. Pressure and friction, usually caused by standing for long periods at a time, is a common cause of this condition. Additionally, shoes that have thin soles where the heel of the foot is exposed may also be a lead to cracked heels. Pressure that’s incurred on the feet from being overweight may cause the foot to expand sideways, which can crack the skin. Having an underactive thyroid may lead to sweat glands not working properly, possibly causing dry skin to crack. There are several treatment options, such as utilizing a good moisturizing cream and wearing shoes that fit properly to accommodate sore heels. A consultation with a podiatrist may be helpful in prevention advice and treatment options.

Cracked heels are unsightly and can cause further damage to your shoes and feet. If you have any concerns, contact Dr. Michael D. Garvin from Florida. Our doctor 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 offices located in Port St. Lucie, FL. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Solutions for Cracked Heels
Monday, 08 January 2018 00:00

Why Do My Feet Sweat?

If you notice damp footprints while walking barefoot or sweat that’s ruining your shoes, you may have a condition called plantar hyperhidrosis. In layman's terms, it’s excessive sweating of the feet. Sweating is a normal and necessary bodily function, eliminating excess water and salt. Additionally, it helps to keep the skin moist by cooling the body, which aids in heat regulation. Possible causes of this condition may be anxiety or emotional stress, excessive standing most of the day, or improper footwear which may not absorb the sweat that’s produced. Obesity may also be a contributing factor for this condition and is generally associated with increased sweating, though not always. Some helpful measures include washing and drying the feet daily, especially between the toes, in addition to using a antifungal foot powder to ward off potential fungal infections. If you feel your feet are sweating excessively, please consult a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis and available treatment options.

If you are suffering from hyperhidrosis contact Dr. Michael D. Garvin of Florida. Our doctor can provide the care you need to attend to all of your foot and ankle 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 Port St. Lucie, FL. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Hyperhidrosis of the Feet
Tuesday, 02 January 2018 00:00

Treatments for Ingrown Toenails

If you realize your toenail is growing into the surrounding skin in addition to becoming red and tender, the chances are good that you are experiencing an ingrown toenail. Usually the big toe is affected and may bleed or have pus coming from the area. Common causes may be from injuries such as a stubbed toe, poorly cut toenails, or from shoes that may not fit correctly. Proper treatment is crucial for ingrown toenails in order to prevent infection. This may include changing socks regularly, cutting the nail straight across to prevent digging into the skin that surrounds it, and keeping the feet clean by washing them every day. Minor surgery for severe cases may include a partial or total nail avulsion. Typically, this means a local anaesthetic is used for numbing the toe, and the edges of the toenail may be cut away or the nail fully removed. If you think you may have ingrown toenails, a consultation with a podiatrist is advised for a proper diagnosis and treatment.

Ingrown toenails can become painful if they are not treated properly. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact Dr. Michael D. Garvin of Florida. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails occur when a toenail grows sideways into the bed of the nail, causing pain, swelling, and possibly infection.

Causes

  • Bacterial infections
  • Improper nail cutting such as cutting it too short or not straight across
  • Trauma to the toe, such as stubbing, which causes the nail to grow back irregularly
  • Ill-fitting shoes that bunch the toes too close together
  • Genetic predisposition

Prevention

Because ingrown toenails are not something found outside of shoe-wearing cultures, going barefoot as often as possible will decrease the likeliness of developing ingrown toenails. Wearing proper fitting shoes and using proper cutting techniques will also help decrease your risk of developing ingrown toenails.

Treatment

Ingrown toenails are a very treatable foot condition. In minor cases, soaking the affected area in salt or antibacterial soaps will not only help with the ingrown nail itself, but also help prevent any infections from occurring. In more severe cases, surgery is an option. In either case, speaking to your podiatrist about this condition will help you get a better understanding of specific treatment options that are right for you.

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

Read more about Ingrown Toenail Care
Tuesday, 26 December 2017 00:00

How to Care for Feet Affected by Diabetes

A common ailment that many diabetics have are foot problems; managing blood glucose levels, however, may help to keep the feet healthy.  When nerve damage occurs in diabetics, it may cause pain and tingling, including possible numbness in the foot.  Serious infections may be the result of this and can possibly lead to gangrene.  It’s important to manage your diabetes; this may involve following a foot care plan.  It’s crucial to check your feet daily, which will enable you to notice problems before they get worse.  Some conditions to look for may be cuts, sores, or ingrown toenails. Washing your feet regularly will help you become aware of these issues.  Trimming the toenails straight across the toe with clippers can help prevent the skin from being cut and can keep the toenails healthy. Consult with a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis and to learn of the treatment options available for diabetic feet.

Diabetic foot care is important in preventing foot ailments such as ulcers. If you are suffering from diabetes or have any other concerns about your feet, contact Dr. Michael D. Garvin from Florida. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Diabetic Foot Care

Diabetes affects millions of people every year. The condition can damage blood vessels in many parts of the body, especially the feet. Because of this, taking care of your feet is essential if you have diabetes, and having a podiatrist help monitor your foot health is highly recommended.

The Importance of Caring for Your Feet

  • Routinely inspect your feet for bruises or sores.
  • Wear socks that fit your feet comfortably.
  • Wear comfortable shoes that provide adequate support.

Patients with diabetes should have their doctor monitor their blood levels, as blood sugar levels play such a huge role in diabetic care. Monitoring these levels on a regular basis is highly advised.

It is always best to inform your healthcare professional of any concerns you may have regarding your feet, especially for diabetic patients. Early treatment and routine foot examinations are keys to maintaining proper health, especially because severe complications can arise if proper treatment is not applied.

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

Read more about Diabetic Foot Care
Monday, 18 December 2017 00:00

Foot Care and Diabetes

Foot care is extremely important to diabetics as they often suffer from neuropathy and poor blood circulation in the feet. With this in mind, if you are diabetic, always maintain proper foot care. Wear shoes that are comfortable and provide adequate support for your feet. If you travel, be sure to bring different pairs of shoes so that you have multiple options for different terrains. Twice a day, look at your feet to see if there are any abnormalities such as redness, numbness, or a wound. Wash your feet daily as well and keep them as clean as possible. Finally, maintain a healthy diet and closely monitor your blood glucose levels. If you feel pain in your feet or notice any abnormalities, see a podiatrist for a consultation.

Everyday foot care is very important to prevent infection and other foot ailments. If you need your feet checked, contact Dr. Michael D. Garvin from Florida. 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 Port St. Lucie, FL. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Every Day Foot Care
Monday, 11 December 2017 00:00

Finding the Right Footwear for Each Activity

When it comes to buying shoes, it’s important to buy footwear that is suitable for what you will be doing. If you plan on running, try to find footwear that is breathable, flexible, supportive, and comfortable. While you should look for these traits in all footwear, different environments require different features. Hiking, for example, requires a more rigid shoe that may not be as breathable, especially if they are designed for cold weather environments. Walking, on the other hand, can be performed in running shoes that are comfortable and well-fitted. If you go rock climbing, then rock climbing shoes are essential as they have superior gripping to help prevent falls. However, rock climbing shoes are not very supportive and are meant to be tight around the feet. These attributes make them unsuitable for everyday wear. Wearing the right type of shoes is vital to preventing foot injuries and will allow you to more safely enjoy all your favorite outdoor activities.

If you are a runner, wearing the right running shoe is essential. For more information, contact Dr. Michael D. Garvin from Florida. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Choosing the Right Running Shoe for Your Foot Type

To increase performance and avoid the risk of injury, it is important to choose the right running shoe based on your foot type. The general design of running shoes revolves around pronation, which is how the ankle rolls from outside to inside when the foot strikes the ground.

  • Neutral runners are able to choose from a wide variety of shoes, including minimalist shoes or even going barefoot.
  • Runners who overpronate, or experience an over-abundance of ankle rolling, should choose shoes that provide extra motion control and stability.
  • Runners who underpronate, or supinate, have feet that have high arches and lack flexibility, preventing shock absorption. They require shoes with more flexibility and cushion.

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

Read more about Choosing the Right Running Shoe for Your Foot Type
Monday, 04 December 2017 00:00

Does Your Child Have Sever’s Disease?

If your child has heel pain it could be an indication of Sever’s disease, or the inflammation of the growth plate of the heel. It can be caused by an increase in physical activity such as running or from having a tight Achilles tendon. This condition may be painful; it can cause limping or walking on the toes in order to keep the heel from striking the ground. Sever's disease commonly occurs in physically active children aged 8 to 12. Because the foot grows rapidly throughout youth, the condition often develops during the first stage of puberty. Basically, the muscles have difficulty keeping up with the rapid growth of the bones. The tendons will typically tighten around the heel, preventing flexibility and causing pain. Common treatments may include stretching exercises, wearing pads in the heels, or possibly using ice for relief. Avoid physical activity while your child heals. If you feel your child may have Sever’s disease, a consultation with a podiatrist is advised for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Sever's disease often occurs in children and teens. If your child is experiencing foot or ankle pain, see Dr. Michael D. Garvin at Florida. Our doctor can treat your child’s foot and ankle needs.

Sever’s Disease

Sever’s disease is also known as calcaneal apophysitis, which is a medical condition that causes heel pain I none or both feet. The disease is known to affect children between the ages of 8 and 14.

Sever’s disease occurs when part of the child’s heel known as the growth plate (calcaneal epiphysis) is attached to the Achilles tendon. This area can suffer injury when the muscles and tendons of the growing foot do not keep pace with bone growth. Therefore, the constant pain which one experiences at the back of the heel will make the child unable to put any weight on the heel. The child is then forced to walk on their toes.

Symptoms

Acute pain – Pain asscoiatied with Sever’s disease is usually felt in the heel when the child engages in physical activity such as walking, jumping and or running.

Highly active – Children who are very active are among the most susceptible in experiencing Sever’s disease, because of the stress and tension placed on their feet.

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

Read more about Sever's Disease

Athlete’s foot, also known as tinea pedis, is a fungal infection of the foot. In most cases, athlete’s foot is a minor condition that can be treated with relative ease by a podiatrist. Common symptoms include itchiness, redness, scaling, and cracked skin. Athlete’s foot is contagious and can spread to the toenails, fingernails and hands. It is often contracted in gyms, locker rooms, public restrooms, and pools. Athlete’s foot is diagnosed either through its symptoms or a skin test. There are over-the-counter antifungal medications for athlete’s foot, but seeing a podiatrist is always advised for any foot condition. To help prevent the condition, wash your feet daily, make sure to keep your feet dry, alternate between shoes, and wear sandals in locker rooms and public showers.

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. Michael D. Garvin from Florida.  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 Port St. Lucie, FL. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Athlete's Foot
Monday, 20 November 2017 00:00

The Benefits of Stretching Before Running

Many benefits are derived from warming up and stretching before running. In addition to increasing body temperature, the muscles become more relaxed; this lowers the risk for workout injuries. A common way to avoid running injuries is to begin jogging slowly and eventually increase to the desired speed. Typically, warming up before any kind of exercise may not only help you avoid injuries, but also aid in the prevention of sports-related musculoskeletal system diseases. Many people believe that stretching before running is dull and a waste of time, but when done properly, it may help prevent sudden pressure being placed on the blood vessels and heart. An additional benefit is increased oxygen in the blood, along with maintaining proper posture. Also, daily stretching can help mitigate the negative impact of sitting for extended periods or other work related activities.

Exercising your feet regularly with the proper foot wear is a great way to prevent injuries. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact Dr. Michael D. Garvin of Florida. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

How to Prevent Running Injuries

Many common running injuries are caused by overuse and overtraining. When the back of the kneecap starts wearing out and starts causing pain in your knee, this is commonly referred to as runner’s knee. Runner’s knee is a decrease in strength in your quadriceps and can occur if you’re not wearing properly fitted or supporting shoes. To prevent runner’s knee, focusing on hip strengthening is a good idea, as well as strengthening your quads to keep the kneecaps aligned.

What Are Some Causes of Running Injuries?
- One cause of a common running injury is called iliotibial band syndrome.
- Plantar fasciitis is also another common injury.
- Stress fractures can occur from overtraining, lack of calcium, or even your running style.

Best Ways to Prevent Running Injuries
- Wear footwear that fits properly and suits your running needs.
- Running shoes are the only protective gear that runners have to safeguard them from injury.
- Make a training schedule. Adding strengthening exercises as well as regular stretching can help keep you strong and limber and can lessen the possibility of injuries.
- Stretching keeps muscles limber; this will help you gain better flexibility.

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

Read more about How to Prevent Running Injuries

While it’s a common and generally minor issue, cold feet can be a sign of other conditions. If you are in a cold environment, having cold feet is a normal occurrence due to the blood vessels constricting; this is typically not due to chronic, systemic poor circulation. Poor circulation on the other hand is when the blood vessels become narrow or blocked. Blockage and constriction can occur from a number of issues such as from smoking, poor diet, diabetes, and Raynaud’s disease. Raynaud’s disease is a condition that causes the blood vessels to spasm and temporarily reduce flow to the hands and feet. If you are a relatively healthy individual, then cold feet can most likely be treated with warmer footwear. For those who have health conditions, like diabetes, or who smoke, cold feet can be a result of poor circulation stemming from these conditions. If you experience cold feet often, then it may be best to see a podiatrist who can determine the exact cause.

Poor circulation is a serious condition and needs immediate medical attention. If you have any concerns with poor circulation in your feet contact Dr. Michael D. Garvin of Florida. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Poor Circulation in the Feet

Poor blood circulation in the feet and legs is can be caused by peripheral artery disease (PAD), which is the result of a buildup of plaque in the arteries.

Plaque buildup or atherosclerosis results from excess calcium and cholesterol in the bloodstream. This can restrict the amount of blood which can flow through the arteries. Poor blood circulation in the feet and legs are sometimes caused by inflammation in the blood vessels, known as vasculitis.

Causes

Lack of oxygen and oxygen from poor blood circulation restricts muscle growth and development. It can also cause:

  • Muscle pain, stiffness, or weakness   
  • Numbness  or cramping in the legs 
  • Skin discoloration
  • Slower nail & hair growth
  • Erectile dysfunction

Those who have diabetes or smoke are at greatest risk for poor circulation, as are those who are over 50. If you have poor circulation in the feet and legs it may be caused by PAD, and is important to make changes to your lifestyle in order to reduce risk of getting a heart attack or stroke. Exercise and maintaining a healthy lifestyle will dramatically improve conditions.

As always, see a podiatrist as he or she will assist in finding a regimen that suits you. A podiatrist can also prescribe you any needed medication. 

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

Read more about Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment of Poor Blood Circulation in the Feet
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