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Monday, 05 June 2017 00:00

What is Athlete’s Foot?

Athlete’s foot, also known as tinea pedis, is a common fungal infection. Symptoms of the condition include itchiness, redness, flaking, and scaly skin. Although a variety of different fungi may cause athlete’s foot, they all thrive on moisture. The condition spreads through contact with the fungi itself or contact with infected skin. Areas such as damp locker rooms, bathroom floors, showers, and swimming pools are all prime breeding areas for the fungi. If you want to prevent yourself from getting athlete’s foot, you should be sure to wash all socks, towels, bath mats, and sheets that may have come in contact with the infection. Another tip is to always make sure you wear shower shoes while walking in moist areas. Keeping your feet warm and dry will also help prevent athlete’s foot.

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
Tuesday, 30 May 2017 00:00

Blister Prevention

Blisters are often the result of too much friction from wearing poor fitting shoes. While blisters are not always painful, they have the potential to be, and in special cases may need to be drained. Blister prevention is crucial in order to avoid the pain and nuisance associated with having them. Making sure to wear socks while wearing shoes is one of the best ways you can avoid getting a blister. Additionally, applying baby powder to your feet before putting on your socks will aid in friction reduction.

Blisters are prone to making everyday activities extremely uncomfortable. If your feet are hurting, contact Dr. Michael D. Garvin of Florida. 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 Port St. Lucie, FL. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Blisters on the Feet
Monday, 22 May 2017 00:00

Hammertoe Havoc

Hammertoe is caused when there is a muscle and ligament imbalance around the toe joint. This causes the middle joint of the toe to bend and become stuck in this position . Many people with hammertoe complain about rubbing and irritation at the top of the bent toe. Toes that tend to unnaturally curl, such as the baby toe, are also considered hammertoes. “Flexible” and “Rigid” are the two main types of hammertoes. If the toe can still be moved around, it is considered a flexible hammertoe. Hammertoes that don’t allow for any toe movement are classified as rigid hammertoes.

Hammertoe

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact Dr. Michael D. Garvin from Florida. Our doctor will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.

Hammertoe

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that affects the joints of the second, third, fourth, or fifth toes of your feet. It is a painful foot condition in which these toes curl and arch up, which can often lead to pain when wearing footwear.

Symptoms

  • Pain in the affected toes
  • Development of corns or calluses due to friction
  • Inflammation
  • Redness
  • Contracture of the toes

Causes

Genetics – People who are genetically predisposed to hammertoe are often more susceptible

Arthritis – Because arthritis affects the joints in your toes, further deformities stemming from arthritis can occur

Trauma – Direct trauma to the toes could potentially lead to hammertoe

Ill-fitting shoes – Undue pressure on the front of the toes from ill-fitting shoes can potentially lead to the development of hammertoe

Treatment

Orthotics – Custom made inserts can be used to help relieve pressure placed on the toes and therefore relieve some of the pain associated with it

Medications – Oral medications such as anti-inflammatories or NSAIDs could be used to treat the pain and inflammation hammertoes causes. Injections of corticosteroids are also sometimes used

Surgery – In more severe cases where the hammertoes have become more rigid, foot surgery is a potential option

If you have any questions please 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 What Are Hammertoes?

Foot diseases and other foot-related problems often become more prevalent as we age. Years of bearing body weight and certain ailments can combine to wreak havoc on the feet and ankles. The foot problems we may experience as time goes on vary from minor to potentially very serious. First and foremost, if you are a diabetic, foot care needs to be a high priority. Diabetic ulcers and sores, if left untreated, can lead to infection and even gangrene, resulting in amputation. Daily foot inspections are necessary to ensure that there are no cuts, sores, or swelling. Even something as seemingly minor as cracked skin on the foot can lead to terrible consequences if gone unnoticed. Using moisturizer and soap that doesn’t dry out the skin can help in this area. That being said, it is also important to keep the feet dry, as toenail fungus grows more readily in moist environments. Keeping the feet elevated is also a good tip. This will help circulate the blood to the lower extremities. Poor circulation can lead to serious medical conditions.

If you need your feet checked, contact Dr. Michael D. Garvin  of Florida. Our doctor will attend to all of your foot and ankle needs and provide you with quality treatment.

Geriatrics and Podiatry
When people age, some common issues that may occur are bone density loss, dry skin, poor circulation, and rough brittle nails. These issues may also affect your foot health if the necessary steps are not taken to alleviate the problems.

It is important to take care of your feet because feet that are injured or diseased can affect your overall health. Having painful feet hinders your ability to do daily activities or may decrease your willingness to do the things that you need to do.

Visiting Your Geriatrician
As we age, health problems become more likely, so it is essential to visit your doctor for check-ups to ensure that you are doing the best you can to take care of your health. It is recommended to check your feet frequently for any possible cuts, bruises, swelling, corns or any other irregularities. 

Taking Care of Elderly Feet
Cracked or dry feet can be treated by applying moisturizer often. It is also important not to wear old socks because the older the sock is, the higher the possibility there will be that there is bacteria there. Wear fresh socks and make sure they fit properly.

Proper foot health means that you can have a more active lifestyle and you will not be bogged down by pain. Foot health also leads to good circulation, which is paramount for overall health.

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

Read more about Geriatrics and Podiatry
Monday, 08 May 2017 00:00

Preventing Poor Blood Circulation

If your feet feel cold, especially during these winter months, it is because it is your body’s natural response for conserving heat when it is too cold. Your body “tries to maintain its internal temperature by constricting small blood vessels under the surface of the skin. This allows more blood to move deeper in the body, so your core stays warm.” However, this causes your body’s extremities, like the feet, to receive poor blood circulation. When taking care of your cold feet, try to wear warm, breathable socks that help wick away moisture. Opt for wool in place of cotton. Other methods include warming your feet up in warm water, drinking hot liquids, moving around to get your blood circulation going, and investing in shoe inserts to help insulate the insides of your shoes.

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

Osteoarthritis, sometimes called the “wear and tear” arthritis, is a degenerative joint disease that occurs when the cartilage between the joints breaks down. This can be very painful, especially in the feet. One way of treating a disease like this is the use of platelet rich plasma (PRP) therapy. To start, blood is procured from the patient and then processed to prepare the custom injections. The injections promote healing of injured tendons, ligaments, muscles, joints, and other soft tissues. There is minimal risk to the patient because the plasma given is from the patient’s very own blood. Studies show that PRP injections can significantly reduce pain in osteoarthritic patients and improve quality of life.

If you are suffering from a foot condition, contact Dr. Michael D. Garvin of Florida. Our doctor will assist you with all of your podiatric concerns.

What is PRP?

Platelet Rich Plasma, or PRP, is blood taken from a patient and spun in a centrifuge, concentrating the amount of platelets. The plasma is then re-injected into the site of injury or damage, assisting the body in repairing damage to muscles, tendons, ligaments, and tissue. PRP helps the body speed up its healing process.

Uses of PRP

Injuries affecting the foot sometimes don’t heal properly because of poor blood circulation. The healing time slows down and recovery time is affected by poor blood supply. PRP injections will speed up recovery and resolve this issue.

Treatment

PRP is the first regenerative treatment for damaged muscles, tendons, and ligaments. No surgery needed. It is only applied with an insertion of a needle.

Ultrasound – An ultrasound is needed for proper placement of the platelets.

Injection – When the first injection is received, the patient will return to the doctor in about 2 to 3 weeks and monitor the recovery process.

Recovery time – Some people respond to treatments differently. Therefore, depending on your condition, the doctor will make any remaining decisions on how many more injections are needed, or if any additional ones are even required.

Benefits

One may be able to avoid major surgery, and recovery time will be cut down. PRP injections also avoid creating scar tissue and damage to the area. Risks are also very low using PRP as a treatment. There is no risk of rejection, contracting a disease from using another person’s blood, or infection.

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 PRP Injections In Your Feet

Geoff Swaim, tight end of the Dallas Cowboys, will most likely be out of play until the team’s training camp due to last week’s foot surgery. The injury itself was sustained during the Cowboys’ informal workouts last week at The Star. After suffering the injury, Swaim had a screw inserted into his foot to help secure the bones in place. He will most likely be back when the Cowboys return for training camp in Oxnard, California, in July. The tight end is no stranger to injuries and surgeries; last season, Swaim missed the final seven games due to a torn pectoral tendon that needed surgery. Swaim was able to make a full recovery since.

Foot surgery is sometimes necessary to treat a foot ailment. To learn more, contact Dr. Michael D. Garvin of Florida. Our doctor will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

When Is Surgery Necessary?

Foot and ankle surgery is generally reserved for cases in which less invasive, conservative procedures have failed to alleviate the problem. Some of the cases in which surgery may be necessary include:

  • Removing foot deformities like bunions and bone spurs
  • Severe arthritis that has caused bone issues
  • Cosmetic reconstruction

What Types of Surgery Are There?

The type of surgery you receive will depend on the nature of the problem you have. Some of the possible surgeries include:

  • Bunionectomy for painful bunions
  • Surgical fusion for realignment of bones
  • Neuropathy decompression surgery to treat nerve damage

Benefits of Surgery

Although surgery is usually a last resort, it can provide more complete pain relief compared to non-surgical methods and may allow you to finally resume full activity.

Surgical techniques have also become increasingly sophisticated. Techniques like endoscopic surgery allow for smaller incisions and faster recovery times.

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 Foot Surgery
Monday, 17 April 2017 00:00

High Heels: Pain in the Foot

Bone spurs, heel pain, bunions, broken ankles, ankles sprains, arthritis. What do all of these conditions and injuries have in common? They can all be caused by wearing high heels. While most seasoned high heel wearers have pretty much mastered the art of not falling down, none are truly immune to the damage they do to the body, particularly the feet and ankles. Strengthening your feet is one way to help mitigate some of the long term effects of wearing high heels, though, no amount of foot exercises will prevent the pain from all-day everyday wear. Bunions are another one of the side effects of long term high heel use. Make sure to monitor this, and see a podiatrist if it gets to uncomfortable. Also, the higher the heel, the worse they are for your feet. If you can manage to keep the heel length under 2 inches, your body will thank you later.

High heels have a history of causing foot and ankle problems. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact Dr. Michael D. Garvin from Florida. Our doctor 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 Port St. Lucie, FL. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Effect of High Heels on the Feet
Monday, 10 April 2017 00:00

Treatments for Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails can be very painful to experience. Most common in teenagers, though fairly common in the greater population, an ingrown toenail is characterized by the toenail digging into and breaking the adjacent soft tissue. This can lead to infection if the breaks in the skin remain for too long. Treatment of ingrown toenails range from clipping the nail more appropriately to surgically removing the nail or even destroying the growth plate in the nail bed. For chronic sufferers these surgical options may be necessary. It is best to consult a podiatrist if you have ingrown toenails.

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

Ankle pain is a condition that can affect anyone at any age. Depending on the severity of the condition, this pain can be very debilitating, limiting mobility and the ability to perform in sports or certain activities in one’s daily life. In growing children, ankle pain can manifest in the form of Sever’s disease. Sever’s disease is a condition in which the ankle’s calcaneus bone is not fully fused together, creating pain should the Achilles tendon pull on the area where it attaches. The condition typically develops in children who are very active. Along with pain, other symptoms include swelling and tenderness.

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
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