Monday, 16 July 2018 00:00

What is Gout?

Gout is a form of arthritis that affects the joints and it is caused by an excess amount of uric acid in the bloodstream. A study was done to determine how gout is related to heart attacks, and it was found that the average time period between diagnosis of gout and myocardial infarction was 2.3 years. Gout has also been shown to increase the risk of getting a heart attack by three times. Surprisingly, gout was also shown to be a higher risk factor for myocardial infarction when other factors such as hypertension, diabetes, and heart failure were absent. If you have any questions or think you may have gout, please consider scheduling a consultation with a podiatrist.  

 

Gout is a foot condition that requires certain treatment and care. If you are seeking treatment, contact Dr. Edwin S. Hart from Pennsylvania. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Is Gout?

Gout is a type of arthritis caused by a buildup of uric acid in the bloodstream. It often develops in the foot, especially the big toe area, although it can manifest in other parts of the body as well. Gout can make walking and standing very painful and is especially common in diabetics and the obese.

People typically get gout because of a poor diet. Genetic predisposition is also a factor. The children of parents who have had gout frequently have a chance of developing it themselves.

Gout can easily be identified by redness and inflammation of the big toe and the surrounding areas of the foot. Other symptoms include extreme fatigue, joint pain, and running high fevers. Sometimes corticosteroid drugs can be prescribed to treat gout, but the best way to combat this disease is to get more exercise and eat a better diet.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Bethlehem, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Monday, 09 July 2018 00:00

What is a Plantar Wart?

There are many different types of warts, and a condition known as plantar warts appear on the sole of the foot. While warts on other parts of the body may grow out, plantar warts grow into the heel of the foot as a result of the pressure the foot endures while standing and walking. This typically causes considerable pain and discomfort and may appear as bumpy growths on the sole of foot. It comes from the human papilloma virus, which is also known as the HPV virus, and may enter the body through small scrapes or cuts. This particular type of virus is known to be contagious and generally thrives in public swimming areas and showers. It may be beneficial to wear appropriate shoes while in these areas which may aid in preventing the spreading of this condition. If you are afflicted with plantar warts, it’s advised to consult with a podiatrist so proper treatment can be obtained.

Plantar warts can be very uncomfortable. If you need your feet checked, contact Dr. Edwin S. Hart from Pennsylvania. Our doctor will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

About Plantar Warts

Plantar warts are the result of HPV, or human papillomavirus, getting into open wounds on the feet. They are mostly found on the heels or balls of the feet.

While plantar warts are generally harmless, those experiencing excessive pain or those suffering from diabetes or a compromised immune system require immediate medical care. Plantar warts are easily diagnosed, usually through scraping off a bit of rough skin or by getting a biopsy.

Symptoms

  • Lesions on the bottom of your feet, usually rough and grainy
  • Hard or thick callused spots
  • Wart seeds, which are small clotted blood vessels that look like little black spots
  • Pain, discomfort, or tenderness of your feet when walking or standing

Treatment

  • Freezing
  • Electric tool removal
  • Laser Treatment
  • Topical Creams (prescription only)
  • Over-the-counter medications

To help prevent developing plantar warts, avoid walking barefoot over abrasive surfaces that can cause cuts or wounds for HPV to get into. Avoiding direct contact with other warts, as well as not picking or rubbing existing warts, can help prevent the further spread of plantar warts. However, if you think you have developed plantar warts, speak to your podiatrist. He or she can diagnose the warts on your feet and recommend the appropriate treatment options.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Bethlehem, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about All About Plantar Warts
Monday, 02 July 2018 00:00

Causes of Ingrown Toenails

Onychocryptosis is another name for a condition known as ingrown toenails. It’s a painful ailment that is typically the result of the toenail growing into the skin. There are several causes for ingrown toenails including a genetic trait in which the toenails are too large for the nail bed, frequent running, or improper trimming of the nails. Additionally, an abnormal growth pattern may develop as a result of a fungal infection that may damage the root of the nail. This condition is easily identified by noticing any pain, tenderness, or swelling around the affected nail, and research has shown that proper treatment should begin as soon as possible. It may be beneficial to soak the foot in warm soapy water followed by applying a bandage to the affected toe. It’s suggested to consult with a podiatrist who can properly trim or remove the affected nail if a permanent solution is needed.  

Ingrown toenails may initially present themselves as a minor discomfort, but they may progress into an infection in the skin without proper treatment. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact Dr. Edwin S. Hart of Pennsylvania. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails are caused when the corner or side of a toenail grows into the soft flesh surrounding it. They often result in redness, swelling, pain, and in some cases, infection. This condition typically affects the big toe and may recur if it is not treated properly.

Causes

  • Improper toenail trimming
  • Genetics
  • Improper shoe fitting
  • Injury from pedicures or nail picking
  • Abnormal gait
  • Poor hygiene

You are more likely to develop an ingrown toenail if you are obese, have diabetes, arthritis, or have any fungal infection in your nails. Additionally, people who have foot or toe deformities are at a higher risk of developing an ingrown toenail.

Symptoms

Some symptoms of ingrown toenails are redness, swelling, and pain. In rare cases, there may be a yellowish drainage coming from the nail.

Treatment

Ignoring an ingrown toenail can have serious complications. Infections of the nail border can progress to a deeper soft-tissue infection, which can then turn into a bone infection. You should always speak with your podiatrist if you suspect you have an ingrown toenail, especially if you have diabetes or poor circulation.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Bethlehem, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Many women often experience swollen feet and ankles during their pregnancy. This is commonly referred to as edema. Generally, the swelling is a result of the excess fluid in the body caused by the developing fetus and may become severe during the third trimester. There are several ways to reduce any swelling that may develop in the feet and ankles, including stretching the legs as often as possible, elevating the feet, and limiting standing for extended periods of time. Research has shown that it may be beneficial to lie on the left side while sleeping in addition to consuming plenty of fresh water, which may help to avoid dehydration. It's suggested to speak with a podiatrist who can answer any questions you may have regarding any severe swelling in your feet.

Pregnant women with swollen feet can be treated with a variety of different methods that are readily available. For more information about other cures for swollen feet during pregnancy, consult with Dr. Edwin S. Hart from Pennsylvania. Our doctor will attend to all of your foot and ankle needs.

What Foot Problems Can Arise During Pregnancy?

One problem that can occur is overpronation, which occurs when the arch of the foot flattens and tends to roll inward.  This can cause pain and discomfort in your heels while you’re walking or even just standing up, trying to support your baby.  

Another problem is edema, or swelling in the extremities. This often affects the feet during pregnancy but tends to occur in the later stages. 

How Can I Keep My Feet Healthy During Pregnancy?

  • Wearing orthotics can provide extra support for the feet and help distribute weight evenly
  • Minimize the amount of time spent walking barefoot
  • Wear shoes with good arch support
  • Wear shoes that allow for good circulation to the feet
  • Elevate feet if you experience swelling
  • Massage your feet
  • Get regular, light exercise, such as walking, to promote blood circulation to the feet

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Bethlehem, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Pregnancy and Foot Health
Monday, 18 June 2018 00:00

Causes of Toenail Fungus

Toenail fungus is a common ailment and may typically be noticed by the yellowing and thickening of the affected toenail. If left untreated, the nail may gradually turn black and may cause an unsightly appearance. There may be several reasons for this condition to occur, including sweaty feet caused by wearing shoes that do not allow enough air to circulate, or enduring specific health issues such as psoriasis or diabetes. The toenail fungus may cause an infection, and it’s suggested to consult with a podiatrist if the infection should become severe. A proper diagnosis can be performed, which may include testing a portion of the nail to determine the exact cause of the infection followed by discussing correct treatment options.

If left untreated, toenail fungus may spread to other toenails, skin, or even fingernails. If you suspect you have toenail fungus it is important to seek treatment right away. For more information about treatment, contact Dr. Edwin S. Hart of Pennsylvania. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Symptoms

  • Warped or oddly shaped nails
  • Yellowish nails
  • Loose/separated nail
  • Buildup of bits and pieces of nail fragments under the nail
  • Brittle, broken, thickened nail

Treatment

If self-care strategies and over-the-counter medications does not help your fungus, your podiatrist may give you a prescription drug instead. Even if you find relief from your toenail fungus symptoms, you may experience a repeat infection in the future.

Prevention

In order to prevent getting toenail fungus in the future, you should always make sure to wash your feet with soap and water. After washing, it is important to dry your feet thoroughly especially in between the toes. When trimming your toenails, be sure to trim straight across instead of in a rounded shape. It is crucial not to cover up discolored nails with nail polish because that will prevent your nail from being able to “breathe”.

In some cases, surgical procedure may be needed to remove the toenail fungus. Consult with your podiatrist about the best treatment options for your case of toenail fungus.  

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Bethlehem, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

 

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Monday, 11 June 2018 00:00

Basic Steps for Everyday Foot Care

It’s common for many people to overlook their feet until they begin to experience pain and discomfort. Research has shown it’s beneficial for the body to engage in daily foot care. There are certain foot conditions that may develop as a result of not paying attention to any symptoms that may develop. These may lead to serious foot ailments including cracked skin, fungal infections or ingrown toenails. One of the first steps that may be implemented in maintaining healthy feet is to make sure the shoes that are worn fit properly. The optimum time to try shoes on is later in the day, when the feet are at their largest. Additional ways of keeping the feet strong is to learn and practice stretching exercises designed specifically for the ankles and feet. This may aid in the muscles, tendons and ligaments becoming stronger which may alleviate general foot discomfort.

Everyday foot care is very important to prevent infection and other foot ailments. If you need your feet checked, contact Dr. Edwin S. Hart from Pennsylvania. 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 office located in Bethlehem, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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It is not uncommon for your baby’s feet to give off an unpleasant smell, and this is largely due to the socks they wear. The shoes and socks that infants wear often are not made of breathable material, which results in their feet becoming sweaty. Nevertheless, it would be unnecessary to put deodorant on your child’s feet. You should ensure that you are keeping your baby’s feet clean and dry; when you are inside, it is important to immediately take off your child’s shoes to air their feet out. Try to avoid giving your child socks that are not made from a natural material, since they will make his feet sweatier than usual.

The health of a child’s feet is vital to their overall well-being. If you have any questions regarding foot health, contact Dr. Edwin S. Hart of Pennsylvania. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Tips for Keeping Children's Feet Healthy

  • Make sure their shoes fit properly
  • Look for any signs of in-toeing or out-toeing
  • Check to see if they have Clubfoot (condition that affects your child’s foot and ankle, twisting the heel and toes inward) which is one of the most common nonmajor birth defects.
  • Lightly cover your baby’s feet (Tight covers may keep your baby from moving their feet freely, and could prevent normal development)
  • Allow your toddler to go shoeless (Shoes can be restricting for a young child’s foot)
  • Cut toenails straight across to avoid ingrown toenails
  • Keep your child’s foot clean and dry
  • Cover cuts and scrapes. Wash any scratches with soap and water and cover them with a bandage until they’ve healed.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Bethlehem, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about What to Do to Keep Your Child’s Feet Healthy

When proper foot stretches are performed, the body may become stronger, and may possibly alleviate certain aches and pains that may be present. An effective stretch that may strengthen the plantar fascia would be to interlace your fingers between your toes, and gently pull while rolling your ankle in small circles. Additionally, a stretch that simulates a massage involves using a tennis ball. When the foot is placed on top of the ball and gently rolled, the ligaments and tendons are stretched, encouraging the muscles of the foot to loosen. A popular foot stretch is known as flexing the foot. While sitting down, hold your foot in your hands and gently pull into an arch. The benefits of this effective stretch include improved strength in the toes in addition to possibly preventing any foot spasms from occurring. Please consult a podiatrist for additional information about the positive effects of proper foot stretching.

Stretching the feet is a great way to prevent injuries. If you have any concerns with your feet consult with Dr. Edwin S. Hart from Pennsylvania. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Stretching the Feet

Being the backbone of the body, the feet carry your entire weight and can easily become overexerted, causing cramps and pain. As with any body part, stretching your feet can serve many benefits. From increasing flexibility to even providing some pain relief, be sure to give your feet a stretch from time to time. This is especially important for athletes or anyone performing aerobic exercises, but anyone experiencing foot pain or is on their feet constantly should also engage in this practice.

Great ways to stretch your feet:

  • Crossing one leg over the others and carefully pull your toes back. Do 10-20 repetitions and repeat the process for each foot
  • Face a wall with your arms out and hands flat against the wall. Step back with one foot and keep it flat on the floor while moving the other leg forward. Lean towards the wall until you feel a stretch. Hold for 30 seconds and perform 10 repetitions for each foot
  • Be sure not to overextend or push your limbs too hard or you could risk pulling or straining your muscle

Individuals who tend to their feet by regular stretching every day should be able to minimize foot pain and prevent new problems from arising.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Bethlehem, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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A recent study conducted by Keele University has shown that gout is not related to foot fractures. This news contrasts with prior speculation that the two foot ailments were correlated. Gout is the most common form of inflammatory arthritis, and it is caused by a buildup of urate crystals in the joint. Some symptoms of gout include severe pain and swelling in the joints, and this pain is most commonly experienced in the big toe. Although the study suggests that gout itself is not related to foot fractures, there has been some evidence that suggests chronic inflammation may result in a foot fracture. Researchers at Keele University found that medications used to lower urate acid in those with gout didn't have an impact on one’s long-term risk of developing a fracture. If you have any questions regarding Gout or are experiencing any symptoms, a consultation with a podiatrist is suggested.   

Gout is a painful condition that can be treated. If you are seeking treatment, contact Dr. Edwin S. Hart from Pennsylvania. Our doctor 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 office located in Bethlehem, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Everything You Need to Know About Gout

There are typically several signs that can indicate cracked heels may be a growing concern. The skin will generally become rough, and it’s suggested to observe this condition and promptly administer an appropriate moisturizer or cream. Additional symptoms may include an itchy feeling in the feet, peeling skin, or the excretion of any type of liquid, such as blood, from the heels. There are reasons why many people experience cracked heels, including certain types of medical conditions, standing for extended periods at a time, or dry skin. Research has shown that the sooner cracked heels are treated, the sooner a more comfortable feeling will return to the feet. Utilizing a pumice stone to scrub away dry skin after soaking the feet in warm, soapy water may be an effective method to ease the roughness of cracked heels. The use of coconut oil or vegetable oil may aid in obtaining relief. If you are experiencing this condition, please consult your podiatrist for additional information.

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 Dr. Edwin S. Hart from Pennsylvania. Our doctor 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 office located in Bethlehem, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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