Monday, 18 January 2021 00:00

Understanding Athlete's Foot

Athlete's foot is a common fungal infection known to be contagious. Common symptoms patients can experience with this ailment can include red itchy skin between the toes and on the bottom of the feet.  The skin may also become dry and cracked. The fungus that causes athlete’s foot lives and thrives in warm moist environments that include public swimming pools, shower room floors, and surrounding areas. It is beneficial to wear appropriate shoes while in these areas, in addition to avoid sharing shoes, socks, and towels. There are several treatment options available, and it is strongly suggested that you consult with a podiatrist who can determine which one is most effective for you.

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

Read more about How to Deal with Athlete's Foot
Monday, 11 January 2021 00:00

How Can I Reduce Foot Sweat?

Excessively sweaty feet can be an unpleasant and annoying condition. There are various over-the-counter products available that can help reduce foot sweat. Antiperspirant products in the form of sprays, powders, and lotions can help keep the feet dry. Foot powders and sneaker liners can absorb excess sweat while you go about your day. Your footwear is also an important factor to consider. Wearing shoes made of breathable materials and moisture-wicking socks may help reduce your foot sweat as well. If over-the-counter treatments are not effective in managing your foot sweat, you may have plantar hyperhidrosis, a medical condition that causes the feet to sweat excessively. A podiatrist can diagnose plantar hyperhidrosis and recommend that best course of treatment for you.

If you are suffering from hyperhidrosis contact Dr. Edwin S. Hart of Pennsylvania. 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 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, 04 January 2021 00:00

Recovering From an Ankle Sprain

An ankle sprain is a common injury that occurs when one of the ligaments in the ankle becomes overstretched or tears. While recovering from an ankle sprain, it is important to protect the ankle by allowing it time to rest. As the ankle heals, you can reintroduce gentle physical activities like simple stretches to improve range of motion. Icing, compressing, and elevating the injured ankle can also help it heal by reducing inflammation and swelling. If you have a sprained ankle, it is suggested that you see a podiatrist for treatment.

Although ankle sprains are common, they aren’t always minor injuries. If you need your ankle injury looked at, contact Dr. Edwin S. Hart from Pennsylvania. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

How Does an Ankle Sprain Occur?

Ankle sprains are the result of a tear in the ligaments within the ankle. These injuries may happen when you make a rapid shifting movement while your foot is planted. A less common way to sprain your ankle is when your ankle rolls inward while your foot turns outward.

What Are the Symptoms?

  • Pain at the sight of the tear
  • Bruising/Swelling
  • Ankle area is tender to touch
  • In severe cases, may hear/feel something tear
  • Skin discoloration

Preventing a Sprain

  • Wearing appropriate shoes for the occasion
  • Stretching before exercises and sports
  • Knowing your limits

Treatment of a Sprain

In many cases, the RICE method (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevate) is used to treat ankle sprains. However, you should see a podiatrist to see which treatment option would work best with your injury. In severe cases, surgery may be required.

It is important to ask your doctor about rehab options after you receive treatment for your injury. Stretching, strength training, and balance exercises may help the ankle heal while also preventing further injury.

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, 28 December 2020 00:00

How to Keep Your Feet Healthy

The feet are a complex part of the body that contains 25% of our bones. Because the average 50-year-old has walked 75,000 miles, it is important to keep the feet strong and healthy to prevent pain and diseases from impacting them. Common skin-related issues on the feet include fungal nail infections, corns, calluses, warts, ingrown toenails and athlete’s foot. Common muscle, tendon and joint problems include hammertoe, heel spurs, plantar fasciitis, bunions and arthritis. In order to prevent these issues, proper foot care is important. Regularly washing the feet, wearing clean socks, and making sure your feet are dry are key steps to helping prevent skin-related issues. Wearing comfortable shoes that fit correctly, stretching and massaging the feet, and moving around after sitting for long periods of time are also important in reducing the risk of foot problems. The biggest key to foot health, however, is knowing when to see a podiatrist. If your foot pain is inhibiting your ability to walk and function, or you are diabetic and notice new issues with your feet, it is important to seek the care of a podiatrist.

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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Tuesday, 22 December 2020 00:00

Gout Pain Can Be Managed

Gout is a painful, inflammatory form of arthritis. Those affected will typically feel an intense stiffness in the joints of their feet, particularly in the big toe. Schedule a visit to learn about how gout can be managed and treated.

Implementing methods that can help to prevent running injuries is crucial to thoroughly enjoying the sport of running or jogging. Good habits can consist of warming up and cooling down before and after running, and it is beneficial to wear shoes that fit correctly. Additionally, it helps to gradually increase speed and mileage, as this can build endurance over time. Professional runners state it is best to increase the miles that are run by 10 percent or less per week. If you would like more information about foot conditions that can occur from running, running injuries, and how to prevent them, please consult with a podiatrist.

All runners should take extra precaution when trying to avoid injury. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact Dr. Edwin S. Hart of Pennsylvania. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

How to Prevent Running Injuries

There are a lot of mistakes a runner can make prior to a workout that can induce injury. A lot of athletes tend to overstretch before running, instead of saving those workouts for a post-run routine. Deep lunges and hand-to-toe hamstring pulls should be performed after a workout instead of during a warmup. Another common mistake is jumping into an intense routine before your body is physically prepared for it. You should try to ease your way into long-distance running instead of forcing yourself to rush into it.

More Tips for Preventing Injury

  • Incorporate Strength Training into Workouts - This will help improve the body’s overall athleticism
  • Improve and Maintain Your Flexibility – Stretching everyday will help improve overall performance
  • “Warm Up” Before Running and “Cool Down” Afterward – A warm up of 5-10 minutes helps get rid of lactic acid in the muscles and prevents delayed muscle soreness
  • Cross-Training is Crucial
  • Wear Proper Running Shoes
  • Have a Formal Gait Analysis – Poor biomechanics can easily cause injury

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 Preventing Running Injuries

Even though blisters on the feet are the body’s natural reaction to healing damaged skin, they can still cause pain and discomfort. They are defined as a small bubble of protective liquid that forms over the raw skin as the healing process occurs. The blister may remain there for several days, but will gradually drain once new skin has formed. Common reasons why patients develop blisters can include wearing shoes that do not fit correctly, or from medical conditions consisting of eczema, or psoriasis. It is beneficial to wear a covering over the blister as daily activities are completed and this can help prevent the blister from popping prematurely. If you have blisters on your feet please confer with a podiatrist who can offer correct treatment and preventative methods.

Blisters may appear as a single bubble or in a cluster. They can cause a lot of pain and may be filled with pus, blood, or watery serum. If your feet are hurting, contact Dr. Edwin S. Hart of Pennsylvania. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Foot Blisters

Foot blisters are often the result of friction. This happens due to the constant rubbing from shoes, which can 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.

Symptoms

(Blister symptoms may vary depending on what is causing them)

  • Bubble of skin filled with fluid
  • Redness
  • Moderate to severe pain
  • Itching

Prevention & Treatment

In order to prevent blisters, you should be sure to wear comfortable shoes with socks that cushion your feet and absorb sweat. Breaking a blister open may increase your chances of developing an infection. However, if your blister breaks, you should wash the area with soap and water immediately and then apply a bandage to the affected area. If your blisters cause severe pain it is important that you call your podiatrist right away.

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 Blisters on the Feet

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a condition that causes poor circulation in the lower limbs due to blockages in the blood vessels that supply blood to this area. There are a variety of diagnostic tests that a doctor may use to diagnose you with PAD. Most of these tests are quick, painless, and noninvasive. The ankle-brachial index is a screening for PAD in which the doctor takes your blood pressure at your arm and at your ankle and then compares the two numbers to determine how well blood is flowing in your lower limbs. The Doppler ultrasound is an imaging test that visualizes the blood flow in the major arteries and veins and can determine where there may be a blockage. A treadmill test, in which you are asked to walk on a treadmill, can show the severity of your PAD symptoms and the level of activity that brings them on. To be tested for PAD, or to learn more about this condition, talk to a podiatrist today.

Vascular testing plays an important part in diagnosing disease like peripheral artery disease. If you have symptoms of peripheral artery disease, or diabetes, consult with Dr. Edwin S. Hart from Pennsylvania. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

What Is Vascular Testing?

Vascular testing checks for how well blood circulation is in the veins and arteries. This is most often done to determine and treat a patient for peripheral artery disease (PAD), stroke, and aneurysms. Podiatrists utilize vascular testing when a patient has symptoms of PAD or if they believe they might. If a patient has diabetes, a podiatrist may determine a vascular test to be prudent to check for poor blood circulation.

How Is it Conducted?

Most forms of vascular testing are non-invasive. Podiatrists will first conduct a visual inspection for any wounds, discoloration, and any abnormal signs prior to a vascular test.

 The most common tests include:

  • Ankle-Brachial Index (ABI) examination
  • Doppler examination
  • Pedal pulses

These tests are safe, painless, and easy to do. Once finished, the podiatrist can then provide a diagnosis and the best course for treatment.

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 Vascular Testing in Podiatry

People with diabetes are prone to developing diabetic foot ulcers, sores on the feet that can heal very slowly or may never heal at all. About 5% of people with diabetes develop chronic foot ulcers, which can cause complications such as infection and amputation. Preventing diabetic foot ulcers is of the utmost importance. If you have diabetes, it is necessary to know how to manage your condition. You should be aware of the medications that you take and their dosages, eat a balanced diet, take any prescribed supplements, see your doctor regularly, and monitor your foot health. A podiatrist can teach you how to perform daily foot checks to identify any cuts, scrapes, sores, or wounds on your feet early. The earlier these things are detected, the better they respond to treatment. A podiatrist can also teach you how to care for foot wounds at home. For more information about diabetic foot wounds, please speak with a podiatrist. 

Wound care is an important part in dealing with diabetes. If you have diabetes and a foot wound or would like more information about wound care for diabetics, consult with Dr. Edwin S. Hart from Pennsylvania. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

What Is Wound Care?

Wound care is the practice of taking proper care of a wound. This can range from the smallest to the largest of wounds. While everyone can benefit from proper wound care, it is much more important for diabetics. Diabetics often suffer from poor blood circulation which causes wounds to heal much slower than they would in a non-diabetic. 

What Is the Importance of Wound Care?

While it may not seem apparent with small ulcers on the foot, for diabetics, any size ulcer can become infected. Diabetics often also suffer from neuropathy, or nerve loss. This means they might not even feel when they have an ulcer on their foot. If the wound becomes severely infected, amputation may be necessary. Therefore, it is of the upmost importance to properly care for any and all foot wounds.

How to Care for Wounds

The best way to care for foot wounds is to prevent them. For diabetics, this means daily inspections of the feet for any signs of abnormalities or ulcers. It is also recommended to see a podiatrist several times a year for a foot inspection. If you do have an ulcer, run the wound under water to clear dirt from the wound; then apply antibiotic ointment to the wound and cover with a bandage. Bandages should be changed daily and keeping pressure off the wound is smart. It is advised to see a podiatrist, who can keep an eye on it.

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 Wound Care

The most common side effects from standing for the majority of the work day can be swollen feet and tight calves. It is helpful to wear shoes and socks that fit correctly, as this may help to alleviate potential foot conditions.There are specific stretches that can be performed which may help to strengthen the legs. One effective stretch is referred to as Standing Half Moon, which is a simple yoga pose to perform. This is practiced by raising your arms above your head while standing normally, and slowly bending to one side. You can switch sides after a gentle stretch is felt in the calf muscles. The back and legs can be stretched by folding forward. Simply bend forward while your arms are hanging in front of you, and the stretch can be felt throughout the body. If you would like additional information about effective stretches that can protect your body while working on your feet, please consult with a podiatrist.

While working on the feet, it is important to take the proper care of them. For more information about working on your feet, contact Dr. Edwin S. Hart from Pennsylvania. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Working on Your Feet

Standing on your feet for long periods of time can cause stress and pain in your feet. Your whole body may experience change in terms of posture, back pain, bunions, callouses and or plantar warts. There are ways to avoid these conditions with proper foot care, smart choices and correct posture.

Positive Changes

Negative heeled shoe – Choosing this shoe type places the heel slightly lower than the ball of the foot. These are great for overall foot health. Find shoes that fit you correctly.

Go barefoot – Our feet were not designed to be enclosed for all hours of the day. Try to periodically expose your feet to air.

Eliminate Pain

Foot Exercises – Performing simple exercises, incorporating yoga and doing stretches are beneficial. This will allow increased blood flow to the area and muscles of the foot.

Achilles tendon – Stretching the foot out flat on the floor will relax the calf muscles and tendon. These exercises can be performed almost anywhere. Make sure you add these exercises to your daily regimen. 

With a little bit of this information and knowing more about foot health, you will notice changes. Foot stretches and proper footwear will help with pain and prevent further issues.

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 How to Handle a Long Work Day on Your Feet
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