Items filtered by date: June 2016

Thursday, 30 June 2016 10:50

Causes of Heel Pain

What Could Be Causing Your Heel Pain?

Do you ever find yourself walking on your toes because it’s too painful to plant your heel? Has your heel been sore for a while, but you just aren’t sure what’s causing the pain? Here’s a quick look at some of the causes of heel pain, why they occur, and how to treat them.

The Most Common Causes of Heel Pain

The most common causes of heel pain are Achilles tendinitis (back of the heel) and plantar fasciitis (bottom of the heel).

  • Achilles tendinitis is an injury caused by the overuse of the Achilles tendon (the band of tissue that connects the calf muscle at the back of the lower leg to your heel bone). Achilles tendinitis is caused by repetitive or intense strain on the Achilles tendon; but the structure of the Achilles tendon also weakens with age, making it more susceptible to injury.
    Symptoms: The associated pain usually begins as a mild ache in the back of the leg or above the heel after running or other sports activities. More severe pain may occur after prolonged running, stair climbing, or sprinting.
    Treatment: Achilles tendinitis usually responds well to self-care measures. However, if your symptoms are severe or persistent, your doctor may suggest other treatment options, such as: over-the-counter pain medications, physical therapy exercises, orthotic devices, or surgery.
  • Plantar fasciitis commonly causes a stabbing pain that usually occurs with your very first steps in the morning. The pain usually decreases once your foot limbers up, but may return after long periods of standing or sitting. Plantar fasciitis is common in runners, people who are overweight, and those who wear unsupportive shoes.
    Symptoms: Pain and inflammation of the thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot, connecting your heel bone to your toes.
    Treatment: Most people can recover with conservative treatments after a few months. In some cases, your doctor may recommend other treatments, such as: pain medications, physical therapy, night splints, orthotics, steroid shots, stem cell injections, or surgery.

Other Causes of Heel Pain

Some less common causes of heel pain include:

  • Bursitis is a painful condition that occurs when the bursae (small fluid-filled sacs that cushion the bones, tendons, and muscles near joints) are inflamed.
    Symptoms: When the affected joint feels achy or stiff, hurts more when you move it or press on it, or looks swollen and red.
     Involves conservative measures (rest, ice, and pain relievers). Other treatment options include: medication, therapy, injections, assistive devices, and surgery.
  • Osteomyelitis is a bone infection that usually affects the feet of people who have diabetes.
    Symptoms: Fever or chills; irritability or lethargy (in young children); pain in the infected area; and swelling, warmth, and redness over the infected area.
     The most common treatment is surgery, followed by antibiotics. Depending on the severity of the infection, surgery may include: draining of the infected area, removing diseased bone and tissue, restoring blood flow to the bone, removing any foreign objects, or amputating the limb.
  • Peripheral neuropathy is the result of damage to your peripheral nerves that can often cause weakness, numbness, and pain. It can be caused by traumatic injuries, injections, metabolic problems, inherited causes, and exposure to toxins.
    Symptoms: Numbness, prickling, or tingling; sharp, jabbing, throbbing, freezing, or burning pain; extreme sensitivity to touch; lack of coordination and falling; and muscle weakness or paralysis.
     Medications (pain relievers, anti-seizure medications, topical treatments, and antidepressants), therapies (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, plasma exchange and intravenous immune globulin, physical therapy, and surgery), or alternative medicine (acupuncture, alpha-lipoic acid, herbs, and amino acids).
  • Reactive arthritis is joint pain and swelling triggered by an infection in another part of your body (usually the intestines, genitals, or urinary tract).
    Symptoms: Pain, stiffness, eye inflammation, urinary problems, and swollen toes or fingers.
     Physical therapy or medications, such as: nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, corticosteroids, or rheumatoid arthritis drugs.
  • Stress fractures are tiny cracks in a bone that are caused by the repetitive application of force (jumping up and down or running long distances).
    Symptoms: Mild or severe pain that worsens over time, and swelling.
    Treatment: Reduce bone’s weight-bearing load until the fractures are healed. You may need to wear a walking boot, brace, or use crutches. Surgery may be required, although that is not common.

Contact Your Doctor

The first step to knowing what is causing your heel pain is to consult with an experienced doctor, so that you can get a proper diagnosis. Be sure to consult with Dr. Vikki and Dr/ Connie today. With years of collective experience in their fields, they will be able to help you get to the bottom of your foot pain.

Thursday, 23 June 2016 10:46

Dealing With Bunions

What’s the Best Way of Dealing with Bunions?

Are you prone to bunions? Maybe they develop because of the shoes you wear or maybe you’re unlucky and they run in your family. Either way, bunions aren’t something that you have to live with forever.

But before you try some drastic home remedy, here’s a quick look at bunions and how to deal with them.

What are Bunions?

The most common type of bunion is an enlargement of the inner portion of the joint at the base of the big toe. This enlargement means that your big toe’s joint is misaligned or that you have an additional bone formation. The misalignment of the big toe causes it to point outward and rotate toward the smaller toes.

A less common type of bunion is located at the joint at the bottom of the pinky toe. This type of bunion is also known as a tailor’s bunion or a bunionette.

Bunions tend to affect a greater amount of women than men. This is most likely a result of the fact that women tend to wear tighter-fitting shoes, which can increase the risk of bunion formation. It has been reported that bunions are more prevalent in people who wear closed shoes than in barefoot people.

Bunions are a progressive deformity and will increase with time, if not properly managed, although the symptoms may or may not get worse.

Causes and Symptoms

Bunions tend to develop when the pressures of bearing and shifting your weight fall unevenly on the joints and tendons in your feet. This shift in pressure causes the big toe’s joint to be unstable, eventually causing the parts of the joint to mold into a hard knob that juts out.

Some of the causes of bunions include:

  • Wearing tight shoes and/or high heels
  • Inherited (genetic) factors
  • Trauma (sprains, fractures, and nerve injuries)
  • Neuromuscular disorders (polio or Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease)
  • One leg is shorter than the other
  • Congenital deformities

While not all bunions cause symptoms, some of the symptoms that bunions can produce are:

  • A bulging bump at the base of your big (or little) toe
  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Soreness
  • Thickening of skin at the base of your toe
  • Corns or calluses
  • Persistent or intermittent pain
  • Restricted toe movement

Treatment Options

There are many ways that you can help alleviate the pain of having bunions, all of which can be placed into two categories: conservative treatment and surgical options.

Conservative treatment for your bunions includes:

  • Changing shoes
  • Padding and taping your foot into a normal position
  • Medications (acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or naproxen)
  • Shoe inserts
  • Maintaining a normal weight through a healthy diet
  • Protect the bunion with a moleskin or gel-filled pad
  • Wear a splint at night to hold the toe straight
  • Use warm soaks, ice packs, whirlpool, ultrasound, and massage

Surgical options include:

  • Removing the bump
  • Removing part of the bone to straighten your toe
  • Realigning the long bone that connects the back of your foot to your big toe
  • Permanently joining the bones of your affected joint

Prevention Care

If a diagnosis of your bunion is made early on, it is possible for the bunion’s development to be slowed and, in some cases, stopped with the proper supportive gear. Avoidance of athletic activities with improper shoe fit and toe pressure can also help prevent bunion symptoms to occur.

Some simple ways to help prevent bunions are:

  • Wear shoes that don’t cramp or irritate your toes
  • Choose shoes with a wide toe (space between the tip of your longest toe and the end of your shoe)
  • Your shoes should conform to the shape of your feet without any squeezing or pressing on any part of your foot
  • Avoid pointy-toed shoes
  • Avoid shoes with heels higher than 2 ¼ inches

Schedule a Consultation

Before trying any conservative methods, it is important that you get a proper diagnosis from your podiatrist to determine what your best options are for dealing with your bunions. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Vikki and Dr. Connie, so that they can help you deal with your bunions properly. With years of collective experience in her field, Dr. Vikki and Dr. Connie are your go-to team in helping you make the right decision about how to get rid of your bunion pain.

Tuesday, 21 June 2016 10:45

Dealing With Foot Warts

How to Deal with Foot Warts

Do you have a wart or warts on your feet, but you don’t know how to get rid of them? You may be surprised to learn that, in most cases, you should be able to treat those pesky warts by yourself. Here’s a quick look at the different types of warts and how you can treat them.

Types of Foot Warts

Warts can occur in a variety of shapes and sizes, appearing either as a bump with a rough surface or as flat and smooth. Some of the different types of warts include:

  • Common warts—usually appear by themselves or in groups. They are usually rough, gray-brown, dome-shaped growths. They may also exhibit a cauliflower-like appearance.
  • Plantar warts—can develop on any part of the foot. Walking can become painful, and the pressure from walking or standing can push the plantar warts beneath the surface, causing a layer of tough skin similar to a callus to develop over it. Sometimes dark specks are visible beneath the wart’s surface. Multiple plantar warts can form in a large, flat cluster known as a mosaic wart.
  • Flat warts—these warts are usually smaller than the eraser end of a pencil, with many occurring in one area. They have flat tops and can be light pink, light brown, or light yellow. Flat warts are often spread by shaving.
  • Periungual warts—are rough, irregular bumps found under and around toenails and fingernails.

Home Remedies

Home treatment is often the first treatment for warts, usually proving to be less painful than surgical treatment. Some home remedies include:

  • Salicylic acid—this treatment is the most desirable wart treatment because of its effectiveness and safety. It usually takes two to three months.
  • Tape occlusion—use duct tape to cover the wart for a period of time. This treatment takes one to two months.
  • Over-the-counter cryotherapy—home cryotherapy kits that you can buy without a prescription to freeze away the warts. These kits may be safe for warts on the hands or feet. It is important that you make sure to follow the instructions carefully.

Home treatment for plantar warts differs from treating other types of warts. You can reduce the pain caused by plantar warts by:

  • Wearing comfortable shoes and socks
  • Avoiding high heels
  • Padding the wart with a doughnut-shaped felt or moleskin patch
  • Using non-prescription medications (aspirin, ibuprofen, or acetaminophen)

Other Treatment Options

If you find that home remedies aren’t doing the trick with getting rid of your warts, then you should consult with your doctor about cryotherapy.

Cryotherapy is a standard treatment for warts that can be done in a doctor’s office in less than a minute. Cryotherapy involves freezing a wart using a very cold substance (liquid nitrogen), which is usually applied using a probe or a cotton swab. You may have to undergo cryotherapy one to four times, with one to three weeks between each treatment, before your warts go away.

Pain from cryotherapy can last up to three days, although healing is generally quick (seven to 14 days) with little to no scarring. There is also a small chance of infection occurring from cryotherapy.

Wart Prevention

The main way to prevent warts is to avoid contact with HPV (the human papillomavirus). Tips for avoiding HPV include:

  • Avoid touching warts on yourself or on others
  • Don’t share razors, towels, socks, or shoes with other people
  • Avoid walking barefoot on warm, moist surfaces (public showers, locker rooms, or pool areas)
  • Keep your feet dry
  • Avoid irritating the soles of your feet

Tips on preventing warts from spreading include:

  • Keep warts covered with a bandage or athletic tape
  • Don’t bite your nails or cuticles

Consult with Your Doctor

It is not odd for people to confuse warts with other skin conditions, such as skin tags or moles, and it is important to make sure that you have a correct diagnosis before you start home treatments. Book a consultation with Dr. Vikki and Dr. Connie so that they can help you get the right diagnosis and the best treatment plan for your foot warts.

Saturday, 18 June 2016 10:48

Common Foot Problems

Common Foot Problems that May be Ailing You

Do you feel like there’s something wrong with your foot? It’s sore or itchy, but you just can’t seem to figure out what the problem is. Then it may be time for you to seek counsel from your podiatrist.

But before you book a consultation, here are some of the most common foot problems and what you need to know about them.

Plantar Warts

Plantar warts are hard, grainy growths that tend to appear on the heels or balls of your feet (where you put the most pressure). In some cases, the pressure you apply can cause the plantar warts to grow inward beneath a hard, thick layer of skin.

Plantar warts are caused by an HPV (human papillomavirus) in the outer layer of skin. HPV strains that cause plantar warts aren’t highly contagious, and aren’t easily transmitted from direct contact with another person. They do, however, thrive in warm, moist areas, such as around swimming pools and locker rooms.

Most plantar warts go away on their own, although it might take a year or two. If you find that over-the-counter medications or home remedies aren’t helping get rid of your plantar warts, then you may want to ask your doctor about:

  • Stronger peeling medicine (salicylic acid)
  • Freezing medicine (cryotherapy)
  • Other acids
  • Immune therapy
  • Minor surgery
  • Laser treatment
  • Vaccine

Ingrown Toenails

An ingrown toenail refers to a toenail that pierces the flesh of the toe, causing pain, inflammation, or infection. In more severe cases, it can also cause pus and bleeding. Most commonly, ingrown toenails affect the big toe.

There are many things that can cause a toenail to be ingrown, including:

  • Your posture
  • Your gait
  • Foot deformities (bunions, hammer toe, or excessive pronation of the feet)
  • Your toenails natural tendency to curl
  • Tight footwear, hosiery, or socks
  • Not cutting your toenails properly

To prevent ingrown toenails, you must first learn to cut your toenails properly. Cut your nails straight across and don’t cut too low at the edge (the corner of the nail should show above the skin). Cutting your nails after a bath or shower when the nail in much softer can also help. Good hygiene can go a long way in preventing ingrown toenails.

Corns and Calluses

Corns and calluses form when excessive pressure on certain areas of the foot causes skin to thicken as a protective response to the friction of skin rubbing against a bone, shoe, or the ground.

Callus (callosity) is an extended area of thickened skin on the soles of the feet. Calluses are usually caused by an underlying problem (i.e. bone deformity), a particular style of walking, or inappropriate footwear.

Corns are caused by pressure or friction over bony areas, such as joints, and they have a central core that can cause pain if it presses on a nerve. There are five different types of corns: hard corns, soft corns, seed corns, vascular corns, and fibrous corns.

You can treat corns and calluses by occasionally gently rubbing a pumice stone over the tough skin when you’re in the bath. Also, applying moisture cream can help remove the thickened skin a little at a time. However, if you wish to have your corns cut, then you should see a podiatrist.

Athlete’s Foot

Athlete’s foot is a skin fungal infection that can lead to intense itching; cracked, blistered, or peeling areas of skin; redness; and scaling. Large painful fissures can also develop and the condition can spread along all five toes and to the soles of the feet, if left untreated.

Athlete’s foot can be caused by a number of fungal species, which you can pick up from someone else shedding affected skin (usually in places such as pools, showers, and locker rooms) or when you walk around barefoot. Athlete’s foot can also be passed through direct contact with someone who has the infection.

The best way to prevent Athlete’s foot is to make sure your feet are completely dry after washing them, before you put on socks and shoes. It can also help if you rotate between pairs of shoes, since damp shoes can take 24-48 hours to dry.

Book an Appointment

If you are unsure of what problem is ailing your foot, you should book an appointment with a knowledgeable podiatrist. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Vikki and Dr. Connie, so that they can diagnosis your foot ailment and help you get on the right track to having happier, healthier feet.

Thursday, 16 June 2016 10:44

Running on Pavement

Running on Pavement: How Bad Is It For Your Feet?

Any avid runner has weighed in on the debate: which surface is best for running? The science aside, you probably have a personal preference, or are even limited by your immediate surroundings. For many of us, convenience is the deciding factor—and that means running on the ubiquitous pavement of city and suburbia.

While running on pavement poses its unique dangers, you can avoid injury with the right steps and the care of a trusted podiatrist.

The Impact of Running on Pavement

The mechanics of running are complex, with the incidence of injury the result of various factors other than the hardness of the surface you run on. While the jury is still out on whether running on hard surfaces is definitively bad for your feet, it does pose its unique dangers. The two main factors behind the arguments against running on pavement are the negative effects associated with impact and repetition.

Impact: Running is one of the roughest activities our feet can endure. The feet bear up to two to four times your normal body weight while running, repeated up to thousands of times over the duration of your trek. The feet play an integral part in the two essential steps of running: landing and push-off. When running on a hard surface like concrete or asphalt, the ground does not absorb any of the shock of impact upon landing. The weight of impact is then borne fully by the feet, sending vibrations up the leg when landing. When repeated continuously, this process can result in increased injury to the legs and feet.

While running on any pavement is not considered ideal, keep in mind that concrete is considered far worse than asphalt.

Repetition: Citing the aforementioned effects of impact on the feet, repetitive impact causes constant stress to the same muscles and bones in the body, leading to specific injuries. While asphalt would appear to be easier on the body due to its continuous nature, the continuity actually forces the body to endure repetitive trauma to certain muscles. The body is designed to adapt to its surroundings, not bear monotonous stress. Training across various terrains will even out the impact endured while running, lessening the likelihood of injury from repeated trauma.

However, this does not necessarily make running on grass or soil the superior alternative. Softer surfaces like nature trails tend to be more irregular, which is their dual benefit and risk. On one hand, you avoid repetitive impact and injury to the same muscles and bones, which you would suffer on a continuous surface like asphalt. On the other hand, uneven surfaces could present unforeseen obstacles such as pits and dips, resulting in sprains or even broken bones. The best recommendation is to switch up the terrain, to avoid constant impact and injury to certain parts of the body.

Training Tips for City Runners

Regardless of what surface you run on, running injuries are more a function of poor preparation than surface rigidity. A serious runner will know what to expect, and take preventative measures to avoid injury by becoming properly equipped. The first step in this is gaining intimate knowledge of your foot’s unique physiology and its needs, and that starts with consulting a certified podiatrist. Only a trained podiatrist can understand the support demanded by your unique foot anatomy and running patterns, and will advise you on what orthotics and shoes you require to avoid undue foot trauma. Common foot injuries suffered by runners include: plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, stress fractures, and Achilles tendonitis.

Before starting any running regimen, follow these steps:

  • Consult your podiatrist. No two feet are the same – not even your feet. Only your podiatrist can identify physical conditions such as fallen arches, or recognize irregularities in your movement patterns such as overpronation. Both require special medical attention to avoid injury when running. In addition to this, no two feet are completely identical, with one possibly requiring extra attention. Consult your podiatrist to determine if you require custom orthotics, supportive inserts, or a specific type of shoe to reduce trauma when running.
  • Wear the right shoes. The right equipment is essential to peak performance, and this is especially the case with running. Depending on your running form, you will likely require maximum cushioning and support to reduce the shock of impact, and a flexible sole designed to allow full range of motion. Further specialization is required if your feet overpronate, or if you have wide or narrow feet. Be sure to get shoes designed for the terrain you typically train on, whether it be nature trails or city streets. While running shoes can be extremely expensive, consider it an investment in your foot health.
  • Change the terrain. Again, repetitive impact to the same muscle groups can lead to injury. Switching between softer and harder surfaces will allow your body to adapt to different conditions, and provide more comprehensive training to all muscle groups.

Schedule a Consultation with Dr. Vikki and Dr. Connie

To keep your feet in prime shape, schedule a consultation with esteemed podiatrists Dr. Vikki and Dr. Connie today. For all of your podiatric needs, contact the caring specialists at the Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center.

Tuesday, 14 June 2016 10:43

Athlete’s Foot

What is Athlete’s Foot?

Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection caused by the tinea fungus, and is usually found between the toes. Its medical name is tinea pedis– ringworm of the feet. It most commonly affects those who are highly active, and thus prone to having sweaty feet confined within tight shoes often and for extended periods of time.

Athlete’s foot is not only embarrassing, but highly contagious. The infection can spread via contaminated surfaces such as floors and laundry. If not careful, the infection can also spread to other parts of the body, such as the hands, nails, and groin.

Learn more about the symptoms of athlete’s foot, and how to prevent an infection of your own.

Athlete’s Foot Symptoms

The visual indication of an athlete’s foot infection is a red rash between the toes that is scaly in appearance, with some occurrences even presenting blisters or ulcers. This rash causes the sensations of itching, stinging, and burning. The itching is usually most intense immediately after removing the socks and shoes.

You may also experience dry, cracked, raw, or peeling skin between the toes and on the soles of the feet. Thick, discolored toenails detached from the nail bed are another indication of an infection.

Some strains of the tinea pedis fungus can cause chronic dryness and chafing on the soles and sides of the feet. This can often be mistaken for other skin conditions such as eczema. The infection can spread to other parts of the body, such as your hands, if you pick at the infected sites.

Causes & Risk Factors

Athlete’s foot is closely related to ringworm and jock itch, and is actually caused by the same fungal infection. The tinea pedis fungus thrives in warm, damp environments, making sweaty socks the perfect incubator for its growth. It is most commonly found in moist public spaces, such as communal locker rooms, public showers, gyms, and swimming pools. Walking anywhere barefoot is highly discouraged.

Certain environmental factors put you at higher risk of contracting an athlete’s foot infection. For one, males are more likely to develop the infection. If you are highly active, meaning that you wear sweaty socks for extended periods of time, then you are at higher risk. Since the fungus is highly contagious, being exposed to an environment such as a communal gym or shower with an infected individual makes you extremely likely to catch the infection. Moreover, if you share a home with someone who is infected, you may catch the infection through contaminated floors, shared bedding, shared towels, etc. For this reason, those who tend to walk barefoot in public spaces are at a higher risk. This includes those with compromised immune systems, such as those with diabetes.

Athlete’s Foot Diagnosis

An experienced podiatrist can often diagnose an athlete’s foot infection through visual confirmation. However, he or she may also take skin samples to view under a microscope or send to a lab for testing for a definitive diagnosis.

Common tests include:

Athlete’s Foot Treatment

Athlete’s foot is similar to other common fungal infections, and mild cases can be treated with over-the-counter antifungal medications such as creams and ointments. Over-the-counter antifungal medications include: Lamisil AT and Lotrimin AF.More serious cases may require prescription medication to be applied topically to the feet. For the most severe cases, your doctor may prescribe oral antifungal pills to flush out the infection. Common oral antifungal prescriptions include: Sporanox, Diflucan, Gris-Peg or Lamisil.

At home, you may soak your feet in salt water to help remedy the blistering. Tea tree oil is also a common natural remedy used with some limited success. Of course, only a doctor’s visit can be trusted to completely eliminate the infection.


The most effective treatment for any infection is prevention.

  • Avoid walking barefoot in any public space, especially ones that are humid and moist such as a locker room.
  • If you know that a family member has contracted the infection, do not walk barefoot on any communal floors, and refrain from sharing linens such as bedding and towels. Even try to use different showers until the infection clears, if possible.
  • Wash your feet thoroughly with antibacterial soap, and dry them fully.
  • Apply antifungal powders daily, if necessary.
  • Wear socks with breathable fibers such as cotton or wool, or specially designed moisture-wicking features.
  • Change your socks as often as possible, and alternate between different pairs of shoes to allow them to dry out between uses.
  • If the infection seems unavoidable due to a highly active lifestyle, seek treatment at the first signs of infection to avoid it from spreading to the hands, nails, or groin.
  • Seek medical attention immediately if you have diabetes or compromised immune health.

Potential Complications

The fungal infection can potentially spread to your hand, your nails, and your groin (jock itch).

You may also develop an allergic reaction to the fungus, resulting in blistering on the affected area. Moreover, an additional bacterial infection may develop. A bacterial infection may also be present if your foot becomes painful and swollen, or if it develops pus and drainage. Seek medical attention if you develop a fever to prevent the infection from spreading throughout the body.

Consult Esteemed Podiatrist Dr. Vikki

If you suspect that you may have an athlete’s foot infection, schedule a consultation with podiatrist Dr. Vikki today. Dr. Vikki is a diplomat of the Board of Podiatric Surgery, and the trusted podiatrist of the Special Olympics. Just look to her well-earned reputation for excellence in patient care. For all of your podiatric questions and concerns, contact the specialists at the Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center.

Thursday, 09 June 2016 10:42

What is Cellulitis

Understanding Cellulitis

Cellulitis is a very common form of bacterial infection which can cause redness, swelling, and a warm sensation under the skin. It appears on the lower legs, although it can also appear on other areas of the body and face as well.

If left untreated, Cellulitis can quickly turn from an infection to an abscess, or even a much more serious illness called Necrotizing-Fasciitis, or Flesh Eating Disease.

In 2013, roughly 37 million cases of Cellulitis were reported worldwide, with an estimated 30,000 deaths resulting from complications related to this infection.

Causes of Cellulitis

Cellulitis usually occurs when streptococcus or staphylococcus bacteria enter the body through an abrasion or cut. Those at particular risk are the elderly and those with pre-existing immune-deficiency conditions such as diabetes.

Owing to the decreased blood flow inherent with diabetes and other immune deficiencies, the bacteria, upon entering the body, are able to reproduce much quicker, making the condition much more aggressive.

However, it’s not just diabetes and immune-deficiencies which can lead to Cellulitis. There are many pre-existing conditions which can lead to cellulitis. Some common conditions are spider bites, eczema, Athlete’s Foot and open wounds from tattoos.
Others are more specific to children and the elderly.

Chicken Pox, for example, can leave a child’s skin open to infection. Similarly, bed sores and other abrasions common to the elderly can also lead to infection. Proper cleaning and sterilization of affected areas is always encouraged.

Densely-populated living spaces such as dormitories, hostels, retirement homes and shelters are common breeding grounds for Cellulitis. As with Athlete’s Foot and other highly contagious conditions, it can easily be transmitted through shared contact with hygienic facilities. Preventative measures like shower shoes and proper toweling-off are always recommended.

As this is an infection, it can spread quite easily through the bloodstream and into the lymphatic systems. It is extremely important that Cellulitis be treated early to avoid much more serious infections. Symptoms of infection include fever, chills, nausea and fatigue. Increased redness and swelling around the infected area are also common.

A diagnosis of Cellulitis can easily be made by a qualified health professional, like Dr. Vikki and the team at Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center. Obtaining a proper and timely diagnosis is crucial. The longer it is left untreated, the more likely it will develop into something much harder to treat.

Treatment for Cellulitis

Antibiotics are the most common approach to Cellulitis. Similar to other streptococci-caused illnesses like Strep Throat, It tends to clear up within the first week of antibiotic usage. However, for those on antibiotics who do not see improvement, additional measures may be required.

In some cases, Cellulitis will lead to an abscess. Abscesses are large, swollen areas with dark centers, which generally require surgery to drain. Any at-home attempts at drainage can lead to further complications.

Pain relief medication is often prescribed along with antibiotics. However, if the pain is extreme, medical help should be sought out as soon as possible as this may be a sign of developing Necrotizing-Fasciitis—a very aggressive infection which can lead to permanent disfigurement or death.

The preventative measures favored by Dr. Vikki and the team at Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center can help to prevent Cellulitis, and to cure any offshoot conditions.

As an active participant in the well-being of Special Olympians since 2003, Dr. Vikki understands the value of a proper diet and exercise in the prevention and treatment of Cellulitis. Excess blood sugars, like the kind that result from an improper diet can lead to increased bacterial spreading, which can exacerbate any stages of the condition.

Consult Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center

Along with a sound assessment, the staff at Superior Foot and Ankle Care can provide the educational tools necessary to prevent and treat Cellulitis.

Whether you have questions about an existing condition, or you’d simply like to learn more about how you can prevent this infection and other related health issues, schedule a consultation today with the professional team at Superior Foot and Ankle Care Center and start living healthier.

Tuesday, 07 June 2016 10:41

Morton’s Neuroma | What you can do

What Is Morton’s Neuroma?

Unlike most neuromas, Morton’s Neuroma is not a tumor. It is a benign build-up of tissue surrounding a nerve, which can cause pain and discomfort. Many people describe it as the sensation of having a rock in their shoe, while others describe it as a painful burning or numbing sensation upon bearing weight.

The sensations are most often triggered on the ball of the foot between the third and fourth toes. Even the smallest amount of weight pressing down on the foot can cause discomfort.

On a microscopic level, deterioration of the affected nerve can be detected, though there are usually no abnormalities visible to the naked eye. Dr. Vikki and her team at the Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center can not only provide a sound diagnosis, they can provide the level of care required to dramatically increase patient comfort and mobility.

Causes of Morton’s Neuroma

Morton’s Neuroma is often linked to wearing high heels, as well as to various forms of exercise. Women and runners are most likely to suffer from it due to the confining nature of high heels and running shoes. Existing issues such as hammertoes or bunions can also cause or exacerbate the condition.

Symptoms tend to appear slowly, beginning most often with pain upon wearing restrictive footwear. Removing the constrictive footwear should alleviate the symptoms temporarily, especially in conjunction with mild massaging, but overtime the symptoms will worsen, lasting for up to several weeks.

As the condition continues to develop, the damaging effects of the neuroma will become less and less reversible. Early action is the best defense against permanent pain and discomfort. The earlier the diagnosis, the more likely that more invasive treatment such as surgery can be avoided.

Treatment for Morton’s Neuroma

Many conditions can present similar symptoms to those of Morton’s Neuroma. Only a professional, highly skilled team like the professionals at Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center can identify the source of the problem and provide the proper treatment.

The most common treatments are corticosteroid injections and orthotics, but various other forms of treatment exist including radio frequency ablation and Sclerosing alcohol injections.

While non-invasive methods of treatment are more common, in some cases, surgery is required. A neurectomy is performed where the affected tissue is removed. In recent years, ultrasounds have become instrumental in diagnosing Morton’s Neuroma, and in assisting with treatments.

There are no effective at-home cures for Morton’s Neuroma. But there are a few things you can do to help alleviate some of the symptoms:

  • Insoles are a good place to start. Custom-fitted insoles can help to alleviate the symptoms by taking weight off of the affected areas. They are only effective on symptoms, but they can provide quick relief.
  • Applying an ice pack to the affected area can cut down on the swelling and provide a soothing sensation when the pain is most acute.
  • A proper diet is key when dealing with issues like Morton’s Neuroma. As neuromas are triggered by weight distribution, lessening the amount of weight your feet have to bear is always a good place to start.
  • Cutting back on physical activity can help to slow the progression of the condition.
  • Purchasing more supportive footwear with wider toe boxes and lower heals can help to remove pressure from the balls of the feet.
  • Finally, basic over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications such as Ibuprofen can help to alleviate the pain.

While these methods can help to alleviate the symptoms, however, they cannot attack the actual issue, which is the thickening around the nerve tissue.

Contact Dr. Vikki Today

With the resources of a renowned podiatry clinic, as well as the preventative measures favored by the staff at the Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center you can find both relief and the tools necessary to prevent future issues. Don’t waste another day in pain.

Schedule an appointment today to talk to the well-renowned team at Superior Foot & Ankle Care center, and get back on your feet.

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