Items filtered by date: November 2017

Monday, 20 November 2017 15:11

Show Some Gratitude for Your Feet

It’s the season of Thanksgiving and here at Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center we think your feet deserve to be on the list of things that you’re thankful for! The 26 bones, 33 joints, 107 ligaments and 19 muscles in each of your feet work together in complex and amazing ways to enable you to do all the activities you enjoy. Why not show your feet some gratitude with one or more of these proactive podiatric health ideas:

Pay attention: Many times your feet are the starting place of diseases that affect your entire body such as diabetes, arthritis, circulatory and nerve problems. Get in the habit of inspecting your feet regularly and report any unusual changes to the foot doctor. Even more minor problems—ingrown toenails, warts, athlete’s foot—are more easily treated when caught in their earliest stages.

Do a shoe review: Are your shoes hurting your feet? Check to see that the shoes you wear have adequate arch and ankle support as well as cushioning for the sole. This will go a long way to preventing foot injuries and chronic conditions. Look for signs of wear and don’t continue to use shoes that are stretched out or have tears or loose stitching.

Have a spa day: pamper your feet with a relaxing foot soak. Then carefully trim toenails (straight across and not too short to avoid ingrown nails). Finish with a rich moisturizer massaged into your feet. If you prefer a salon pedicure just be sure to choose a place that follows proper sanitizing procedures for foot baths and tools to prevent fungal infections.

Watch your weight: being overweight puts excess strain and pressure on your feet and is a contributing factor in many foot problems. Maintaining a healthy weight will help reduce foot pain.

Get a checkup: When’s the last time you were in to our Long Beach office? Make an appointment by calling 562-420-9800 and let our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria Foley and Dr. Constance Omelas examine your feet. The foot doctor can alert you to any potential problems and make recommendations for ways that you can help keep your feet healthy.

Thursday, 16 November 2017 15:08

Quit Smoking: 8 Ways to Fight Cravings

November is the month of the Great American Smokeout and here at Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center we want to alert patients to the fact the quitting smoking can improve foot health. While most people are aware that stopping smoking will greatly reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease, they may not realize the role that smoking plays in other aspects of their health, including their feet.

When you smoke, your blood vessels constrict and your circulation is reduced. Quitting will bring the following benefits:

  • Faster healing of foot infections and injuries
  • Reduced down time after podiatric surgeries
  • Decreased risk of complications accompanying other diseases that affect the feet such as diabetes
  • Lower risk of developing peripheral artery disease

Most people who resolve to quit will hit points where the physical or mental craving for a cigarette can be intense. Here are some suggestions from the American Cancer Society on how to tame cravings:

  1. At least in the beginning avoid being in places where people are smoking. Spend as much of your free time as possible in public places where smoking is prohibited—movie theaters, libraries, malls, church, restaurants and museums.
  2. Take good care of yourself. Get enough sleep, eat a well balanced diet and drink plenty of water.
  3. Cut yourself some slack. Smoking is an addiction and it’s natural to feel irritable, depressed, angry or other negative emotions. Plan ahead to have ways to deal with the stress: exercise, a hot bath or shower, positive imaging and mediation.
  4. Switch from 1 or 2 big meals a day to 4 to 6 small ones. This will help keep your blood sugar up, your energy level balanced and reduce the urge to smoke.
  5. If you miss the physical aspects of having a cigarette keep oral substitutes handy such as lollipops, carrot or celery sticks or hard candy. Have a pencil, smooth stone or paper clip at the ready to hold in your hand.
  6. Keep a photo of those you love with you at all times. Look at it when you are tempted to smoke to remind yourself of why you want to reduce your risk of cancer, heart disease and other health problems associated with smoking.
  7. Phone a friend or a smoking cessation hot line when you need extra support or someone to talk to as you battle.
  8. Celebrate milestones—one day, one week, one month—that you go without a cigarette.

Quitting smoking isn’t easy but the benefits to your feet (and the rest of your body) are well worth it. If you have questions about other conditions that affect your feet, contact our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria Foley and Dr. Constance Omelas at our Long Beach office by calling: 562-420-9800.

Thursday, 09 November 2017 15:06

Diabetes: Making Positive Choices

At Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center we know that diabetes doesn’t have to prevent you from living a full and active life. We treat many patients with this disease and we know it can have a big impact on the health of your feet. Diabetes impedes the circulatory and immune systems increasing the likelihood of infections and decreasing the body’s ability to heal. To make matters worse, neuropathy, a condition also commonly associated with diabetes, makes it difficult to perceive sensations like pain or heat which would signal a potential wound. The good news is there’s much you can do to protect your feet.  In recognition of National Diabetes Awareness Month we’d like to focus on some particularly important areas:

Foot Care—Your feet can be both a recipient and an early warning system with regard to problems with diabetes. For that reason, inspecting your feet on a daily basis is essential. Changes in skin or nails, lumps, swelling, bruises, redness, blisters can all signal a potential problem developing. It’s critical that one of our foot doctors, Dr. Victoria Foley or Dr. Constance Omelas be informed of any unusual changes immediately. A good care regimen can also help decrease the risk of foot problems in diabetic patients. Wash feet with a mild soap in warm—not hot—water and dry completely, especially between your toes.

Shoes—Although well-made, properly fitted shoes can help reduce the risk of foot disorders in all patients, those with diabetes have specific concerns to address. Look for shoes that are well cushioned to reduce impact to the soles of your feet. Shoes should be laced and fit snugly (but not tight) to provide stability and limit side to side movement of the foot. If you have a toe deformity such as a bunion or hammertoe, special padding may be prescribed to prevent rubbing and friction which could lead to a corn or callus. Be sure the front of the shoe is roomy to prevent toes from being squeezed together.

Keep Feet Dry—Damp feet can lead to a fungal infection. If you tend to sweat profusely you can use a foot powder or even antiperspirant on the soles of your feet to reduce wetness. Change socks whenever you notice they are damp.

Healthy Lifestyle—Follow your doctor’s instructions for controlling your diabetes. Don’t smoke (it will further impede your circulation). Eat a healthy diet that is high in protein, vegetables and whole grains and limits saturated and trans fats and sugars. Exercise regularly for good joint health and weight control.

If you have additional questions about foot health and diabetes, contact our Long Beach office by calling: 562-420-9800.

Thursday, 02 November 2017 15:02

The Truth About Warts

Frequently patients will come to us at Superior Foot & Ankle Center to treat warts. What we find interesting is the amount of misinformation and misconceptions out there about this common condition. Below are some myths about warts:

MYTH: Warts only occur in people with poor hygiene.

FACT: Warts are caused by a virus that penetrates your skin and then forms the telltale fleshy bump. They do not result from lack of cleanliness in the patient but rather that the patient walked on a surface where the virus was present. Viruses thrive in moist, warm environments such as showers at the gym or the community pool. For this reason, it is recommended that patients wear flip flops or rubber shower shoes when walking around in these types of public places.

MYTH: You can’t catch a wart from another person.

FACT: Warts are actually quite contagious. They can spread from person to person and also to other parts of your own body. All you have to do is scratch a wart and then touch another place on your body and the virus spreads. If someone in your family has a wart on their foot you should take extra care cleaning the shower and never share towels, shoes, socks, nail clippers, emery boards or any other items that touch another person’s foot.

MYTH: You can get rid of warts with wart removers you find at the drug store.

FACT: While over-the-counter products do exist for removing warts they can damage surrounding healthy tissue and may be unsuccessful in eliminating warts. Warts can be very stubborn to remove and can sometimes recur after they appear to be completely gone. It’s best to let one of our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria Foley and Dr. Constance Omelas care for your wart. The foot doctor will be able to identify the type of wart and prescribe the proper treatment to safely remove it.

MYTH: Warts don’t really do any harm so you don’t have to remove them if you don’t want to.

FACT: While it’s true that warts are not generally dangerous or harmful, they can cause pain and discomfort, particularly if they develop on the heel or ball of your foot. Since they are also contagious, it’s best to get them removed as soon as possible. Left untreated warts can also grow in size and multiply on your foot.

If you have a wart, contact our Long Beach office for an appointment by calling: 562-420-9800.

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