Items filtered by date: March 2017

Wednesday, 29 March 2017 12:34

What’s Behind Ingrown Toenails?

Ingrown toenails (officially known as onychocryptosis), a condition we see frequently at Superior Foot & Ankle Center, are painful and potentially can lead to an infection. They occur when the side of a nail begins to grow back into the skin and are seen most often on the big toe. As the nail becomes ingrown the skin around it usually becomes inflamed, red, warm and very tender to the touch. Once the nail actually breaks through the skin, bacteria have an entry point and an infection may occur.


There are several factors that can make an ingrown nail more likely. Some are preventable but others are not. Common causes include:

  • Poor nail trimming—this is the most common reason ingrown nails develop. If nails are shaped so that they curve on the sides or if they are trimmed too short, the skin may fold over the corner of the nail and the nail will begin to grow inward.
  • Heredity—for some people ingrown nails are a genetic tendency.
  • Shoes and socks that don’t fit—if you wear footwear that is too tight or spend a considerable amount of time in high heels that force all your toes together in the front of the shoe, the pressure may push the nail into the skin.
  • Overuse or trauma—patients who run or play sports that involve frequent kicking are more likely to develop ingrown toenails. Dropping a heavy object on your toe or severely stubbing it can also be a catalyst.
  • Nail problems—a fungal or bacterial infection or nail deformity can be a cause.


If you have an ingrown toenail that soaking in warm water isn’t releasing, contact our Long Beach office by calling: (562) 420-9800 and let our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria Foley and Dr. Constance Omelas help you eliminate this painful condition. Don’t attempt “bathroom surgery” on an ingrown nail! Notching, sticking cotton under the nail and other “home remedies” not only are ineffective, but they can result in a more serious injury and infection.

Friday, 24 March 2017 12:32

Foot Health and Pregnancy

At Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center pregnant women will often come to our Long Beach office with foot concerns that they didn’t expect. Pregnancy changes your body in various and dramatic ways and your feet are not left out of the fun! Here are some foot and ankle conditions you may experience during the course of your pregnancy:

Ankle Turns/Sprains—to prepare your body for pregnancy and the passage of a baby through the birth canal hormones are released which help ligaments relax. Since these hormones cause all the ligaments in your body to relax you may find your ankle giving way more readily. This issue is made worse by the shifting of your center of gravity as the baby grows.

Swollen Feet and Ankles—retaining water is a normal (if uncomfortable) part of pregnancy. This extra fluid tends to accumulate in your feet and ankles. This can make feet feel sore and tired. Cut back on salt, drink plenty of fluids and be sure to elevate your feet for some time every day to help combat the swelling.

Foot pain—excess weight, even though temporary, can cause pain in the arch of your foot and even cause flatfeet. Heel pain is also common. Be sure to wear shoes that have extra cushioning and shock absorbing soles. Look for styles that provide good arch and ankle support as well.

Pregnancy can also exacerbate existing foot conditions, particularly those affected by weight or involving inflammation. Our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria Foley and Dr. Constance Omelas will evaluate your feet and ankles and help you find ways to keep existing problems in check. They will also discuss ways to prevent the other podiatric problems that pregnancy can bring and offer safe suggestions for relief of any foot pain or discomfort you encounter. Contact us for an appointment by calling: (562) 420-9800.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017 12:31

5 Ways to Help Feet Smell Sweet

If you have smelly feet, you know it’s not a joking matter. At Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center we know that foot odor is embarrassing and it can also be a sign of a medical condition. People with sweaty feet often have a foot odor problem. It’s not the sweat, however, that smells bad, it’s when the sweat mixes with bacteria present in your socks and shoes that the foul smell occurs. Here are some ways that you can try to eliminate foul foot odor:

  1. Practice good podiatric hygiene. This means washing feet daily with warm water and a mild soap. (Be sure to dry completely, especially between your toes to prevent athlete’s foot from developing.) If you tend to sweat excessively, applying a talcum or anti-fungal foot powder may also be helpful.
  2. Wear cotton socks or those made of a natural material that wicks the sweat away from your skin rather than traps it. Ditto for your shoe choices. Plastic shoes and nylon socks do not encourage air circulation which is essential for preventing stinky feet.
  3. Change socks daily and more than once a day if your feet get wet or become sweaty.
  4. Don’t wear the same shoes two days in a row. Allow at least 24 hours for shoes to air out between wearings.
  5. Do not share socks, flip flops, pedicure tools, wash cloths or anything else that touches someone else’s feet directly—this is how bacterial and fungal infections are spread.

If these steps fail to get rid of foot odor, make an appointment at our Long Beach office. Our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria Foley and Dr. Constance Omelas will examine your feet and look into your medical history. Once the source of the foot odor is determined the foot doctor will prescribe the correct treatment to eliminate it and get your feet smelling sweet again.

Wednesday, 08 March 2017 12:29

What You Eat Matters to Your Feet

Did you know that a significant number of foot and ankle conditions are caused or made worse by being overweight? Plantar fasciitis, arthritis, flatfeet, tendonitis and stress fractures all have excess weight as a risk factor. In addition, carrying more pounds than you should can affect your knees, hips and back which can then lead to secondary foot problems due to changes in your gait to compensate for pain in these other parts of your body. Lastly, overweight patients are more likely to develop high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes—all of which pose serious medical threat to your feet (not to mention the rest of your body). March is National Nutrition Month and here at Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center we would like to offer these tips to improve your diet and attain or maintain a healthy weight:

  • Let’s eat in—cooking meals at home puts you at a nutritional advantage. You can control the ingredients and calories in the dishes you prepare. Good food doesn’t have to be complicated. Learn some simple dishes and up the flavor quotient with herbs, spices and citrus fruits instead of fats and creamy sauces. Choose broiling or grilling over frying as your cooking method.
  • Portions matter—how much you eat is almost as important as what you eat. Ask your doctor what amount of calories you should be consuming everyday to maintain a healthy weight. Check the serving sizes in the nutrition facts for the foods you eat and adjust to your daily intake if necessary. Try using a smaller plate to automatically scale back on portions.
  • Variety is the spice of life—mix up your menus. Be sure to include a colorful array of different fruits and vegetables each week. By doing so, you’ll go a long way toward ensuring that you are getting all the different nutrients you need. Explore food from different cultures.
  • Add some action—try to be physically active for some part of every day. This doesn’t mean you have to go to the gym or play on a team. Take the stairs, pull weeds, walk while you talk on the phone in your office—just get moving. This will help burn calories and increase fitness. Exercise can also help fight heart and other disease.

Our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria Foley and Dr. Constance Omelas, believe in a total body approach to good health. If you have questions about your weight and your feet or are experiencing pain or discomfort in your feet currently, contact our Long Beach office for an appointment.

When it comes to running or walking for exercise, we at Superior Foot & Ankle Center believe that the most important piece of equipment required is a good shoe that is properly fitted for your individual foot. You do not need different shoes for running and walking. Running shoes usually have more shock absorption and are fine for walking.

Below are some tips to help you choose the right shoe and get a good fit:

  • Start with an appointment with one of our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria Foley or Dr. Constance Ornelas. The right shoe for you will depend on your foot type. If you have a high arch or you wear a custom orthotic device, a cushioned neutral shoe is best. For someone with flat feet, a stability shoe is recommended. See our approved shoe list for specific brands and styles. Your foot doctor can make suggestions for particular styles or features if you have a toe deformity or other foot or ankle condition that will help protect the area and make running or walking more comfortable.
  • Get professionally fitted by a sports shoe expert. Most people have two different size feet. It’s essential to buy shoes to accommodate the larger foot. There should be a half-inch of space between your longest toe and the front of your shoe. A majority of people wear shoes that are too small for their feet and this leads to injury and deformity.
  • Wear the socks you will run or walk in when you go to try on shoes. We recommend a cotton blend or a sock with CoolMax. Bleach white socks to prevent athlete’s foot.
  • To avoid blisters, be sure that the heel of the shoe fits snugly and that the foot doesn’t slip when you walk. Also, run your hand around the inside of the shoe to check for rough stitching or bumps that can cause friction and result in a blister.
  • Take your time when trying on shoes. Walk around the store for several minutes. Many running shoe stores will have a treadmill so that you can try running in the shoes as well.
  • Remember to replace running/walking shoes after approximately 400 miles. Even good shoes lose their supportiveness once they are worn out and wearing them can present an increased risk of injury.

If you have more questions about running or walking and your feet, contact our Long Beach office by calling us at 562-420-9800.

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