Items filtered by date: June 2017

Thursday, 29 June 2017 12:52

Take a Good Look at Your Feet

When’s the last time that you took a good look at your feet? At Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center, we believe regularly examining your feet is a key component of good foot health. In addition, your feet are the part of your body where several systemic conditions such as diabetes, arthritis and peripheral neuropathy may first exhibit symptoms. You can examine your feet in as little as 10 minutes. Ready, set, go:

  1. Start by standing with your feet together and look down at them. Do you notice any difference between your two feet in size or shape? Is there any swelling in your ankles or feet?
  2. Now sit down so you can get a closer look at each foot. Examine the top, bottom and sides of your feet as well as between your toes. If you see any cuts or wounds make sure they are clean and appear to be healing. Check your skin. Do you notice any redness, dry flaky skin, rashes or bruises? Do you have any unusual freckles or moles that appear to have changed since the last time you looked at them? Do you see any lumps, growths, warts or new calluses?
  3. Examine your toenails. Nails that are discolored, thick or crumbling at the edge may indicate a fungal condition. A bluish or purplish tinge to the skin under your nails is a possible sign of a circulation issue.
  4. While you’re seated, take a pencil and run the erased end over the top, bottom and sides of your foot. The sensation should be equal in all parts of your foot.
  5. Lastly, flex your toes and feet. Do you notice any pain or stiffness in your joints?

If you spot anything that doesn’t seem quite right, contact our Long Beach office for an appointment by calling: (562-420-9800). Our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria Foley and Dr. Constance Omelas, will give your feet a complete examination and assess whether you have a foot health issue.

Making this quick foot self-check a part of your monthly health routine will go a long way to preventing foot problems as well as detecting any conditions that do develop in their very earliest stages when treatment is usually less invasive and more effective.

Thursday, 22 June 2017 12:51

Pointers for Safe Pedicures

Who doesn’t like showing off one of the season’s newest colors on their toes? Besides, getting a professional pedicure is a relaxing treat. Bacterial and fungal infections, such as athlete’s foot and fungal toenails, however, are not particularly enticing. At Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center we want our patients to be able to enjoy this pampering experience safely and so we have compiled some tips below to help prevent infections.

First, however, it’s important that you inspect your toenails and make sure that you do not currently have any problems. If you have a toenail that is discolored, thick or crumbly, do not attempt to cover it up with nail polish. These may be signs of a fungal infection that requires treatment. If the appearance of one of your nails is concerning you, contact our Long Beach office by calling: (562) 420-9800 and let our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria M. Foley or Dr. Constance Ornelas examine your toenail. Fungal infections will not go away without treatment.

If your nails are all clear and you wish to have a professional pedicure, observe the suggestions here to minimize any risk of fungal or bacterial infections:

  • Bring your own nail tools and flip flops. The ideas is to not come in contact with items that have touched other people’s feet. Fungal toenail and bacterial infections are spread by direct contact.
  • Look for a license. Reputable salons are licensed by the state, which means they adhere to specific health and sanitary standards. The license should be prominently displayed in the salon.
  • Check out the cleanliness of your salon. Foot baths and tools should be cleaned and disinfected after each customer. Nail technicians should wash their hands before starting on a new client and the floors, work stations and rest room should all be clean.
  • Refrain from shaving your legs 24 hours before getting a pedicure. Shaving creates tiny cuts in the skin which can allow bacteria to enter. For this reason, if you have any open cuts or blisters on your toes, feet or legs, you should also wait until they have healed before getting a pedicure.

Here are some facts about lawn mower safety that may surprise you: lawn mowers produce three times the kinetic energy of a .357 handgun, with blades that spin at 3,000 revolutions per minute. It’s no wonder that more than 37,000 Americans are the victim of a power mower accident every year. Many of these are foot and toe injuries. At Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center, we want to help our patients keep their feet safe and prevent mower injuries. Below are our top tips:

  1. Wear the right shoes. Sneakers and sandals will not protect your feet if they come in contact with a mower blade. Work boots or another heavy shoe are the right choice. And, although it seems obvious, mowing barefoot is not a good idea (and yet each year there are patients in the emergency room with injuries because of this!)
  2. Never mow your lawn right after it rains. Even if it is inconvenient, don’t take a chance of your mowing slipping and losing control of it on slippery, wet grass.
  3. Keep children away. The two age groups most likely to suffer power mower accidents are children under the age of 14 and adults over 44. No matter how much they beg, do not let children ride in your lap while you are mowing. Also, be sure your children know not to approach you while the mower is running. The noise of the machine makes it difficult to detect that children are nearby.
  4. Treat any and all injuries immediately. Of course, in case of a major injury you will go to the emergency room. Even more minor injuries, however, such as a cut or a twisted ankle getting on or off the mower needs prompt treatment. If you have injured yourself mowing in a non-emergent way, call our Long Beach office to make an appointment at: (562) 420-9800. Our podiatrists, Victoria M. Foley or Dr. Constance Ornelas will conduct a complete examine of your feet and determine the best course of treatment for your injury. Remember that lawn mower blades are dirty, which creates a higher risk of an infection developing in a cut from a mower blade. Look for signs of infection: pus, redness or warmth around the injured area and fever. Report these to us immediately.
Wednesday, 07 June 2017 12:49

Hidden Risk for Men with Diabetes

Did you know that when it comes to self care for patients with diabetes that men are far less likely than women to follow the podiatrist’s instructions? In honor of Men’s Health Month we at Superior Foot & Ankle Center want share some important ways that men (and the women who love them) can greatly reduce their risk of serious diabetic foot complications.

One of the biggest health threats for diabetic patients is an open wound or ulcer. Due to poor circulation and decreased immune system function even seemingly minor cuts or injuries can rapidly become major problems. Infections can develop that are very difficult to heal, leading to serious debilitation and even amputation. To reduce the risk of injury and infection, follow these tips:

Inspect your feet daily: since diabetic patients often have nerve damage which makes it difficult to perceive pain and other sensations, visual examination of the feet becomes very important. If you notice any unusual bumps, red spots, blisters, changes in color, size or shape of the foot you should let our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria Foley and Dr. Constance Omelas know ASAP.

Don’t go barefoot: wearing some type of footwear will reduce the risk of toenail and skin infections since these are transmitted by direct contact. You will also decrease the chances of injuring your foot by banging into something or stepping on a sharp object.

Practice good hygiene: wash your feet daily with warm (not hot) water and a mild soap. Be sure to dry thoroughly, especially between the toes, to help prevent athlete’s foot. Sweat glands can also be affected by diabetes. If feet are dry, be sure to apply a rich moisturizer to prevent cracking. Patients who sweat excessively should use a foot powder to help keep feet dry.

Prevent ingrown nails: keep toenails trimmed short and straight across—curved edges can grow down and back into the skin around the nail bed, opening a doorway for bacteria. If you do develop an ingrown nail, don’t attempt any “bathroom surgery!” Allow the podiatrist to take care of the nail.

Following these simple steps can greatly reduce the risk of disability and health issues from diabetes. If you have questions or are experiencing any unusual symptoms in your feet contact our Long Beach office for an appointment by calling: 562-420-9800.

Friday, 02 June 2017 12:48

Myths about Osteoporosis

Before May comes to an end we at Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center want to pass on information about a disease that can have a serious impact on your feet (and the rest of your body): osteoporosis. Many people don’t give osteoporosis much thought until after they discover they have it—and that often only occurs when they actually break a bone. However, The National Osteoporosis Foundation reports that approximately 10 million Americans currently have this disease and that another 44 million are at risk of breaking a bone because of low bone density. To help raise awareness about osteoporosis and help patients decrease their risk of fractures here are some myths and facts about the disease:

MYTH: Osteoporosis is primarily a problem for women.

FACT: While it’s true that more women than men are affected by the disease—it’s estimated that one in two women will break a bone from osteoporosis—it’s a concern for men as well. Studies show that one in four men over the age of 50 will also break a bone from osteoporosis.

MYTH: I don’t like milk so there is no way for me to increase my bone strength through diet.

FACT: While dairy products such as milk, yogurt and cheese are heavy hitters when it comes to calcium, there are other foods that contain high amounts as well. Certain greens, such as spinach, kale, okra and collards, soybeans, and some fish like perch, sardines, salmon and rainbow trout are all also good sources of calcium. Many cereals and juices are fortified with both calcium and vitamin D, which helps your body better absorb the calcium.

MYTH: Other than increasing your calcium intake there is really nothing you can do to increase bone strength.

FACT: There are several ways to help make bones stronger. Exercise—both weight-bearing and muscle-strengthening—helps build bone. Smart life style choices, such as not smoking, limiting alcoholic beverages and maintaining a healthy body weight can all reduce the stress placed on your bones.

MYTH: Foot health is not directly impacted by osteoporosis.

FACT: Did you know that there are 52 bones in a pair of feet—that’s nearly a quarter of all the bones in your body. Having weak bones increases your risk of both stress and regular fractures from daily activities like walking up stairs or gardening. Osteoporosis also means that falls, missteps and ankle sprains are more likely to result in fractures too.

The health of your bones is very much a concern of our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria Foley and Dr. Constance Omelas. Be sure to discuss your personal risk factors with them at your next appointment at our Long Beach office.

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