Items filtered by date: April 2018

Thursday, 26 April 2018 16:08

Alcohol and Your Feet

April is Alcohol Awareness Month and at Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center we want to share with patients some important information about this disease and how it affects your feet. Of all the addictive substances available in the United States, alcohol is the most commonly used. It’s estimated that 17.6 million people (that’s one in every 12 adults) is dependent on alcohol or suffers from alcohol abuse. Over half of all adults have a family history of problem drinking or alcoholism.

If you or a family member are struggling with alcohol we urge you to talk to one of our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria M. Foley and Dr. Constance Ornelas. There are many resources available to help patients get the support and services they need to end an addiction. You can also visit the website of the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence ( for a wealth of information.

Protecting Lower Extremities

One of the many detrimental effects to your health caused by chronic alcohol abuse is neuropathy or nerve damage in your feet (and other parts of your body). This condition results in loss of sensation, numbness, tingling and weakness in your feet that worsens as time goes on. It can also cause pain. Ethanol, which is found in alcoholic beverages, damages nerve tissue and this damage can be permanent if not treated.

There are several approaches to treating alcoholic neuropathy once the consumption of alcohol has ceased:

  • Vitamin supplements—particularly B vitamins—may be recommended and a healthy eating plan established. Oftentimes a person with alcoholism will not have been eating properly and the body is suffering from being deprived of essential nutrients for optimal functioning.
  • Medications may be prescribed for pain relief.
  • Galvanic stimulation to improve nerve function.
  • Magnetic therapy.

In addition, it’s important to keep your feet safe from injury and infection if you have symptoms of neuropathy. Being unable to fully perceive sensation in your feet means you may not realize that you’ve sustained an injury or that a condition is developing. Keep your feet covered at all times and get in the habit of examining your feet daily to check for rashes, cuts, bumps, bruises or changes in skin color or toenail appearance which may signal a problem. If you find anything abnormal, contact our Long Beach office for an appointment by calling: (562) 420-9800.

Thursday, 19 April 2018 16:06

Protecting Yourself with PAD

Peripheral arterial disease (or PAD) often affects patients that have diabetes. At Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center we always caution these patients to take extra care with their feet due to the serious one-two punch these diseases can deliver. PAD is a disease that results in poor circulation. Good blood flow is necessary for healing. Patients with diabetes often experience neuropathy or loss of sensation in their feet and toes. This means it can be difficult to perceive pain, heat or even itchy rashes—all of which may signal a situation that would result in an open sore or wound. Add PAD to that and you could end up with an ulcer or wound on your foot that will not heal. This, in turn, can lead to a dangerous infection, and, in the worst case scenario, possible amputation.

Simple Precautions

If you have diabetes you should already be on a regular schedule of checkups with our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria Foley and Dr. Constance Omelas in order to carefully monitor your condition. The foot doctor will also look for signs of PAD. In addition to having diabetes, other factors that increase your risk for PAD include:

  • Being over age 50
  • Smoking
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Family or personal history of PAD

With or without PAD it’s important to avoid putting your feet at risk of injury or infections. To this end, you should:

  • Avoid walking barefoot. In public places, this will reduce your risk of coming in contact with fungi and bacteria that can cause infections like athlete’s foot and fungal toenails. At home, you will be far less likely to get a cut or puncture wound on the bottom of your foot if your feet are covered.
  • Wear shoes that fit properly. Shoes that are too small can cause blisters or exacerbate conditions such as hammertoe and bunions. Periodically check the insides of your shoes to make sure there are no rough spots or loose stitching to cause friction against your skin.
  • Keep skin soft and supple by applying a rich moisturizer to your feet. Avoid the area between your toes, however, to prevent an excessively moist environment where fungi can breed.
  • Get in the habit of checking your feet regularly for any changes or abnormalities. If you spot anything unusual, contact our Long Beach office immediately to get it checked by calling: (562) 420-9800.

It’s hard to believe how much pain such a tiny part of your body—a toenail—can cause, but if you have one that’s ingrown, you know what we’re talking about. The too-tender-to-touch, swollen, red, hot area surrounding your toe can make it difficult to wear shoes or even walk until it’s treated. At Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center we would like to offer the following tips for treating and preventing ingrown toenails:

Don’t: clip your toenails super short or file them with rounded edges—this encourages the nails to grow inward.

Don’t: wear shoes that are too small or narrow in the toe box. Ditto for socks and tights. Any type of footwear that forces the toes up against each other will increase the chances of ingrown nails.

Do: monitor a nail carefully if you’ve had an injury such as a heavy object fall on it, a bad stubbing or if you have another nail condition such as a fungal infection. In these cases, it is not uncommon for an ingrown nail to form.

Do: check your nails frequently if you are a runner, play soccer or participate in another activity where your toe is repeatedly being pounded up against the front of your shoe. This can cause a nail to become ingrown.

Do: soak your foot in warm water and Epsom salts if you notice a nail is ingrown. This may soften the skin enough so that you can gently massage the corner of the nail out of the skin. It may also bring pain relief.

Do: contact our Long Beach office for an appointment if soaking does not work. Our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria Foley or Dr. Constance Omelas will examine the nail and, if necessary, can perform a minor surgical procedure that will remove part of the nail border. Nails that are chronically ingrown may require the nail root to be removed.

Do: call us immediately at (562) 420-9800 if you notice signs of infection: pus, red streaks, fever.

Don’t: try any “bathroom surgery” or folk remedies to treat or prevent ingrown nails. Techniques like putting cotton under the nail, cutting a notch in a nail or repeatedly trimming nail borders as a new nail grows not only don’t work they can result in injury or infection.

Thursday, 05 April 2018 16:00

5 Ways to Take Better Care of Your Feet

At Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center we believe in being proactive when it comes to the health of your feet. In honor of Foot Health Awareness Month, we’d like to offer the following tips for taking care of your feet:

  1. Wear shoes that fit. This is one of, if not the single biggest steps you can take to prevent foot and ankle injuries and disorders. Some studies have shown that up to 90% of people are wearing shoes that are the wrong size! Shoes that are too narrow or tight in the toe box can encourage deformities such as bunions and hammertoes as well as increase the risk of ingrown toenails and fungal infections. Get your foot professionally measured at the shoe store. Shoe size can change as you age and during pregnancy.
  2. Get in the habit of doing self-exams on your feet. Changes in the skin or nails of your feet, as well as shape, size or color, can all be indicators of potential foot problems. Any differences in sensation (burning, numbness, tingling), swelling or abnormal growths should be reported to our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria Foley and Dr. Constance Omelas promptly. Early detection of a foot problem can mean a better outcome and less invasive treatment.
  3. Limit time going barefoot. Bare feet in public places are at a higher risk for coming in direct contact with fungi and bacteria that cause infections such as athlete’s foot and fungal toenails. Even at home, however, going barefoot increases your risk of puncture wounds and injuries.
  4. Don’t neglect foot hygiene. Basic daily care of your feet should include washing with soap and water (and drying completely) as well as applying foot powder or moisturizing lotion, depending on your individual needs. Don’t wear socks more than one day and alternate our shoe choice as well.
  5. Live a Healthy Lifestyle. You may not think about it but maintaining a healthy weight, exercising and getting regular checkups all contribute to the health and well being of your feet. Be sure that you monitor chronic diseases such as diabetes and arthritis and follow your physicians’ instructions for keeping this conditions under control.

If you have questions about how to best care for your feet, contact our Long Beach office by calling: (562) 420-9800.

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