Items filtered by date: November 2019

Monday, 25 November 2019 13:16

What to Do (and Not Do) for Ingrown Toenails

Few podiatric conditions inspire more fear and are more painful than the ingrown toenail. At Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center, we treat many cases of ingrown toenails in our Los Angeles County/Douglas Park area patients. Nearly every patient leaves our Long Beach office in less pain then when they arrived. The information below will help you deal with this common podiatric problem.

Prevention Pointers

Of course, the best scenario is not having an ingrown nail in the first place! Ingrown nails develop when pressure on the edge of the nail drives it into the surrounding skin. The most frequent reason this occurs? Improper nail trimming. Trim your toenails straight across and not so short that the skin overlaps the edge of the nail. Do not curve the edges when you clip or file the toenails. Other sources of ingrown nails include:

  • Fungal infections—keep feet clean and don’t allow them to sit in damp socks for extended periods of time
  • Footwear choices—avoid styles that have narrow, pointy toes and high heels that force the toes to be crammed together.
  • Toe deformities—overlapping toes, hammertoes and other deformities may increase the risk of ingrown toenails.
  • The tendency for nails to become ingrown can also be inherited.

Treatment Do’s and Don’ts

The first sign of an ingrown nail will most likely be pain and redness. Big toes are the most susceptible. If you notice a nail appears to be ingrown, you can soak it in warm water and Epsom salts and then try to gently massage the nail out of the skin. Never attempt to cut the ingrown nail out! If this is unsuccessful, make an appointment and come in to see our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria M. Foley or Dr. Constance Ornelas. The foot doctor can numb the toe and remove the nail. Chronic or recurring ingrown nails may require a minor surgery.

Don’t delay seeking treatment. Ingrown toenails that are not care for properly can become infected. Contact us by calling: (562) 420-9800.

At Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center, when patients visit our Los Angeles county/Douglas Park area office, we want to be sure they leave with a good understanding of their podiatric condition and what needs to happen for pain relief and healing. Our excellent staff will do all they can to ensure that your treatment with our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria M. Foley or Dr. Constance Ornelas will be efficient and effective. As a patient, there are several things you can do before, during, and after your appointment at our Long Beach office that will also help tremendously. Below is a checklist to help you make the most of your appointment.

Before You Come In:

  • Get any necessary referrals for your appointment. If you’re not sure if you need one, contact your insurance company to find out.
  • Write down any questions you have about your foot health or the symptoms you are experiencing.
  • Make a list of all medications—prescription and over the counter—and supplements that you are currently taking to give to the podiatrist.
  • Alert our office ahead of time if you have any special needs.
  • Enlist a trusted family member or friend to accompany you on your appointment if you need a second set of ears.

At the Podiatrist’s Office:

  • Let the podiatrist know if you have any new symptoms or have noticed the worsening of an existing condition.
  • Be sure you are clear about what the foot doctor tells you about your diagnosis. If you don’t understand something, ask them to explain it again.
  • If the podiatrist prescribes medication for you, make sure you understand the proper way to take it. Ask about side effects and let the foot doctor know if you have any allergies, are pregnant, or plan to get pregnant.
  • Check that all the questions on the list you’ve brought with you have been answered.

After Your Appointment:

  • On your way out, schedule a follow-up appointment if needed.
  • If tests have been done or ordered, ask how long it will be before you can expect the results.

Contact us at (562) 420-9800 if you realize you have additional questions once you get home, or if your symptoms change or get worse.

Wednesday, 13 November 2019 13:12

Proper Footwear a Must for Diabetic Patients

November is American Diabetes Month, and at Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center we offer specialized podiatric care to our patients who have this disease. One very important aspect of diabetic foot care is choosing the right shoes to protect feet and prevent injury. Since diabetes affects bones, joints, and skin, there are several different aspects of footwear to consider. Our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria M. Foley or Dr. Constance Ornelas will advise you as to the best type of shoes for your unique feet. In some cases, special shoes designed specifically for diabetics may be recommended, or the foot doctor may fit you for a custom orthotic device to help control motion and pressure in your feet.

Below are some points to consider when shopping for shoes if you have diabetes:

Limiting Movement—shoes that limit movement can help alleviate joint inflammation and pain. Limited horizontal movement of the foot inside the shoe can prevent friction which leads to skin irritation, ulcers, wounds, infections, and deformities.

Absorbing Shock—diabetic patients benefit from shoes that reduce impact by absorbing shock. This lessens pressure to the bottom of the foot, preventing wear and tear that can lead to complications. Look for shoes that have a thick sole. A deep heel cup and well-cushioned insole will also help protect your feet and increase comfort.

Let Feet Breathe—in order to avoid fungal infections, it’s necessary to keep feet dry. Choose shoes made of natural, breathable materials. Avoid shoes made of plastic or vinyl. Alternate shoes to allow each pair a chance to air out and dry.

Proper Fit—shoes that fit well are important for all patients, but even more so for those with diabetes. Have your foot professionally measured. Let the salesperson know that you have diabetes. If our podiatrists have prescribed an orthotic device, bring it with you when shopping for shoes and make sure the pair you pick can accommodate the orthotic. Try on both shoes and take your time walking around to make sure they fit. Finally, run your hand around the inside of the shoes to check for rough spots or loose stitching that could rub against your feet.

Choosing shoes carefully will go a long way toward preventing diabetic complications. If you have questions or concerns about diabetes and your feet, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment our Long Beach office by calling: (562) 420-9800

Monday, 04 November 2019 13:08

3 Common Causes of Heel Pain

One of the most frequent reasons that patients come to see us at Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center is heel pain. There are multiple causes of heel pain, however, and for that reason it’s important that if your heel is hurting, you have one of our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria M. Foley or Dr. Constance Ornelas examine your feet and determine the source of your discomfort. Once the foot doctor has diagnosed the condition that is causing your pain, the proper treatment plan can be decided upon.

Below are three common reasons heels hurt:

  1. Plantar Fasciitis—along the bottom of your foot there is a long band of tissue known as the plantar fascia that connects the heel bone to the ball of the foot. The plantar fascia is subject to large amounts of pressure and impact from normal daily activities. If you are a runner or serious athlete, your plantar fascia is getting an additional workout. When the plantar fascia becomes inflamed, it can cause heel pain. One telltale sign that plantar fasciitis is the cause of your heel discomfort is pain that is worse first thing in the morning. You may also experience pain in the arch of your foot and swelling on the bottom of your heel.
  2. Heel Spurs—spurs are outgrowths of bone. Heel spurs are often associated with, but are different from plantar fasciitis. When calcium deposits form in the heel, bone spurs can develop. Pressure from footwear and walking can cause redness, swelling, and painful inflammation. If you have heel spurs you may experience sharp pain or a dull ache.
  3. Flat Feet—although flat feet can also have several causes, the bottom line is that if your arch is collapsing, heel pain can result from it. Flattening of the arch puts your foot in a biomechanically abnormal position, which exerts excess pressure on the heel. This is why shoes that lack arch support can also be a heel pain trigger.

Depending on the source of your heel pain, there are many conservative treatments including: losing weight, custom orthotic and stretching exercises. Make an appointment at our Long Beach office in Douglas Park CA to find out why your heel is hurting.

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