Wednesday, 08 January 2020 13:28

Don’t Try to Hide Foot Odor Problem

At Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center, one issue we notice, our Douglas Park/Los Angeles County area patients are often hesitant to bring up is foot odor. Smelly feet can be embarrassing, but it’s important that you discuss it with podiatrists, Dr. Victoria M. Foley and Dr. Constance Ornelas because sometimes it can be a sign of a fungal infection or another medical problem that needs to be addressed.

What Stinks?

The cause of the odor is usually a bacteria and/or fungus that is in your shoe and combines with the sweat on your skin to produce the foul odor. In some cases, a medical condition known as hyperhidrosis can be the source of year-round perspiration and stinky feet. If this is the cause of your smelly feet, the podiatrist can discuss treatment options with you. In most cases, however, some simple precautions can help you avoid the fungal infections that cause smelly feet.

  • Wash your feet with soap every day and take the time to dry them completely. Be particularly diligent about drying the spaces between your toes as this is often the starting place for athlete’s foot.
  • Don’t allow feet to stay in damp socks. Keep extra socks in your bag or desk and change multiple times a day if necessary. Moist, dark places are the ideal breeding ground for fungal infections.
  • Never share shoes, socks, nail clippers, towels, or other items that touch another person’s feet.
  • Avoid socks and stockings that are constrictive and trap moisture against your skin. Choose shoes made from breathable materials and have space to allow air to circulate around your feet.
  • Alternate your shoes—don’t wear the same pair multiple days in a row.
  • Keep feet covered by wearing flip-flops or shower shoes at the gym, community pool, nail salon or any other public place.
  • If you notice red, itchy skin that’s scaly and/or blistering or toenails that are becoming thick and discolored, make an appointment at our Long Beach office by calling: (562) 420-9800.
Monday, 30 December 2019 13:27

Walk Your Way to Healthier Feet This Year

It’s time for New Year’s resolutions, and at Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center, we know that many of our Douglas Park/Los Angeles County area patients will be thinking about starting new exercise regimens. One of the best and easiest fitness activities you can do is walking.

Some benefits of walking include:

  • It’s a great choice if you have been inactive for a period of time.
  • Walking has a host of health benefits: improved circulation, helps with weight loss or maintenance, reduces stress, lowers cholesterol, high blood pressure, and high blood sugar, to name a few.
  • Walking can be done indoors or out.
  • You don’t need expensive equipment—just a good pair of walking shoes.
  • It can be done with others or on your own.
  • You can take it with you wherever you go.

Getting Started

Before you begin any new fitness program, you should consult your physician. It’s also a good idea to make an appointment at our Long Beach office (call: 562-420-9800) for a podiatric checkup. Our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria M. Foley and Dr. Constance Ornelas will want to do a complete foot and ankle examination. If you have any chronic podiatric conditions such as bunions or plantar fasciitis, the foot doctor will want to evaluate how that condition has progressed and alert you to specific shoe features that will make walking safer and more comfortable. Once you’ve got the green light from your doctors, take the next steps:

  • Purchase a pair of good quality shoes designed specifically for walking. Shoes should have a firm heel counter, good arch support, thick, cushioned sole for excellent shock absorption and plenty of room in the toe box. It’s best to go to a sports shoe store and get the assistance of professional. Have your feet measured and let the salesperson know if the podiatrist has told you anything particular about your gait or pronation.
  • Make a plan. There are many walking programs available or you can just start on your own. What’s important is that you start off slowly and gradually build up your speed and the duration of your walking. Too much too soon can result in Achilles tendonitis and muscle strains.
  • Stay accountable. You may want to enlist a friend to walk with to help you both stay on track. If going it alone, try to commit to a certain number of times a week, and best, if it’s at specific times and days to ensure you stick to your plan. Put walking dates on your calendar.
  • Be sure to warm up and stretch before and after your walk. If you experience any pain or discomfort, contact us to get it checked out.
Thursday, 26 December 2019 13:26

6 Care Tips for Diabetic Patients

At Superior Foot & Ankle Care, we want all of our Douglas Park/Los Angeles County area patients to be vigilant about good foot care. For patients with diabetes, however, this is even a more critical concern. Diabetes, also known as hyperglycemia, is a condition where blood sugar levels are not normal. If not properly controlled, the immune system can be compromised and infections difficult to heal. For your feet, the added complications commonly associated with diabetes—neuropathy (loss of sensation) and poor circulation can mean disastrous and debilitating results. This leaves diabetic patients at increased risk for several conditions, including fungal infections, ingrown nails, calluses, hammertoes, corns, and skin problems. You can, however, prevent damage from diabetes by taking some extra care with your feet and avoiding potential problem scenarios. Here are six ways to ensure good foot health if you have diabetes:

  1. Schedule regular appointments with our podiatrists, Victoria M. Foley and Dr. Constance Ornelas. The foot doctor will carefully monitor your feet for any changes that may signal an infection or ulcer forming. The podiatrist can also advise you on proper foot care and prescribe treatment for new or existing conditions.
  2. Develop a daily care regimen. Wash feet with warm—not hot—soapy water and dry thoroughly, particularly between your toes. While you clean your feet, look them over for signs of developing problems such as skin color changes, swelling, sores, cuts or blisters, bruises, and redness. Report anything suspicious to our Long Beach office immediately by calling: (562) 420-9800.
  3. Choose shoes wisely. Make sure they do not pinch or rub anywhere that can cause a Look for styles with a wide roomy toes box and soft leather uppers. Avoid high heels.
  4. Keep feet dry. Wear absorbent socks (with no seams or tight elastic bands) and change them as soon as you notice your feet feel damp. If your feet tend to sweat profusely, use an anti-fungal foot powder each morning to reduce the risk of athlete’s foot.
  5. Take care of toenails or let a professional handle. Nails should be trimmed straight across and not too short. File rough edges to prevent them from catching and tearing.
  6. Protect circulation by not smoking, changing position frequently and exercising regularly.

If you are diabetic and have more questions about how to best care for your feet, contact us today.

Wednesday, 18 December 2019 13:24

Give Your Feet the Gift of Good Shoes

At Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center, we are confident that if your feet could talk, they’d say all they want for Christmas is a pair of well-made, properly fitting shoes. Wearing shoes that are ill-fitting and of lesser quality can result in a host of ankle and foot problems and even injuries and foot deformities over time. Especially during the busy holiday season when you’re on your feet more than ever, it’s essential to have good shoes. Below are some tips on getting the best for your feet.

Start with a Checkup

If you haven’t been in a while or you have a progressive podiatric condition such as a bunion or flat feet, make an appointment at our Long Beach office by calling: (562) 420-9800. Our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria M. Foley and Dr. Constance Ornelas will examine your feet and ankles and, depending on your disorder, may order x-rays or other imaging studies to see how your condition is progressing. The podiatrist can then make recommendations about shoe designs that will give you maximum comfort and minimize biomechanical issues spurring on your condition. If the podiatrist prescribes an orthotic device, you’ll want to take it with you when shoe shopping to make sure the footwear you choose can accommodate it.

Go to a Professional

Your feet are too important to leave shoe choice to chance and guesswork. Go to a reputable shoe store. There you should find knowledgeable staff who can measure your feet to ensure the correct size and also direct you to shoes that will best suit your feet and the activity you plan to use them for.

Shop for Quality

Some general characteristics of a good shoe or boot include:

  • Soft, breathable material for the uppers that allows toes to wiggle freely
  • Thick soles for shock absorption
  • A good, non-slip tread
  • Cushioned insole
  • Heel height of 2 inches or less—but not completely flat
  • Adequate support in the arch

Get a Good Fit

Shop at the end of the day—that’s when your feet are at their largest and most swollen. Always try on both shoes with the type of socks you would typically wear with them and take your time walking around the store to make sure they feel comfortable.

Follow these simple tips and we know that feet throughout the Douglas Park/Los Angeles County area will enjoy a holiday that’s merry and bright!

Tuesday, 10 December 2019 13:20

Does Your Child Need to See the Podiatrist?

At Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center, we know that our parents in the Douglas Park/Los Angeles County area, just like parents everywhere, may have difficulty discerning when their children have a foot problem versus average complaining, aches, and pains, etc. Good podiatric health starts at birth, and proper care of the feet is necessary throughout childhood to prevent foot and ankle problems in adulthood.

As They Grow

For infants, a tremendous amount of growth occurs in the feet during the first year. For this reason, feet should be unrestricted and free to stretch, move, and kick freely. Avoid excessively confining footwear for babies. As your child becomes a toddler, they will start to walk—when they are ready. Don’t force children to take steps prematurely. Don’t be alarmed if your toddler appears to be in-toeing or walking with another strange gait at first. Over time, most children grow into a normal walking pattern. The most important factors in preventive podiatric care for children are good hygiene and properly fitting shoes. You should check where your child’s foot is in their shoes frequently as little feet can grow quickly.

Spotting a Problem

So just how do you know if your child is experiencing a foot problem? Since children are not always able to accurately articulate a foot or ankle problem, parents sometimes have to become sleuths and look for clues that may indicate an issue. Some tip-offs to foot trouble include:

  • Walking on tiptoes
  • Frequently tripping or falling
  • Not wanting to engage in physical activities they have previously enjoyed
  • Lagging behind friends in backyard play
  • Complaining that their feet feel “tired”

If your child exhibits any of the above consistently or complains of foot or ankle pain, make an appointment at our Long Beach office by calling: (562) 420-9800. Our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria M. Foley and Dr. Constance Ornelas will examine your child’s feet and determine if a podiatric problem exists and the best treatment.

Thursday, 05 December 2019 13:18

Got Gout?

It’s beginning to look a lot like gout season here in the Douglas Park/Los Angeles County area and we at Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center want to help our patients learn more about this condition and how to avoid it.

Gout is a form of arthritis—in fact, it is sometimes referred to as gouty arthritis. This condition occurs as the result of a buildup of uric acid in the body, which then crystallizes in the joints causing extreme pain, throbbing, burning and tenderness in a joint, stiffness and decreased range of motion. Uric acid is a byproduct of the breakdown of purines, a chemical that is found naturally in the body and in certain foods. Risk factors for developing gout include:

  • An inherited tendency for gout
  • Obesity
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Chemotherapy
  • Recent surgery
  • Stress
  • Certain medication and vitamins

Although gout can strike men and women at any age, it is most commonly seen in men ages 40 to 60.

Why Now?

You may be wondering why gout is more prevalent during the holiday season. Two factors are at play here. First, the most frequent site of gout—your big toe—is under extra strain during the holiday season with all the errands to run, shopping to do and long hours spent standing in line or socializing. Second, gout attacks can be triggered by particular foods, many of which are part of traditional holiday fare. If you have suffered from gout in the past, you may want to avoid overindulging on red meat, shellfish, red wine, organ meats, beer, and rich sauces. Drinking plenty of water will also help your body naturally flush out excess uric acid.

Treatment Options

The bad news about gout is that if you’ve had it once, you’re likely to suffer future attacks. If you have a gout attack, contact our Long Beach office for an appointment by calling: (562) 420-9800. Our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria M. Foley or Dr. Constance Ornelas will examine your feet and may prescribe medication to deal with symptoms of gout. Other parts of your treatment plan will address prevention with medication and lifestyle choices.

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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