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Why Dry Skin Can Lead to Cracked Heels

When the skin on your heels is allowed to become overly dry, rough, and thick, this can sometimes set the stage for cracked heels to develop. That is because when the weight of the body bears down—and the heel naturally spreads out—this callused, inflexible skin can crack. If cracked heels (heel fissures) are left untreated, they can deepen, become painful, and possibly even bleed or become infected. The best way to treat cracked heels is to avoid getting them at all. Applying topical emollients or occlusive moisturizers at night and covering your feet with socks can help seal in moisture and keep the heel hydrated. Also, gently massaging the heels with a pumice stone may help to smooth out mildly cracked heels, but this practice is not advised for people with diabetes or nerve damage. If your heels are badly cracked, red, painful, bleeding, or you believe they may be infected, it is suggested you contact a podiatrist to receive professional care.

If the skin on your feet starts to crack, you may want to see a podiatrist to find treatment. If you have any concerns, contact the podiatrists from Boston Common Podiatry. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Cracked Heels

It is important to moisturize your cracked heels in order to prevent pain, bleeding, and infection. The reason cracked heels form is because the skin on the foot is too dry to support the immense pressure placed on them. When the foot expands, the dry skin on the foot begins to split.

Ways to Help Heal Them

  • Invest in a good foot cream
  • Try Using Petroleum Jelly
  • Ease up on Soaps
  • Drink Plenty of Water

Ways to Prevent Cracked Heels

  • Moisturize After Showering
  • Skip a Shower
  • Keep Shower Water Lukewarm
  • Don’t Scrub Your Feet

If you are unsure how to proceed in treating cracked heels, seek guidance from a podiatrist. Your doctor will help you with any questions or information you may need. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Boston, MA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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It's Time for Beautiful Feet

You don't need an excuse to have beautiful nails. Step outside without worrying about the appearance of your feet.

Pointers on How to Buy Running Shoes

Many people who enjoy running know the importance of choosing the best running shoe for them. There are specific shoes that can help people to run faster, while adding comfort and possibly help to prevent injuries. The most important quality to look for in a running shoe is the fit. It is ideal to have a thumb’s width of space between the toe and the end of the shoe. This is beneficial in keeping the toes away from the top of the shoe while running downhill. It is suggested that the mileage and speed that is desired be determined before running shoes are purchased. This may help to decide which shoe is best for you. Additionally, recognizing existing foot conditions that can include flat feet or over-pronation is a key factor in choosing a correct running shoe. Many people buy their running shoes late in the day or in the evening when the feet are at their largest. It is best if running shoes are tried on and purchased based on how they feel, and not necessarily what they look like. If you would like more information about how to choose running shoes that fit well, please consult with a podiatrist. 

You should always make sure your running shoes fit properly in order to avoid injury. For more information, contact the podiatrists from Boston Common Podiatry. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Choosing the Right Running Shoe for Your Foot Type

Improper shoe sizing can cause a myriad of problems for your feet. Shoes that don’t fit you properly can lead to muscular imbalances in your body, which can result in foot, knee, and hip injuries.

Tips for Finding the Right Running Shoe

  • Make sure you have a thumb’s width of wiggle room between the end of your longest toe and the front of the shoe.
  • There should be little to no slipping at the heel
  • Don’t assume your size in one shoe brand will be your size in another
  • Do not lace up your shoes too tightly
  • Walk around in the store with your new shoes before you buy them

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our our office located in Boston, MA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Are Shoes Necessary for Proper Foot Development in Babies?

Babies' feet will grow and develop normally regardless of whether shoes are worn. It is beneficial to have your child walk barefoot while inside as this can help to strengthen the overall foot. The toes grip the floor to maintain balance, and this may help to accelerate the walking process. Warmer weather may encourage you to allow your child to walk outside without shoes. This may provide the opportunity of feeling the sand or grass on the feet. Many parents choose to have their children wear non-slip socks in the house when they have tile or wood floors, and this can be helpful in preventing unnecessary falling. When the weather turns chilly, it is important that the first pair of shoes have a sturdy but flexible sole, and the foot can be properly supported with traditional laces or velcro straps. If you would like additional information about what type of first shoes to buy for your baby, please confer with a podiatrist.

The health of a child’s feet is vital to their overall well-being. If you have any questions regarding foot health, contact the podiatrists of Boston Common Podiatry. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Tips for Keeping Children's Feet Healthy

  • Make sure their shoes fit properly
  • Look for any signs of in-toeing or out-toeing
  • Check to see if they have Clubfoot (condition that affects your child’s foot and ankle, twisting the heel and toes inward) which is one of the most common nonmajor birth defects.
  • Lightly cover your baby’s feet (Tight covers may keep your baby from moving their feet freely, and could prevent normal development)
  • Allow your toddler to go shoeless (Shoes can be restricting for a young child’s foot)
  • Cut toenails straight across to avoid ingrown toenails
  • Keep your child’s foot clean and dry
  • Cover cuts and scrapes. Wash any scratches with soap and water and cover them with a bandage until they’ve healed.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Boston, MA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Diabetic Foot Ulcers

If one’s diabetes is not carefully managed through diet, exercise, and insulin treatment, an all-too-common complication can be a foot ulcer. Ulcers develop because skin tissue breaks down and layers of skin underneath are exposed due to poor circulation, high blood sugar, nerve damage, and irritated or hurt feet. Foot ulcers usually develop under big toes or the balls of the feet. Symptoms to watch for are unusual swelling, irritation, redness, discoloration, drainage from the foot, and odors emanating from the feet. The most visible sign of a foot ulcer is when black tissue (known as “eschar”) surrounds the ulcer because of poor blood flow to the area. However, signs of a foot ulcer are not always present or obvious. Good foot care, including wearing properly fitting, quality shoes, maintaining good foot hygiene, proper trimming of toenails, as well as attention paid to other aspects of physical health, such as heart and kidney disease and obesity, can help with the prevention of foot ulcers. Treatment depends on the cause and severity of the ulcer. It is highly suggested to consult with a podiatrist for proper diagnosis and to obtain a treatment plan.

Wound care is an important part in dealing with diabetes. If you have diabetes and a foot wound or would like more information about wound care for diabetics, consult with the podiatrists from Boston Common Podiatry. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

What Is Wound Care?

Wound care is the practice of taking proper care of a wound. This can range from the smallest to the largest of wounds. While everyone can benefit from proper wound care, it is much more important for diabetics. Diabetics often suffer from poor blood circulation which causes wounds to heal much slower than they would in a non-diabetic. 

What Is the Importance of Wound Care?

While it may not seem apparent with small ulcers on the foot, for diabetics, any size ulcer can become infected. Diabetics often also suffer from neuropathy, or nerve loss. This means they might not even feel when they have an ulcer on their foot. If the wound becomes severely infected, amputation may be necessary. Therefore, it is of the upmost importance to properly care for any and all foot wounds.

How to Care for Wounds

The best way to care for foot wounds is to prevent them. For diabetics, this means daily inspections of the feet for any signs of abnormalities or ulcers. It is also recommended to see a podiatrist several times a year for a foot inspection. If you do have an ulcer, run the wound under water to clear dirt from the wound; then apply antibiotic ointment to the wound and cover with a bandage. Bandages should be changed daily and keeping pressure off the wound is smart. It is advised to see a podiatrist, who can keep an eye on it.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Boston, MA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Heel Pain Can Be Treated!

Do you suffer from heel pain when you get up in the morning? If so, you should seek the professional help of your podiatrist and have a proper diagnosis performed. Heel pain can be caused by several different foot-related conditions.

Facts About Arthritis

Arthritis has long been considered an ailment of the elderly, but a variety of other people are actually experiencing some form of arthritis, even children. Arthritis is an inflammation of the joints that produces pain, swelling, and muscle stiffness that often affect the toes, feet, and ankles. Among the causes are the deterioration of cartilage that then endangers the bones, an attack of the autoimmune system, smoking, previous injury, over-exercising or repetitive stress, serious infections, and heredity. There are many types of arthritis, including rheumatoid, psoriatic, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, gout, ankylosing spondylitis, lupus and juvenile. The most easily recognizable symptoms of arthritis include pain and swelling in the joints, redness, difficulty in walking or moving the joints, stiffness in the morning, and tenderness to the touch. Many treatments are available that allow you to live with this condition. If you think you or your child may have arthritis, it is a good idea to contact a podiatrist for a complete examination and diagnosis, as well as possible treatment plans.  

Arthritis can be a difficult condition to live with. If you are seeking treatment, contact the podiatrists from Boston Common Podiatry. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Arthritic Foot Care  

Arthritis is a term that is commonly used to describe joint pain.  The condition itself can occur to anyone of any age, race, or gender, and there are over 100 types of it.  Nevertheless, arthritis is more commonly found in women compared to men, and it is also more prevalent in those who are overweight. The causes of arthritis vary depending on which type of arthritis you have. Osteoarthritis for example, is often caused by injury, while rheumatoid arthritis is caused by a misdirected immune system.

Symptoms

  • Swelling
  • Pain
  • Stiffness
  • Decreased Range of Motion

Arthritic symptoms range in severity, and they may come and go. Some symptoms stay the same for several years but could potentially get worse with time. Severe cases of arthritis can prevent its sufferers from performing daily activities and make walking difficult.

Risk Factors

  • Occupation – Occupations requiring repetitive knee movements have been linked to osteoarthritis
  • Obesity – Excess weight can contribute to osteoarthritis development
  • Infection – Microbial agents can infect the joints and trigger arthritis
  • Joint Injuries – Damage to joints may lead to osteoarthritis
  • Age – Risk increases with age
  • Gender –Most types are more common in women
  • Genetics – Arthritis can be hereditary

If you suspect your arthritis is affecting your feet, it is crucial that you see a podiatrist immediately. Your doctor will be able to address your specific case and help you decide which treatment method is best for you.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Boston, MA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Why Your Ankle May Hurt Without an Injury

 

Ankle pain that is sudden, and not due to an injury, may be caused by any number of causes, including certain arthritic conditions. Rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis can sometimes negatively affect the tissue and cartilage (respectively) in ankles, causing pain and swelling. Similar symptoms can be present when reactive arthritis affects the ankle. This is a condition which is triggered by a bacterial infection elsewhere in the body. Gout is another type of arthritis in which excessive amounts of uric acid crystalize on joints. Gout usually affects the big toe, but it can also affect the ankle. Another disease that sometimes affects the ankle joint causing stiffness, pain and swelling is scleroderma. Bursitis is a condition in which the cushioning bursa sac at the back of the ankle becomes inflamed from stress or overuse and produces pain and inflammation. If you rupture or tear the tendon that connects your calf muscle with your heel (Achilles tendon), you can develop a condition known as Achilles tendonitis. These are just a few of the conditions that may cause ankle pain without injury. Whatever the cause, it is important to have your ankle pain properly diagnosed in order to receive the proper treatment. Call a podiatrist if you are experiencing any pain in your ankle. 

Ankle pain can be caused by a number of problems and may be potentially serious. If you have ankle pain, consult with the podiatrists from Boston Common Podiatry. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Ankle pain is any condition that causes pain in the ankle. Due to the fact that the ankle consists of tendons, muscles, bones, and ligaments, ankle pain can come from a number of different conditions.

Causes

The most common causes of ankle pain include:

  • Types of arthritis (rheumatoid, osteoarthritis, and gout)
  • Ankle sprains
  • Broken ankles
  • Achilles tendinitis
  • Achilles tendon rupture
  • Stress fractures
  • Bursitis
  • Tarsal tunnel syndrome
  • Plantar fasciitis

Symptoms

Symptoms of ankle injury vary based upon the condition. Pain may include general pain and discomfort, swelling, aching, redness, bruising, burning or stabbing sensations, and/or loss of sensation.

Diagnosis

Due to the wide variety of potential causes of ankle pain, podiatrists will utilize a number of different methods to properly diagnose ankle pain. This can include asking for personal and family medical histories and of any recent injuries. Further diagnosis may include sensation tests, a physical examination, and potentially x-rays or other imaging tests.

Treatment

Just as the range of causes varies widely, so do treatments. Some more common treatments are rest, ice packs, keeping pressure off the foot, orthotics and braces, medication for inflammation and pain, and surgery.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Boston, MA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

 

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Dealing With a Bunion

A bunion is a bony protrusion of the foot, caused when the big toe pushes inward toward the other toes, and the head of the metatarsal below it pushes outward. This deformity, called hallux valgus, can become quite painful, because the bump that is formed rubs against the side of the shoe, becoming red and sore. Bunions also negatively affect how you walk and distribute your weight, and can cause other painful conditions, like metatarsalgia (pain in the ball of the foot), and hammertoe. Common causes for bunions include wearing shoes and socks that do not allow for proper movement in the toe box, wearing high heels with pointy toes, and genetics. Several pads and braces are available over the counter to help ease the pain of bunions and temporarily straighten the toe. But as a rule, once a bunion is formed, the toe will not straighten out on its own. In the end, surgery is the most realistic treatment option, and even then, your toe may never be perfectly straight. If you have a bunion that is interfering with the activities in your life, it is suggested that you see a podiatrist for an examination and treatment plan.

If you are suffering from bunion pain, contact the podiatrists of Boston Common Podiatry. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is a Bunion?

Bunions are painful bony bumps that usually develop on the inside of the foot at the joint of the big toe. As the deformity increases over time, it may become painful to walk and wear shoes. Women are more likely to exacerbate existing bunions since they often wear tight, narrow shoes that shift their toes together. Bunion pain can be relieved by wearing wider shoes with enough room for the toes.

Causes

  • Genetics – some people inherit feet that are more prone to bunion development
  • Inflammatory Conditions - rheumatoid arthritis and polio may cause bunion development

Symptoms

  • Redness and inflammation
  • Pain and tenderness
  • Callus or corns on the bump
  • Restricted motion in the big toe

In order to diagnose your bunion, your podiatrist may ask about your medical history, symptoms, and general health. Your doctor might also order an x-ray to take a closer look at your feet. Nonsurgical treatment options include orthotics, padding, icing, changes in footwear, and medication. If nonsurgical treatments don’t alleviate your bunion pain, surgery may be necessary.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Boston, MA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Reminder: When Was the Last Time...?

Custom orthotics, or shoe inserts, should be periodically replaced. Orthotics must fit properly to give you the best results. Protect your feet and ankles!

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