Blog

12 December 2017

How to Treat and Prevent Cracked Heels at Home

Cracked heels are generally not a serious health concern for non-diabetics. Having said that, they can be a discomforting and even slightly painful issue. Cracked heels are typically caused by dry skin, so making sure to keep your feet hydrated is important. Foot creams can be very helpful in restoring moisture to the feet and helping to keep them moisturized. It is recommended that you drink plenty of water to help keep your body hydrated, which will also help to keep your skin hydrated as well. Maintain a healthy diet, and eat foods that will help keep your body healthy. Try to use soaps or skin products that are mild and do not contain harsh chemicals that can damage your skin. Washing your feet daily will help keep them clean and help prevent any potential bacteria or fungus from infecting your feet. Finally, when you dry your feet, pat them dry instead of rubbing them dry as this can damage skin.

Cracked heels are unsightly and can cause further damage to your shoes and feet. If you have any concerns, contact one of our podiatrists from Princeton Foot & Ankle Associates. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Cracked Heels

Cracked heels appear unappealing and can make it harder for you walk around in sandals. Aside from looking unpleasant, cracked heels can also tear stockings, socks, and wear out your shoes. There are several methods to help restore a cracked heel and prevent further damage.

How do you get them?

Dry skin is the number one culprit in creating cracked heels. Many athletes, walkers, joggers, and even swimmers suffer from cracked heels. Age and skin oil production play a role to getting cracked heels as well.

Promote Healing

Over the counter medicines can help, especially for those that need instant relief or who suffer from chronic dry feet.

Wear Socks – Wearing socks with medicated creams helps lock in moisture.

Moisturizers – Applying both day and night will help alleviate dryness which causes cracking.

Pumice Stones – These exfoliate and remove dead skin, which allows for smoother moisturizer application and better absorption into the skin. 

Change in Diet

Eating healthy with a well-balanced diet will give the skin a fresh and radiant look. Your body responds to the kinds of food you ingest. Omega-3 fatty acids and zinc supplements can also revitalize skin tissue.

Most importantly, seek professional help if unsure how to proceed in treating cracked heels. A podiatrist will help you with any questions or information needed. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Princeton and West Windsor, NJ. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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05 December 2017

How Rheumatoid Arthritis Can Affect the Feet

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disease that causes swelling in the heel and joints and can be very painful. It commonly affects the small joints of the feet. Corns and hammertoes can develop, and bunions may be exacerbated due to the weakened ligaments in the foot. Common symptoms that may occur include clicking and popping sounds, locked joints due to stiffness, and difficulty walking. Plantar fasciitis can also develop because the tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot becomes inflamed. Stretching exercises, which increases the flexibility of the foot and toes, can help bring some relief. Additionally, wearing comfortable and supportive shoes may also make your feet feel better. Avoid poorly-fitted footwear such as high heels, as they increase pressure on the feet. Please consult with a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis if you have pain in your feet. Podiatrists are trained to handle arthritis in the foot and ankle and will be able to help with the condition.

Because RA affects more than just your joints, including the joints in your feet and ankles, it is important to seek early diagnosis from your podiatrist  if you feel like the pain in your feet might be caused by RA. For more information, contact one of our podiatrists of Princeton Foot & Ankle Associates. Our doctors will assist you with all of your podiatric concerns.

What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder in which the body’s own immune system attacks the membranes surrounding the joints. Inflammation of the lining and eventually the destruction of the joint’s cartilage and bone occur, causing severe pain and immobility.

Rheumatoid Arthritis of the Feet

Although RA usually attacks multiple bones and joints throughout the entire body, almost 90 percent of cases result in pain in the foot or ankle area.

Symptoms

  • Swelling and pain in the feet
  • Stiffness in the feet
  • Pain on the ball or sole of feet
  • Joint shift and deformation

Diagnosis

Quick diagnosis of RA in the feet is important so that the podiatrist can treat the area effectively. Your doctor will ask you about your medical history, occupation, and lifestyle to determine the origin of the condition. Rheumatoid Factor tests help to determine if someone is affected by the disease.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Princeton and West Windsor, NJ. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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28 November 2017

Preventing Common Foot Problems

There are many things that get neglected as we get older, and the feet are one of them. The overall health of an elderly person may be improved with proper foot care, which may include toenail cutting, moisturizing, and inspecting the feet. This is especially true for diabetic patients. Foot problems are common due to years of wear and tear. Shoes can be a critical factor in keeping the feet properly supported, in addition to helping prevent poor circulation. It is important to keep your toenails trimmed as improperly trimmed toenails can be more likely to break or cause other issues. To prevent foot problems, have your feet checked regularly by a podiatrist. It’s also beneficial to have your feet elevated while sitting or lying down. Additionally, a gentle foot massage or foot soak may help ease pain and keep your feet clean. Please consult a podiatrist if you have questions or concerns about common foot conditions and care.

Proper foot care is something many older adults forget to consider. If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles, contact one of our podiatrists from Princeton Foot & Ankle Associates. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

The Elderly and their Feet

As we age we start to notice many changes in our body, but the elder population may not notice them right away. Medical conditions may prevent the elderly to take notice of their foot health right away. Poor vision is a lead contributor to not taking action for the elderly.

Common Conditions 

  • Neuropathy – can reduce feeling in the feet, and can hide many life threating medical conditions.
  • Reduced flexibility – prevents the ability of proper toenail trimming, and foot cleaning. If left untreated, it may lead to further medical issues.
  • Foot sores – amongst the older population can be serious before they are discovered. Some of the problematic conditions they may face are:
  • Gouging toenails affecting nearby toe
  • Shoes that don’t fit properly
  • Pressure sores
  • Loss of circulation in legs & feet
  • Edema & swelling of feet and ankles

Susceptible Infections

Diabetes and poor circulation can cause general loss of sensitivity over the years, turning a simple cut into a serious issue.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Princeton and West Windsor, NJ. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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20 November 2017

Caring for a Diabetic Foot Ulcer

If feet are deprived of blood that's rich in oxygen, a condition called diabetic foot can occur. It is typically characterized by open wounds or sores, usually located on the sole of the foot. The high blood sugar may damage blood vessels, causing poor circulation in the feet and legs. Foot ulcers may then be a result of this and can be very slow to heal. Checking the feet for cuts and sores, in addition to learning how to keep the feet clean and dry, is crucial for patients. For people with severe foot ulcers, special shoes may be needed. It’s important for the ulcer to be treated properly by washing it well with saline or clean tap water and then covering it with a bandage to control drainage. You should seek immediate treatment from a podiatrist if you think you have a diabetic foot ulcer.

Diabetic foot care is important in preventing foot ailments such as ulcers. If you are suffering from diabetes or have any other concerns about your feet, contact one of our podiatrists from Princeton Foot & Ankle Associates. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Diabetic Foot Care

Diabetes affects millions of people every year. The condition can damage blood vessels in many parts of the body, especially the feet. Because of this, taking care of your feet is essential if you have diabetes, and having a podiatrist help monitor your foot health is highly recommended.

The Importance of Caring for Your Feet

  • Routinely inspect your feet for bruises or sores.
  • Wear socks that fit your feet comfortably.
  • Wear comfortable shoes that provide adequate support.

Patients with diabetes should have their doctor monitor their blood levels, as blood sugar levels play such a huge role in diabetic care. Monitoring these levels on a regular basis is highly advised.

It is always best to inform your healthcare professional of any concerns you may have regarding your feet, especially for diabetic patients. Early treatment and routine foot examinations are keys to maintaining proper health, especially because severe complications can arise if proper treatment is not applied.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Princeton and West Windsor, NJ. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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13 November 2017

Causes of Ingrown Toenails

When there is an imbalance in the size of the nail and the enlargement of the skin edge, this may cause an ingrown toenail. Reasons for this may include the nail naturally growing inward, improper shoe fitting, and hereditary conditions. Other causes may be from an improper pedicure and/or poor foot hygiene. Common symptoms can be tenderness of the nail, swelling and redness. Additionally, drainage and pus may occur if there is an infection involved. Home remedies may include soaking the affected toe in lukewarm water, or applying antibacterial ointments for bacterial infections and antifungal ointments for fungal infections. Those who have diabetes or poor circulation are advised to consult a podiatrist even if the symptoms appear to be mild.

Ingrown toenails can become painful if they are not treated properly. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact one of our podiatrists of Princeton Foot & Ankle Associates. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails occur when a toenail grows sideways into the bed of the nail, causing pain, swelling, and possibly infection.

Causes

  • Bacterial infections
  • Improper nail cutting such as cutting it too short or not straight across
  • Trauma to the toe, such as stubbing, which causes the nail to grow back irregularly
  • Ill-fitting shoes that bunch the toes too close together
  • Genetic predisposition

Prevention

Because ingrown toenails are not something found outside of shoe-wearing cultures, going barefoot as often as possible will decrease the likeliness of developing ingrown toenails. Wearing proper fitting shoes and using proper cutting techniques will also help decrease your risk of developing ingrown toenails.

Treatment

Ingrown toenails are a very treatable foot condition. In minor cases, soaking the affected area in salt or antibacterial soaps will not only help with the ingrown nail itself, but also help prevent any infections from occurring. In more severe cases, surgery is an option. In either case, speaking to your podiatrist about this condition will help you get a better understanding of specific treatment options that are right for you.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Princeton and West Windsor, NJ. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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06 November 2017

What Causes Cracked Heels?

Insufficient moisture in the skin is one of the most common causes of cracked heels. Painful cracks called fissures can split the skin open, resulting in the cracks. This happens because as the heel pad is expanding, the skin is not soft enough to expand with it. Therefore, it cracks. There are many reasons for this including cold weather, not drinking enough water, and using harsh soaps on the feet. Being diabetic may be another cause. To prevent cracked heels, it helps to stay hydrated, use a good foot lotion, and avoid taking hot showers. If the fissures are severe enough or causing you pain, you may want to consult a podiatrist for treatment.

Cracked heels are unsightly and can cause further damage to your shoes and feet. If you have any concerns, contact one of our podiatrists from Princeton Foot & Ankle Associates. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Cracked Heels

Cracked heels appear unappealing and can make it harder for you walk around in sandals. Aside from looking unpleasant, cracked heels can also tear stockings, socks, and wear out your shoes. There are several methods to help restore a cracked heel and prevent further damage.

How do you get them?

Dry skin is the number one culprit in creating cracked heels. Many athletes, walkers, joggers, and even swimmers suffer from cracked heels. Age and skin oil production play a role to getting cracked heels as well.

Promote Healing

Over the counter medicines can help, especially for those that need instant relief or who suffer from chronic dry feet.

Wear Socks – Wearing socks with medicated creams helps lock in moisture.

Moisturizers – Applying both day and night will help alleviate dryness which causes cracking.

Pumice Stones – These exfoliate and remove dead skin, which allows for smoother moisturizer application and better absorption into the skin. 

Change in Diet

Eating healthy with a well-balanced diet will give the skin a fresh and radiant look. Your body responds to the kinds of food you ingest. Omega-3 fatty acids and zinc supplements can also revitalize skin tissue.

Most importantly, seek professional help if unsure how to proceed in treating cracked heels. A podiatrist will help you with any questions or information needed. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Princeton and West Windsor, NJ. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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31 October 2017

Common Causes of Achilles Tendon Injuries

When you point your toes toward the floor and then stand up on your tiptoes, that's the Achilles tendon at work. It’s located at the back of the ankle and above the heel. When it is injured, there can be stiffness or burning pain in the lower part of the leg. Typically, this injury tends to happen as you push off on your foot, as opposed to landing on your foot.  An example of this is a runner pushing off the starting block. Other common causes include engaging in activities like dancing, tennis, and football. In addition to these, flat feet and wearing high heels or poorly-fitted footwear may also cause stress on the Achilles tendon.

Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact one of our podiatrists of Princeton Foot & Ankle Associates. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What is the Achilles Tendon?

The Achilles tendon is a tendon that connects the lower leg muscles and calf to the heel of the foot. It is the strongest tendon in the human body and is essential for making movement possible. Because this tendon is such an integral part of the body, any injuries to it can create immense difficulties and should immediately be presented to a doctor.

What are the symptoms of an Achilles Tendon Injury?

There are various types of injuries that can affect the Achilles tendon. The two most common injuries are Achilles tendinitis and ruptures of the tendon.

Achilles Tendinitis Symptoms

  • Inflammation
  • Dull to severe pain
  • Increased blood flow to the tendon
  • Thickening of the tendon

Rupture Symptoms

  • Extreme pain and swelling in the foot
  • Total immobility

Treatment and Prevention

Achilles tendon injuries are diagnosed by a thorough physical evaluation, which can include an MRI. Treatment involves rest, physical therapy, and in some cases, surgery. However, various preventative measures can be taken to avoid these injuries, such as:

  • Thorough stretching of the tendon before and after exercise
  • Strengthening exercises like calf raises, squats, leg curls, leg extensions, leg raises, lunges, and leg presses

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Princeton and West Windsor, NJ. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

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23 October 2017

Common Foot Afflictions and What They Mean

Our feet are an essential part of our bodies, and it’s important to remember to keep an eye out for possible problems. Muscle spasms and foot cramps can be a sign of dehydration so be sure to stay hydrated, especially during periods of physical activity. Gout, a form of arthritis, can cause the big toe joint to become inflamed; this can cause pain. It is best to see a podiatrist for diagnosis and treatment for gout. If your feet are cold, this can be from poor blood circulation; this could possibly stem from diabetes, anemia, or hypothyroidism. Swollen feet can occur while pregnant or be caused by poor circulation from a blood clot, lymphatic buildup, or cellulitis. If you are experiencing nerve loss or a pins and needles sensation in your feet, you could be experiencing neuropathy; this can be caused by diabetes. Once again it is best to see a podiatrist if you have any of these symptoms. Finally, colored toenails can be a sign of psoriasis or toenail fungus. There are topical creams for toenail fungus; but once again, a podiatrist can offer better treatment options and a more thorough diagnosis.

Everyday foot care is very important to prevent infection and other foot ailments. If you need your feet checked, contact one of our podiatrists from Princeton Foot & Ankle Associates. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Everyday Foot Care

Often, people take care of their bodies, face and hair more so than they do for their feet. But the feet are a very important aspect of our bodies, and one that we should pay more attention to. Without our feet, we would not be able to perform most daily tasks.

It is best to check your feet regularly to make sure there are no new bruises or cuts that you may not have noticed before. For dry feet, moisturizer can easily be a remedy and can be applied as often as necessary to the affected areas. Wearing shoes that fit well can also help you maintain good foot health, as well as making it easier to walk and do daily activities without the stress or pain of ill-fitting shoes, high heels, or even flip flops. Wearing clean socks with closed shoes is important to ensure that sweat and bacteria do not accumulate within the shoe. Clean socks help to prevent Athlete’s foot, fungi problems, bad odors, and can absorb sweat.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Princeton and West Windsor, NJ. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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16 October 2017

New Study Says That Aging Slows Reaction to Falls

A new study by the University of Waterloo says that the elderly need up to twice as long as young adults to realize they are falling. Seniors are already at an increased risk of falling due to a number of reasons. This study helps show that once they are falling, they don’t process it as quickly as a younger person would. Consequently, there are more times that seniors can’t react fast enough to catch themselves or brace for impact. Falls are a leading cause of hospitalization among the elderly. Studies like this and increased awareness are needed to help prevent future falls among this rapidly growing group of people.

Preventing falls among the elderly is very important. If you are older and have fallen or fear that you are prone to falling, consult with one of our podiatrists from Princeton Foot & Ankle Associates. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality advice and care.

Every 11 seconds, an elderly American is being treated in an emergency room for a fall related injury. Falls are the leading cause of head and hip injuries for those 65 and older. Due to decreases in strength, balance, senses, and lack of awareness, elderly persons are very susceptible to falling. Thankfully, there are a number of things older persons can do to prevent falls.

How to Prevent Falls

Some effective methods that older persons can do to prevent falls include:

  • Enrolling in strength and balance exercise program to increase balance and strength
  • Periodically having your sight and hearing checked
  • Discuss any medications you have with a doctor to see if it increases the risk of falling
  • Clearing the house of falling hazards and installing devices like grab bars and railings
  • Utilizing a walker or cane
  • Wearing shoes that provide good support and cushioning
  • Talking to family members about falling and increasing awareness

Falling can be a traumatic and embarrassing experience for elderly persons; this can make them less willing to leave the house, and less willing to talk to someone about their fears of falling. Doing such things, however, will increase the likelihood of tripping or losing one’s balance. Knowing the causes of falling and how to prevent them is the best way to mitigate the risk of serious injury.  

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Princeton and West Windsor, NJ. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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09 October 2017

New Study Seeks Ways to Prevent Stress Fractures

A new study conducted by the University of Oregon, and with the participation of Stanford University, the University of Southern California, and the University of Colorado Boulder, seeks to identify athletes who are likely to develop stress fractures. With newly known risk factor indicators available, athletes who are at risk for stress fractures can be alerted and allowed to rest to prevent them. Stress fractures, or tiny hairline fractures in the bone, most commonly occur from overuse and lack of rest. The study is still in its early stages and will take several years to produce conclusive results. Researchers are hopeful that this will help prevent athlete's injuring themselves and allow them to keep playing.
 

Activities where too much pressure is put on the feet can cause stress fractures. To learn more, contact one of our podiatrists from Princeton Foot & Ankle Associates. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep your pain free and on your feet.

Dealing with Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle

Stress fractures occur in the foot and ankle when muscles in these areas weaken from too much or too little use.  The feet and ankles then lose support when walking or running from the impact of the ground. Since there is no protection, the bones receive the full impact of each step. Stress on the feet can cause cracks to form in the bones, thus creating stress fractures.

What are Stress Fractures?

Stress fractures occur frequently in individuals whose daily activities cause great impact on the feet and ankles. Stress factors are most common among:

  • Runners                                  
  • People affected with Osteoporosis
  • Tennis or basketball players
  • Gymnasts
  • High impact workouts

Symptoms

Pain from the fractures occur in the area of the fractures and can be constant or intermittent. It will often cause sharp or dull pain with swelling and tenderness. Engaging in any kind of activity which involves high impact will aggravate pain.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Princeton and West Windsor, NJ. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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