Posts for: January, 2019
Athlete's foot is one of the most common fungal infections of the skin and is frequently seen in our office. Whether you've had it or not, it's important to understand how you can avoid and treat this highly contagious infection if you do contract it.
The fungus that causes athlete's foot thrives in damp, moist environments and often grows in warm, humid climates, such as locker rooms, showers and public pools; hence the name "athlete's foot. " This infection can itch and burn causing the skin on your feet and between your toes to crack and peel.
Tips For avoiding Athlete's Foot:
- Keep your feet dry, allowing them to air out as much as possible
- Wear socks that draw moisture away from your feet and change them frequently if you perspire heavily
- Wear light, well-ventilated shoes
- Alternate pairs of shoes, allowing time for your shoes to dry each day
- Always wear waterproof shoes in public areas, such as pools, locker rooms, or communal showers
- Never borrow shoes due to the risk of spreading a fungal infection
A mild case of athlete's foot will generally clear up on its own with over-the-counter antifungal creams and sprays. But since re-infection is common due to its contagious nature, many people require prescribed anti-fungal medication to effectively treat the infection. Generally, it's always best to consult with your podiatrist before choosing a treatment.
Mild cases of athlete's foot can turn severe and even cause a serious bacterial infection. If you notice your rash has become increasingly red, swollen and painful or you develop blisters and sores, call our office right away. Athlete's foot left untreated could eventually spread to other body parts and infect other people around you.
With the right treatment, you'll be cured of your athlete's foot in no time, which means the sooner you can enjoy the activities you love without pain and irritation!
Need help for persistent heel pain? Your podiatrists at Associated Foot & Ankle Centers of Northern Virginia (with locations in Stafford and Lake Ridge) get to the root cause of your foot ailment and treat it effectively. Is it plantar fasciitis or something else? Learn more about why your heel could be hurting and what you can do.
The causes of heel pain
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons says that most heel pain originates with overuse. Overuse, plus time, age and weight issues often add up to inflammatory conditions of the foot and ankle such as:
- Plantar fasciitis, a swelling of the connective tissue between the heel bone and base of the toes
- Heel spurs, small bony projections often accompanying plantar fasciitis
- Achilles tendinitis, an overstretching of the big tendon which runs between the heel and the calf muscles
- Stress fractures, tiny breaks in the calcaneus, or heel bone, usually associated with running, jumping or dancing
- Bone bruise
Treating heel pain
Surprisingly, most heel pain doesn't require surgical intervention. More conservative measures, and preventatives, usually suffice to control or eliminate the sources of discomfort. However, to determine your best course of treatment, your Stafford or Lake Ridge podiatrist will need to examine your foot and take digital X-rays and any and perhaps another imaging system if necessary. With a confirmed diagnosis, you can proceed with a treatment plan fitted to your diagnosis, other medical conditions, and lifestyle needs.
Treatment recommendations for heel pain often include:
- Rest, ice, and elevation (helpful for stone bruises)
- Shoes with wide toe boxes and good arch support (plantar fasciitis often results from an imbalance in gait)
- Custom-made shoe inserts (orthotics) to support and balance the foot
- Over the counter medications
- Stretching exercises before strenuous workouts
- Cortisone injections
- Heel pads
- Wearing shoes at all times, even indoors
- Losing weight to avoid excessive pressure on the heels and other parts of the foot
If your heel hurts, please don't wait. Get relief and avoid long-term problems. Contact Associated Foot & Ankle Centers of Northern Virginia. We have two locations and are open Monday through Saturday: For Lake Ridge Foot & Ankle Center, phone (703) 491-9500, and for Stafford Foot & Ankle Center, call (540) 720-0700.
What is a Crush Injury?
Have a foot crush injury? A crush injury occurs when pressure or force is put on a body part. A foot crush injury may cause pain, swelling, and sometimes bruising. A foot crush injury may take from a few days to a few weeks to heal. If you have a foot crush injury, you should see a podiatrist. Podiatrists diagnose and treat foot and ankle conditions and injuries. Read on to learn more about foot crush injuries.
Overview- A crush injury is an injury that occurs when a body part sustains intense pressure. Minor crush injuries can be caused by dropping a heavy object on a foot. However, major crush injuries, such as those sustained in vehicle accidents, can cause serious problems. Such an injury can cause a number of issues, including pain, swelling, bruising, bleeding, laceration, fracture, and nerve injury. A crush injury can also cause compartment syndrome, which is a dangerous condition caused by pressure buildup from swelling of tissues or internal bleeding.
Causes- The primary causes of foot crush injuries include heavy falling objects, vehicles rolling over the foot, and injuries from industrial manufacturing equipment. Crush injuries are common on farms. The most serious cases occur in agriculture where heavy machinery is used and people become trapped in them or under them. This form of injury is common after some form of trauma from a deliberate attack or following a natural disaster.
Diagnosis- A proper diagnosis is key to treating a foot crush injury. Your podiatrist can accurately assess your situation and help you make the right treatment decisions for the best possible outcome. Your doctor will start with a physical exam, with attention given to the areas of complaint. Your podiatrist may take X-rays and other forms of imaging, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computerized tomography (CT).
Treatment- Firstly, any wounds that are present will need to be cleaned and bandaged to prevent infection. Treatments for a foot crush injury may also include medication, casting, kinesiology taping, ice and heat, physical therapy, or surgery. Often more than one of these treatments are used. Crush injuries of the foot are very serious. Potentially devastating complications can occur if these injuries are underestimated or mismanaged.
A foot crush injury can affect your day-to-day activities and make your life miserable. Whether your goal is getting back to the work, the gym, hobbies, or just enjoying life, a podiatrist can help. If you want to feel better and live well, find a podiatrist near you and schedule an appointment.