Have a Question About Your Foot or Ankle Injury? Find the Answer Here!
Do you have a question about your condition that nobody seems to be able to answer? Our podiatrists have answered many foot and ankle inquiries, and we have listed the answers here to help other patients relieve their pain. Use the search bar to get fast facts from our FAQ page.
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Warts? The truth about warts.
There are many misconceptions about warts from how they developed, to how to get rid of them, etc. So let’s set the record straight .
Number one, warts are not caused by touching a frog. Warts, or verruca, are caused by a virus, called HPV. This virus is present in the bloodstream and can lie dormant for many years before you can develop a wart on the skin. The virus is contagious but very difficult to prevent the spread.
Secondly, homeopathic treatments such as apple cider vinegar, banana mash, duct tape (my favorite) sticking a needle in it, or putting a potato on it or burying a potato when there is a full moon, etc are not effective in the treatment of warts. Due to the wart being deep in the skin and subcutaneous tissue, strong topical medications are need to be used. In office treatments consist of using strong acids (stronger than over the counter preparations), skin irritants, and other topical medications that destroy the wart cell in the deeper layers of the skin. First the area is prepped by removing the dead skin overlying the wart to allow the medication to penetrate the wart tissue. The medication will then be placed on the wart. Afterwards a bandage or moleskin will be placed on the area treated and often kept in place for 24 hours as to let the medication continue to work. This is a painless procedure.
Thirdly, warts can affect adults. It is true most of the patients who are treated for warts in the office are children it is not uncommon for older adults to develop warts. However, if you do not have a history of warts and develop a spot that is questionable; it is imperative top get it checked out immediately. A patient over the age of 40 developing a wart is less likely and there are some cancerous skin conditions that can look like warts that are more common. A biopsy may be necessary for a patient with a questionable lesion. Warts that have been present for several years should also be checked out and most likely biopsied.
Warts can be difficult to treat. The sooner the diagnosis and appropriate treatment is started the faster the resolution. So go ahead and let the kids chase those frogs without fear of warts!! Call us today!
Why Are Flip Flops Bad For My Feet?
With the summertime approaching, it is important to understand what can happen with long periods of flip flop wearing. Flip flops are constructed to just cover the bottoms of your feet. They give no support. For use in showers and pools, they are fine. As far as your regular walking pattern is concerned, flip flops will cause your arch to roll in, have your toes contract, and pinch your nerves. This can lead to bunions, hammertoes, and nerve pain. Blisters can arise and your heels can get dry and possibly crack due to exposure and side to side movement. If you enjoy wearing open shoes in the summer, there are many manufacturers making arch supported, crepe soled sandals. They should have an adjustable strap across the middle of the foot and be supported in the back of the heel to lock it in place when you strike the ground. We want you to enjoy the summer without foot pain.
Does laser treatment for fungal nails hurt?
If you are fighting a fungal nail infection and are considering laser treatment, there is no need to worry about it being painful. Laser treatment for fungal nails, if done by a qualified professional, should not hurt. At times there may be a brief feeling of warmth on the nail plate as the beam of light penetrates the problem nail, but otherwise the technique is pain-free, does not damage any of the surrounding tissues, and has minimal side effects. The laser destroys the infection-causing fungus beneath the nail, at its source, making it a safe and effective option.
Of course, there are other treatment methods available as well. We would be happy to explain them in detail and help you determine which would work best for you. Just schedule a visit at one of our five Podiatry Care Specialists, PC offices in Southeastern PA. Don’t be swayed by ads or commercials—those over-the-counter products are typically ineffective. Instead, get the expert care you need to get rid of your fungal nails by calling us today at (877) 905-5907!
Is there a right way to trim toenails?
There is definitely a proper technique when it comes to trimming your toenails. First and foremost, nails should always be trimmed straight across. If you follow the curve, it could encourage your nail to become ingrown. It’s also a good idea to make several small cuts instead of a single big one to avoid any tearing or jagged edges. Be careful not to cut your nails too short either—they should be even with the tips of your toes. Never trim down the sides of the cuticle as this can cause the nail to re-grow into the borders or corners. If you’ve heard that cutting a “V” at the end of the toenail will help straighten it out—we’re here to tell you that it’s simply not true.
If your toenails are difficult to trim on your own, or if you notice any signs of infection such as redness, tenderness, and drainage, come see us immediately. We will treat your problem and even trim your nails for you if you’d like. With five locations to choose from in Southeastern PA, Podiatry Care Specialists, PC is never far for your foot and ankle needs! Give us a call at (877) 905-5907.
How do you catch toenail fungus?
Fungus grows in dark, moist places. Since we have so many sweat glands on the soles of our feet, moisture gets trapped in our socks and shoes, making it the perfect environment for fungus to grow, and not just on your feet—it can attack your toenails too! An infected toenail can become yellow, thickened, and brittle.
Don’t let this happen to you. Treat your feet and shoes with anti-fungal powder or spray. Change your socks frequently, and allow shoes to air out between wearings.
You should also be careful around pools, hot tubs, gym locker rooms, and showers as these warm, damp areas are a breeding ground for fungi as well. Always slip on some shower shoes in public places like these.
If you do catch toenail fungus, we can help. Treatment may include topical or oral medication, laser therapy, trimming and debridement of the damaged toenails, or in severe cases, destruction of the toenail root or matrix. The doctors at Podiatry Care Specialists, PC are happy to help discuss with you the various methods of treatment and determine the one that’s best for your needs. Don’t delay; make an appointment today at one of our 5 southeastern PA locations by calling (877) 905-5907.
How long does it take to recover from foot surgery?
The length of time it takes to recover from foot surgery depends on the type of surgery being performed. For example, an ingrown toenail procedure may cause pain for the day the procedure is performed. Patients may require soft footwear or shoes that do not put pressure on the toenail for 1-2 days after the procedure.
However, if you are having a bunionectomy or hammertoe surgery, that is a longer recovery. Most of the time the recovery period is 4-6 weeks in a specialized post-op shoe. This shoe does not allow any bending in the front part of the foot, allowing the surgery to heal. During the healing process you would be able to put full weight on your foot with the post-op shoe.
For more complicated procedures, including rearfoot surgery (at the back of the foot), the recovery can be even longer. This could require you to be off your foot with crutches, and the recovery could be as long as 4-6 months (not all the time would be on crutches).
It is extremely important before you decide to go ahead with foot surgery to plan to have the appropriate amount of time needed to heal. Your recovery will be longer and more painful if you try to rush back to work or life too quickly. Make an appointment with Podiatry Care Specialists, PC, in West Chester, PA, to discuss your individual case by calling (877) 905-5907.
Do hammertoes go away without treatment?
With a hammertoe condition, the involved toe is contracted such that the middle joint is pushed upward causing the ends of your toe to bend downward. This abnormal position may very well not cause any problems or need to be treated, however if the condition continues without treatment, your toe may become rigid and unable to move out of this position. This can lead to painful corns on the top of the bent joint where it rubs against your shoe. Finding footwear that accommodates your hammertoe deformity will help to prevent the painful symptoms associated with this condition. Orthotic shoe inserts may also alleviate pain by reducing pressure on the area and correcting biomechanics that could be aggravating the situation.
For more information on caring for hammertoes, or tips on the best footwear choices for you, contact Podiatry Care Specialists, PC by using our online appointment request form, or by calling one of our 5 southeastern Pennsylvania offices at (877) 905-5907.
Why is there a bump on the back of my heel?
If you are noticing a bump on the back of your heel that is causing you pain and making it difficult to wear shoes or even walk, what you may be feeling is an abnormal protrusion or a spur on your heel bone. This is a condition known as Haglund’s deformity, also referred to as “pump bump” since pump-style shoes are often a contributing factor.
Your Achilles tendon attaches to the back of your heel and can become inflamed due to pressure and friction. This is usually the result of stiff-heeled shoes rubbing and pressing on the bony area, leading to a visibly swollen and painful bump. A switch in footwear, padding, and orthotics can all be effective treatments.
To learn more about ways you can ease your foot pain, visit one of our Podiatry Care Specialists, PC locations in southeastern PA, or call (877) 905-5907 for an appointment today. We are here to help!
Could my shoes be causing my bunion?
Footwear is not the reason behind your bunion, but there are types of shoes which can certainly aggravate it. Inheritance and certain foot types are typically the cause of bunions. However, footwear that is narrow and pointy, especially high heels that place an abundance of pressure on your forefoot, are definitely shoes to avoid as they can cause stress and friction on the protruding joint, increasing your discomfort. Instead choose shoes with low heels and plenty of wiggle room for your toes. You may also want to consider orthotic shoe inserts which can help to redistribute your weight more evenly, taking pressure away from the area. We can even make custom devices to address your specific needs.
If you have a bunion, or want to learn more about this common deformity, call us for an appointment at (877) 905-5907 or come visit us at one of our convenient southeastern PA offices. We can help ease your pain.
Is it safe to treat corns myself?
If you are wondering if you should treat a corn yourself, the answer is probably not. Trimming or paring of corns and calluses in the wrong hands can lead to a dangerous situation. The most qualified to do this is a podiatrist, like the professionals at Podiatry Care Specialists, P.C.
Although many patients treat corns and calluses by applying mild pressure with a blunt instrument such as a metal callus scraper or by using an emery board, you are putting yourself at risk! You should never use a sharp-edged instrument such as a razor blade or scissors on your corns or calluses, either, especially if you have diabetes or circulatory problems. In addition, NEVER USE ANY CORN REMOVER PRODUCTS! These contain acid which will not only burn the dead skin on the surface, but will penetrate deeper and into the surrounding areas. A chemical burn will ensue which can lead to ulcerations and infections. Again, those with diabetes and comprised circulation are at an even greater risk.
The safest way to treat corns is calling our expert podiatrists: Theodore G. Mushlin, DPM, Bradford J. Jacobs, DPM, Chad J. Friedman, DPM, Alexandra K. Grulke, DPM, and Aabha M. Suchak, DPM at any of our southeastern PA locations. Give us a call at (877) 905-5907.