Ways to Deal With Athlete’s Foot

Posted on January 25, 2022

It can be hard to get rid of tinea pedis, a condition more commonly known as athlete’s foot. It is caused by exposure to dermatophytes, a type of fungus that thrives in damp, warm and moist places, such as swimming pools, locker rooms and gyms, and even sweaty feet in tight shoes. Because it is highly contagious and can be spread by direct and indirect contact, it can be difficult to eradicate. Symptoms include itching, scaly skin on the sides of the feet, blisters between the toes, and dry, patchy scales on the bottom of your feet. It can be spread to others by walking barefoot in wet areas, close contact with another person and wearing damp socks. You can also spread the infection to other parts of your own body through touch. Home remedies include anti-fungal sprays that are available over the counter. If athlete’s foot does not go away, or keeps coming back over and over again, it is a good idea to make an appointment with a podiatrist who can offer other treatment options.

Athlete’s Foot

Athlete’s foot is often an uncomfortable condition to experience. Thankfully, podiatrists specialize in treating athlete’s foot and offer the best treatment options. If you have any questions about athlete’s foot, consult with Dr. Stephen S. Pirotta from Advanced Foot & Ankle Clinics. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality treatment.

What Is Athlete’s Foot?

Tinea pedis, more commonly known as athlete’s foot, is a non-serious and common fungal infection of the foot. Athlete’s foot is contagious and can be contracted by touching someone who has it or infected surfaces. The most common places contaminated by it are public showers, locker rooms, and swimming pools. Once contracted, it grows on feet that are left inside moist, dark, and warm shoes and socks.

Prevention

The most effective ways to prevent athlete’s foot include:

  • Thoroughly washing and drying feet
  • Avoid going barefoot in locker rooms and public showers
  • Using shower shoes in public showers
  • Wearing socks that allow the feet to breathe
  • Changing socks and shoes frequently if you sweat a lot

Symptoms

Athlete’s foot initially occurs as a rash between the toes. However, if left undiagnosed, it can spread to the sides and bottom of the feet, toenails, and if touched by hand, the hands themselves. Symptoms include:

  • Redness
  • Burning
  • Itching
  • Scaly and peeling skin

Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosis is quick and easy. Skin samples will be taken and either viewed under a microscope or sent to a lab for testing. Sometimes, a podiatrist can diagnose it based on simply looking at it. Once confirmed, treatment options include oral and topical antifungal medications.

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

 

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Osteoporosis and Foot and Ankle Health

Posted on January 18, 2022

Osteoporosis is a bone disorder that causes the bones to become thin, brittle, and weak due to a lack of calcium and vitamin D. Although it is particularly common in women over 50, younger people and men can also develop osteoporosis. Since osteoporosis weakens the bones, it makes fractures more likely. Often, the first sign of osteoporosis is a broken bone in the foot. Symptoms of this include pain, redness, and swelling around the site of the fracture, and difficulty walking. A podiatrist can diagnose a broken foot bone through physical examination and X-rays. If you suspect that you may have broken a foot bone, or if you have been previously diagnosed with osteoporosis and want to learn more about preventing foot fractures, it is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist today. 

A broken foot requires immediate medical attention and treatment. If you need your feet checked, contact Dr. Stephen S. Pirotta from Advanced Foot & Ankle Clinics. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Broken Foot Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

A broken foot is caused by one of the bones in the foot typically breaking when bended, crushed, or stretched beyond its natural capabilities. Usually the location of the fracture indicates how the break occurred, whether it was through an object, fall, or any other type of injury. 

Common Symptoms of Broken Feet:

  • Bruising
  • Pain
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Blue in color
  • Numbness
  • Cold
  • Misshapen
  • Cuts
  • Deformities

Those that suspect they have a broken foot shoot seek urgent medical attention where a medical professional could diagnose the severity.

Treatment for broken bones varies depending on the cause, severity and location. Some will require the use of splints, casts or crutches while others could even involve surgery to repair the broken bones. Personal care includes the use of ice and keeping the foot stabilized and elevated.

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

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Are Bunions Affecting Your Everyday Life?

Posted on January 11, 2022

Have you noticed a bony protrusion on the side of your big toe? If so, you may have developed the foot condition known as a bunion. Don’t let bunions interfere with your daily activities.

Do You Have an Ingrown Toenail?

Posted on January 11, 2022

When the corner of a toenail grows into the surrounding skin instead of over it, an ingrown toenail can form. While an ingrown toenail can happen to any of the toes, it usually occurs on the big toe. Ingrown toenails can develop for several reasons like cutting the toenail too short, rounding the corner of the nail when cutting it, wearing shoes that are too tight, or trauma, such as stubbing the toe. The most prevalent symptom of an ingrown toenail is pain where the nail is growing into the skin, and a red or swollen appearance to the affected skin. Ingrown toenails can also get infected and may drain pus. If you have an infected ingrown toenail or one that is very painful, it is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist.

Ingrown toenails can become painful if they are not treated properly. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact Dr. Stephen S. Pirotta of Advanced Foot & Ankle Clinics. Our doctor 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 office located in Bentonville, AR . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Various Causes of Heel Pain

Posted on January 4, 2022

Podiatrists treat many types of disorders that cause pain in various parts of the heel. The most common heel pain is caused by plantar fasciitis (inflammation of the plantar fascia tissue), which causes pain on the bottom of the foot. Other common sources of heel pain include a calcaneal (heel bone) fracture, heel pad syndrome (a wearing down of the cushion on the bottom of the heel), nerve entrapment, including tarsal tunnel syndrome (which can also cause tingling, numbness or burning), neuromas (nerve swelling), and Achilles tendinopathy (damage to the tendon that attaches to the heel bone). Growing children may also be prone to Sever’s disease, which is irritation in the growth plate of the heel. If you have heel pain, it is suggested that you see a podiatrist. They will typically begin their evaluation by asking where the pain is located in the heel, along with medical history questions, followed by a physical examination. They may also use various diagnostic tools to determine the underlying cause of your heel pain and how best to treat it.

Many people suffer from bouts of heel pain. For more information, contact Dr. Stephen S. Pirotta of Advanced Foot & Ankle Clinics. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Causes of Heel Pain

Heel pain is often associated with plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is a band of tissues that extends along the bottom of the foot. A rip or tear in this ligament can cause inflammation of the tissue.

Achilles tendonitis is another cause of heel pain. Inflammation of the Achilles tendon will cause pain from fractures and muscle tearing. Lack of flexibility is also another symptom.

Heel spurs are another cause of pain. When the tissues of the plantar fascia undergo a great deal of stress, it can lead to ligament separation from the heel bone, causing heel spurs.

Why Might Heel Pain Occur?

  • Wearing ill-fitting shoes                  
  • Wearing non-supportive shoes
  • Weight change           
  • Excessive running

Treatments

Heel pain should be treated as soon as possible for immediate results. Keeping your feet in a stress-free environment will help. If you suffer from Achilles tendonitis or plantar fasciitis, applying ice will reduce the swelling. Stretching before an exercise like running will help the muscles. Using all these tips will help make heel pain a condition of the past.

If you have any questions please contact our office located in Bentonville, AR . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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What Is Peripheral Neuropathy?

Posted on December 28, 2021

Peripheral neuropathy is nerve damage within the peripheral nervous system, which communicates with the central nervous system (involving the brain and spinal cord). Diabetes often causes peripheral neuropathy, however, it can also occur due to genetics, infections, injuries, hormonal imbalances, or other medical conditions. Peripheral neuropathy may cause numbness, weakness, muscle twitching or cramps, changes in nails, skin and hair, and a pins-and-needles sensation in the legs and feet. It may also be difficult to maintain balance or feel changes in temperature or pain, and you may experience disturbances in your emotions and sleep patterns. If you have any of these symptoms, it is suggested that you contact a podiatrist. They can help diagnose peripheral neuropathy and manage its symptoms with oral medications, orthotic devices, regular checkups and advice on proper foot care.

Neuropathy

Neuropathy can be a potentially serious condition, especially if it is left undiagnosed. If you have any concerns that you may be experiencing nerve loss in your feet, consult with Dr. Stephen S. Pirotta from Advanced Foot & Ankle Clinics. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment for neuropathy.

What Is Neuropathy?

Neuropathy is a condition that leads to damage to the nerves in the body. Peripheral neuropathy, or neuropathy that affects your peripheral nervous system, usually occurs in the feet. Neuropathy can be triggered by a number of different causes. Such causes include diabetes, infections, cancers, disorders, and toxic substances.

Symptoms of Neuropathy Include:

  • Numbness
  • Sensation loss
  • Prickling and tingling sensations
  • Throbbing, freezing, burning pains
  • Muscle weakness

Those with diabetes are at serious risk due to being unable to feel an ulcer on their feet. Diabetics usually also suffer from poor blood circulation. This can lead to the wound not healing, infections occurring, and the limb may have to be amputated.

Treatment

To treat neuropathy in the foot, podiatrists will first diagnose the cause of the neuropathy. Figuring out the underlying cause of the neuropathy will allow the podiatrist to prescribe the best treatment, whether it be caused by diabetes, toxic substance exposure, infection, etc. If the nerve has not died, then it’s possible that sensation may be able to return to the foot.

Pain medication may be issued for pain. Electrical nerve stimulation can be used to stimulate nerves. If the neuropathy is caused from pressure on the nerves, then surgery may be necessary.

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

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Two Types of Ankle Sprains

Posted on December 21, 2021

The talus, tibia, and fibula bones reside in the ankle and work together to facilitate movement of the foot in all directions. There are strong ligaments on the inside and outside of the ankle which bind and support these bones, as well as the connection between the ankle and lower leg. When these ligaments become overly stretched or even torn during an injury, this is known as an ankle sprain. Ankle sprains are the most common form of ankle injury and can occur when the ankle rolls outward (inversion sprain) or inward (eversion sprain). Inversion sprains, which are more likely to occur, affect the ligaments on the outside of the ankle. Conversely, an eversion sprain affects the ligaments on the inside of the ankle. Ankle sprains may cause mild to severe pain, swelling, decreased range of motion, and possibly limited—or no—ability to walk. Because improperly healed ankle sprains can lead to additional ankle sprains, chronic ankle stability, and even arthritis, it is wise to see a podiatrist when you believe you have sprained your ankle. They will be able to properly diagnose your condition and its severity, and effectively treat it.

Ankle sprains are common but need immediate attention. If you need your feet checked, contact Dr. Stephen S. Pirotta from Advanced Foot & Ankle Clinics. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

How Does an Ankle Sprain Occur?

Ankle sprains take place when the ligaments in your ankle are torn or stretched beyond their limits. There are multiple ways that the ankle can become injured, including twisting or rolling over onto your ankle, putting undue stress on it, or causing trauma to the ankle itself.

What Are the Symptoms?

  • Mild to moderate bruising
  • Limited mobility
  • Swelling
  • Discoloration of the skin (depending on severity)

Preventing a Sprain

  • Wearing appropriate shoes for the occasion
  • Stretching before exercises and sports
  • Knowing your limits

Treatment of a Sprain

Treatment of a sprain depends on the severity.  Many times, people are told to rest and remain off their feet completely, while others are given an air cast. If the sprain is very severe, surgery may be required.

If you have suffered an ankle sprain previously, you may want to consider additional support such as a brace and regular exercises to strengthen the ankle.

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

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Understanding Your Gait

Posted on December 14, 2021

Your gait is the manner in which you walk. When a patient has a unique walking style or an abnormal gait, a podiatrist will often conduct a gait analysis to study their walking habits. Gait analysis can tell a lot about a person's body movements. This can help to determine what is causing imbalances in areas such as the hamstrings, glutes, quads, or calves. The analysis can take place on a treadmill or by simply walking down a hallway. In even more complex analyses, sensors and video recordings may be used to diagnose any areas of concern as the patient walks. Anyone struggling with pain as they walk should consult with a podiatrist to receive a proper gait analysis, and to customize a treatment plan that is specific to their walking pattern.

If you have any concerns about your feet, contact Dr. Stephen S. Pirotta from Advanced Foot & Ankle Clinics. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Biomechanics in Podiatry

Podiatric biomechanics is a particular sector of specialty podiatry with licensed practitioners who are trained to diagnose and treat conditions affecting the foot, ankle and lower leg. Biomechanics deals with the forces that act against the body, causing an interference with the biological structures. It focuses on the movement of the ankle, the foot and the forces that interact with them.

A History of Biomechanics

  • Biomechanics dates back to the BC era in Egypt where evidence of professional foot care has been recorded.
  • In 1974, biomechanics gained a higher profile from the studies of Merton Root, who claimed that by changing or controlling the forces between the ankle and the foot, corrections or conditions could be implemented to gain strength and coordination in the area.

Modern technological improvements are based on past theories and therapeutic processes that provide a better understanding of podiatric concepts for biomechanics. Computers can provide accurate information about the forces and patterns of the feet and lower legs.

Understanding biomechanics of the feet can help improve and eliminate pain, stopping further stress to the foot.

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

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Are You Suffering From Ingrown Toenails?

Posted on December 12, 2021

If left untreated, an ingrown toenail can lead to more serious concerns, such as an infection. Knowing proper nail care can help in the prevention of an ingrown toenail. Give us a call, and get treated!

What Is Capsulitis?

Posted on December 7, 2021

There are ligaments that form a “capsule” around the joint at the base of a toe. These ligaments can become inflamed, which is known as capsulitis. This condition typically occurs in the second toe, although it can sometimes affect the third and fourth toes. Capsulitis is believed to be a reaction to dysfunctional foot mechanics that put an excessive amount of pressure on the ball of the foot beneath the second toe. Severe bunion deformity, an unstable arch, tight calf muscles, and having a second toe that is longer than the big toe can all contribute to this condition. Capsulitis can make it difficult to wear shoes or walk barefoot. Additionally, there may be pain and swelling in the ball of the foot and at the base of the toe. A sensation of walking on a marble may also be present, similar to another condition known as Morton’s neuroma. It is important to have a podiatrist properly diagnose and treat this condition in its early stages when it can still be treated conservatively, to stabilize the toe and avoid it from drifting towards the big toe.

Foot Pain

Foot pain can be extremely painful and debilitating. If you have a foot pain, consult with Dr. Stephen S. Pirotta from Advanced Foot & Ankle Clinics. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Causes

Foot pain is a very broad condition that could be caused by one or more ailments. The most common include:

  • Bunions
  • Hammertoes
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Bone Spurs
  • Corns
  • Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Ingrown Toenails
  • Arthritis (such as Gout, Rheumatoid, and Osteoarthritis)
  • Flat Feet
  • Injury (from stress fractures, broken toe, foot, ankle, Achilles tendon ruptures, and sprains)
  • And more

Diagnosis

To figure out the cause of foot pain, podiatrists utilize several different methods. This can range from simple visual inspections and sensation tests to X-rays and MRI scans. Prior medical history, family medical history, and any recent physical traumatic events will all be taken into consideration for a proper diagnosis.

Treatment

Treatment depends upon the cause of the foot pain. Whether it is resting, staying off the foot, or having surgery; podiatrists have a number of treatment options available for foot pain.

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

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