Managing Corns and Calluses

cornsCorns and calluses develop on the skin as a result of repeated friction to your feet. “Corns typically develop on the tops and sides of the toes, and on the balls of the feet, and common causes are arthritis or poorly fitting shoes,” according to Dr. Nada Elbuluk, assistant professor of dermatology at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City. Treating your corns involve soaking them in warm water for up to 10 minutes, using a pumice stone to gently file the area, and applying lotion that has salicylic acid, ammonium lactate, or urea. Avoid shoes that are too tight for your feet and add pressure onto your toes.

For help dealing with corns and foot conditions, consult with Dr. Geoffrey Epstein of ETL Podiatry. Dr. Epstein will provide quality care for your feet.

Corns: What are they? And how do you get rid of them?

Corns are thickenings of the skin of your feet, often developed in areas under a lot of pressure. They are often layers of the skin that have become dry, rough, and painful, and are normally smaller than calluses.

Ways to Prevent Corns

There are many ways to get rid of corns such as wearing:
– Well-fitting socks
– Comfortable shoes that are not tight around your foot
– Shoes that offer support such as padding or cushioning

Treating Corns

Treating corns involves removing the dead skin that has built up in the specific area of the foot. Salicylic acid can help in getting rid of these corns because it dissolves keratin, which is the protein that makes up a majority of corns. Podiatrists recommend that people with diabetes not use salicylic acid and should consult with their podiatrist regarding the treatment of corns.

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

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Corns: What Are They, and How Do You Get Rid of Them

Corns are thickened areas on the skin’s surface, to the point of being irritating and sometimes painful. Commonly found on the feet, corns are circular or cone-shaped. They develop where there are areas of pressure or friction, such as on the little toe when it rubs up against shoes, or on the ball of your foot. The official medical term for corns is Helomas.

Corns are often confused with a callus, but there is a difference between them. Corns can be raised bumps that are painful to the touch. They consist of a rough, thick area of skin that may be dry or waxy. Corns tend to be surrounded by skin that is inflamed, and are usually much smaller than calluses.

Removing the dead skin that has built up is the key in treating corns. Salicylic acid medication is most common in accomplishing this. The acid works by dissolving keratin, which is the protein that makes up the majority of corns. You can purchase salicylic acid over-the-counter in products such as wart removers. It comes in a variety of forms such as medicated pads, drops, or creams. However, people who are diabetic should not use salicylic acid, but should instead consult their doctor immediately.

According to the product directions, applying the medication directly onto the corn will treat it. The top layer of the corn will begin to turn white after use. When that occurs, the layers of skin can then be peeled away, making the corn smaller. Shaving off corns with razors or other pedicure equipment is never a good idea. This can lead to infection. If your corn gets infected, and is not treated immediately, a visit to the doctor will be necessary.

Another way to treat corns and help prevent their return is by using orthotic inserts, fitted by a podiatrist. Inserts fit right into your shoes and adjusts the way your foot fits into your shoes. This fixes the way you walk. This will lower your chances of getting corns, and eliminate current corns by reducing rubbing from friction.

Surgery is rarely used to treat corns, but does occur on occasion. Surgery actually deals with the underlying issue that causes corns. During surgery, the bone is shaved and any abnormalities are corrected, thus reducing the amount of friction that occurs during walking.

To prevent corns, the first step is reducing friction. Always wear shoes that fit well and don’t rub your feet. Pads can be purchased if you notice rubbing developing. These pads can be purchased over-the-counter, and can be simply placed on the irritated area. Wearing cushioned insoles in your shoes can always reduce the friction, and making sure to wear well-fitting shoes. This will ensure that your foot is not being squeezed awkwardly, and prevent corns from forming in the first place.

Every Day Foot Care

Our feet are important in our everyday lives. The problem is that we tend to neglect them. When this becomes a habit, it can cause significant trouble. Ignoring foot problems can mean pain, limited mobility, and expensive doctor’s visits. On the other hand, if feet are cared for and looked after regularly, they will perform without pain or complication.

Routine hygiene is the most basic way to care for the feet. Wash and dry them thoroughly daily. Remember to get between the toes and keep the toenails trimmed and short. If the feet feel dry or there are signs of dryness or cracking, use a moisturizer designed for the feet.

When using moisturizer on the feet, try to avoid applying between the toes. If cream or lotion sits too long, they can cause fungal and bacterial growth. When moisturizer is used between the toes, it can also cause the skin to soften too much.

Shoes are also an important aspect of foot care. When one is picking out shoes, make sure they are the correct size. Shoes need to be snug, but not too tight. On the other hand, if shoes are too loose they can cause foot problems as well. It is highly recommended that shopping for new shoes be done later in the day. The reason for this is that the feet will have settled and swelled to their full size by then. To keep your feet at their most healthy, avoid wearing high heels or flip flops too often. Instead, choose shoes that are good for your feet. Good shoes pad the soles of your feet and support the arches and ankles.

Socks should also be worn daily with closed-toe shoes. They may feel hot during the summer months, but they absorb sweat and moisture off the feet. Without socks, the build-up of sweat in a closed-toe shoe can cause fungal problems and athlete’s foot.

The best thing to remember in every day foot care is that shoes do make a difference. If you spend a lot of time on your feet, make sure that your shoes show no signs of wear. Shoes should offer ample support for the arches and the overall foot. Additionally, try to make foot cleaning and maintenance a daily habit. If you keep these things in mind, your feet will stay healthy and safe.

Advice for Taking Care of Your Feet

childrens-feetNational Foot Health Awareness month was last April, and our foot health is extremely important for maintaining our overall health. If you’re a diabetic, for example, taking care of your feet is essential, as “it is estimated that 25 percent of the 29 million Americans living with diabetes will develop a diabetic foot ulcer.” We also take “up to more than 3 million steps a year,” according to the Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society. Tips to take care of your feet include assessing your feet often, washing and properly drying them, trimming your toenails regularly, wearing socks and proper footwear, and participating in regular physical activity.

Regardless of season or weather, everyday foot care should be practiced year round. For more information about everyday foot care, consult with Dr. Geoffrey Epstein of ETL Podiatry. Dr. Epstein will provide quality care for 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. After all, 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 example.

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.

Also, 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 one of our offices located in Melville, Briarwood, and Flushing, NY. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Bryan Mitchell Sustained Grade 3 Turf Toe Injury

broken-toe2Bullpen member Bryan Mitchell had to visit foot specialist Dr. Robert Anderson in late March for a broken toe injury, the same doctor who also treated Derek Jeter’s ankle injury. Mitchell had to wear a walking boot, after being diagnosed with a “Grade 3 turf toe on his left big toe, as well as a fractured Sesamoid bone.” Although the formal status of Mitchell’s injury was then unknown, it was predicted that he would be sidelined for months.

A broken toe is extremely painful and needs immediate attention. If you have any concerns about your feet consult with Dr. Geoffrey Epstein of ETL Podiatry. Dr. Epstein will provide quality care for your feet.

What to Know About a Broken Toe

Although most people try to avoid foot trauma such as banging, stubbing, or dropping heavy objects on their feet, the unfortunate fact is that it is a common occurrence. Given the fact that toes are positioned in front of the feet, they typically sustain the brunt of such trauma. When trauma occurs to a toe, the result can be a painful break (fracture).

Symptoms of a Broken Toe

  • throbbing pain
  • swelling
  • bruising on the skin and toenail
  • the inability to move the toe
  • toe appears crooked or disfigured
  • tingling or numbness in the toe

Generally, it is best to stay off of the injured toe with the affected foot elevated.

Severe toe fractures may be treated with a splint, cast, and in some cases, minor surgery. Due to its position and the pressure it endures with daily activity, future complications can occur if the big toe is not properly treated.

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

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What to Know About a Broken Toe

Trauma to the foot, especially the toes, can occur in many ways. Banging them, stubbing them, or dropping something on them are a few different ways this trauma can occur. Given the fact that toes are positioned in front of the feet, they typically sustain the brunt of such trauma. When trauma occurs to a toe, the result can be a painful break or fracture. Another type of trauma that can break a toe is repeated activity that places stress on the toe for prolonged periods of time.

Broken toes can be categorized as either minor or severe fractures. Symptoms of minor toe fractures include throbbing pain, swelling, bruising on the skin and toenail, and the inability to move the toe with ease. Severe toe fractures require medical attention and are indicated when the broken toe appears crooked or disfigured, when there is tingling or numbness in the toe, or when there is an open, bleeding wound present on the toe.

Generally, a minor toe break will heal without long-term complications. However, it is important to discontinue activities that put pressure on the toe. It is best to stay off of the injured toe and immediately get a splint or cast to prevent any more additional movement of the toe bones. You can also immobilize your toe by placing a small cotton ball between the injured toe and the toe beside it. Then, tape the two toes together with medical tape. Swelling can be alleviated by placing an ice pack on the broken toe directly as well as elevating your feet above your head.

Severe toe fractures may be treated with a splint, cast, and in some cases, minor surgery, especially when the big toe has been broken. Due to its position and the pressure the big toe endures with daily activity, future complications can occur if it is not properly treated. Pain associated with minor toe fractures can be managed with over-the-counter pain medications. Prescription pain killers may be necessary for severe toe fractures.

The healing time for a broken toe is approximately four to six weeks. In severe cases where the toe becomes infected or requires surgery, healing time can take up to eight weeks or more. While complications associated with a broken toe are immediately apparent, it is important to note that there are rare cases when additional complications, such as osteoarthritis, can develop over time. You should immediately speak with your podiatrist if you think you have broken your toe due to trauma. They will be able to diagnose the injury and recommend the appropriate treatment options.

Understanding the Flatfoot Condition

flat-feet5Do you have flat feet? Flatfoot can affect people of all ages and is characterized by a lack of the small arch in your feet. Flatfoot is usually not a serious medical condition, but can lead to pain and discomfort in the feet, and possibly even fatigue while performing physical activity. Flatfoot, if severe and not treated, can be a symptomatic condition in which the feet can become limited or disabled. Treatment for severe flatfoot includes physical therapy, the training and strengthening of the feet, using customized orthotics or inserts, and surgery.

Having flat feet can create a myriad of foot and ankle problems. For assistance, consult with Dr. Geoffrey Epstein of ETL Podiatry. Dr. Epstein will provide quality care for your feet.

What are Flat Feet?

Flat feet is a condition in which the arch of the foot is depressed and the sole of the foot is almost completely in contact with the ground. About 20-30% of the population generally has flat feet because their arch never formed during growth.

Conditions & Problems:

Having flat feet makes it difficult to run or walk because of the stress placed on the ankles.

Alignment – The general alignment of your legs can be disrupted, because the ankles move inward which can cause major discomfort.

Knees – if you have complications with your knees, flat feet can be a contributor to arthritis in that area.

Symptoms:

Pain around the heel or arch area

Trouble standing on the tip toe.

Swelling around the inside of the ankle.

Flat look to one or both feet.

Having your shoes feel uneven when worn

Treatment:

If you are experiencing pain and stress on the foot you may weaken the posterior tibial tendon, which runs around the inside of the ankle.

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

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Flat Feet

Flatfoot is a foot condition in which the arch of the foot has either partially or totally dropped or has never developed. While it is common in babies and small children, it can become a problem for them in adulthood if the arch never forms. For adults, the development of flat feet can be brought upon by injury, as a result of pregnancy due to increased elasticity, or obesity. Those who have health concerns such as rheumatoid arthritis or diabetes may also be at greater risk for developing the condition.

If you suspect that you have flat feet, it is best to consult your podiatrist. Your foot doctor will examine the suspected foot and observe how it looks while you sit and stand. He or she may take an X-ray to determine how serious the condition is. Some common signs of flatfoot include toe drift, in which the toes and front part of the foot point outward, a short Achilles tendon, and a heel that tilts outwardly while the ankle tilts inward.

Once flatfoot has been diagnosed, your podiatrist may suggest one of several treatment options. Flat feet can be rigid, in which the feet appear to have no arch even when the person is not standing; or flexible, in which the person appears to have an arch while not standing, but once standing the arch disappears. Those with flexible flatfoot may be told to reduce any activities that cause pain and to avoid extended periods of walking or standing. Another suggestion may be weight loss, as excessive weight may be placing pressure on the arches

In few cases, if the condition is severe and all other methods have been exhausted surgery may be required. This is normally avoided, however, due to a lengthy recovery time and high cost.

Christian Dean Had to Recover from Foot Surgery

foot-surgery2Christian Dean of the Vancouver Whitecaps has been out for two months after undergoing surgery on his left foot at the end of March. The center will reportedly be out for another one to two months to fully recover from the surgery, which was done to repair a fifth metatarsal fracture. Dean was the No. 3 overall selection in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft and has made nine MLS appearances in his entire career. He was key in the Whitecaps’ 2015 CONCACAF Champions League and Amway Canadian Championship runs.

If you require surgical consultation, consult with Dr. Geoffrey Epstein of ETL Podiatry. Dr. Epstein will provide quality care for your feet.

When is Surgery Necessary?

Foot and ankle surgery is generally reserved for cases where less invasive procedures have been unsuccessful. Conditions that often require surgery are listed below:

– Removing foot deformities like bone spurs and bunions

– Severe arthritis that has caused bone issues

– Reconstruction for injuries caused by accidents or malformations

Types of Surgeries

 The type of surgery you receive depends on the nature of the problem.  Possible surgeries include the following:

– Bunionectomy for painful bunions

– Surgical fusion for realignment of bones

– Nerve removal for painful nerve endings

Benefits of Surgery

Surgery can provide more complete pain relief than other options and may allow you to finally resume full activity.  Surgical techniques have also become increasingly sophisticated.  Techniques like endoscopic surgery allow for smaller incisions and faster recovery times.

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

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Foot Surgery

In most cases, foot surgery is often chosen as the last-available option for conditions that have otherwise been unsuccessfully treated. Surgery may be necessary for several reasons, including the removal of foot deformities (e.g. bone spurs or bunions), arthritis problems, reconstruction due to injury, and congenital malformations (e.g. club foot or flat feet). Regardless of one’s age, foot surgery may be the only successful option for treatment for certain conditions.

The type of surgery one undergoes depends on the type of foot condition the patient has. For the removal of a growth, such as a bunion, a bunionectomy is necessary. If the bones in the feet need to be realigned or fused together, a surgical fusion of the foot is needed. For pain or nerve issues, a patient may require surgery in which the tissues surrounding the painful nerve are removed. Initially, less invasive treatments are generally attempted; surgery is often the last measure taken if other treatments are unsuccessful.

While in many cases surgery is often deemed as the final resort, choosing surgery comes with certain benefits. The associated pain experienced in relation to the particular condition is often relieved with surgery, allowing patients to resume daily activities. The greatest benefit, however, is that surgery generally eliminates the problem immediately.

Podiatry history has shown that foot treatments continue to evolve over time. In the field of foot surgery, endoscopic surgery is just one of the many advancements. As technology vastly improves, so will the various techniques in foot surgery, which already require smaller and smaller incisions with the use of better and more efficient tools. Thanks to such innovations, surgery is no longer as invasive as it was in the past, allowing for much faster and easier recoveries.