Skin Cancer May Affect Your Feet

Since skin cancer is often associated with excessive sun exposure, many people do not realize that they need to be vigilant to the potential for skin cancer to affect their feet. Skin cancers can be caused by factors other than sun exposure, including things like chemical exposures that can adversely affect the DNA. People who suffer with immune system deficiencies caused by HIV infection or organ transplant complications may also be more susceptible. A genetic mutation that decreases the amount of the pigment melanin in the skin can increase UV light penetration and cause cumulative skin cell damage, sometimes resulting in cancerous lesions.

 

The signs of melanoma, a deadly form of skin cancer:

Melanoma is a particularly scary form of skin cancer that can affect the feet because it often resembles other skin abnormalities including moles and warts, and can even develop underneath the nails or on the soles of the feet. Instead of spreading across the surface of the skin, these tumors dig into your body and can spread throughout your body via the bloodstream and lymphatic system.

 

You can decrease the chances of developing skin cancer by protecting your skin, including your feet, with an SPF 30 or higher sunscreen when exposed outdoors during peak daylight hours of 10-4.

 

These malignant tumors can also masquerade as ulcers, blood blisters, splinters, and ingrown toenails, so it is very important to have any suspicious items brought to the attention of your foot doctor. The foot specialists at ETL Podiatry in Briarwood and Melville, NY, have unparalleled experience in treating all aspects of foot and ankle problems. Our team of doctors is dedicated to serving you with all of the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies. If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Melville, NY (631-549-8637) and Briarwood, NY (929-336-4523).

Tips to Prevent Smelly Feet

Foot odor is a very common problem that is fueled by the excessive sweating that occurs in your feet. Your feet have more sweat glands than any other part of your body, with each foot containing over 100,000 of them. This constant production of moisture is a perfect environment for the unfettered growth of bacteria which feeds on the sweat and causes the horrible smells for which your feet are so famous!

 

What causes smelly feet?

 

  • It’s not just the sweat—As previously mentioned, the sweat isn’t the cause of the smell, but the bacteria that break down the sweat molecules turn it into something smelly. Drying out your shoes between wearings can help by starving the bacteria and thus limiting the source of foot odor.
  • Skin conditions—Fungal infections such as athlete’s foot and fungal nail infections can cause foot odor.
  • Hyperhidrosis—This is a condition that causes excessive sweating of the palms, underarms, and soles of the feet, and may contribute to an increase in foot odor problems.

 

Simple tips to keep your feet smelling better include the following:

 

  • Keep your feet clean and dry—Wash your feet every day with an antibacterial soap to keep bacteria under control and to remove dead skin cells. Dry your feet carefully. Rubbing alcohol applied with a cotton ball can help dry out damper areas, such as between your toes.
  • Breathable footwear—Leather, canvas, and Gore-Tex are excellent materials for footwear that allow air to circulate, and help to keep your feet dryer.
  • Foot soaks—Soaking your feet in warm, soapy water feels great and will make your feet smell better. Some excellent additions to include in a foot soak are tea tree oil, black tea, and apple cider vinegar.

 

See your podiatrist for foot odor that may be caused by an underlying condition. The foot specialists at ETL Podiatry in Briarwood and Melville, NY have unparalleled experience in treating all aspects of foot and ankle problems. Our team of doctors is dedicated to serving you with all of the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies. If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Melville, NY (631-549-8637) and Briarwood, NY (929-336-4523).

Plantar Fibroma & Arch Pain

A plantar fibroma is a condition that begins by a thickening of the fibrous tissue on the bottom of your foot. It can show up as pain and stiffness in your arch or other parts of the sole of your foot, making it increasingly more difficult to walk. As the condition progresses, nodules may begin to grow on the tendons in the arch causing your toes to begin to bend and become more stiff. These growths are non-cancerous tumors that can grow slowly or lie dormant for years, and then suddenly start to grow faster.

 

Some symptoms and causes of a plantar fibroma include:

 

  • Pain while standing and walking—While the fibroma itself is usually not painful, it can cause discomfort from rubbing on footwear or walking surfaces. You may also experience painful pressure against blood vessels and nerves in the foot that is more obvious upon weight bearing.
  • Genetic link—While the actual cause of plantar fibroma is not clear, it tends to run in families with certain foot structures including flat feet.
  • Foot trauma—Stress to the plantar fascia caused by improper footwear, like high heeled shoes, can stretch the tissue and increase the likelihood of fibroma generation.

 

Conservative treatments for plantar fibroma include the use of orthotic shoe inserts such as toe spacers to alter the weight distribution over the joints and bones in the toes. Lighter footwear with flatter soles and plenty of toe room can also help. In some cases, cryosurgery may be necessary to freeze and shrink the nodules.

 

If you are experiencing pain in your arches, the foot specialists at ETL Podiatry in Briarwood and Melville, NY, have unparalleled experience in treating all aspects of foot and ankle problems. Our team of doctors is dedicated to serving you with all of the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies. If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Melville, NY (631-549-8637) and Briarwood, NY (929-336-4523).

Take Good Care of Ankle Sprains

Ankle sprains are one of the most common injuries. Many people tend to underestimate the seriousness and potential complications of an ankle sprain, including the possible development of chronic ankle instability from previous improperly treated ankle injuries. Returning to regular activities too soon after spraining your ankle can be tempting for athletes who are anxious to get back in the game, but just because your ankle feels better doesn’t mean that the injury has properly healed. For example, if you have a stress fracture or other severe injury, immobilization with a boot or cast may be necessary, followed by physical therapy exercises to slowly increase the strength and flexibility of the ankle joint.

 

Some steps you can take to prevent and treat ankle sprains and to keep them from becoming chronically unstable include:

 

  • Warm up and stretch—Be certain to warm up before exercising and be especially careful to perform flexibility routines that incorporate your legs, hips, and torso.
  • Increase workouts gradually—Always begin a new exercise program slowly and deliberately. One of the primary causes of foot and ankle injuries is getting too aggressive right at the beginning before your muscles, ligaments, and tendons have had time to adjust and strengthen.
  • Balance, flexibility and strengthening exercises—Improving your balance can help avoid falls and missteps. Try standing on one foot with your eyes closed for 30 seconds. Repeat with the other foot. You can do a simple ankle strengthening exercise by wrapping a towel around your foot and pulling on the ends as you move your foot in circular motion. This also improves flexibility.

 

If your ankle sprain doesn’t significantly improve after a few days, see your podiatrist for proper evaluation and treatment. The foot specialists at ETL Podiatry in Briarwood and Melville, NY have unparalleled experience in treating all aspects of foot and ankle problems. Our team of doctors is dedicated to serving you with all of the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies. If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Melville, NY (631-549-8637) and Briarwood, NY (929-336-4523).

Toe Walking is Common in Kids

Are you concerned that your child tends to favor walking on tiptoe or on the balls of the feet? This is actually a very common occurrence with children, with over half of kids correcting this behavior on their own by the age of five. Although the cause of toe walking is not really understood, it may be related to a developmental issue with the nerves, muscles, and tissues. Some cases of toe walking are tied to disorders such as muscular dystrophy and cerebral palsy, but when the cause isn’t obvious the condition is referred to as being idiopathic.

Toe walking facts:

  • It’s normal—In most cases without an obvious underlying cause, this is just a normal part of development and your child will outgrow the tendency to toe walk. Treatment for idiopathic toe walking under the age of seven is not usually required unless an examination reveals tendon or calf muscle shortening.
  • It can be hereditary—Toe walking can run in families.
  • It can cause tendon problemsA possible complication with excessive toe walking is a shortening and tightening of the Achilles tendon causing pain and stiffness. Stretching exercises can help alleviate this tension.

Treatment for toe walking:

If a physical abnormality is contributing to the toe walking after age two or three, a leg brace or splint may be suggested to help foster a more normal walking gait. Stretching and flexibility exercises can relieve the tension on the muscles and tendons. In more complicated cases, a series of casts may be necessary to help gradually move the toes closer to the shin.

For severe problems with toe walking, you may need to discuss a surgical intervention with your foot doctor. The foot specialists at ETL Podiatry in Briarwood and Melville, NY, have unparalleled experience in treating all aspects of foot and ankle problems. Our team of doctors is dedicated to serving you with all of the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies. If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Melville, NY (631-549-8637) and Briarwood, NY (929-336-4523).