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Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection of the skin, often causing severe itching and discomfort. Many people are affected between the toes or on the bottom of the feet and wearing shoes and socks for the majority of the day can be uncomfortable. The infection generally appears to be a red rash, and blisters may form in severe cases. This fungus will typically enter the body through tiny cracks in the skin, and it is known to be contagious. It thrives in places that are warm and moist, and these often include community pools, shower room floors, and surrounding areas. It is beneficial to wear appropriate shoes while in these types of environments, which may be helpful in the prevention of this condition. If you have developed Athlete’s foot, it is suggested that you seek the counsel of a podiatrist who can guide you toward proper treatment techniques.

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. Jim Maxka from South Penn Foot & Ankle Associates. 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 Hanover, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

 

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Tuesday, 23 April 2019 00:00

Toe Curls and Yoga for the Toe

Research has indicated it is easier to run when the feet are healthy. Stretching the feet frequently will help the feet to become strong and may positively affect the overall health of the body. When proper foot stretches are performed, the feet become stable, and running extended distances may be easier to achieve. There are several exercises that are designed to strengthen the feet. When toe curling is practiced, the entire foot becomes stronger, and can be done while standing or sitting down. An effective stretch for the toes is referred to as toe yoga. This is accomplished by moving the toes one at a time and will help in keeping the top of the foot strong. If you would like additional information about the benefits of stretching the feet, it is advised that you speak to a podiatrist who can provide you with the correct knowledge.

Why Stretching is Important for Your Feet

Stretching the feet is a great way to prevent injuries. If you have any concerns with your feet consult with Dr. Jim Maxka from South Penn Foot & Ankle Associates. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Stretching the Feet

Stretching the muscles in the foot is an important part in any physical activity. Feet that are tight can lead to less flexibility and make you more prone to injury. One of the most common forms of foot pain, plantar fasciitis, can be stretched out to help ease the pain. Stretching can not only ease pain from plantar fasciitis but also prevent it as well. However, it is important to see a podiatrist first to determine if stretching is right for you. Podiatrists can also recommend other ways to stretch your feet. Once you know whether stretching is right for you, here are some excellent stretches you can do.

  • Using a foam roller or any cylindrical object (a water bottle or soda can will do), roll the object under your foot back and forth. You should also exert pressure on the object. Be sure to do this to both feet for a minute. Do this exercise three times each.
  • Similar to the previous exercise, take a ball, such as a tennis ball, and roll it under your foot while seated and exert pressure on it.
  • Grab a resistance band or towel and take a seat. If you are using a towel, fold it length wise. Next put either one between the ball of your foot and heel and pull with both hands on each side towards you. Hold this for 15 seconds and then switch feet. Do this three times for each foot.
  • Finally hold your big toe while crossing one leg over the other. Pull the toe towards you and hold for 15 seconds. Once again do this three times per foot.

It is best to go easy when first stretching your foot and work your way up. If your foot starts hurting, stop exercising to ice and rest the foot. It is advised that you then see a podiatrist for help.

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

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Monday, 15 April 2019 00:00

Is a Bunion a Permanent Deformity?

If you notice a bony protrusion that may look like a permanent deformity on the side of your big toe, you may have what is known as a bunion. It may develop as a result of wearing shoes that do not have adequate room for the toes to move freely in, or possibly from a genetic trait. Some of the symptoms that are associated with this condition may be tenderness and swelling, in addition to burning or tingling sensations. If having this ailment interferes with wearing shoes and completing daily activities, many patients may choose to undergo surgery for permanent removal of the bunion. For less severe bunions, orthotics may be prescribed which may provide mild relief. If properly fitting shoes and socks are worn, painful and uncomfortable bunions may possibly be prevented. If you are affected by bunions, it is advised to speak to a podiatrist who can properly diagnosis and offer correct treatment techniques.

If you are suffering from bunions, contact Dr. Jim Maxka of South Penn Foot & Ankle Associates. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is a Bunion?

A bunion is formed of swollen tissue or an enlargement of boney growth, usually located at the base joint of the toe that connects to the foot. The swelling occurs due to the bones in the big toe shifting inward, which impacts the other toes of the foot. This causes the area around the base of the big toe to become inflamed and painful.

Why Do Bunions Form?

Genetics – Susceptibility to bunions are often hereditary

Stress on the feet – Poorly fitted and uncomfortable footwear that places stress on feet, such as heels, can worsen existing bunions

How Are Bunions Diagnosed?

Doctors often perform two tests – blood tests and x-rays – when trying to diagnose bunions, especially in the early stages of development. Blood tests help determine if the foot pain is being caused by something else, such as arthritis, while x-rays provide a clear picture of your bone structure to your doctor.

How Are Bunions Treated?

  • Refrain from wearing heels or similar shoes that cause discomfort
  • Select wider shoes that can provide more comfort and reduce pain
  • Anti-inflammatory and pain management drugs
  • Orthotics or foot inserts
  • Surgery

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

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Monday, 08 April 2019 00:00

Possible Treatment of a Broken Toe

The bones that exist in the toes are fragile and small, and may easily break if a heavy object is dropped on them. Patients may realize their toe may be broken if it appears to be crooked, or if an open wound occurs after the injury happens. Additional symptoms may include pain, difficulty in moving the toe, and swelling. Mild relief may be found while elevating the foot, which may help to decrease swelling. It is suggested to keep the foot as still as possible, and this may be accomplished by resting the foot frequently during the day. Taping the injured toe to the toe next to it may provide stability while the healing process occurs. If you feel you have broken your toe, it is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist who can properly diagnosis and treat this condition.

A broken toe can be very painful and lead to complications if not properly fixed. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact Dr. Jim Maxka from South Penn Foot & Ankle Associates. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

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 our office located in Hanover, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Monday, 01 April 2019 00:00

What Causes Hammertoe?

If you notice your middle toes are bent in a downward position, you may have what is referred to as hammertoe. The second toe is typically affected, and it may resemble a hammer as a result of the way it is bent. The most common reasons for hammertoes to develop may be from wearing footwear that does not fit correctly. These may include shoes which do not have ample room for the toes to move freely in. Additional reasons why this condition may develop may be genetic factors, or existing medical conditions which may include bunions or arthritis. Many people experience common symptoms when hammertoe has developed. These may include toe pain when the toes are stretched downward, toes that are curled, or thickened skin on the affected toe and surrounding areas. Hammertoes may be prevented by wearing shoes that fit correctly, and this often means choosing shoes that have adequate room for the toes to move about in. If you have this ailment, please consult with a podiatrist who can discuss proper treatment options with you.

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact Dr. Jim Maxka of South Penn Foot & Ankle Associates. Our doctor will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.

Hammertoe

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that occurs due to an imbalance in the muscles, tendons, or ligaments that normally hold the toe straight. It can be caused by the type of shoes you wear, your foot structure, trauma, and certain disease processes.

Symptoms

  • Painful and/or difficult toe movement
  • Swelling
  • Joint stiffness
  • Calluses/Corns
  • Physical deformity

Risk Factors

  • Age – The risk of hammertoe increases with age
  • Sex – Women are more likely to have hammertoe compared to men
  • Toe Length – You are more likely to develop hammertoe if your second toe is longer than your big toe
  • Certain Diseases – Arthritis and diabetes may make you more likely to develop hammertoe

Treatment

If you have hammertoe, you should change into a more comfortable shoe that provides enough room for your toes. Exercises such as picking up marbles may strengthen and stretch your toe muscles. Nevertheless, it is important to seek assistance from a podiatrist in order to determine the severity of your hammertoe and see which treatment option will work best for you.

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

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