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Posts for category: Foot Condition

By Arizona Foot & Ankle Specialists, LLC
April 01, 2022
Category: Foot Condition
Tags: Corns  
CornsFrom running miles to wearing shoes that are too loose or too tight, there are many reasons why you may develop a corn. A corn is your skin’s way of protecting itself when there is any friction or pressure placed on the area. While healthy individuals may be able to simply treat corns on their own with home care, those with diabetes or nerve damage should always turn to a podiatrist even for minor injuries such as corns or calluses.

What is a corn?

A corn is a buildup of skin that occurs when there is repeated friction or pressure placed on the skin. This buildup of skin helps to protect the skin underneath. Corns most commonly develop on the side or tops of the toes and can be either hard or soft. Soft corns often appear between the toes while hard corns typically form on the tops of the toes. While both corns and calluses are thickened areas of skin, calluses are often larger and typically develop on the bottoms of the feet.

Who is more at risk for developing corns?

Certain factors can make someone prone to corns and calluses. These include:
  • Wearing shoes that are too tight or too narrow
  • Having certain foot conditions that alter its structural alignments such as arthritis, bunions, or hammertoes
  • Wearing shoes without socks
  • Being a smoker
How do I treat a corn?

If you are a healthy individual, then simple lifestyle changes and home care can help to improve your corn. Soak the area for 5-10 minutes to soften the area. You may use a pumice stone to gently remove some of the thickened layers of skin. Make sure not to be too aggressive or to remove too much, as this can lead to bleeding and even infection. After pumicing the area, make sure to apply a moisturizer to your feet. If you have diabetes or nerve damage in your feet, do not try the pumice or remove the corn yourself. A podiatrist can provide you with the proper treatment.

Make sure you are wearing properly fitted shoes at all times. This can cut down on the number of corns or calluses you’ll deal with. Keep nails properly trimmed so they don’t rub against toes and cause corns. If certain areas of your feet are prone to corns, you may wish to apply protective adhesive padding to the area either to protect the corn or to prevent a new one from forming.

If you notice any changes to a corn, including signs of infection, it’s important that you turn to a podiatrist right away for care. While most corns will go away if you avoid any shoes that cause pressure or friction to the area, you should turn to a foot doctor if you have concerns.
By Arizona Foot & Ankle Specialists, LLC
April 01, 2022
Category: Foot Condition
Tags: Arthritis  
Arthritis and Your FeetIs the pain and stiffness you’re experiencing in your feet and ankles caused by arthritis? If arthritis is left untreated, it’s possible that your symptoms could become so severe that they could affect your quality of life. Therefore, your podiatrist may recommend seeking medical attention right away to reduce the amount of damage to the joints.

What are the signs and symptoms of arthritic feet?

Wondering if you could be dealing with arthritis in your feet? Some warning signs include,
  • Joint pain and stiffness
  • Joint swelling
  • Joint warmth and tenderness to the touch
  • Pain with movement
  • Increased pain and swelling after rest
How do podiatrists treat arthritis of the feet?

There are several different treatment options that we have available to handle your arthritis symptoms:

Medication: Over-the-counter anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen can help reduce inflammation and pain. While those with more minor bouts of arthritis can often find relief from these medications, some patients may need a prescription-strength pain reliever to manage more severe symptoms.
Steroid injections: A dose of corticosteroids administered directly into the joint can help greatly reduce pain and inflammation. While this can be an effective treatment option, the effects are only temporary.
Physical Therapy: There are some exercises you can perform to help increase flexibility and movement while also strengthening your foot and ankle muscles to prevent further problems. Talk to your foot doctor about the different exercises you can perform each day to help improve your foot health and reduce arthritis symptoms.
Lifestyle changes: You should minimize certain activities that could cause symptoms to worsen. This includes switching from more high-impact exercises such as running to lower-impact exercises such as swimming, which will take some of the stress and pressure off the feet and ankles. If necessary we may also advise you to lose weight, as well.
Customized orthotics: Wearing orthotics made specifically for your feet can help take pressure off certain areas of the feet and help reduce pain while moving. Talk to your podiatrist about custom-made orthotics and whether they could improve your condition.

If these conservative treatments don’t do much to help your condition, then we may need to discuss the possibility of surgery. There are different kinds of surgery that we can perform and a lot will depend on the severity and cause of your arthritis. Those with advanced forms of arthritis may have to consider a total ankle replacement.
By Arizona Foot & Ankle Specialists, LLC
April 01, 2022
Category: Foot Condition
Tags: Flat Feet   Fallen Arches  
Fallen ArchesFallen arches, better known as flat feet, are more common than you might realize. While many people have flat feet and don’t even know it, others are dealing with regular aches and pains in their feet due to fallen arches. If you think this could be you, a podiatrist can quickly diagnose this problem and provide you with effective strategies to keep fallen arches from also causing you pain.

What are some complications of fallen arches?

Some people have fallen arches but never experience any issues; however, sometimes fallen arches can lead to,
  • Foot, heel, and arch pain, particularly when standing or walking
  • Muscle pain
  • Leg cramps
  • Shooting leg pains that start at the soles of the feet
  • Swelling of the feet or tenderness in the soles
Flat feet can also increase your risk for,
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Shin splints
  • Bone spurs
  • Arthritis
  • Bunions
  • Lower back pain, hip pain, or knee pain
If you are experiencing pain with movement, trouble walking, or balancing issues, it’s important that you turn to a podiatrist to find out whether flat feet could be to blame.

What causes fallen arches?

Arches develop around the age of 2 or 3 years old; however, sometimes arches never develop. Genetics can increase your risk for flat feet. Sometimes injuries or other foot problems can cause flat feet to develop as an adult. Certain conditions can also increase your risk for flat feet including,
  • Diabetes
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Achilles tendonitis
  • High blood pressure
  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
How are fallen arches treated?

If fallen arches do not cause any problems then you don’t really need to do anything about them; however, it is important to recognize whether certain issues you’re dealing with could be the result of fallen arches. If so, your podiatrist may recommend a wide range of nonsurgical treatment options including,
  • Nonsteroid anti-inflammatory medications
  • Physical therapy
  • Orthotics and arch support
  • Stretching exercises
  • Bracing
  • Custom shoes
If your flat feet are causing you to deal with easily achy, sore, and fatigued feet, know that a podiatrist can help you get your foot problems back on track with the proper care. Call your podiatrist today!
By Arizona Foot & Ankle Specialists, LLC
April 01, 2022
Category: Foot Condition
Tags: Blisters  
Preventing Blisters on Your FeetA blister can be a real nuisance. It can make it uncomfortable to walk around, let alone try to go on your run. Fortunately, there are some simple things you can do to reduce your risk of developing blisters. Take care of your feet and they will take care of you. Of course, if you have diabetes or nerve damage in your feet and you do find yourself dealing with a blister, it’s important to always turn to a podiatrist right away for care.

Wear the Proper Shoes

Whether you’re hiking, running, or simply walking to work, it’s important that you are wearing the appropriate shoes for the job. Shoes that don’t provide your feet with enough cushion and support, especially when pounding the pavement, can leave you dealing with blisters, calluses, and other foot injuries. Make sure that you are also getting shoes that provide the ideal fit. Shoes that are too tight or loose can rub against the skin and result in blisters.

Apply Padding

There are blister pads on the market for a reason! Even if you are wearing properly fitted footwear, you may still find that you need a little added protection for your feet. A blister pad can be used to protect a blister that you have or it can be used in places that are prone to blisters.

Wear the Right Socks

The socks that you wear are just as important for maintaining healthy feet as the shoes that you wear. Choose socks that wick away moisture and consider doubling up on socks if you are getting ready to participate in an activity that increases your chances of developing a blister. The added layer can provide more protection for your feet. If your socks become wet or moist, it’s important that you change your socks right away.

Use a Lubricant Before Exercise

Shoes and socks that rub against the feet can lead to blisters, so it’s important to reduce this type of friction by keeping feet lubricated. This is particularly important for runners or hikers. Apply petroleum jelly to the feet so that they are more likely to slide rather than rub against shoes and socks.

A podiatrist can recommend the appropriate footwear for you, provide custom orthotics and ensure that you provide your feet with the support and cushioning they need for all of your activities to prevent blisters from happening to you. If blisters are a common problem, talk with your podiatrist about how you can prevent this from happening.
By Arizona Foot & Ankle Specialists, LLC
April 01, 2022
Category: Foot Condition
What Is Raynauds DiseaseDo your fingers and toes sometimes turn numb, change color, or feel cold? While this is a common response to winter weather, if you have Raynaud’s disease, something more could be going on to impact the health and function of your blood vessels. If you find your fingers or toes turning white and going numb, you should talk with your podiatrists about Raynaud’s disease.

What is Raynaud’s disease?

This rare disorder temporarily narrows or restricts blood flow to the blood vessels of the extremities. Raynaud’s disease is characterized by an attack and is often the result of cold weather exposure. There are two types of Raynaud’s disease: primary and secondary. Primary Raynaud’s disease occurs on its own without a cause while secondary Raynaud’s disease is the result of an underlying health problem.

What causes it?

Sometimes Raynaud’s disease has no known cause (as is the case with primary Raynaud’s disease); however, certain autoimmune diseases, extreme stress, or cold weather exposure are typically the main causes. Risk factors that can increase the likelihood of primary Raynaud’s disease include:
  • Being a woman
  • Being under 30 years old (symptoms offer appear during the teen years)
  • A family history of Raynaud’s disease
Risk factors for secondary Raynaud’s disease include,
  • Thyroid disorders, autoimmune diseases, and other chronic diseases
  • Certain medications
  • Exposure to certain chemicals, cold weather, or vibrating machines

What are the signs and symptoms?

When an attack occurs, skin on the toes and hands often turns white or pale. You may notice a loss of feeling in the extremities, as well. The area may also turn blue. Then once circulation returns, the area will warm and the skin will turn red. You may also notice burning, tingling, or throbbing as the sensation returns. Raynaud’s attack can last anywhere from several minutes to several hours.

How is Raynaud’s disease treated?

If a certain medication or underlying health problem is causing these attacks, your doctor may recommend switching medications or can help you better manage these chronic health problems to reduce your risks for an attack. If your primary Raynaud’s attacks are the result of cold exposure, avoiding cold temperatures is the best way to prevent attacks. Ensure that you are also properly bundled and wearing warm socks and gloves if you have to go outdoors on cold days.

Numbness and color changes in the feet can also be signs of diabetes and nerve damage, so it’s important that you see your podiatrist right away to rule out more serious health concerns.