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General Podiatry

General Podiatry Articles and Blog Post

Here you will find articles related to general podiatry topics. Our goal is to categorize our articles and posts as best we can. If you cannot find an article relating to your question, please contact us. We are happy to help answer any general podiatry questions you may have.

Diabetes and your feet

Diabetes and Your Feet

By General Podiatry, Health & Wellness

According to the CDC, over 100 million Americans currently have diabetes or prediabetes. The most common (and dangerous) type of diabetes, Type 2, occurs when the body becomes resistant to insulin. Or, when your pancreas can’t produce enough of it.

The body needs a certain amount of insulin in order to function properly. Insulin allows the cells within your body to absorb glucose, which provides energy. When the body doesn’t have enough insulin, glucose can’t move freely around these cells, causing high glucose levels within the body that can eventually lead to diabetes.

Common Signs of Diabetes

Diabetes affects people differently. Not everyone has the same signs. But, some of the most common symptoms include:

  • Frequent urination
  • Constant thirst
  • Weight loss
  • Blurry vision
  • Fatigue
  • Very dry skin
  • Sores that heal slowly

Another common sign of diabetes is the feeling of numbness in your hands or feet. If you’ve been a diabetic for a while, you have probably already heard about the importance of taking care of your feet. But, do you know why?

That numbness/tingling sensation in your feet isn’t just annoying. It can create major issues, and some people can develop serious foot problems or may even have to lose a toe or a foot.

That shouldn’t scare you. Instead, it should let you know how important it is to consistently monitor your feet, and how important it is to take proper care of them.

How Does Diabetes Affect Your Feet?

One of the risks of diabetes is nerve damage. As stated above, that damage is often most notable in the hands and feet. This is a condition known as diabetic neuropathy. This condition can cause you to lose feeling in your feet, which makes it easier to get injured. For example, if you happen to get a cut or scrape on your foot, you may not feel it, so you won’t pay attention to it. As a result, it can become easily infected and lead to even bigger problems.

Your risk of infection is often greater if you have diabetes because it can slow down blood flow to your feet. So, not only is it easier for a sore to get infected, but it’s often harder to treat. An infection that doesn’t heal can lead to gangrene, which is often when a toe or the foot itself needs to be amputated.

How to Check Your Feet Each Day

One of the easiest ways to prevent foot issues when you have diabetes is to check the condition of your feet every day. While even just giving them a quick glance-over is better than nothing, it’s easier if you know what to look for. Pay close attention to things like:

  • Red spots
  • Sores
  • Cuts/scrapes
  • Swelling
  • Blisters
  • Ingrown toenails
  • Calluses
  • Warm spots

A warm spot or area somewhere on your foot can sometimes be an indicator of a blister or ulcer that is just starting. Catching it early can make it easier to treat.

If you want more information on how to thoroughly examine your feet, check out the video below from The University of Vermont Medical Center.

How to Take Care of Your Feet

In addition to examining your feet each day, there are regular care activities that you should perform to keep your feet in good shape and to remain healthy. Thankfully, if you put these practices into your normal routine, they won’t take much time, and they can make a big difference in your overall foot health.

Wash Your Feet Each Day

How often do you take the time to actually wash your feet when you’re in the shower or bath? You should be spending a few minutes each day actually washing then with warm (not hot) water, especially between your toes.

Perhaps just as important as washing them is drying them thoroughly. Moisture that gets trapped on your feet or between your toes can lead to fungal infections. Additionally, if your feet tend to get sweaty throughout the day, sprinkling them with a bit of talcum powder can help to keep them dry and reduce the risk of a fungus.

Trim Your Toenails the Right Way

Many people think you’re supposed to trim your toenails in a “curved” shape to match the toes themselves. But, this can put you at a greater risk of experiencing an ingrown toenail, which can lead to different types of infections. You also risk cutting your skin.

Instead, trim your toenails straight across and smooth them out with an emery board. If you choose to get a pedicure somewhere, it’s a smart idea to bring your own tools along, rather than risk using tools that could be contaminated.

Protect Your Feet

When you have diabetes, protecting your feet every day should be a top priority. For starters, make sure you’re wearing shoes and/or socks as often as possible – even in your own home.

When you walk around barefoot, you’re at a greater risk of stepping on something or cutting your skin. As you now know, that can lead to an infection, which could cause even bigger issues. Just make sure you’re wearing shoes that allow your feet to “breathe,” so moisture doesn’t accumulate inside.

In addition to protecting your feet from objects, it’s also important to protect them from extreme temperatures. Put sunscreen on your feet if they’re exposed outside, don’t dip them into extremely hot water, and wear shoes on hot sand or pavement.

Keeping fit and healthy for diabetes preventionBoosting Circulation to Your Feet

Finally, you can take care of your feet by keeping the blood flowing. There are easy ways to do this, including:

  • Propping your feet up when you’re sitting
  • Remaining physically active
  • Moving your ankles and toes throughout the day

If you’re experiencing any diabetic foot problems or pain, the best thing you can do is to see a doctor immediately. If you’re concerned about the general care and health of your feet as a diabetic, feel free to contact Caruso Foot and Ankle to schedule an appointment as soon as possible. We are happy to work with you to ensure your feet stay healthy – so the rest of you remains healthy, too!

Plantar Warts in the Summer

Don’t Let Plantar Warts Spoil Your Fun

By General Podiatry

There is nothing more exciting than the first rush of spring and summer. We clean out the cobwebs of winter, brush ourselves off, and head outside for any number of activities. The last thing we want to think about is plantar warts. But the risk of walking around barefoot, using public showers and pools, and cutting your foot or hand, can be the culprit in many cases of plantars warts.

What are Plantar Warts?

Plantar warts are a viral infection within the skin. The warts are caused by the HPV or human papillomavirus. There are many different strains of the HPV virus, only a few which cause warts on the feet. Other types of HPV are more likely to cause warts on other areas of your skin or on mucous membranes. Typically, plantar warts are non-cancerous and are not harmful.

The infection gains access to the skin through direct contact by means of an open cut or wound or by direct or indirect contact with someone who has a wart. For instance, a child with a wart on their hand may touch a piece of playground equipment and when another child touches that surface, the wart spreads to that child. Another way, as mentioned above is using public showers at pools or waterparks without wearing shoes. Wart

 

What Do They Look Like?

Plantar warts are small and can appear as little black dots first, growing to the size of a pencil eraser and sometimes can grow in clusters; those are called mosaic warts. They are usually flat with a smooth surface and have a gray-yellow or brown color. Plantar warts usually appear on the heel and ball of the foot or other areas of pressure. It’s a good idea to have suspicious growths examined by a doctor because a variety of more serious lesions can appear on the foot and be misidentified as a wart.

Plantar warts on the bottom of the feet

What are the Treatment Options?

There are a variety of ways to treat plantar warts. First and foremost, it’s not fast and easy and can take up to a few weeks to a few months because the warts lie deep within the skin layers. Unlike other types of viruses that the body can recognize and fight, the wart shields itself in the skin so the body can’t detect it. So treatment can be difficult. The recurrence rate can be higher or lower depending on the treatment type, and immunity can be an issue.

Acid treatment is most often used in our office and requires a few applications. If the wart is more stubborn, anesthetizing and cutting out the wart is also an option.

Many people will opt for over-the-counter (OTC) ointments and liquids. However, serious problems can occur with prolonged use of overly aggressive OTC treatments (more than two weeks). Skin irritation, infection, pain and scarring are a few. OTC medications are also not recommended for infants, people with diabetes, or other circulation problems.

Tips to Avoid Plantar Warts

  • Avoid walking barefoot in public showers or at pools or water park bathrooms (beach walking is fine)
  • Change shoes and socks daily and avoid sharing socks, shoes and showering facilities
  • Keep feet clean and dry
  • Check your children’s feet regularly during warm weather months
  • Don’t touch warts on other people
  • Don’t scratch warts or they will spread
  • Warts should be covered with waterproof tape in wet environments and swimming pools to avoid infection and infecting others
  • Do not ignore growths on, or changes in the skin

What to Expect If You Get a Wart

Roughly 60 percent of plantar warts disappear on their own in what is called “spontaneous remission.” This happens because the body’s immune system takes action to kill the virus. But if stubborn warts don’t go away and are left untreated, they can grow up to one inch across and spread into clusters and cause pain, swelling, or bleeding.

Warts can also grow back after treatment and this indicates that the virus is still present. This is not serious, but the warts can spread to other parts of the body, particularly if they are scratched because blood from the wart contains the virus and can cause a new warts to grow. The best advice is to seek treatment and as soon as you notice the signs of a growth or the “black seed” of a wart.

Please feel free to Contact Us with any questions about plantar warts, or you can Make An Appointment to see Dr. Caruso.

COVID-19 Operating Hours and Telemedicine Information

COVID-19 Operating Hours and Telemedicine Information

By General Podiatry

Caruso Foot & Ankle is open during the current COVID-19 pandemic. However, we are operating on a limited schedule only. We are working to ensure proper precautions, protocols, and resources are in place to provide safe care to those who need it.

If you believe you may have been exposed to COVID-19, or have symptoms that may indicate exposure, please CONTACT US before seeking care in person.

Our current office hours are:

Monday: 9:00 AM – 4:30 PM

Tuesday: 1:15 PM – 7:30 PM

Wednesday: 9:00 AM – 4:30 PM

All other days are currently for emergencies only. If you have a critical emergency call 911 immediately. For after hours, non-life threatening emergencies please call 732-366-9866 and follow the prompts to be connected to the doctor.

Telemedicine Remote Care

We are now offering a computer and smartphone based video conferencing alternative to in person visits. Through a HIPAA secure online platform called Doxy.me, you can connect directly with Dr. Caruso from the safety and comfort of your home. Appointments are required, and insurances do cover it. You can view the video below for more information.

Callused feet

Calluses

By General Podiatry, Running

Most of us can remember running around barefoot when we were young. Shoes seemed like such a hindrance! As we get older though, shoes are a necessity for overall health and mobility. And while good fitting shoes are important, many foot maladies are often caused by boney prominences consistent with underlying foot deformities.  These deformities along with thinning skin layers can increase the risk and frequency of calluses. Read More

Runner with pain due to a neuroma

Neuroma (Pinched Nerve)

By General Podiatry

What is a Neuroma?

Basically, a neuroma (commonly called a pinched nerve) is a thickening of nerve tissue. A neuroma can form in various areas of the body, but the most common neuroma in the foot is called Morton’s neuroma. This condition is named after the American surgeon Thomas George Morton (1835-1903) who published the first complete description of this particular neuroma. The term intermetatarsal neuroma describes its most common location between the third and fourth toe bones (metatarsals).  Read More

metatarsal joint pain

Metatarsalgia

By General Podiatry

What is Metatarsalgia?

The structure of your feet is very complicated, and it’s an amazing fact that they contain a quarter of the bones in your entire body. Among these bones are the five long metatarsals that run from the arch to your toes. They are very important bones as they act as shock absorbers when the foot is in motion. The metatarsal head refers to the top of each metatarsal. Pain in the ball of the foot can happen when one or more metatarsal heads becomes inflamed. The pain can be caused by a number of different underlying conditions and is known by the general term of metatarsalgia. Read More

ankle posterior tibial tendonitis

Posterior Tibial Tendonitis

By General Podiatry

Sharp pains in your arch or inner ankle? Popping sensations? Sore to the touch? These are all signs you might have posterior tibial tendonitis!

Posterior tibial tendonitis is a common runner’s injury that can stop you in your tracks and make you wonder if you will ever run pain free again. Never fear though we can help you can back on track, literally! Read More

Ingrown Toenails and Other Nail Related Injuries

By General Podiatry, Running

Ingrown Toenails and Other Nail Related Injuries

As an avid runner, I know all too well that toenail injuries are likely to occur. I have experienced some of this myself, and after a long race, I usually take off my sneakers to assess the damage. Whether it’s ingrown toenails, hematomas, or other nail deformities, these common injuries are a part of many runners’ lives. As part of the Discussion Series on Running Injuries, here we discuss a few very common toenail injuries.  Read More

Caruso Foot and Ankle Logo 611-611

Patient Portal Now Available

By General Podiatry

Access our new patient portal

We’ve just launched our new patient portal which is now available on our website. The portal gives all current patients of Caruso Foot & Ankle access to their health records. Simply log in through the Patient Portal link in the navigation bar at the top of the page at carusofootandankle.com. Follow the instructions to create a new account which will require identity verification to ensure your health records remain safe. If you have any trouble creating an account or need help connecting to the patient portal please contact us here.