When Cracked Heels Become Heel Fissures

Cracked heels, a common foot condition, can escalate into heel fissures if not properly treated. Initially appearing as dry, flaky skin on the edge of the heel, these cracks can deepen, becoming painful fissures. Heel fissures occur when the skin around the heel is dry and thickened, often exacerbated by factors such as walking barefoot, excessive standing, or wearing open backed shoes. The pressure on the heels from daily activities can cause the skin to split, leading to fissures. These can be more than just a cosmetic concern, especially for individuals with diabetes or compromised circulation, as they may lead to serious infections. Preventative measures include regularly moisturizing the feet, avoiding harsh soaps, and wearing shoes that cushion the heels. If you have a severe case of cracked heels it is strongly suggested that you schedule an appointment with a podiatrist who can provide more advanced treatment. This can include removing the hard skin and potentially using specialized heel dressings or strappings that can allow the area to heal properly and prevent complications.

Cracked heels are unsightly and can cause further damage to your shoes and feet. If you have any concerns, contact Alex Kim, DPM from AVID Foot & Ankle Center. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Cracked Heels

Cracked heels appear unappealing and can make it harder for you walk around in sandals. Aside from looking unpleasant, cracked heels can also tear stockings, socks, and wear out your shoes. There are several methods to help restore a cracked heel and prevent further damage.

How Do You Get Them?

Dry skin is the number one culprit in creating cracked heels. Many athletes, walkers, joggers, and even swimmers suffer from cracked heels. Age and skin oil production play a role to getting cracked heels as well.

Promote Healing

Over the counter medicines can help, especially for those that need instant relief or who suffer from chronic dry feet.

Wear Socks – Wearing socks with medicated creams helps lock in moisture.

Moisturizers – Applying both day and night will help alleviate dryness which causes cracking.

Pumice Stones – These exfoliate and remove dead skin, which allows for smoother moisturizer application and better absorption into the skin. 

Change in Diet

Eating healthy with a well-balanced diet will give the skin a fresh and radiant look. Your body responds to the kinds of food you ingest. Omega-3 fatty acids and zinc supplements can also revitalize skin tissue.

Most importantly, seek professional help if unsure how to proceed in treating cracked heels. A podiatrist will help you with any questions or information needed. 

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

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Plantar Warts Can Be Treated!

Plantar warts are small growths that develop on parts of the feet that bear weight. They're typically found on the bottom of the foot. Don't live with plantar warts, and call us today!

Recognizing the Symptoms of Flat Feet

Flat feet, or fallen arches, are a common condition where the arches of the feet collapse, causing the entire sole to touch the ground. Recognizing the symptoms of flat feet is essential for understanding and addressing this condition. One prevalent sign is pain or discomfort along the inner side of the ankle and arch. Individuals with flat feet may also experience swelling along the inside of the ankle. The lack of a visible arch when standing or walking is a visual indicator of flat feet. Overpronation, where the foot rolls inward excessively, can contribute to this condition and lead to related issues, including shin splints or knee pain. Fatigue and aching in the feet and legs can occur, especially after prolonged standing. If you have flat feet, it is suggested that you speak to a podiatrist who can provide you with effective relief options.

Flatfoot is a condition many people suffer from. If you have flat feet, contact Alex Kim, DPM from AVID Foot & Ankle Center. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Are Flat Feet?

Flatfoot 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 arches 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 our office located in Little Elm, TX . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Ingrown Toenails and Infection Control

Ingrown toenails, a common condition where the nail grows into the toe's skin, can lead to infections if not properly managed. They most often affect the big toe and can result from trauma, improper nail trimming, and wearing tight footwear. The skin surrounding the ingrown nail becomes red, swollen, and painful, and may produce pus, indicating an infection. Preventing infection in ingrown toenails involves proper foot hygiene and nail care. Toenails should be cut straight across, avoiding rounding the corners which can encourage the nail to grow into the skin. Wearing properly fitting shoes that provide enough space for the toes to wiggle freely in can also reduce the risk. If you have an ingrown toenail and suspect an infection, it is strongly suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist for an evaluation and treatment.

Ingrown toenails may initially present themselves as a minor discomfort, but they may progress into an infection in the skin without proper treatment. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact Alex Kim, DPM of AVID Foot & Ankle Center. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails are caused when the corner or side of a toenail grows into the soft flesh surrounding it. They often result in redness, swelling, pain, and in some cases, infection. This condition typically affects the big toe and may recur if it is not treated properly.

Causes

  • Improper toenail trimming
  • Genetics
  • Improper shoe fitting
  • Injury from pedicures or nail picking
  • Abnormal gait
  • Poor hygiene

You are more likely to develop an ingrown toenail if you are obese, have diabetes, arthritis, or have any fungal infection in your nails. Additionally, people who have foot or toe deformities are at a higher risk of developing an ingrown toenail.

Symptoms

Some symptoms of ingrown toenails are redness, swelling, and pain. In rare cases, there may be a yellowish drainage coming from the nail.

Treatment

Ignoring an ingrown toenail can have serious complications. Infections of the nail border can progress to a deeper soft-tissue infection, which can then turn into a bone infection. You should always speak with your podiatrist if you suspect you have an ingrown toenail, especially if you have diabetes or poor circulation.

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

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Effective Fall Prevention Strategies for the Home

Preventing falls at home is essential for maintaining safety, especially for seniors or those with mobility challenges. You can take several steps to create a safer living environment. Begin by evaluating your home for potential hazards, paying close attention to loose rugs, clutter, and uneven surfaces. Ensure that walkways are clear, and keep frequently used items within easy reach. It is helpful to install handrails and grab bars in critical areas such as bathrooms and staircases that can provide essential support. Having adequate lighting is important so make sure that rooms and hallways are well-lit, with light switches easily accessible. Consider using non-slip mats in the bathroom and kitchen to reduce the risk of slipping. Furniture arrangement also plays a role, and it is beneficial to have it arranged in a style that can create clear pathways and ensure stability. Wearing supportive footwear with non-slip soles is essential, as it can greatly reduce the risk of falls. Additionally, staying physically active and maintaining muscle strength can improve balance and coordination, making falls less likely. Falling can greatly impact the feet, and it is suggested that you visit a podiatrist who can help you implement successful fall prevention strategies.

Preventing falls among the elderly is very important. If you are older and have fallen or fear that you are prone to falling, consult with Alex Kim, DPM from AVID Foot & Ankle Center. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality advice and care.

Every 11 seconds, an elderly American is being treated in an emergency room for a fall related injury. Falls are the leading cause of head and hip injuries for those 65 and older. Due to decreases in strength, balance, senses, and lack of awareness, elderly persons are very susceptible to falling. Thankfully, there are a number of things older persons can do to prevent falls.

How to Prevent Falls

Some effective methods that older persons can do to prevent falls include:

  • Enrolling in strength and balance exercise program to increase balance and strength
  • Periodically having your sight and hearing checked
  • Discuss any medications you have with a doctor to see if it increases the risk of falling
  • Clearing the house of falling hazards and installing devices like grab bars and railings
  • Utilizing a walker or cane
  • Wearing shoes that provide good support and cushioning
  • Talking to family members about falling and increasing awareness

Falling can be a traumatic and embarrassing experience for elderly persons; this can make them less willing to leave the house, and less willing to talk to someone about their fears of falling. Doing such things, however, will increase the likelihood of tripping or losing one’s balance. Knowing the causes of falling and how to prevent them is the best way to mitigate the risk of serious injury.  

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

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Nerve Pain in the Feet

Nerve pain in the feet, manifesting as a burning, tingling, or electric shock-like sensation, can be debilitating and impede daily activities. It can emerge at night or during specific actions, often linked to conditions like Morton’s neuroma, which causes thickened tissue around nerves. It may also be indicative of tarsal tunnel syndrome, where nerve compression triggers sharp, shooting pains. Diabetic neuropathy begins with pain in the toes that can expand upwards. Causes for these nerve issues vary, including factors like wearing ill-fitting shoes, physical injuries, and systemic health issues like diabetes, obesity, or infections. Treatment strategies depend on the underlying cause. If you have nerve pain in your feet, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist to obtain a diagnosis and treatment. This can help prevent the progression of potential conditions and enhance your quality of life.

Neuropathy

Neuropathy can be a potentially serious condition, especially if it is left undiagnosed. If you have any concerns that you may be experiencing nerve loss in your feet, consult with Alex Kim, DPM from AVID Foot & Ankle Center. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment for neuropathy.

What Is Neuropathy?

Neuropathy is a condition that leads to damage to the nerves in the body. Peripheral neuropathy, or neuropathy that affects your peripheral nervous system, usually occurs in the feet. Neuropathy can be triggered by a number of different causes. Such causes include diabetes, infections, cancers, disorders, and toxic substances.

Symptoms of Neuropathy Include:

  • Numbness
  • Sensation loss
  • Prickling and tingling sensations
  • Throbbing, freezing, burning pains
  • Muscle weakness

Those with diabetes are at serious risk due to being unable to feel an ulcer on their feet. Diabetics usually also suffer from poor blood circulation. This can lead to the wound not healing, infections occurring, and the limb may have to be amputated.

Treatment

To treat neuropathy in the foot, podiatrists will first diagnose the cause of the neuropathy. Figuring out the underlying cause of the neuropathy will allow the podiatrist to prescribe the best treatment, whether it be caused by diabetes, toxic substance exposure, infection, etc. If the nerve has not died, then it’s possible that sensation may be able to return to the foot.

Pain medication may be issued for pain. Electrical nerve stimulation can be used to stimulate nerves. If the neuropathy is caused from pressure on the nerves, then surgery may be necessary.

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

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Transformation of Your Feet During Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a transformative journey for a woman's body, and it is not just the baby bump that undergoes changes. The feet also experienced their share of adjustments during this remarkable period. As the body produces the hormone relaxin to prepare for childbirth, it can affect the ligaments and tendons throughout, including the feet. This increased flexibility can lead to a temporary increase in shoe size. Swelling, known as edema, is another common foot change during pregnancy and is often caused by fluid retention. This can make wearing comfortable footwear imperative. Added pressure on the arches can trigger or exacerbate flat feet, resulting in discomfort or pain. Be prepared for these transformations, and remember that they are all part of the incredible journey to motherhood. If you would like more information about how to find relief from foot pain during pregnancy, in addition to learning more about how the feet change during this exciting time, it is suggested that you confer with a podiatrist who can provide you with useful knowledge.

Pregnant women with swollen feet can be treated with a variety of different methods that are readily available. For more information about other cures for swollen feet during pregnancy, consult with Alex Kim, DPM from AVID Foot & Ankle Center. Our doctor will attend to all of your foot and ankle needs.

What Foot Problems Can Arise During Pregnancy?

One problem that can occur is overpronation, which occurs when the arch of the foot flattens and tends to roll inward.  This can cause pain and discomfort in your heels while you’re walking or even just standing up, trying to support your baby.  

Another problem is edema, or swelling in the extremities. This often affects the feet during pregnancy but tends to occur in the later stages. 

How Can I Keep My Feet Healthy During Pregnancy?

  • Wearing orthotics can provide extra support for the feet and help distribute weight evenly
  • Minimize the amount of time spent walking barefoot
  • Wear shoes with good arch support
  • Wear shoes that allow for good circulation to the feet
  • Elevate feet if you experience swelling
  • Massage your feet
  • Get regular, light exercise, such as walking, to promote blood circulation to the feet

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

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Do You Suffer From Painful Feet?

Painful deformities, such as hammertoes, can be treated. Stop living with foot pain, and have beautiful feet again!

Foot Exercises for Better Balance

When considering your workout routine, it is easy to overlook your feet and ankles. These often neglected body parts bear your body weight and support nearly all your movements. The foot and ankle complex is a marvel of anatomy, with 26 bones, numerous muscles, and countless nerve endings. During activities such as running and jumping, the foot and ankle endure significant forces, sometimes exceeding your body weight by several times. Moreover, they manage forces in multiple directions, contributing to their intricate biomechanics. Stretching and strengthening the foot and ankle complex is vital for overall physical health and injury prevention, as it can reduce the shockwave of force traveling into the shins, knees, and beyond. Neglecting this area can lead to common injuries. Stretching is also vital to maintain balance. An easy exercise to do for balance training consists of standing on one leg for 30 seconds, then repeat on the other side. Alternate between the two legs for three rounds. Once you can complete that with ease, repeat the progression on a soft surface such as a pillow. For advanced balance training, repeat the sequence above and close your eyes. If you would like to know more about various foot exercises you can do for balance, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist who can provide you with the knowledge you are seeking.

Exercising your feet regularly with the proper foot wear is a great way to prevent injuries and build strength. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact Alex Kim, DPM from AVID Foot & Ankle Center. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Exercise for Your Feet

Exercise for your feet can help you gain strength, mobility and flexibility in your feet. They say that strengthening your feet can be just as rewarding as strengthening another part of the body. Your feet are very important, and we often forget about them in our daily tasks. But it is because of our feet that are we able to get going and do what we need to. For those of us fortunate enough to not have any foot problems, it is an important gesture to take care of them to ensure good health in the long run.

Some foot health exercises can include ankle pumps, tip-toeing, toe rises, lifting off the floor doing reps and sets, and flexing the toes. It is best to speak with Our doctor to determine an appropriate regimen for your needs. Everyone’s needs and bodies are different, and the activities required to maintain strength in the feet vary from individual to individual. 

Once you get into a routine of doing regular exercise, you may notice a difference in your feet and how strong they may become.

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

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Pain in Your Feet May Indicate Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

Tarsal tunnel syndrome, or TTS, is a painful condition affecting the feet. It is similar to carpal tunnel syndrome but occurs in the ankle, specifically in the tarsal tunnel. This is defined as a narrow passageway on the inner side of your ankle enclosed by bone and a fibrous band. TTS results from compression or pressure on the tibial nerve, which runs through this confined space. There are specific risk factors that may lead to this condition. These can include an ankle injury, standing for extended periods, or participating in athletic activities. The tibial nerve is responsible for providing sensation to the bottom of your foot and controlling some of the muscles in your calf. When the tibial nerve becomes compressed due to injury, inflammation, or an underlying medical condition, it can lead to a range of distressing symptoms, including tingling, burning pain, and numbness in the foot. Understanding the complexities of tarsal tunnel syndrome is crucial for timely diagnosis and effective management, which often involves rest and in some cases, surgical intervention. If you have any form of ankle pain, it is suggested that you consult a podiatrist who can provide the best course of treatment.

Tarsal tunnel syndrome can be very uncomfortable to live with. If you are experiencing tarsal tunnel syndrome, contact Alex Kim, DPM of AVID Foot & Ankle Center. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

Tarsal tunnel syndrome, which can also be called tibial nerve dysfunction, is an uncommon condition of misfiring peripheral nerves in the foot. The tibial nerve is the peripheral nerve in the leg responsible for sensation and movement of the foot and calf muscles. In tarsal tunnel syndrome, the tibial nerve is damaged, causing problems with movement and feeling in the foot of the affected leg.

Common Cause of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

  • Involves pressure or an injury, direct pressure on the tibial nerve for an extended period of time, sometimes caused by other body structures close by or near the knee.
  • Diseases that damage nerves, including diabetes, may cause tarsal tunnel syndrome.
  • At times, tarsal tunnel syndrome can appear without an obvious cause in some cases.

The Effects of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

  • Different sensations, an afflicted person may experience pain, tingling, burning or other unusual sensations in the foot of the affected leg.
  • The foot muscles, toes and ankle become weaker, and curling your toes or flexing your foot can become difficult.
  • If condition worsens, infections and ulcers may develop on the foot that is experiencing the syndrome.

A physical exam of the leg can help identify the presence of tarsal tunnel syndrome. Medical tests, such as a nerve biopsy, are also used to diagnose the condition. Patients may receive physical therapy and prescriptive medication. In extreme cases, some may require surgery.

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

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