Posts for: October, 2018
What Causes Warts?
Got foot warts? Nearly everyone will have a wart at some point in their lives. Warts are typically small, hard skin growths caused by an infection with humanpallilloma virus. Foot warts are treatable. Foot warts are among the most common dermatologic conditions podiatrists treat. Read on to learn about the causes of warts.
An HPV Infection
Common warts are caused by by an HPV infection. Over 100 types of HPV exist. Certain types of HPV infection cause cervical cancer. Some types of HPV infection cause foot warts, while others cause warts that appear on the face, neck, or hands. Of the 100 types of HPV, about 60 cause common warts on areas such as the hands or feet.
Wart viruses are contagious. You can get foot warts from skin-to-skin contact with people who have warts. However, not all HPV strains are highly contagious. You can get the wart virus by touching an object that another person's wart touched, such as clothing, towels, shoes, or exercise equipment.
Breaks in Your Skin
HPV infects the top layer of skin and usually enters the body in an area of damaged or cut skin. Cuts from shaving can provide an avenue for infection. Getting a scrape can also bring on common warts. Foot warts are very common in swimmers whose feet are scratched by rough pool surfaces.
A Weak Immune System
In most cases, your immune system defeats an HPV infection before it creates a wart. Someone with a weakened immune system is more vulnerable and therefore more likely to develop warts. Immune systems can be weakened by HIV or by immunosuppressant drugs used after organ transplants.
If you want to get rid of foot warts, see your podiatrist as soon as possible. Many types of effective wart treatments are available. They include salicylic acid, cantharidin, cryotherapy, laser treatment, and surgery. Your podiatrist can help you get rid of foot warts once and for all!
Have you been experiencing any heel pain or bothersome tenderness without any obvious cause? Although heel spurs themselves sometimes do not cause acute discomfort, they are frequently associated with the painful inflammation known as plantar fasciitis, a condition commonly described as feeling like a knife is wrenching through your foot. Read below for more information on the typical causes, symptoms, and treatments of heel spurs.
What is a Heel Spur?
A heel spur is often the result of overstraining foot muscles and ligaments, overstretching the plantar fascia (the thick band of tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes), and repeatedly tearing the heel bone membrane. From these actions arises a calcium deposit on the underside of the heel bone. Risk factor for developing the condition include:
- Possessing any walking gait abnormalities
- Regularly running or jogging on hard surfaces
- Wearing poorly fitted or overly worn shoes
- Wearing shoes that lack arch support
- Being excessively overweight or obese
What are The Symptoms?
Heel spurs do not carry many symptoms by themselves. However, they are often related to other afflictions, most typically plantar fasciitis. The most common sign of this combo of conditions is a feeling of chronic pain along the bottom or back of the heel, especially during periods of walking, running, or jogging. If you are experiencing this recurring inflammation, it is a good idea to visit your local podiatrist's office and inquire about undergoing an x-ray or ultrasound examination of the foot.
What are the Treatment Options?
The solutions to heel spurs are generally centered around decreasing inflammation and avoiding re-injury. They include:
- Applying ice on the inflammation
- Performing stretch exercises
- Wearing orthotic devices or shoe inserts to relieve pressure off of the spur
- Taking anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen to relieve pain
- In extreme cases, surgery can be performed on chronically inflamed spurs
If you are dealing with symptoms of heel spurs or pain in your feet, turn to a podiatrist so that we can get you back on your feet. Don't ignore your pain.
Dealing with a toenail fungus can be annoying and embarrassing. Find out what you can do to get healthier toenails from your Fairfax, VA podiatrist.
Dealing with a toenail fungus is anything but fun. It can cause otherwise attractive feet to look unattractive and unsightly. Do you think you might be dealing with toenail fungus? If so, then it’s time you found out more about this common infection and what you and your Fairfax, VA podiatrist can do to get rid of it.
What is a toenail fungus?
If you develop a fungal infection in your nail you can blame onychomycosis, a fungus, and yeast that loves dark, damp places, such as under the fingernails and toenails.
What are the symptoms of a toenail fungal infection?
Toenails that have been infected by fungus are often yellow or brown in appearance. The toenail may even thicken and become brittle. Toenails dealing with these kinds of infections are often rather embarrassing or unpleasant to look at.
What factors may predispose me to fungal infections?
Men and older adults are more likely to develop toenail fungal infections, as well as those with poor circulation, past nail traumas, bad hygiene or weakened immune systems.
Athletes are also more likely to develop fungal infection than non-athletes. This could be because of repeated nail trauma or because sweaty feet are contained within tight, damp shoes, which can be a popular breeding ground for fungus.
Are fungal infections contagious?
It is possible for a toenail fungus to be spread between family members; however, it’s less likely that a fungus will spread from one person to another. If someone in your family has a fungal infection, be careful not to share towels, socks, and shoes, or nail care products.
How can they be treated?
While some minor fungal infections can be cleared up with over-the-counter or prescription creams, if you aren’t getting the relief you need then it’s time you talked to your foot doctor about laser fungal treatment. The procedure is an easy, painless and fast way to eliminate toenail fungus when other treatments just aren’t cutting it. Unlike creams and other products, the laser can penetrate through the nail to kill the fungus while leaving the skin around it unharmed.
Contact Your Fairfax, VA Podiatrist
If you are dealing with a toenail fungus, isn’t it time you felt comfortable baring your feet? Find confidence again in wearing flip-flops and turn to your podiatrist today for toenail fungal treatment.
Even minor foot alignment problems can lead to pain in your feet, ankles, legs and back. Luckily, orthotics may provide a simple solution. Podiatrists, Drs. Steven Vetter and Jugal Dharia, offer the prescription shoe inserts at Oakton Foot and Ankle Center in Fairfax, VA.
How do orthotics work?
An arch issue, imbalance, or another foot or ankle problem can throw off the alignment of your entire body. In fact, back, knee, and hip pain can often be traced to a problem with your feet. Orthotics re-position your foot when you wear shoes, temporarily correcting common problems. The removable shoe inserts also offer support and cushioning.
Unlike one-size-fits-all drugstore insoles, orthotics are specially designed for you by your Fairfax foot doctor and are much more durable than over-the-counter inserts.
What conditions do orthotics help?
Orthotics are helpful for many foot and ankle conditions. If you overpronate (turn your feet in when you walk), have flat feet, frequently experience pain your back or legs, or have an abnormal gait or different leg lengths, your podiatrist may recommend rigid orthotics. The inserts are made of stiff carbon or plastic and support your entire foot.
Semi-rigid orthotics are an excellent choice if foot or ankle pain prevents you from running or walking for exercise as often as you would like. Although the inner core of these orthotics is rigid, they're covered with a softer outer layer. Semi-rigid orthotics control foot movement, improve balance and reduce pressure on muscles and tendons.
Soft orthotics not only cushion your feet but also act as shock absorbers. They can be very helpful if your feet always seem to be sore, you have arthritis in your feet, or you have diabetes and want to avoid blisters.
Heel cups are short orthotics that fit in the heel area of your shoe. They can reduce pain caused by thinning of the fat pad under your heel as you grow older and can also make wearing shoes more comfortable if you have plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis or heel spurs.
Ease your pain with orthotics! Call your Fairfax, VA, podiatrists Drs. Steven Vetter and Jugal Dharia at (703) 352-8888 to schedule an appointment.