Tuesday, 10 October 2023 00:00

Treatment for Cracked Heels

Cracked heels are a common foot condition characterized by the splitting of dry, thick skin on the heels. When only the outer layer of skin is affected, it may not be painful but can be uncomfortable. In more severe cases, the cracks can extend into the healthy skin, causing pain, bleeding, and infection risk. Several factors contribute to cracked heels, including prolonged standing, wearing unsupportive footwear, and biomechanical issues. Additionally, taking hot showers, increase in weight, and medical conditions such as diabetes may contribute to developing cracked heels. They are often more prevalent in the summer due to wearing open-back shoes and warm weather. Symptoms of cracked heels often include discomfort, pain while standing, itchiness, and dry, white skin on the heels. Treatment involves removing the dry skin, addressing underlying problems or infections, and preventing recurrence. Prevention strategies include regular callus removal, daily moisturizing, and wearing appropriate footwear. If you are suffering from cracked heels and they are not responding to everyday foot care, it is suggested that you consult a podiatrist for a specialized treatment plan.

If the skin on your feet starts to crack, you may want to see a podiatrist to find treatment. If you have any concerns, contact one of our podiatrists from Foot & Ankle Associates of Maine. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Cracked Heels

It is important to moisturize your cracked heels in order to prevent pain, bleeding, and infection. The reason cracked heels form is because the skin on the foot is too dry to support the immense pressure placed on them. When the foot expands, the dry skin on the foot begins to split.

Ways to Help Heal Them

  • Invest in a good foot cream
  • Try Using Petroleum Jelly
  • Ease up on Soaps
  • Drink Plenty of Water

Ways to Prevent Cracked Heels

  • Moisturize After Showering
  • Skip a Shower
  • Keep Shower Water Lukewarm
  • Don’t Scrub Your Feet

If you are unsure how to proceed in treating cracked heels, seek guidance from a podiatrist. Your doctor will help you with any questions or information you may need. 

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

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Tuesday, 03 October 2023 00:00

Managing a Broken Toe That Will Not Heal

A broken toe is a common injury, and can cause difficulty if it does not heal. Several factors can contribute to a broken toe that doesn’t mend as expected. Misdiagnosis can sometimes occur, where a toe injury may be more severe than initially believed. This may lead to a delayed diagnosis or inadequate treatment. Additionally, tiny hairline fractures, known as stress fractures, can be challenging to detect, and may not heal properly if not identified. Poor immobilization, with inadequately fitted splints or casts, can hinder the healing process. Medical conditions, such as diabetes or vascular disease, can slow down the healing process. Also, continuous stress on the broken toe, such as excessive walking or standing, can impede proper healing. Lastly, untreated or undetected infections in or around the broken toe can further obstruct the healing process. If you are dealing with a broken toe that does not seem to be healing, it is strongly suggested that you consult a podiatrist promptly. This medically trained foot doctor can identify the underlying cause and recommend a treatment plan appropriate to the cause.

A broken toe can be very painful and lead to complications if not properly fixed. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact one of our podiatrists from Foot & Ankle Associates of Maine. Our doctors 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 Brunswick, ME . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Tuesday, 26 September 2023 00:00

Early Intervention for Flat Feet

Children with flat feet do not always naturally outgrow this condition, contrary to what parents may be told. Research supports the belief that untreated flat feet can lead to long-term problems. While children may not experience foot pain due to their soft and forgiving bones, they may complain of leg, knee, and growing pains. When left untreated, flat feet can result in painful adult flat feet in the future. Early intervention is crucial to prevent these issues. Treatment options may include orthotics, strengthening exercises, ballet, and surgery if necessary. Monitoring a child's flat feet without intervention might lead to further complications and becoming unresponsive to treatment later. Recognizing the potential long-term consequences of untreated flat feet is essential for both foot health and overall body posture. Early intervention can help children develop the correct foot structure and prevent future problems. If you have a child with flat feet and want to learn more about early intervention, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist for a consultation.

Flatfoot is a condition many people suffer from. If you have flat feet, contact one of our podiatrists from Foot & Ankle Associates of Maine. Our doctors 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 Brunswick, ME . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about What is Flexible Flat Foot?

Children's feet are a critical part of their development. Children's feet continue to mature until about age 13. For that reason, providing them with appropriate shoes from an early age is important for their natural development. Kids experience rapid growth, with up to nine size changes in their first three years. Regular measurements and well-fitted shoes are necessary during this period to prevent deformities. Moreover, children's feet endure about three times more stress than adults due to their high activity levels, making shoes with shock absorption, proper footbeds, and durability vital. Additionally, it is important to recognize that foot problems in adulthood often stem from childhood issues, like ill-fitting shoes, emphasizing the importance of proper footwear. Furthermore, arch support for children differs from that of adults, as children's arches develop later. Look for shoes that provide arch support or high-quality footbeds. Breathable materials like leather and canvas are ideal, while shoes made of plastics should be avoided. The right shoe size matters as shoes that are too small or too large can lead to discomfort and hinder proper growth. In the debate between soft and hard sole shoes, both sides have valid points, but hybrid options offer a balanced solution. If you would like to ensure the best foot health for your child, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist to have your child’s feet examined and to heed recommendations made by this expert.

The health of a child’s feet is vital to their overall well-being. If you have any questions regarding foot health, contact one of our podiatrists of Foot & Ankle Associates of Maine. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Tips for Keeping Children's Feet Healthy

  • Make sure their shoes fit properly
  • Look for any signs of in-toeing or out-toeing
  • Check to see if they have Clubfoot (condition that affects your child’s foot and ankle, twisting the heel and toes inward) which is one of the most common nonmajor birth defects.
  • Lightly cover your baby’s feet (Tight covers may keep your baby from moving their feet freely, and could prevent normal development)
  • Allow your toddler to go shoeless (Shoes can be restricting for a young child’s foot)
  • Cut toenails straight across to avoid ingrown toenails
  • Keep your child’s foot clean and dry
  • Cover cuts and scrapes. Wash any scratches with soap and water and cover them with a bandage until they’ve healed.

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

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