Dry & Cracked Skin
Dry skin is a common condition that can develop as a result of athlete’s foot or other skin conditions, certain chronic diseases and environmental factors. Patients with this condition often experience skin that feels rough, tight and may be itchy or red. If left untreated, the skin may start cracking, especially around the heels. Cracked skin can be dangerous because it often leads to infection.
For most, dry skin can be managed through simple measures, including using a pumice to remove dead skin and wearing socks after applying cream at bedtime to maximize absorption. For more severe cases, prescription ointments may be recommended.
Flat Feet (Flat Arches)
One in four adults in the U.S. has flat feet or fallen arches. Some people are born with flat feet, while others acquire it as they get older. The foot may be flat all the time or it may lose its arch when the person stands (“flexible flatfoot”). Many people with flat feet don’t experience any symptoms. Others, however, suffer from heel or ankle pain, tired feet, bunions, arthritis in the foot or ankle, foot or ankle deformity, knee or back pain or other problems.
Adult Acquired Flat Foot begins during or after childhood and worsens over time. Causes include a tight Achilles tendon, obesity, “wear and tear” as a person ages, abnormalities higher up the leg and rupture of a tendon or ligament in the foot. The most common and serious cause of flat foot is Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction, where the main tendon that supports the arch gradually weakens.
Foot odor is caused by harmless bacteria on the surface of your skin that begin to multiply when you sweat. Since the feet tend to sweat frequently and often remain moist, foot odor is a very common condition. To combat foot odor, your first line of defense is simply to wash your feet thoroughly with soap and a washcloth. You can then sprinkle some talcum powder on your feet to keep them dry. To prevent your shoes from acquiring the odor, wear absorbent socks and use a shoe deodorizer.
Treatment for a broken foot and/or toes depends on the severity of the fracture and may include nonsurgical and surgical treatments. Applying ice, resting the area and taking anti-inflammatory medication for pain are universal treatment options that can help reduce the severity and symptoms of your injury.
Mild fractures can often be treated by immobilizing the area with a cast or brace while it heals over the course of several weeks. More severe fractures may require surgery to restore the broken bone to its normal position so that proper healing can occur. This may require the use of metal pins, rods, screws or plates to hold the bone in place, which may or may not be removed once healing is completed.
As people age, foot care becomes more important than ever. There are a number of conditions that occur much more frequently in elderly populations, including arthritis, fungal growth, diabetic ulcers and ingrown toenails. Circulation in the feet often diminishes as well, which can bring on other problems, so maintaining a routine of walking and stretching is important. It is essential for older people to perform daily inspections of their feet to look for changes as well as regularly visit the podiatrist to maintain good foot health.
Heel Pain / Heel Spurs / Plantar Fasciitis
There is a ligament along the bottom of the foot called the plantar fascia that stretches from the heel to the base of the toes. If the ligament is forced to stretch beyond its limit, it may become inflamed and result in heel pain. This condition is called plantar fasciitis. Patients often complain of discomfort in the heel, the arch of the foot or the back of the leg when walking. The pain is usually worst when getting up after sitting or lying down.
Bone spurs are a common complication of plantar fasciitis. These bony calcium growths on the bottom of the heel form where the plantar fascia pulls on the heel bone. Spurs don’t usually cause pain themselves, but they are often a good indicator of the severity and age of the underlying problem.
To learn more about the conditions we treat, click here to contact Dr. Weissinger or call 631.271.8500 to make an appointment.