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Monday, 01 July 2019 00:00

What is Athlete’s Foot?

Tinea pedis, which is also referred to as “athlete’s foot,” is a skin infection that is caused by a fungus. It lives and thrives in warm and damp environments, so it is suggested to wear appropriate shoes while in these places. These include public swimming pools, shower room floors, and surrounding areas. Some of the symptoms that are associated with this condition often consist of peeling skin between the toes, redness on the bottom of the feet, blisters and cracked skin. For mild cases of athlete’s foot, treatment generally consists of applying an antifungal spray between the toes for several weeks. There are measures that can be implemented which can help to prevent athlete’s foot. These include washing and drying the feet daily, wearing cotton socks that can absorb moisture, and not sharing towels or shoes. If you feel you have this condition, it is advised that you seek the counsel of a podiatrist who can properly diagnose and treat this affliction.

Athlete’s Foot

Athlete’s foot is often an uncomfortable condition to experience. Thankfully, podiatrists specialize in treating athlete’s foot and offer the best treatment options. If you have any questions about athlete’s foot, consult with Dr. Ryan W. Wood from Desert Foot & Ankle Surgeons. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality treatment.

What Is Athlete’s Foot?

Tinea pedis, more commonly known as athlete’s foot, is a non-serious and common fungal infection of the foot. Athlete’s foot is contagious and can be contracted by touching someone who has it or infected surfaces. The most common places contaminated by it are public showers, locker rooms, and swimming pools. Once contracted, it grows on feet that are left inside moist, dark, and warm shoes and socks.

Prevention

The most effective ways to prevent athlete’s foot include:

  • Thoroughly washing and drying feet
  • Avoid going barefoot in locker rooms and public showers
  • Using shower shoes in public showers
  • Wearing socks that allow the feet to breathe
  • Changing socks and shoes frequently if you sweat a lot

Symptoms

Athlete’s foot initially occurs as a rash between the toes. However, if left undiagnosed, it can spread to the sides and bottom of the feet, toenails, and if touched by hand, the hands themselves. Symptoms include:

  • Redness
  • Burning
  • Itching
  • Scaly and peeling skin

Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosis is quick and easy. Skin samples will be taken and either viewed under a microscope or sent to a lab for testing. Sometimes, a podiatrist can diagnose it based on simply looking at it. Once confirmed, treatment options include oral and topical antifungal medications.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Palm Springs and El Paseo, CA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

 

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Sunday, 30 June 2019 00:00

It's Time for Beautiful Feet.

Want to wear open toe shoes again? ...Special occasion? Vacation? ...You don't need an excuse to have beautiful nails.

Research has indicated that pain in the ankle is often the result of an ankle sprain. This type of injury can happen if damage to the ligaments has occurred. Common ways of incurring an ankle sprain can include stepping off of a curb unexpectedly or twisting it in a sporting event. The symptoms that are associated with ankle sprains are intense pain and swelling, and patients may hear a popping sound at the time of the injury. The ankle may feel better when the leg is elevated, as this may reduce any existing swelling. It also may help to wrap the ankle in a tight elastic bandage in order to stabilize the foot as the healing process takes place. If you have any form of ankle pain, it is advised that you schedule a consultation with a podiatrist who can properly treat this condition.

Ankle pain can have many different causes and the pain may potentially be serious. If you have ankle pain, consult with Dr. Ryan W. Wood from Desert Foot & Ankle Surgeons. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Ankle pain is any condition that causes pain in the ankle. Due to the fact that the ankle consists of tendons, muscles, bones, and ligaments, ankle pain can come from a number of different conditions.

Causes

The most common causes of ankle pain include:

  • Types of arthritis (rheumatoid, osteoarthritis, and gout)
  • Ankle sprains
  • Broken ankles
  • Achilles tendinitis
  • Achilles tendon rupture
  • Stress fractures
  • Tarsal tunnel syndrome
  • Plantar fasciitis

Symptoms

Symptoms of ankle injury vary based upon the condition. Pain may include general pain and discomfort, swelling, aching, redness, bruising, burning or stabbing sensations, and/or loss of sensation.

Diagnosis

Due to the wide variety of potential causes of ankle pain, podiatrists will utilize a number of different methods to properly diagnose ankle pain. This can include asking for personal and family medical histories and of any recent injuries. Further diagnosis may include sensation tests, a physical examination, and potentially x-rays or other imaging tests.

Treatment

Just as the range of causes varies widely, so do treatments. Some more common treatments are rest, ice packs, keeping pressure off the foot, orthotics and braces, medication for inflammation and pain, and surgery.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Palm Springs and El Paseo, CA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

 

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Monday, 17 June 2019 00:00

Possible Causes of Toenail Fungus

Toenail fungus appears after there has been a fungal infection on the feet. There are noticeable symptoms that often accompany this condition, including the nail becoming thick and having a yellowish tinge, in addition to lifting off of the nail bed. Many patients notice their nails appear brittle, and the edges of the nail may crumble. If there are existing medical conditions, the possibility of developing toenail fungus may increase. These include diabetes, vascular disease, or immune system issues. Additionally, if you wear shoes which are not made of a breathable material, a fungal infection of the feet may develop. One treatment option includes taking prescribed medicine for several months. If you feel that you may have toenail fungus, it is suggested to consult with a podiatrist who can determine the best course of treatment for you.

If left untreated, toenail fungus may spread to other toenails, skin, or even fingernails. If you suspect you have toenail fungus it is important to seek treatment right away. For more information about treatment, contact Dr. Ryan W. Wood of Desert Foot & Ankle Surgeons. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Symptoms

  • Warped or oddly shaped nails
  • Yellowish nails
  • Loose/separated nail
  • Buildup of bits and pieces of nail fragments under the nail
  • Brittle, broken, thickened nail

Treatment

If self-care strategies and over-the-counter medications does not help your fungus, your podiatrist may give you a prescription drug instead. Even if you find relief from your toenail fungus symptoms, you may experience a repeat infection in the future.

Prevention

In order to prevent getting toenail fungus in the future, you should always make sure to wash your feet with soap and water. After washing, it is important to dry your feet thoroughly especially in between the toes. When trimming your toenails, be sure to trim straight across instead of in a rounded shape. It is crucial not to cover up discolored nails with nail polish because that will prevent your nail from being able to “breathe”.

In some cases, surgical procedure may be needed to remove the toenail fungus. Consult with your podiatrist about the best treatment options for your case of toenail fungus.  

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Palm Springs and El Paseo, CA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

 

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Monday, 10 June 2019 00:00

The Feet and the Gait Cycle

Walking is a task that occurs subconsciously for most people. However, the gait cycle, or the manner in which one walks, is a complex process. The gait cycle includes the nervous, musculoskeletal, and cardio-respiratory systems. Any dysfunction with the foot or ankle can disrupt this entire process. It is vital to understand the basic components of the gait cycle in order to know if your foot or ankle issue is causing complications. One part of the gait cycle is the various stances. The first form of contact that your foot has with the ground is the heel strike. This is when the ankle is in a neutral position. The next stance is when the foot is completely flat and the ankle is flexed. During mid-stance, when the body begins to move over the foot, the ankle begins to flex in the opposite direction. The fourth stance occurs when the heel lifts off of the ground. The final stance is when the toes leave the ground. If you have any foot or ankle complications, such as flat feet, calluses or hammertoes, the gait cycle may be disrupted. Considering how often most people walk, it is vital to discover any issues in this process as early as possible. It is suggested to consult with a podiatrist if you experience any issues while walking.

If you have any concerns about your feet, contact Dr. Ryan W. Wood from Desert Foot & Ankle Surgeons. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Biomechanics in Podiatry

Podiatric biomechanics is a particular sector of specialty podiatry with licensed practitioners who are trained to diagnose and treat conditions affecting the foot, ankle and lower leg. Biomechanics deals with the forces that act against the body, causing an interference with the biological structures. It focuses on the movement of the ankle, the foot and the forces that interact with them.

A History of Biomechanics

  • Biomechanics dates back to the BC era in Egypt where evidence of professional foot care has been recorded.
  • In 1974, biomechanics gained a higher profile from the studies of Merton Root, who claimed that by changing or controlling the forces between the ankle and the foot, corrections or conditions could be implemented to gain strength and coordination in the area.

Modern technological improvements are based on past theories and therapeutic processes that provide a better understanding of podiatric concepts for biomechanics. Computers can provide accurate information about the forces and patterns of the feet and lower legs.

Understanding biomechanics of the feet can help improve and eliminate pain, stopping further stress to the foot.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Palm Springs and El Paseo, CA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Monday, 03 June 2019 00:00

Common Causes of Poor Circulation

The medical condition that is referred to as poor circulation occurs when there is an inadequate blood supply to the cells that they need to properly function. Many patients experience symptoms that include a tingling or numbing sensation in the feet, and the toes may feel cold. A common condition that is known as peripheral artery disease, or PAD, occurs when the arteries in the legs become blocked. This can inhibit blood flow to the cells in the body, possibly causing poor circulation to occur. Another condition affiliated with poor circulation is known as Raynaud’s syndrome. The symptoms that are associated with Raynaud’s syndrome often include a burning or tingling sensation in the feet, and can develop as a result of stress or cold temperatures. If you have symptoms of poor circulation in your feet, it is suggested to speak to a podiatrist who can guide you toward the proper treatment.

Poor circulation is a serious condition and needs immediate medical attention. If you have any concerns with poor circulation in your feet contact Dr. Ryan W. Wood of Desert Foot & Ankle Surgeons. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Poor Circulation in the Feet

Poor blood circulation in the feet and legs is can be caused by peripheral artery disease (PAD), which is the result of a buildup of plaque in the arteries.

Plaque buildup or atherosclerosis results from excess calcium and cholesterol in the bloodstream. This can restrict the amount of blood which can flow through the arteries. Poor blood circulation in the feet and legs are sometimes caused by inflammation in the blood vessels, known as vasculitis.

Causes

Lack of oxygen and oxygen from poor blood circulation restricts muscle growth and development. It can also cause:

  • Muscle pain, stiffness, or weakness   
  • Numbness or cramping in the legs 
  • Skin discoloration
  • Slower nail & hair growth
  • Erectile dysfunction

Those who have diabetes or smoke are at greatest risk for poor circulation, as are those who are over 50. If you have poor circulation in the feet and legs it may be caused by PAD and is important to make changes to your lifestyle in order to reduce risk of getting a heart attack or stroke. Exercise and maintaining a healthy lifestyle will dramatically improve conditions.

As always, see a podiatrist as he or she will assist in finding a regimen that suits you. A podiatrist can also prescribe you any needed medication. 

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Palm Springs and El Paseo, CA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Friday, 31 May 2019 00:00

Heel Pain Can Be Treated!

Do you suffer from heel pain when you get up in the morning?

Tuesday, 28 May 2019 00:00

How Obesity Affects Your Feet

As obesity becomes a common issue worldwide, it is important to know the effects it can have on your feet. The most obvious impact is pain in the feet. The more you weigh, the more pressure you are putting on the lower half of your body. This extra weight may result in the arches falling. Once you have fallen arches, a condition called pronation may result. Pronation is when a person walks on the sides of their feet, rather than walking with their feet flat on the ground. Fallen arches and pronation may lead to a wide variety of issues on the feet, ankles, legs, hips and back. Engaging in a healthy lifestyle is the best way to prevent obesity and the slew of foot issues that it may cause.

The more you weigh, the harder your feet must work to support your body. If you’re an obese individual and are concerned about your feet, contact Dr. Ryan W. Wood from Desert Foot & Ankle Surgeons. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Obesity and Your Feet

People who are overweight are putting more pressure on their ankles, knees, and hips as well as their feet. This unfortunately can lead to variety of different issues.

Problems & Complications Stemming from Obesity

  • When the body is overweight, it tries to compensate by changing the way that it moves. An obese person may lean forward and put extra weight on the wrong part of the foot. This puts unnecessary stress on the feet.
  • Obese people are also more likely to develop type II diabetes which is a condition that causes a lot of foot problems. People with diabetes often don’t feel the cuts and sores that they may have on their feet, which can lead to more complicated and severe issues.
  • Plantar fasciitis is another foot condition that can be caused by obesity. Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the tissue along the bottom of the foot, which causes pain and stiffness while walking and climbing stairs.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Palm Springs and El Paseo, CA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Monday, 20 May 2019 00:00

Ballet Dancers and Ingrown Toenails

Research has indicated many ballet dancers are afflicted with ingrown toenails. This is often the result of balancing on top of the toes, which can cause the corner of the nail to grow into the surrounding skin. An ingrown toenail typically causes pain and discomfort and may become infected if it is not treated promptly. Many ballet dancers may notice soreness while putting on ballet slippers and pointing the toes can cause extreme pain. Some of the symptoms associated with ingrown toenails can include swelling around the nail, or you may notice a discharge draining from the nail. Mild relief can be found when the toe is soaked in warm water and is helpful in softening the skin around the affected area. If you feel you have an ingrown toenail, consult with a podiatrist so proper treatment can begin.

Ingrown toenails can become painful if they are not treated properly. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact Dr. Ryan W. Wood of Desert Foot & Ankle Surgeons. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails occur when a toenail grows sideways into the bed of the nail, causing pain, swelling, and possibly infection.

Causes

  • Bacterial infections
  • Improper nail cutting such as cutting it too short or not straight across
  • Trauma to the toe, such as stubbing, which causes the nail to grow back irregularly
  • Ill-fitting shoes that bunch the toes too close together
  • Genetic predisposition

Prevention

Because ingrown toenails are not something found outside of shoe-wearing cultures, going barefoot as often as possible will decrease the likeliness of developing ingrown toenails. Wearing proper fitting shoes and using proper cutting techniques will also help decrease your risk of developing ingrown toenails.

Treatment

Ingrown toenails are a very treatable foot condition. In minor cases, soaking the affected area in salt or antibacterial soaps will not only help with the ingrown nail itself, but also help prevent any infections from occurring. In more severe cases, surgery is an option. In either case, speaking to your podiatrist about this condition will help you get a better understanding of specific treatment options that are right for you.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Palm Springs and El Paseo, CA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Stress fractures are tiny cracks in the bones of the feet. They occur as a result of participating in activities that cause the bones in the foot to weaken and crack faster than the healing process can begin. This can occur due to several reasons, including training in your chosen sport before adequate healing has been completed, increasing the amount of time training in a short period of time, or running on different surfaces. The symptoms that are associated with stress fractures often include swelling, burning pain, and difficulty walking on the affected foot. Effective treatment begins with staying off the foot for several weeks, depending on the severity of the injury. This can be accomplished by wearing a cast. If you have sustained a stress fracture, speak to a podiatrist who can guide you toward proper treatment options.

Activities where too much pressure is put on the feet can cause stress fractures. To learn more, contact Dr. Ryan W. Wood from Desert Foot & Ankle Surgeons. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep your pain free and on your feet.

Dealing with Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle

Stress fractures occur in the foot and ankle when muscles in these areas weaken from too much or too little use.  The feet and ankles then lose support when walking or running from the impact of the ground. Since there is no protection, the bones receive the full impact of each step. Stress on the feet can cause cracks to form in the bones, thus creating stress fractures.

What Are Stress Fractures?

Stress fractures occur frequently in individuals whose daily activities cause great impact on the feet and ankles. Stress factors are most common among:

  • Runners                                  
  • People affected with Osteoporosis
  • Tennis or basketball players
  • Gymnasts
  • High impact workouts

Symptoms

Pain from the fractures occur in the area of the fractures and can be constant or intermittent. It will often cause sharp or dull pain with swelling and tenderness. Engaging in any kind of activity which involves high impact will aggravate pain.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Palm Springs and El Paseo, CA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Dealing with Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle
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