Plantar warts are benign growths that develop on the bottom of your feet, and are caused by direct contact with the human papilloma virus (HPV). This is the same virus that causes warts on other areas of the body. Some people are more susceptible than others to HPV, and not everyone will develop plantar warts if they come into contact with the virus. Individuals with weak immune systems or damaged skin on the feet are at a higher risk for plantar warts.
Plantar warts most often develop on the weight-bearing areas of the foot - the heel or the ball of the foot - causing sharp, burning pain. They can appear as a single wart (solitary) or a cluster of warts (mosaic). Common symptoms may include:
- Pain or discomfort when walking or standing
- Thick, scaly skin that often resembles a callus
- Hard, flat growths with well-defined boundaries
- Tiny black specks (clotted blood vessels) that often appear on the surface of the wart
Most warts disappear with home care and do not require medical treatment. You can take steps to prevent and treat plantar warts, which include:
- Changing your shoes and socks daily
- Keeping your feet clean and dry
- Avoid picking at warts as the virus may spread
- Avoid direct contact with an individual who has plantar warts
- Checking your child's feet periodically
- Refrain from walking barefoot, especially in public areas like showers, swimming pools and locker rooms
- Never ignore skin growths or changes in your skin
You should always seek care from a podiatrist when warts interfere with your daily life, aren't responding to home treatments, or if you have circulatory disorders. Contact us if your warts:
- Change color or shape
- Cause unbearable pain and discomfort
- Interfere with activities
- Multiply or reappear
Without treatment, plantar warts can grow, spread and prompt new warts to grow as fast as the old ones disappear. If you can't confidently identify a growth on your foot, visit your podiatrist to ensure a correct diagnosis. Early diagnosis and treatment can decrease the risk of the wart spreading and multiplying.
Bunions are a common foot problem that results from a deformity of the metatarsophalangeal joint at the base of the big toe. Though they tend to be more common in women according to Harvard Health, anyone can develop a bunion. Also known as hallux valgus, bunions cause the bone to protrude from the side of the foot, causing friction between the skin and shoes. Over time, they can lead to pain and difficulty walking and moving the toe. The podiatrists at Foot And Ankle Associates offer several treatment options at various locations including Newark, DE, Greenville, DE, Kennett Square, PA, Jennersville, PA, and Boothwyn, PA.
Bunions can develop in one or both feet. Prolonged pressure on the metatarsophalangeal joint from wearing narrow and ill-fitting shoes that crowd the toes are typically the most common cause of bunions, but there are other factors that can also lead to inflammation and swelling in the joint. Other factors that can cause bunions include:
- Genetics and family history
- An injury to the joint
- Shape of your foot/arch size
- Congenital bone or joint deformities
What is the Best Treatment for Bunions?
Because they tend to develop slowly and progress over time, many people live with bunions without the need for treatment. Depending on the size of the bunion and the extent of inflammation and damage to the joint, treatment may be necessary to relieve pain and ease the pressure, or if it becomes difficult to walk or wear shoes because of the size of the bunion. Podiatrists usually prescribe shoe inserts like padded insoles, orthotics, or splinting to help with support and proper alignment. Physical therapy and exercises can help with arthritic joints. In rare cases, a podiatrist may recommend a bunionectomy, which is a surgical removal of the bunion. Surgery is usually the last resort for severe cases that do not respond to standard conservative treatments.
Find a Podiatrist in Newark, DE
For more information on your treatment options for bunions and other podiatry problems, contact Foot And Ankle Associates to schedule an appointment with a podiatrist. We have several convenient locations including Newark, DE (302) 633-1300, Greenville, DE (302) 652-5767, Kennett Square, PA (610) 444-6520, Jennersville, PA (610) 345-0222, and Boothwyn, PA (610) 459-3288.
Heel pain is most often caused by plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the long, dense band of connective tissue (the plantar fascia) that runs from the heel to the ball of the foot.
Repeated strain on the plantar fascia can cause tiny tears in the ligament. As tension and tearing increases, so does inflammation and irritation of the affected area. Risk factors of plantar fasciitis include foot arch problems (flat foot and high arches); excess weight; running; and a tight Achilles tendon.
The most common symptom of plantar fasciitis is gradually developing pain on the bottom of the heel. The pain is usually worst in the morning and after sitting or standing for a long period of time. For some, the pain subsides after walking or stretching.
To reduce pain associated with plantar fasciitis:
- Rest. Limit and/or avoid activities that make your heel hurt.
- Ice. Reduce pain and swelling by icing the affected area each day.
- Stretch. Stretch your heel throughout the day, especially when you first wake up in the morning.
- Footwear modifications. Wear shoes that provide good arch support and a cushioned sole. Ask your podiatrist about pads and shoe inserts to relieve your heel pain.
When conservative treatments aren't effective, or your pain persists for more than a few weeks, schedule an appointment to discuss your symptoms and treatment options. A podiatrist can recommend an appropriate treatment plan for your individual needs. This may include stretching exercises, shoe padding, orthotic devices, night splints or therapy. Most patients respond to non-surgical treatments, but for pain that won't go away, surgery may be required.
With proper rest and treatment, recovering from plantar fasciitis can take just a few months. Visit us when you first experience pain for a diagnosis and an appropriate treatment plan for your individual needs.
Characterized by thick, unsightly, discolored nails, fungus-infected toenails can be irritating, embarrassing and painful. For years, the only treatments available for toenail, fungus were topical and oral medications or removal of the nail. Typically, the medications were largely ineffective and removal of the nail plate was painful and debilitating.
Fast, Effective and Pain-Free Nail Fungus Treatment
A new breakthrough in technology is making it possible to get rid of your nail fungus fast- a new procedure known as PinPointe FootLaser. The new, patented laser technology treats nail fungus safely and quickly, with no drugs, no anesthesia, and no pain. It's specially designed to penetrate your toenail, vaporizing the fungus embedded deep in your nail bed. Better yet, the powerful laser beam targets the infection only and has no effect on surrounding healthy tissue. In just one appointment at our office, we can treat your nail fungus, and within months following the treatment, the toenail will replace itself with a healthy, clear, fungus free nail.
Avoiding Irritating Toenail Fungus
Prevention is key to avoiding a fungal infection. The following tips can help you avoid toenail fungus.
- Practice good hygiene and inspect feet and toes regularly
- Try not to injure your nail by cutting it too short, as trauma to the nail may lead to infection
- Wear moisture wicking socks
- Wear dry, proper-fitting shoes that allow air to circulate around your feet
- Wear shower sandals when you are at a public pool or shower
Left untreated, a fungal infection can spread to other toenails, the skin on the feet and even the fingernails. Severe cases can impair one's ability to walk or lead to painful ingrown toenails. It's important to seek care when you notice signs of infection.
If you're ready to eliminate your toenail fungus, contact our office and learn more about the new PinPointe FootLaser. We can evaluate your fungal infection and make recommendations for best treating and eradicating your toenail fungus once and for all.
Don’t let foot complications affect you.
Unfortunately, diabetes can have quite the detrimental affect on your health if you don’t know how to manage your condition and get it under control. While we certainly know that there is a lot to think about and consider when it comes to your health, our Kennett Square, Jennersville and Boothwyn, PA, and Greenville and Newark, DE, podiatrists want you to also take some time to understand the best ways to care for your diabetic feet.
Don’t Walk Around Barefoot
Diabetes can also cause nerve damage in the feet, which means that you won’t often be able to feel when you step on something. This means that you could sustain an injury and not even know it. Play it safe and always wear shoes and socks, even if you are indoors. By protecting your feet you can prevent wounds and potential infections.
Know When to Call Us
While it might feel like overkill it’s never a good idea to gamble with your health. If you have a foot injury, or if you notice redness, swelling, sores, wounds, blisters or cuts on your feet, then it’s time to give us a call. We can discuss your symptoms over the phone and decide whether you need to come in for treatment. You should be able to turn to our Kennett Square, Jennersville, Boothwyn, Greenville and Newark foot doctors whenever you need to.
Buy New Shoes
If you’ve been stomping around in the same shoes for years it’s high time you invested in some better footwear. Shoes aren’t meant to last forever and, since you will be wearing shoes all day long, it’s important that you wear the right kind. Look for shoes that aren’t too tight and don’t bunch up around the toes. Shoes should not rub against your feet or cause discomfort. When you do go shoe shopping it’s always best to go in the evening when your feet are actually at their biggest.
Stay Away from Heat
Cozying up near a fireplace or taking a soak in a hot tub might sound like a lovely experience but it certainly won’t be for your feet. If you have nerve damage or don’t have sensation in your feet then you won’t be able to tell when something is too hot. To prevent burns, avoid heated blankets, fireplaces, hot water bottles and even hot tubs. Before stepping into a shower, always check the temperature of the water with your elbow.
Foot and Ankle Associates is to happy to serve the Kennett Square, Jennersville and Boothwyn, PA, and Greenville and Newark, DE, areas. If you are dealing with diabetic foot problems or just have questions about caring for your feet, put your trust (and health) in us!
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