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Monday, 20 May 2019 00:00

Facts About Toenail Fungus

The purpose of the toenail is to protect the toes against injury. Many patients experience toenail fungus at some point in their lives. They often notice the nail will change consistency and has a yellow or white tinge to it.  Additionally, the nail will become darker and thicker as the fungus grows deeper into the nail bed. This condition is considered to be contagious, and the fungus that causes this thrives in warm and moist areas. These include public pools and surrounding areas, shower room floors, and locker rooms. As the fungus progresses, the nail may become brittle, and may have a foul odor to it. It may be possible to prevent this type of fungus from entering the body. This can be accomplished by wearing appropriate shoes while in public areas, and changing your socks often if they are wet for the majority of the day. Please consult with a podiatrist for additional information about toenail fungus.

For more information about treatment, contact Dr. Steven Schwartz of Pennsylvania. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Toenail Fungus Treatment

Toenail fungus is a condition that affects many people and can be especially hard to get rid of. Fortunately, there are several methods to go about treating and avoiding it.

Antifungals & Deterrence

Oral antifungal medicine has been shown to be effective in many cases. It is important to consult with a podiatrist to determine the proper regiment for you, or potentially explore other options.

Applying foot powder on the feet and shoes helps keep the feet free of moisture and sweat.

Sandals or open toed shoes – Wearing these will allow air movement and help keep feet dry. They also expose your feet to light, which fungus cannot tolerate. Socks with moisture wicking material also help as well.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Chambersburg and Waynesboro, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about How to Treat Your Toenail Fungus
Monday, 13 May 2019 00:00

Children and Ingrown Toenails

If your child complains of pain on the side of the big toe, it may be indicative of an ingrown toenail. Additional symptoms include swelling and redness in the corner of the affected toe, difficulty in walking, and possible drainage. This condition typically develops as a result of toenails that are trimmed incorrectly, or from wearing shoes that do not fit properly. Mild relief can be obtained from soaking the affected nail in warm water, which may help to soften the nail. If the symptoms become severe, it is advised to speak to a podiatrist as quickly as possible, so proper treatment can begin.

Ingrown toenails may initially present themselves as a minor discomfort, but they may progress into an infection in the skin without proper treatment. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact Dr. Steven Schwartz of Pennsylvania. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails are caused when the corner or side of a toenail grows into the soft flesh surrounding it. They often result in redness, swelling, pain, and in some cases, infection. This condition typically affects the big toe and may recur if it is not treated properly.

Causes

  • Improper toenail trimming
  • Genetics
  • Improper shoe fitting
  • Injury from pedicures or nail picking
  • Abnormal gait
  • Poor hygiene

You are more likely to develop an ingrown toenail if you are obese, have diabetes, arthritis, or have any fungal infection in your nails. Additionally, people who have foot or toe deformities are at a higher risk of developing an ingrown toenail.

Symptoms

Some symptoms of ingrown toenails are redness, swelling, and pain. In rare cases, there may be a yellowish drainage coming from the nail.

Treatment

Ignoring an ingrown toenail can have serious complications. Infections of the nail border can progress to a deeper soft-tissue infection, which can then turn into a bone infection. You should always speak with your podiatrist if you suspect you have an ingrown toenail, especially if you have diabetes or poor circulation.

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

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Monday, 06 May 2019 00:00

Children’s First Shoes

When walking first begins, many children walk with their feet apart, and this is beneficial in maintaining balance. The gap between the feet will gradually close as the walking process is perfected. Additional common foot conditions include flat feet, or you may notice your three year old is walking on tiptoes. Research has indicated the importance of walking barefoot while indoors, and this helps to strengthen the muscles in the feet. When the first shoes are purchased, it is helpful to choose shoes that have laces or buckles. This helps the foot to fit securely in the shoe. Additionally, the toenails must be trimmed correctly, and this is necessary in possibly preventing ingrown toenails from occurring. If you have any questions about the development of your child’s feet, it is suggested to speak to a podiatrist who can properly assist you.

Making sure that your children maintain good foot health is very important as they grow. If you have any questions, contact Dr. Steven Schwartz of Pennsylvania. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Keeping Children's Feet Healthy

Having healthy feet during childhood can help prevent medical problems later in life, namely in the back and legs. As children grow, their feet require different types of care. Here are some things to consider...

Although babies do not walk yet, it is still very important to take care of their feet.

Avoid putting tight shoes or socks on his or her feet.

Allow the baby to stretch and kick his or her feet to feel comfortable.

As a toddler, kids are now on the move and begin to develop differently. At this age, toddlers are getting a feel for walking, so don’t be alarmed if your toddler is unsteady or ‘walks funny’. 

As your child gets older, it is important to teach them how to take care of their feet.

Show them proper hygiene to prevent infections such as fungus.

Be watchful for any pain or injury.

Have all injuries checked by a doctor as soon as possible.

Comfortable, protective shoes should always be worn, especially at play.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Chambersburg and Waynesboro, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about How to Care for Your Child's Feet
Wednesday, 01 May 2019 00:00

Reminder - When was the last time...

Custom orthotics (shoe inserts) should be replaced periodically. They need to fit properly to give you the best results. Protect your feet and ankles.

Monday, 29 April 2019 00:00

Types of Foot Pain

Many people experience heel pain at some point in their lives. Research has indicated that the most common form of heel pain is known as plantar fasciitis. This condition develops when the tendon that connects the heel to the toes becomes inflamed and irritated. Possible causes for this may be flat feet or if the arch is exceptionally high. Sever’s disease is a foot condition that may be experienced by teenagers who frequently participate in sporting activities. When this occurs, trauma is inflicted in the growth plate of the heel bone and may result in pain and discomfort. The Achilles tendon connects the heel bone to the calf muscles, and if this should become torn, pain is generally felt in the heel of the foot. If you are experiencing any type of foot pain, it is strongly suggested that you consult with a podiatrist who can properly diagnosis and treat your foot condition.

Many people suffer from bouts of heel pain. For more information, contact Dr. Steven Schwartz of Pennsylvania. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Causes of Heel Pain

Heel pain is often associated with plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is a band of tissues that extends along the bottom of the foot. A rip or tear in this ligament can cause inflammation of the tissue.

Achilles tendonitis is another cause of heel pain. Inflammation of the Achilles tendon will cause pain from fractures and muscle tearing. Lack of flexibility is also another symptom.

Heel spurs are another cause of pain. When the tissues of the plantar fascia undergo a great deal of stress, it can lead to ligament separation from the heel bone, causing heel spurs.

Why Might Heel Pain Occur?

  • Wearing ill-fitting shoes                  
  • Wearing non-supportive shoes
  • Weight change           
  • Excessive running

Treatments

Heel pain should be treated as soon as possible for immediate results. Keeping your feet in a stress-free environment will help. If you suffer from Achilles tendonitis or plantar fasciitis, applying ice will reduce the swelling. Stretching before an exercise like running will help the muscles. Using all these tips will help make heel pain a condition of the past.

If you have any questions please contact our offices located in Chambersburg and Waynesboro, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Heel Pain
Tuesday, 23 April 2019 00:00

What It Means to Have Flat Feet

Flat feet are usually harmless and can affect people of all ages. Flat feet are generally associated with overpronation of the foot, which means that the arch descends downward. Fallen arches in adults are typically permanent and non-reversible, but flat feet in children can oftentimes be resolved. Most people with flat feet don’t experience symptoms. However, there are possible symptoms that include midfoot, hip, knee, and lower back pain as a result of the change in gait from having fallen arches. This pain can usually be alleviated with over the counter pain medications, but in more severe cases a doctor might recommend further measures to be taken. Orthotic arch supports and foot gymnastics are two methods for reducing pain associated with flat feet. If you have flat feet and are concerned, then it is suggested you speak a podiatrist to receive more information.

Flatfoot is a condition many people suffer from. If you have flat feet, contact Dr. Steven Schwartz from Pennsylvania. Our doctor 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 offices located in Chambersburg and Waynesboro, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Flat Feet

Flip-flops are a popular shoe to wear during the summer months, despite the damage that may occur to your feet. It is a natural reaction to clench your toes to help keep the shoe on the foot, and this may gradually change the way you walk. The muscles in the feet and calves may be affected, and this can lead to having sharp pains in the heel. Research has indicated that it may be acceptable to wear flip-flops occasionally, and this may limit any potential damage the feet may receive.  If you generally walk for long distances, it is best to wear a sandal that has a strap on the back to help keep the shoe on the foot. If you would like additional information on how flip-flops may affect the feet, speak to a podiatrist who can answer any questions you may have.

Flip-flops can cause a lot of problems for your feet. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact Dr. Steven Schwartz from Pennsylvania. Our doctor will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

Flip-Flops and Feet

Flip-flops have managed to become a summer essential for a lot of people. While the shoes may be stylish and easy to slip on and off, they can be dangerous to those who wear them too often. These shoes might protect you from fungal infections such as athlete’s foot, but they can also give you foot pain and sprained ankles if you trip while wearing them.

When Are They Okay to Wear?

Flip-flops should only be worn for very short periods of time. They can help protect your feet in places that are crawling with fungi, such as gym locker rooms. Athlete’s foot and plantar warts are two common fungi that flip-flops may help protect your feet against.

Why Are They Bad for My Feet?

These shoes do not offer any arch support, so they are not ideal for everyday use. They also do not provide shock absorption or heel cushioning which can be problematic for your feet. Additionally, you may suffer from glass cuts, puncture wounds, and stubbed toes since they offer little protection for your feet.

More Reasons Why They Are Bad for Your Feet

  • They Slow You Down
  • May Cause Blisters and Calluses
  • Expose Your Feet to Bacteria

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

Read more about Flipping Out About Flip Flops
Monday, 08 April 2019 00:00

Different Types of Ankle Pain

Ankle pain is something that most people experience at least once in their life, but continual ankle pain is something that could be case for concern. There are many causes for ankle pain and they all differ in severity. Three of the most common causes for ankle pain are fractures, sprains, and arthritis. Ankle sprains, which are the number one sports injury, are a result of a ligament tearing. If your ankle is sprained then it will probably be swollen, bruised, and tender when touched. Fractures are more serious than sprains and occur when the bone breaks. If you injure your ankle and then experience swelling and discomfort that won’t go away, it is necessary to seek the help of a medical professional. Rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and gout are all forms of arthritis that can cause ankle pain, but the intensity of the pain varies between the different forms of arthritis. If you are experiencing continual ankle pain, consult with your podiatrist in order to receive the proper diagnosis and treatment.

Ankle pain can have many different causes and the pain may potentially be serious. If you have ankle pain, consult with Dr. Steven Schwartz from Pennsylvania. 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 Chambersburg and Waynesboro, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

 

Read more about Ankle Pain

There are normal levels of fungus in the body, in addition to different types of bacteria. Overgrown fungus levels may result in an infection. Onychomycosis is a fungal infection that typically affects the toenails. It generally develops gradually, and noticeable symptoms may include yellow or white toenails, or a possible loss of the nail. If medical conditions exist, they may increase the chances of developing toenail fungus. These may include diabetes, diseases that may cause poor circulation, or a weakened immune system. Additionally, if you have a nail injury, or spend time in public swimming pools or locker rooms, or wear artificial nails, you may notice signs of a toenail fungus. There may be measures that can be implemented, which may prevent this condition from developing. These may include avoiding walking barefoot in public areas, thoroughly drying your feet after showering, or utilizing antifungal sprays. If you feel you have developed a toenail fungus, it is suggested to speak to a podiatrist who can offer correct treatment options.

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. Steven Schwartz of Pennsylvania. 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 Chambersburg and Waynesboro, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

 

Read more about Treating Toenail Fungus
Monday, 25 March 2019 00:00

Podiatry as a Career

The definition of a podiatrist is a doctor who specializes in treating conditions and disorders of the feet and lower extremities. A typical day may consist of conferring with patients about specific foot conditions, or to offer custom-made orthotics, which may help in the treatment of certain foot deformities. Additionally, a podiatrist may use effective techniques to treat heel spurs, ingrown toenails, corns, or bunions. There are several places a podiatrist can pursue this type of medicine. These may include a group or private practice, extended care facilities, or hospitals. Podiatrists may also be found practicing medicine in the armed forces and may work for municipal health departments. If you are considering a career in podiatry, it is suggested that you speak to a podiatrist who can answer any questions you may have.

If you are experiencing pain in the feet or ankles, don’t join the stubborn majority refusing treatment. Feel free to contact Dr. Steven Schwartz from Pennsylvania. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is a Podiatrist?

Someone would seek the care of a podiatrist if they have suffered a foot injury or have common foot ailments such as heal spurs, bunions, arch problems, deformities, ingrown toenails, corns, foot and ankle problems, etc.

Podiatric Treatment

A podiatrist will treat the problematic areas of the feet, ankle or lower leg by prescribing the following:

  • Physical therapy
  • Drugs
  • Orthotic inserts or soles
  • Surgery on lower extremity fractures

A common podiatric procedure a podiatrist will use is a scanner or force plate which will allow the podiatrist to know the designs of orthotics. Patients are then told to follow a series of tasks to complete the treatment. The computer will scan the foot a see which areas show weight distribution and pressure points. The podiatrist will read the analysis and then determine which treatment plans are available.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Chambersburg and Waynesboro, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about What is a Podiatrist?
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