For centuries, humans have invented numerous myths about their bodies and how they work. Thanks to modern medicine, we now know that most of these are untrue, but commonly held misperceptions about our feet remain. How many of these do you still believe?
MYTH #1: Foot problems are a natural part of the aging process
FACT: Podiatric issues are common, but they are neither natural nor inevitable. The use of rigid footwear is often to blame for modern-day foot problems. Save your high heels for special occasions and choose sensible footwear with a wide, low heel and a comfortable toe box for everyday use.
MYTH #2: The feet are fragile and need protection.
FACT: Your feet are strong and amazing. In cooperation with your ankles, knees, and legs, they support your weight and allow you to stand, walk, and run. Your feet are complex mechanical structures, each made up of 26 bones, 33 joints, and more than 100 muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Did you know that the skin on the sole of your feet is six times stronger than all other skin tissue and is the fastest at regeneration of all the skin on your body?
MYTH #3: Doctors can’t do anything about broken toes.
FACT: When your podiatrist helps heal your broken toe, future problems such as arthritis and toe deformities can be prevented. Your podiatrist will take x-rays of a broken toe to learn more about the fracture. Treatment options include rest, splinting, and taping. If the toe is out of alignment, surgery may be necessary to set it or insert a pin, screw or plate. If your broken toe isn’t treated appropriately, standing and walking can become more difficult in time.
MYTH #4: If you can move your foot or ankle, it’s not broken.
FACT: There are different types of foot and ankle fractures, many of which people can walk on, including stress fractures, toe fractures, small “chip” fractures of the foot and ankle bones, and hairline breaks of the thinner of the two leg bones. If you’ve had a fall or other trauma to your foot or ankle, a visit to the podiatrist – and possibly an x-ray – is in order.
MYTH #5: You should soak a foot or ankle injury in warm water immediately.
FACT: Ice is best for foot and ankle injuries. Avoid using heat or warm water to treat a foot or ankle injury because it encourages blood flow and increases swelling and pain. Remember to wrap your ice bag with a towel; never apply ice directly to the skin.
Are you living with pain or another issue related to your feet, ankles, or lower legs? Craig Wexler, DPM can provide relief. Call Wexler Foot Center at (973) 383-3115 or click here today to schedule an appointment in our comfortable and convenient Newton office. Dr. Craig Wexler will thoroughly examine your feet, carefully diagnose your problem, work with you to create an effective and individualized treatment plan, and provide comprehensive follow up. We’re here to help!
Until the Industrial Revolution in the early 19th Century, children and adolescents were seen as “little adults.” Of course, now we know that childhood is a special time of life and that our little ones have unique needs. Just as we take them to pediatricians for their overall health care, when our kids and teens experience issues in their feet, ankles, and lower legs, we need to have them seen by a podiatrist. With years of specialized training and decades of experience, these experts are the most qualified professionals to care for young feet, ankles, and lower legs.
Is your son or daughter experiencing any of the following common podiatric childhood complaints? If so, it’s time to schedule a visit with Dr. Craig Wexler.
Ingrown toenails are often the result of outgrown shoes. Be sure to have your child professionally fitted each time you buy new footwear. It’s likely that s/he has grown since you bought the last pair.
Improper trimming is another culprit. It’s a hard job to learn to do well! Until your child is old enough to handle the job reliably, provide supervision or trim his or her toenails yourself. Teach your child to use a clipper, rather than a scissors, and trim straight across without rounding the corners. Remind kids not to pull or pick at toenails or cuticles!
Call the podiatrist if you notice redness, swelling, or pus around a toenail.
Warts and Fungal Infections
Because kids are frequently barefoot around others in places such as pools, locker rooms, sleepovers, and summer camps, they are at risk of plantar warts and nail fungus. Buy your child a pair of inexpensive shower shoes and encourage their use. Don’t allow your child to share socks or shoes with others, not even friends or family members.
Warts and other bacterial, viral, and fungal infections are more easily treated in their earliest stages. Schedule an appointment immediately upon noticing symptoms.
Foot and Ankle Injuries
We love it when our children run and play but all that activity makes them prone to foot and ankle injuries. Not every injury will be severe enough to be obvious. Be on the lookout for a decrease in your child’s interest in sports or other physical activities, cramping, pain, favoring one side over the other, or limping.
Are you concerned about the health of your child’s feet, ankles, or lower legs? Craig Wexler, DPM is expert in working with young children and adolescents. Every week, he examines and treats young patients, ensuring their physical and emotional comfort throughout the process. Make an appointment today Call Wexler Foot Center at (973) 383-3115 or click here today to see Dr. Wexler in our conveniently located, modern Newton office.
Have you ever heard the word hyperhidrosis? It means “excessive sweating,” and it can happen to anyone. People with hyperhidrosis produce significantly more sweat than what is typically associated with exercise or nervousness. Hyperhidrosis can manifest anywhere on the body – in the armpits, the face and head, or the palms of the hands. When it appears on the feet, it’s known as plantar hyperhidrosis. When the feet are regularly damp and sweaty, other situations can become problematic, including nail fungus, athlete’s foot, foot odor, and continually cold feet.
What Causes Sweaty Feet
According to the International Hyperhidrosis Society, 3% of people live with the condition. Who is at risk? Family history matters. If your parent or sibling has been diagnosed with hyperhidrosis, your odds are increased. Further, it’s more common in younger individuals than older people, and more men than women suffer from it—but it can happen to anyone.
Many factors can trigger an episode, including:
- warm temperatures
- illness or fever
- non-breathable fabrics
How to Prevent Sweaty Feet
If you notice that your feet are very sweaty, a journal of how and when sweating episodes occur is a good place to start getting some control of the situation. This will help you identify triggers such as certain foods or situations that should be avoided. What to do from there to keep your sweaty feet dry and odor-free? Here are some tips from Craig Wexler, DPM:
- Practice good hygiene.
- Use foot powder or cornstarch to absorb sweat.
- Try applying deodorant or antiperspirant to your feet.
- Always wear clean, dry socks.
- When possible, choose open shoes such as sandals, and those with mesh uppers that allow shoes to “breathe.”
- Occasional foot soaks can help keep the feet dry, and may also control odor.
- Watch what you eat. Some patients report that hyperhidrosis episodes are triggered by spicy or pungent foods including
- Reduce your stress levels.
What Can the Podiatrist Do About Sweaty Feet?
After examination and proper diagnosis, your podiatrist will have options to treat cases of hyperhidrosis that can’t be managed at home.
- Iontopheresis is a procedure in which a medical device is used to pass a mild electrical current through water and through the skin's surface. It’s painless and there are no significant or serious side effects.
- Another treatment option for heavy sweating is injections of botulinum toxin A. Botox is FDA-approved for treating excessive sweating of the underarms, but some doctors may also use it on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet.
- When you've tried antiperspirants and treatments like iontophoresis and Botox and they haven't worked, your doctor might recommend a prescription medication.
Is excessive sweating having a negative impact on your life? You’re not alone. Dr. Craig Wexler has been helping patients just like you for many years and he can help you, too. Call Wexler Foot Center at number or (973) 383-3115 today to schedule a convenient appointment in our Newton office.
Have you noticed itchy, raised patches covered by a silvery layer of dead skin on your feet? You may be dealing with psoriasis, a chronic dermatological condition that affects as many as 7.5 million Americans. Are you at risk? Family history should be considered. About 10 percent of people are born with genes that could cause psoriasis, although only about 2 percent of people actually develop the disease. More women than men present with psoriasis, as do more adults than children.
There are two forms of psoriasis that can be seen on the soles of the feet. The milder form causes dry, scaly patches known as plaques along with dry, cracked, irritated skin. Patients often seek help from a podiatrist when plaques occur on the feet, as they can make it challenging to stand, walk, or wear shoes comfortably. The more severe form of podiatric psoriasis is called palmoplantar pustulosis. It causes the formation of painful pus-filled blisters.
If you’re noticing symptoms on your feet that make you suspect plaque psoriasis, you should schedule an appointment with your podiatrist at your earliest convenience. If your foot doctor confirms your suspicions, he or she will almost certainly recommend medical treatment ranging from prescription oral medication and topical steroidal and/or vitamin ointments to control itching and slow plaque growth to ultraviolet light therapy.
If you have been diagnosed with psoriasis, there are many ways that you can participate in your psoriasis management plan. Here are some suggestions from Craig Wexler, DPM that may inhibit or shorten outbreaks:
- Keep your feet clean and dry.
- Experiment with your diet to determine if certain foods trigger outbreaks.
- Stop smoking.
- Limit alcohol intake.
- Choose comfortable shoes and socks.
- Expose your feet to the air when you can.
- Avoid risky activities that could injure your feet.
A psoriasis outbreak can make it challenging to participate fully in your daily life. Get better now. Call Wexler Foot Center at (973) 383-3115 or click here to schedule an appointment. Every day, Dr. Craig Wexler provides patients like you with careful examination, expert diagnosis, individualized treatment, and thorough follow up in our comfortable and convenient Newton office. He can help you, too.