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Monday, 18 January 2021 00:00

What Causes Ingrown Toenails?

Ingrown toenails happen when the edge of a toenail grows into the surrounding skin. This can lead to the area becoming swollen, tender, painful and inflamed. In some cases, the area can also become infected. There are many potential causes of ingrown toenails, including wearing shoes that are too tight, sustaining an injury to the toenail, or trimming the toenails improperly. Repetitive stress on the toenails from poor posture, partaking in certain sports, poor circulation, and having a genetic predisposition to ingrown toenails can also make them more likely to occur. If you have painful or recurrent ingrown toenails, or an ingrown toenail that is showing signs of infection, it is suggested that you see a podiatrist for treatment.  

Ingrown toenails can become painful if they are not treated properly. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact Leonora Fihman, DPM of California. 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 office located in Encino, CA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Ingrown Toenail Care
Wednesday, 13 January 2021 00:00

Wounds That Don't Heal Need to Be Checked

Your feet are covered most of the day. If you're diabetic, periodic screening is important for good health. Numbness is often a sign of diabetic foot and can mask a sore or wound.

Foot odor can be common among children and adolescents. When children’s feet sweat, bacteria that thrive in moist, dark environments, like their shoes, can begin to multiply rapidly. Bacteria eats dead skin cells and releases waste in the form of organic acids, often producing a strong and unpleasant smell. Fortunately, there are things that you can do at home to reduce foot odor. Encourage your child to wash and dry their feet thoroughly each day. Make sure that they wear properly fitted shoes made of breathable materials and clean, moisture-wicking socks to reduce sweat. Kill the bacteria in their shoes using a disinfectant spray. If foot odor does not improve with at home treatments, it is suggested that you take your child to see a podiatrist. 

Making sure that your children maintain good foot health is very important as they grow. If you have any questions, contact Leonora Fihman, DPM of California. 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 office located in Encino, CA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about What to Do to Keep Your Child’s Feet Healthy

Ankle sprains are one of the most common ankle injuries, and they occur when the ligaments that hold the ankle in place are torn. Ankle sprains most often occur when stepping on uneven surfaces causes the ankle to twist beyond the ligament’s capabilities.  This causes the ankle to swell and for walking to be uncomfortable. Those who have an ankle sprain should visit a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis. X-rays will be taken to make sure that there are no broken bones. Less common injuries, such as an avulsion fracture, high ankle sprain, or fibula fracture can also be ruled out during the diagnostic process. Upon a proper diagnosis, your podiatrist will be able to suggest treatment options that may work best for you and the severity of your injury. 

Ankle sprains are common but need immediate attention. If you need your feet checked, contact Leonora Fihman, DPM from California. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

How Does an Ankle Sprain Occur?

Ankle sprains take place when the ligaments in your ankle are torn or stretched beyond their limits. There are multiple ways that the ankle can become injured, including twisting or rolling over onto your ankle, putting undue stress on it, or causing trauma to the ankle itself.

What Are the Symptoms?

  • Mild to moderate bruising
  • Limited mobility
  • Swelling
  • Discoloration of the skin (depending on severity)

Preventing a Sprain

  • Wearing appropriate shoes for the occasion
  • Stretching before exercises and sports
  • Knowing your limits

Treatment of a Sprain

Treatment of a sprain depends on the severity.  Many times, people are told to rest and remain off their feet completely, while others are given an air cast. If the sprain is very severe, surgery may be required.

If you have suffered an ankle sprain previously, you may want to consider additional support such as a brace and regular exercises to strengthen the ankle.

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

Read more about Ankle Sprains
Monday, 28 December 2020 00:00

What Is a Tailor’s Bunion?

A Tailor’s bunion, sometimes called a bunionette, is similar to a regular bunion. However, a Tailor’s bunion forms on the 5th metatarsophalangeal joint (or the “pinky toe”) instead of the big toe. Tailor’s bunions are most commonly caused by poorly fitting footwear, as well as structural foot problems. They appear as a swollen and hard bump on the outside of the foot next to the big toe, and they generally form over a long period of time and may not become painful for a while. Treatment options that a podiatrist may suggest include surgically removing the bunion, a corticosteroid injection to reduce swelling, and padding or orthotics to reduce pain. If you are dealing with pain that may be a Tailor’s bunion, be sure to consult with a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis and treatment.

If you are suffering from bunions, contact Leonora Fihman, DPM of California. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is a Bunion?

A bunion is formed of swollen tissue or an enlargement of boney growth, usually located at the base joint of the toe that connects to the foot. The swelling occurs due to the bones in the big toe shifting inward, which impacts the other toes of the foot. This causes the area around the base of the big toe to become inflamed and painful.

Why Do Bunions Form?

Genetics – Susceptibility to bunions are often hereditary

Stress on the feet – Poorly fitted and uncomfortable footwear that places stress on feet, such as heels, can worsen existing bunions

How Are Bunions Diagnosed?

Doctors often perform two tests – blood tests and x-rays – when trying to diagnose bunions, especially in the early stages of development. Blood tests help determine if the foot pain is being caused by something else, such as arthritis, while x-rays provide a clear picture of your bone structure to your doctor.

How Are Bunions Treated?

  • Refrain from wearing heels or similar shoes that cause discomfort
  • Select wider shoes that can provide more comfort and reduce pain
  • Anti-inflammatory and pain management drugs
  • Orthotics or foot inserts
  • Surgery

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

Read more about What Are Bunions?
Monday, 21 December 2020 00:00

What Can Cause Ankle Swelling?

Swelling in the ankles can be caused by conditions that specifically affect the ankle or by systemic conditions that affect the whole body. Often, the cause of swelling in an ankle is an injury, such as a strain or a sprain. Strains are the result of overstretched muscles or tendons in the affected area, whereas sprains occur when the ligaments in the ankle are overstretched or torn. Diseases of the joints, such as arthritis, can also lead to swelling in the feet or ankles. Pregnancy and obesity may lead to swelling in the ankles due to fluid retention and poor circulation. Treatment for swollen ankles will depend on what is causing the swelling. For more information, please consult with a podiatrist. 

When dealing with systemic disease of the feet, it is extremely important to check the affected areas routinely so that any additional problems are caught quickly.  If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles contact Leonora Fihman, DPM from California. Our doctor will assist you with all of your podiatric needs.

Systemic Diseases of the Feet

Systemic diseases affect the whole body, and symptoms usually are displayed in the feet. This condition can make a patient’s ability to walk unbearable.  Systemic diseases include gout, diabetes mellitus, neurological disorders, and arthritis.

Gout – is caused by an excess of uric acid in the body. Common symptoms include pain, inflammation, and redness at the metatarsal/phalangeal joint of the base big toe. Gout can be treated by NSAIDs to relieve pain and inflammation, and other drugs that lower the acid levels in the body.

Diabetes mellitus – is an increase in the level of blood sugar that the body cannot counteract with its own insulin. Failure to produce enough insulin is a factor in Diabetes.

Diabetes of the Feet

Diabetic Neuropathy – may lead to damaged nerves and affect the feet through numbness and loss of sensation.

Peripheral Vascular Disease – can restrict the blood flow to the feet, and often times lead to amputation of the feet. 

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

Read more about Systemic Diseases of the Foot
Monday, 14 December 2020 00:00

Toenail Fungus Treatments

A fungal infection of the toenails can be unsightly. Infected toenails may have white or yellow patches of discoloration, be chalky, or have a crumbly texture. In more severe infections, the toenails may thicken and become deformed and discolored. There are several treatments available for toenail fungus. A podiatrist may prescribe oral antifungal medications, which have to be taken for several months to get full results. Topical treatments, such as medicated nail polishes, are applied directly to the affected nails and can also help treat toenail fungus. Sometimes, both treatments can be used simultaneously. For more information about treatment for toenail fungus, please consult with a podiatrist. 

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 Leonora Fihman, DPM of California. 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 office located in Encino, CA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

 

Read more about Treating Toenail Fungus
Monday, 14 December 2020 00:00

It's Time for Beautiful Feet

You don't need an excuse to have beautiful nails. Step outside without worrying about the appearance of your feet.

The plantar fascia is located at the bottom of the foot and it connects the heel to the toes. It is a portion of tissue that is responsible for various foot functions. Many patients feel pain in the heel when the plantar fascia becomes inflamed, and stretching the affected foot may be an option for mild relief. It is beneficial to stretch the calves. This can be done by standing against a wall and placing one foot behind the other. Slowly bend the back leg until a gentle stretch is felt, and then repeat with the other leg. Additionally, the foot may feel better when it is rolled on a tennis ball, and this is helpful for stretching the arch. If you would like more information about the benefits of stretching the feet, please consult with a podiatrist.

Stretching the feet is a great way to prevent injuries. If you have any concerns with your feet consult with Leonora Fihman, DPM from California. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Stretching the Feet

Stretching the muscles in the foot is an important part in any physical activity. Feet that are tight can lead to less flexibility and make you more prone to injury. One of the most common forms of foot pain, plantar fasciitis, can be stretched out to help ease the pain. Stretching can not only ease pain from plantar fasciitis but also prevent it as well. However, it is important to see a podiatrist first if stretching is right for you. Podiatrists can also recommend other ways to stretch your feet. Once you know whether stretching is right for you, here are some excellent stretches you can do.

  • Using a foam roller or any cylindrical object (a water bottle or soda can will do), roll the object under your foot back and forth. You should also exert pressure on the object. Be sure to do this to both feet for a minute. Do this exercise three times each.
  • Similar to the previous one, take a ball, such as a tennis ball, and roll it under your foot while seated and exert pressure on it.
  • Grab a resistance band or towel and take a seat. If you are using a towel, fold it length wise. Next put either one between the ball of your foot and heel and pull with both hands on each side towards you. Hold this for 15 seconds and then switch feet. Do this three times for each foot.
  • Finally hold your big toe while crossing one leg over the other. Pull the toe towards you and hold for 15 seconds. Once again do this three times per foot.

It is best to go easy when first stretching your foot and work your way up. If your foot starts hurting, stop exercising and ice and rest the foot. It is advised to then see a podiatrist for help.

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

Read more about How to Stretch Your Feet
Monday, 30 November 2020 00:00

Ankle Sprains in Children

An ankle sprain can be a common injury during childhood. It occurs when the ankle is twisted or turned more than its normal range, causing the ligaments within the ankle to stretch or tear. Children might twist their ankles while playing, or while walking on an uneven surface. The symptoms of a sprained ankle include pain and swelling near the ankle joint, an inability to bear weight, bruising, tenderness, and a reduced range of motion in the affected ankle. Ankle sprains vary in severity from a mild grade one sprain where the ligaments overstretch, to a severe grade three sprain, in which the ligaments completely tear. If your child has symptoms of an ankle sprain, it is suggested that you seek the care of a podiatrist. 

Ankle pain can be caused by a number of problems and may be potentially serious. If you have ankle pain, consult with Leonora Fihman, DPM from California. 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
  • Bursitis
  • 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 office located in Encino, CA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

 

Read more about Ankle Pain
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