Chilblains May Cause Foot Blisters in Winter

In colder weather, blisters can form on the feet due to a combination of factors related to temperature and moisture. Wearing heavy socks and shoes in the winter can lead the feet to sweat that accumulates inside your socks and shoes. This moisture, combined with reduced evaporation rates in colder temperatures, creates a damp environment around the feet. As a result, the skin becomes softer and more prone to damage from friction and rubbing against socks or shoes. Chilblains, lesions on the hands and feet that appear after exposure to the cold, can also blister. They appear within 24 hours of cold exposure and are caused by tiny blood vessels expanding too quickly once the body is exposed to heat again. If you have foot blisters after cold exposure, it is suggested you consult a podiatrist to conduct an exam and offer options to help with recurrent blister formation from chilblains. 

Blisters may appear as a single bubble or in a cluster. They can cause a lot of pain and may be filled with pus, blood, or watery serum. If your feet are hurting, contact one of our podiatrists of Illinois . Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Foot Blisters

Foot blisters are often the result of friction. This happens due to the constant rubbing from shoes, which can lead to pain.

What Are Foot Blisters?

A foot blister is a small fluid-filled pocket that forms on the upper-most layer of the skin. Blisters are filled with clear fluid and can lead to blood drainage or pus if the area becomes infected.

Symptoms

(Blister symptoms may vary depending on what is causing them)

  • Bubble of skin filled with fluid
  • Redness
  • Moderate to severe pain
  • Itching

Prevention & Treatment

In order to prevent blisters, you should be sure to wear comfortable shoes with socks that cushion your feet and absorb sweat. Breaking a blister open may increase your chances of developing an infection. However, if your blister breaks, you should wash the area with soap and water immediately and then apply a bandage to the affected area. If your blisters cause severe pain it is important that you call your podiatrist right away.

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

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Balance Exercises Can Help Prevent Falls

Balance is a fundamental aspect of daily life, affecting activities like walking, standing, and even tying your shoes. Recent research highlights its role in overall health, with studies revealing a correlation between poor balance and increased mortality risk. Incorporating balance exercises into your routine can lower this risk and improve stability. Here are a few exercises that aim to improve balance and reduce the likelihood of falling. It’s a good idea to have a chair or wall nearby to hold on to while performing them. The first is single-leg standing, where you elevate one leg while maintaining posture and gradually increase duration. Next is heel-to-toe walking, simulating a tightrope walk to enhance balance and coordination. Finally, integrating yoga practice can help to improve body awareness and proprioception, which is needed for equilibrium. Whether you're an athlete aiming for peak performance or an older adult with balance problems, these exercises can help reduce the risk of falls and promote overall well-being. For help with foot and ankle problems related to mobility or stability, it is suggested that you visit a podiatrist for a full exam.

Preventing falls among the elderly is very important. If you are older and have fallen or fear that you are prone to falling, consult with one of our podiatrists from Illinois . Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality advice and care.

Every 11 seconds, an elderly American is being treated in an emergency room for a fall related injury. Falls are the leading cause of head and hip injuries for those 65 and older. Due to decreases in strength, balance, senses, and lack of awareness, elderly persons are very susceptible to falling. Thankfully, there are a number of things older persons can do to prevent falls.

How to Prevent Falls

Some effective methods that older persons can do to prevent falls include:

  • Enrolling in strength and balance exercise program to increase balance and strength
  • Periodically having your sight and hearing checked
  • Discuss any medications you have with a doctor to see if it increases the risk of falling
  • Clearing the house of falling hazards and installing devices like grab bars and railings
  • Utilizing a walker or cane
  • Wearing shoes that provide good support and cushioning
  • Talking to family members about falling and increasing awareness

Falling can be a traumatic and embarrassing experience for elderly persons; this can make them less willing to leave the house, and less willing to talk to someone about their fears of falling. Doing such things, however, will increase the likelihood of tripping or losing one’s balance. Knowing the causes of falling and how to prevent them is the best way to mitigate the risk of serious injury.  

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

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Reminder: When Was the Last Time...?

Custom orthotics, or shoe inserts, should be periodically replaced. Orthotics must fit properly to give you the best results. Protect your feet and ankles!

The Anatomy of a Foot Stress Fracture

A foot stress fracture is a common injury resulting from repetitive strain and overuse of the bones in the foot. Unlike acute fractures caused by sudden trauma, stress fractures develop gradually due to the cumulative effect of repetitive stress on the bones, often stemming from activities like running, jumping, or prolonged standing. These microcracks typically occur in weight-bearing bones, such as the metatarsals, and can lead to localized pain, swelling, and tenderness. Foot stress fractures are particularly prevalent among athletes and individuals engaged in high-impact activities. Recognizing the symptoms, which may mimic other foot conditions, is essential for an accurate diagnosis and timely intervention. Rest, along with wearing proper footwear and a gradual return to activity, forms the cornerstone of treatment. If you have endured a foot stress fracture, it is suggested that you consult a podiatrist who can confirm the diagnosis and offer the treatment method that is best for you.

Stress fractures occur when there is a tiny crack within a bone. To learn more, contact one of our podiatrists from Illinois . Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain free and on your feet.

How Are They Caused?

Stress fractures are the result of repetitive force being placed on the bone. Since the lower leg and feet often carry most of the body’s weight, stress fractures are likely to occur in these areas. If you rush into a new exercise, you are more likely to develop a stress fracture since you are starting too much, too soon.  Pain resulting from stress fractures may go unnoticed at first, however it may start to worsen over time.

Risk Factors

  • Gender – They are more commonly found in women compared to men.
  • Foot Problems – People with unusual arches in their feet are more likely to develop stress fractures.
  • Certain Sports – Dancers, gymnasts, tennis players, runners, and basketball players are more likely to develop stress fractures.
  • Lack of Nutrients – A lack of vitamin D and calcium may weaken the bones and make you more prone to stress fractures
  • Weak Bones – Osteoporosis can weaken the bones therefore resulting in stress fractures

Stress fractures do not always heal properly, so it is important that you seek help from a podiatrist if you suspect you may have one. Ignoring your stress fracture may cause it to worsen, and you may develop chronic pain as well as additional fractures.

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

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Ingrown Toenails and Infection Control

Ingrown toenails, a common foot ailment, occur when the nail's edge grows into the surrounding skin, leading to discomfort and potential infection. Effective infection control is critical in managing ingrown toenails. To prevent infections, it is important to maintain good foot hygiene. Keep your feet clean and dry, and trim your nails straight across to avoid sharp edges. Additionally, soaking your feet in warm, soapy water can help soften the nail and reduce inflammation. Wearing comfortable, well-fitting shoes that provide adequate toe space will help prevent ingrown toenails. In cases where an infection develops, or for severe or recurring ingrown toenails, it is suggested that you schedule an appointment with a podiatrist who can provide solutions, including possible nail removal.

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 one of our podiatrists of Illinois . Our doctors 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 Wheeling and Berwyn, IL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Neuropathy and Burning Feet

Experiencing a persistent burning sensation in your feet may indicate neuropathy has developed. The sensation of burning feet often results from nerve damage and is a common cause of this type of discomfort. While diabetes related neuropathy can be easily diagnosed, sudden or rapidly worsening unexplained burning sensations may necessitate comprehensive testing. Diagnostic measures include electromyography, or EMG, to assess muscle function, and nerve conduction studies to evaluate impulse transmission. In rare cases, a nerve biopsy may be conducted for microscopic examination. Laboratory tests such as blood, urine, or spinal fluid analysis may also help to identify underlying causes, such as vitamin E deficiency or uremia. Tailoring treatment for burning feet to the underlying cause is essential.  For diabetic patients, treatment involves blood sugar control, insulin, diet changes, and oral medication. Alcohol induced neuropathy requires abstinence for nerve recovery. Chronic kidney failure may necessitate dialysis, and hypothyroidism calls for synthetic thyroid hormones. If you suspect neuropathy may be the cause of burning feet, it is suggested that you schedule an appointment with a podiatrist who is trained to manage foot conditions that stem from neuropathy.

Neuropathy

Neuropathy can be a potentially serious condition, especially if it is left undiagnosed. If you have any concerns that you may be experiencing nerve loss in your feet, consult with one of our podiatrists from Illinois . Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment for neuropathy.

What Is Neuropathy?

Neuropathy is a condition that leads to damage to the nerves in the body. Peripheral neuropathy, or neuropathy that affects your peripheral nervous system, usually occurs in the feet. Neuropathy can be triggered by a number of different causes. Such causes include diabetes, infections, cancers, disorders, and toxic substances.

Symptoms of Neuropathy Include:

  • Numbness
  • Sensation loss
  • Prickling and tingling sensations
  • Throbbing, freezing, burning pains
  • Muscle weakness

Those with diabetes are at serious risk due to being unable to feel an ulcer on their feet. Diabetics usually also suffer from poor blood circulation. This can lead to the wound not healing, infections occurring, and the limb may have to be amputated.

Treatment

To treat neuropathy in the foot, podiatrists will first diagnose the cause of the neuropathy. Figuring out the underlying cause of the neuropathy will allow the podiatrist to prescribe the best treatment, whether it be caused by diabetes, toxic substance exposure, infection, etc. If the nerve has not died, then it’s possible that sensation may be able to return to the foot.

Pain medication may be issued for pain. Electrical nerve stimulation can be used to stimulate nerves. If the neuropathy is caused from pressure on the nerves, then surgery may be necessary.

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

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How to Choose Shoes for Distance Running

Embarking on the journey of distance running necessitates a discerning choice in footwear, an essential companion for every stride. Wearing the right distance running shoes is one of the ways to avoid injuries. Designed with meticulous precision, distance running shoes are crafted to endure the relentless rhythm of long-haul runs. These shoes seamlessly blend support and cushioning, striking an equilibrium that cradles the foot through each mile. The robust yet lightweight construction becomes a symbiotic extension of the runner, mitigating impact and maximizing efficiency. Breathable materials envelop the foot, ensuring comfort and ventilation. The soles, engineered for durability, provide a reliable grip on the terrain beneath, enhancing stability and confidence. If you require additional information about the right type of shoe for your running needs, it is suggested that you consult a podiatrist.

You should always make sure your running shoes fit properly in order to avoid injury. For more information, contact one of our podiatrists from Illinois . Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Choosing the Right Running Shoe for Your Foot Type

Improper shoe sizing can cause a myriad of problems for your feet. Shoes that don’t fit you properly can lead to muscular imbalances in your body, which can result in foot, knee, and hip injuries.

Tips for Finding the Right Running Shoe

  • Make sure you have a thumb’s width of wiggle room between the end of your longest toe and the front of the shoe.
  • There should be little to no slipping at the heel
  • Don’t assume your size in one shoe brand will be your size in another
  • Do not lace up your shoes too tightly
  • Walk around in the store with your new shoes before you buy them

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

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Heel Pain Can Be Treated!

Do you suffer from heel pain when you get up in the morning? If so, you should seek the professional help of your podiatrist and have a proper diagnosis performed. Heel pain can be caused by several different foot-related conditions.

Managing Swollen Feet During Pregnancy

Swollen feet during pregnancy is a common concern for expectant mothers. As the body retains more water than usual during pregnancy, swelling in the legs, ankles, and feet, also termed edema, becomes prevalent, particularly at the end of the day and later into the pregnancy. While gradual swelling is generally not harmful, a sudden increase may indicate pre-eclampsia, requiring immediate medical attention. Factors such as hot weather and prolonged standing increase the accumulation of excess water in the lowest parts of the body. Additionally, the pressure from the growing womb can impede blood flow in the legs, leading to fluid buildup and swelling. To alleviate discomfort, it is helpful to avoid prolonged standing, choose comfortable footwear, and elevate your feet whenever possible. Hydration is vital in assisting the body to eliminate excess water. In addition, incorporating gentle exercises, such as foot rotations and bending, can improve blood circulation and help to reduce swelling in the feet and ankles. For help with foot and ankle swelling problems during pregnancy, it is suggested that you schedule an appointment with a podiatrist. 

Pregnant women with swollen feet can be treated with a variety of different methods that are readily available. For more information about other cures for swollen feet during pregnancy, consult with one of our podiatrists from Illinois . Our doctors will attend to all of your foot and ankle needs.

What Foot Problems Can Arise During Pregnancy?

One problem that can occur is overpronation, which occurs when the arch of the foot flattens and tends to roll inward.  This can cause pain and discomfort in your heels while you’re walking or even just standing up, trying to support your baby.  

Another problem is edema, or swelling in the extremities. This often affects the feet during pregnancy but tends to occur in the later stages. 

How Can I Keep My Feet Healthy During Pregnancy?

  • Wearing orthotics can provide extra support for the feet and help distribute weight evenly
  • Minimize the amount of time spent walking barefoot
  • Wear shoes with good arch support
  • Wear shoes that allow for good circulation to the feet
  • Elevate feet if you experience swelling
  • Massage your feet
  • Get regular, light exercise, such as walking, to promote blood circulation to the feet

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

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The Vital Role of Hygiene in Combating Athlete's Foot

Athlete's foot, a common fungal infection, underscores the significance of daily foot hygiene in preserving overall health. This condition thrives in warm, moist environments, making it imperative for individuals, especially athletes, to prioritize cleanliness. Regular washing and thorough drying of feet, paying particular attention to spaces between toes, can deter the growth of fungi. Choosing moisture-wicking socks and breathable footwear is essential to minimize the conditions favorable for the infection. Sharing personal items, such as towels or shoes, should be avoided to prevent the spread of the fungus. Maintaining clean, dry feet not only aids in preventing athlete's foot but also promotes the general well-being of the feet. Vigilance in hygiene practices, coupled with prompt treatment if symptoms arise, empowers individuals to protect their feet from the discomfort and inconvenience associated with athlete's foot infection. If you have developed athlete’s foot, it is strongly suggested that you are under the care of a podiatrist to discuss effective treatment methods, which may include prescribed medication.

Athlete’s foot is an inconvenient condition that can be easily reduced with the proper treatment. If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles, contact one of our podiatrists from Illinois .  Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Athlete’s Foot: The Sole Story

Athlete's foot, also known as tinea pedis, can be an extremely contagious foot infection. It is commonly contracted in public changing areas and bathrooms, dormitory style living quarters, around locker rooms and public swimming pools, or anywhere your feet often come into contact with other people.

Solutions to Combat Athlete’s Foot

  • Hydrate your feet by using lotion
  • Exfoliate
  • Buff off nails
  • Use of anti-fungal products
  • Examine your feet and visit your doctor if any suspicious blisters or cuts develop

Athlete’s foot can cause many irritating symptoms such as dry and flaking skin, itching, and redness. Some more severe symptoms can include bleeding and cracked skin, intense itching and burning, and even pain when walking. In the worst cases, Athlete’s foot can cause blistering as well. Speak to your podiatrist for a better understanding of the different causes of Athlete’s foot, as well as help in determining which treatment options are best for you.

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

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