New York City Podiatrist

Posts for: October, 2015

By Dr. Kenneth Meisler
October 15, 2015
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Healthy Feet   Diabetes   Foot Hygiene  
Diabetes causes a condition of painful nerve damage called peripheral neuropathy. Neuropathy can affect your entire body, but the legs and feet are the body’s most prone areas to serious Diabeteshealth problems. Damage to the nerves can cause the loss of feeling in your feet, making it difficult to detect extreme temperatures and pain as easily or readily as someone who does not have diabetes. Understanding the connection between foot care and diabetes is important to avoid more serious health problems. Visit your podiatrist, about the best ways to care for your feet. 

Inspect Your Feet Regularly

If you have diabetes, it’s crucial to examine your feet every day and after every injury, regardless of how minor you may think the injury is. If you notice redness, swelling, persistent pain, numbness, tingling or any other unusual signs on any part of your foot, call your podiatrist immediately, as this could signify serious health problems. 
 
It’s also recommended that people with diabetes see a podiatrist for annual checkups. A professional podiatrist can detect broken skin or ulcers that can be detrimental to the health of your feet and body. They can also check your blood circulation, identify loss of sensation or detect areas of high pressure - all of which require professional medical attention. 

Small Foot Problems Can Lead to Bigger Problems

If you have diabetes, even the smallest foot problems can turn into more serious complications. Some of these small complications include:
  • Ulcers that don’t heal
  • Corns
  • Calluses
  • Cracked heels
  • Hammertoes
  • Bunions
  • Ingrown toenails
With these complications, you run the risk of developing diabetic peripheral neuropathy, which is a condition that develops slowly and worsens over time, and Charcot foot, which is a condition in which the bones of the foot are weakened enough to fracture. Taking extra precautions and caring for even the smallest injuries with care might just save your foot. 

Keep Your Feet Healthy with Proper Foot Hygiene

Everyone needs to practice good foot hygiene daily, but people with diabetes should pay extra attention to keeping their feet clean in order to prevent health problems. If you have diabetes, your podiatrist urges you to:
  • Wash your feet daily with lukewarm water and mild soap, making sure to dry them thoroughly, especially between the toes. 
  • Keep the skin on your feet smooth and soft by applying a non-irritating moisturizer, avoiding the areas between the toes. Doing so can help prevent cracks and sores that lead to infection. 
  • Avoid ingrown toenails than can get infected by keeping them neatly trimmed straight across.
  • Wear clean, dry socks and change them every day.
  • Avoid walking barefoot to protect feet from harmful foreign particles. 
  • Never attempt to remove corns, calluses or other sores from your feet on your own. See your podiatrist for safe and pain-free removal. 
Early detection, simple care, and regular inspections can go a long way to avoid serious foot complications related to diabetes. Diabetes is serious, especially when it comes to your feet. If you have diabetes, talk with your podiatrist about what you can do now to keep your feet safe, strong, and healthy. 

By Dr. Kenneth Meisler
October 01, 2015
Category: Foot Care

You often worry about your children’s teeth, eyes, and other parts of their body. You teach them how to wash, brush, and groom, but what do you do about your child’s feet as they are still developing? Many adult foot ailments, as with other health issues, have their origins in childhood, and can be present at birth. Periodic professional attention from your podiatrist and regular foot care can minimize these problems. 

Neglecting your child’s foot health creates negative effects on other parts of the body, such as the legs and back. Foot health begins in childhood because your child’s feet must carry him or her for a lifetime. Your child’s life is certain to be happier and more enjoyable if you have your child develop strong, healthy feet as he or she grows into adulthood. 

Your Podiatrist Explains: The Early Years

The human foot is one of the most complicated parts of the body, with 26 bones as well as ligaments, muscles, blood vessels and nerves. The feet of an infant are soft and pliable, and abnormal pressure can cause deformities. In the first year, a child’s foot grows rapidly, reaching almost half their adult foot size. Podiatrists consider the first year to be the most important in regards to development. To help ensure normal growth, allow your baby to kick and stretch his or her feet, and make sure shoes and socks do not squeeze their toes.  

Your toddler will walk when he or she is ready, and you should try not to force this act. Watch your child’s gait once he or she begins to walk. Pay close attention to see if their toe touches first in their step instead of the heel, or if your child always sits while others actively play. Many toddlers have a pigeon-toed gait, which is normal, and some initially learn to walk landing on their toes instead of their heels. Most children outgrow these problems, but they could be a sign of a problem that will continue into adulthood without treatment.

Footwear for your Child

Children should not wear shoes until they can walk, so avoid pram shoes, which are normally soft, and usually made to match outfits. For babies, avoid tightly wrapped blankets that prevent kicking and leg movement. Walking barefoot in the home, where it's safe, is good for children. Your child’s feet are vulnerable to deformity from any ill-fitting footwear until the bones are completely formed at about 18 years of age. In addition, socks made from natural materials are better for your child’s feet than stretch-fit socks.  

When buying shoes for your child, the shape of the shoe and the toe area should be wide and round, allowing for toes to move and spread. It is also important for the shoe to have a lace or a buckle. Without this, your child’s toes will claw to hold the shoe on, much the same way you may find yourself doing when you wear flip flops. The heel of the shoe should not be too high, as high heels can also result in foot deformity.  

Start early in taking care of your children’s feet, because neglecting foot health is an invitation for severe problems. Contact your podiatrist for further consultation on your child’s growing, active feet. Having strong, healthy feet allows your child to walk, run, and play. Take extra precautions to protect their feet, so they may experience a lifetime of healthy activity.