The medical condition that is referred to as cracked heels occurs when the skin on the outer edge of the heel(s) becomes dry. Pressure is applied on the heels as a result of walking and standing, deep cracks, or fissures, may form on the skin. This typically causes pain and discomfort, and it may become difficult to walk. Many people who experience this condition, find that it can develop from standing for extended periods of time, or from wearing shoes that have an open back. Additionally, people may become aware of cracked heels beginning to develop if certain medical conditions exist. These can include psoriasis, dermatitis, and specific types of athlete’s foot. The skin may feel better when the feet are washed and dried thoroughly, followed by using a good moisturizer. If you have this ailment, it is advised that you speak to a podiatrist who can recommend proper treatment options.
Cracked heels are unsightly and can cause further damage to your shoes and feet. If you have any concerns, contact Dr. Harry I. Zirna from Lockport Foot Care, PLLC. Dr. Zirna can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.
Cracked heels appear unappealing and can make it harder for you walk around in sandals. Aside from looking unpleasant, cracked heels can also tear stockings, socks, and wear out your shoes. There are several methods to help restore a cracked heel and prevent further damage.
How Do You Get Them?
Dry skin is the number one culprit in creating cracked heels. Many athletes, walkers, joggers, and even swimmers suffer from cracked heels. Age and skin oil production play a role to getting cracked heels as well.
Over the counter medicines can help, especially for those that need instant relief or who suffer from chronic dry feet.
Wear Socks – Wearing socks with medicated creams helps lock in moisture.
Moisturizers – Applying both day and night will help alleviate dryness which causes cracking.
Pumice Stones – These exfoliate and remove dead skin, which allows for smoother moisturizer application and better absorption into the skin.
Change in Diet
Eating healthy with a well-balanced diet will give the skin a fresh and radiant look. Your body responds to the kinds of food you ingest. Omega-3 fatty acids and zinc supplements can also revitalize skin tissue.
Most importantly, seek professional help if unsure how to proceed in treating cracked heels. A podiatrist will help you with any questions or information needed.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Lockport and Medina, NY. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.Read more about Solutions for Cracked Heels
The medical term that is referred to as “pes planus” is more commonly known as flat feet. It essentially means the feet have little or no arch, and this may contribute to an overall feeling of tiredness in the feet. Genetic factors may play a significant role in the development of flat feet, in addition to wearing shoes which may include high heels that can limit toe movement. Moderate relief can be found when gentle stretching techniques are frequently performed, and this may also help to strengthen the Achilles tendon. This may be instrumental in elongating the calf muscles which can be linked to helping flat feet. If you are experiencing foot pain as a result of having flat feet, it is advised that you consult with a podiatrist who may recommend custom made orthotics that may help to provide relief.
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.
- 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
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 Lockport and Medina, NY. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.Read more about Flatfoot
The plantar fascia is located on the bottom of the foot. It is a band of tissue that connects the heel to the toes, and if it should become damaged and inflamed, a condition that is known as plantar fasciitis may develop. Common symptoms that are associated with this ailment often include severe pain and discomfort, and it may cause difficulty in walking. It typically originates from overuse from running activities, or as a result of being overweight. Relief may be found when specific stretches are performed that will strengthen the plantar fascia. These consist of stretching the calf, which may be helpful in relieving muscle tightness in the Achilles tendon and heel area. Some patients find it beneficial to roll the arch of the foot on a tennis or golf ball, in addition to pointing and flexing the foot. If you have heel pain, please consult a podiatrist who can guide you toward the treatment that is correct for you.
Plantar fasciitis can be very painful and inconvenient. If you are experiencing heel pain or symptoms of plantar fasciitis, contact Dr. Harry I. Zirna from Lockport Foot Care, PLLC. Dr. Zirna can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.
What Is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot, known as the plantar fascia, and causes mild to severe heel pain.
What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?
- Excessive running
- Non-supportive shoes
- Repeated stretching and tearing of the plantar fascia
How Can It Be Treated?
- Conservative measures – anti-inflammatories, ice packs, stretching exercises, physical therapy, orthotic devices
- Shockwave therapy – sound waves are sent to the affected area to facilitate healing and are usually used for chronic cases of plantar fasciitis
- Surgery – usually only used as a last resort when all else fails. The plantar fascia can be surgically detached from the heel
While very treatable, plantar fasciitis is definitely not something that should be ignored. Especially in severe cases, speaking to your doctor right away is highly recommended to avoid complications and severe heel pain. Your podiatrist can work with you to provide the appropriate treatment options tailored to your condition.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Lockport and Medina, NY. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.Read more about Plantar Fasciitis
A toenail fungus is considered to be an infection of the nails. Common symptoms that are often associated with this condition can include noticeable discoloration of the toenails, and they may appear thick. Additionally, many patients see their nails beginning to crack, and this can cause an unsightly appearance. This type of fungus is known to be contagious, and typically lives and thrives in warm and moist environments. These often include public swimming pools and surrounding areas, shower room floors, and locker rooms. The fungus can enter through tiny cracks in the skin, and the toenails can gradually become affected. Patients who are diabetic or have a weakened immune system may be more likely to contract this type of fungus. There are methods that can be implemented which may help to prevent the fungus from entering the body. These include wearing appropriate shoes while in public areas, and avoiding sharing shoes, socks, or nail trimmers. If you have toenail fungus, please consult with a podiatrist who can offer proper treatment options.
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 Lockport and Medina, NY. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.Read more about How to Treat Your Toenail Fungus
The uncomfortable condition that is known as athlete’s foot can also be referred to as ringworm of the foot. This contagious ailment is caused by a fungus that typically thrives in warm and moist environments. These can include pools and surrounding areas, shower room floors and locker rooms. The symptoms that generally accompany athlete’s foot often include an itchy and burning sensation between the toes, in addition to skin that is red and flaky on the bottom of the feet. Many patients can use an anti-fungal powder or spray that is applied to the affected areas on the feet, and this may provide moderate relief. For more severe cases, it is suggested to consult with a podiatrist who can prescribe medication that may be effective in treating athlete’s foot.
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 Dr. Harry I. Zirna from Lockport Foot Care, PLLC. Dr. Zirna 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
- 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 Lockport and Medina, NY. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.Read more about Athlete's Foot
Morton's neuroma occurs when a tissue next to a nerve that leads to one of the toes gets thicker. The pressure against the nerve irritates it and causes the pain, which will usually show up between the third and fourth toes. Women are more at risk for Morton’s than men are. This is due mainly to the pressure applied to the feet when women wear high heels. There are no visible signs of Morton’s, instead you must go by what you feel to detect it. Some symptoms can include a tingling feeling getting stronger as time goes on, shooting pains around the ball of the foot or the base of the toes, burning and numb feelings in the toes and discomfort that may get worse from walking or wearing shoes that squeeze the feet. Simple precautions to take in preventing Morton’s are buying shoes that are wide enough at the toes so they don’t squeeze, choosing athletic shoes with enough padding in the soles to cushion the feet, and refraining from wearing high heels or tight shoes for long periods of time. If you feel that you may have developed Morton’s Neuroma, consult with a podiatrist for the best treatment options.
Morton’s neuroma is a very uncomfortable condition to live with. If you think you have Morton’s neuroma, contact Dr. Harry I. Zirna of Lockport Foot Care, PLLC. Dr. Zirna will attend to all of your foot and ankle needs and answer any of your related questions.
Morton's neuroma is a painful foot condition that commonly affects the areas between the second and third or third and fourth toe, although other areas of the foot are also susceptible. Morton’s neuroma is caused by an inflamed nerve in the foot that is being squeezed and aggravated by surrounding bones.
What Increases the Chances of Having Morton’s Neuroma?
- Ill-fitting high heels or shoes that add pressure to the toe or foot
- Jogging, running or any sport that involves constant impact to the foot
- Flat feet, bunions, and any other foot deformities
Morton’s neuroma is a very treatable condition. Orthotics and shoe inserts can often be used to alleviate the pain on the forefront of the feet. In more severe cases, corticosteroids can also be prescribed. In order to figure out the best treatment for your neuroma, it’s recommended to seek the care of a podiatrist who can diagnose your condition and provide different treatment options.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Lockport and Medina, NY. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.Read more about Morton's Neuroma
A large bony bump on the side of the big toe is referred to as a bunion. It can occur as a result of genetic factors, and from shoes that are worn which do not fit correctly. There may be inadequate room for the toes to move freely in, and this may cause the big toe to gravitate to the toe next to it. There are common symptoms that are often associated with bunions, including red and hardened skin over the affected toe, and it may be difficult to move and to wear shoes. Mild relief can be found when larger shoes are worn, and it may be helpful to wear a protective pad on top of the toe. For severe bunions, surgery could be a successful treatment option for permanent removal. If you are afflicted with a bunion, it is suggested that you seek the counsel of a podiatrist who can properly manage this condition.
What Is a Bunion?
Bunions are painful bony bumps that usually develop on the inside of the foot at the joint of the big toe. As the deformity increases over time, it may become painful to walk and wear shoes. Women are more likely to exacerbate existing bunions since they often wear tight, narrow shoes that shift their toes together. Bunion pain can be relieved by wearing wider shoes with enough room for the toes.
- Genetics – some people inherit feet that are more prone to bunion development
- Inflammatory Conditions - rheumatoid arthritis and polio may cause bunion development
- Redness and inflammation
- Pain and tenderness
- Callus or corns on the bump
- Restricted motion in the big toe
In order to diagnose your bunion, your podiatrist may ask about your medical history, symptoms, and general health. Your doctor might also order an x-ray to take a closer look at your feet. Nonsurgical treatment options include orthotics, padding, icing, changes in footwear, and medication. If nonsurgical treatments don’t alleviate your bunion pain, surgery may be necessary.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Lockport and Medina, NY. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.Read more about Bunions
The symptoms that many patients experience with the medical condition that is known as gout often include severe pain and discomfort, in addition to swelling on and around the big toe. The pain can be so disabling it can limit the ability to walk and to perform daily activities. This condition is caused by an excess of uric acid that is in the bloodstream, and can develop from eating foods that have large amounts of purines. These can include shellfish, red meat, alcohol, and drinks that are high in fructose. If certain medications are taken which can consist of water pills and low dose aspirin, it may lead to the development of gout. There are measures that can be implemented which may help to avoid gout attacks. These include eating limited amounts of red meat, and reducing alcohol intake. If you have developed gout, it is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist who can perform an accurate diagnosis and begin the correct treatment.
Gout is a foot condition that requires certain treatment and care. If you are seeking treatment, contact Dr. Harry I. Zirna from Lockport Foot Care, PLLC. Dr. Zirna will treat your foot and ankle needs.
What Is Gout?
Gout is a type of arthritis caused by a buildup of uric acid in the bloodstream. It often develops in the foot, especially the big toe area, although it can manifest in other parts of the body as well. Gout can make walking and standing very painful and is especially common in diabetics and the obese.
People typically get gout because of a poor diet. Genetic predisposition is also a factor. The children of parents who have had gout frequently have a chance of developing it themselves.
Gout can easily be identified by redness and inflammation of the big toe and the surrounding areas of the foot. Other symptoms include extreme fatigue, joint pain, and running high fevers. Sometimes corticosteroid drugs can be prescribed to treat gout, but the best way to combat this disease is to get more exercise and eat a better diet.
If the skin on the heels becomes dry, a condition that is known as cracked heels may develop. Deep cuts in the skin, which are referred to as fissures, may cause pain and discomfort, and it may be difficult to put weight on the feet. Common reasons why cracked heels may develop can include standing for extended periods of time for the majority of the day, and wearing shoes that have an open back. Additionally, if there are existing medical conditions that often include psoriasis and eczema, the chances of developing this ailment may increase. Mild relief may be found when the feet are washed and dried, followed by using a good moisturizer. If you have severely cracked heels, it is strongly advised that you seek the counsel of a podiatrist who can guide you toward the proper prevention and treatment techniques.
If the skin on your feet starts to crack, you may want to see a podiatrist to find treatment. If you have any concerns, contact Dr. Harry I. Zirna from Lockport Foot Care, PLLC. Dr. Zirna can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.
It is important to moisturize your cracked heels in order to prevent pain, bleeding, and infection. The reason cracked heels form is because the skin on the foot is too dry to support the immense pressure placed on them. When the foot expands, the dry skin on the foot begins to split.
Ways to Help Heal Them
- Invest in a good foot cream
- Try Using Petroleum Jelly
- Ease up on Soaps
- Drink Plenty of Water
Ways to Prevent Cracked Heels
- Moisturize After Showering
- Skip a Shower
- Keep Shower Water Lukewarm
- Don’t Scrub Your Feet
If you are unsure how to proceed in treating cracked heels, seek guidance from a podiatrist. Your doctor will help you with any questions or information you may need.
There are several systemic diseases that can both display symptoms in the feet and impact the health of the feet. Common systemic diseases in the foot include gout, diabetes mellitus, arthritis and neurological disorders such as diabetic neuropathy and peripheral vascular disease. These can all have a significant impact on your feet. At the same time, these systemic diseases can be effectively treated to minimize both joint and muscle damage if they are diagnosed early and treated with medication. Diabetics with a systemic disease must closely monitor their blood sugar levels. People with arthritis that also have a systemic disease must ensure they are taking the proper treatments. If you feel you may have a systemic disease, it is important to see a podiatrist as soon as you can.
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 Dr. Harry I. Zirna from Lockport Foot Care, PLLC. Dr. Zirna 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.
Babies’ feet are considerably more flexible than the feet of adults. This is because their foot bones have not fully developed; damage to the feet can therefore occur easily to children’s feet when compared to adult feet. Research has indicated it is not necessary for young children to wear shoes while indoors. The toes will become stronger as they grasp the floor, and this will help the feet naturally develop. When shoes are eventually worn, it is helpful to measure your child's feet every three months until they are approximately three years of age. This can ensure that there is enough room in the shoes for the toes to move freely. Research has indicated that many babies are born with flat feet, and this is generally outgrown by the age of six or seven. If you notice your child is walking with their toes pointed inward or outward, it is suggested to speak to a podiatrist who can determine if this is due to any underlying foot conditions.
The health of a child’s feet is vital to their overall well-being. If you have any questions regarding foot health, contact Dr. Harry I. Zirna of Lockport Foot Care, PLLC. Dr. Zirna can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.
Tips for Keeping Children's Feet Healthy
- Make sure their shoes fit properly
- Look for any signs of in-toeing or out-toeing
- Check to see if they have Clubfoot (condition that affects your child’s foot and ankle, twisting the heel and toes inward) which is one of the most common nonmajor birth defects.
- Lightly cover your baby’s feet (Tight covers may keep your baby from moving their feet freely, and could prevent normal development)
- Allow your toddler to go shoeless (Shoes can be restricting for a young child’s foot)
- Cut toenails straight across to avoid ingrown toenails
- Keep your child’s foot clean and dry
- Cover cuts and scrapes. Wash any scratches with soap and water and cover them with a bandage until they’ve healed.
Noticeable symptoms of a broken toe include severe pain, swelling, and bruising. In severe fractures, the bone may protrude from the skin, which can cause it to appear deformed. This ailment can occur if the toe suddenly hits a piece of furniture, or if a heavy object is dropped on it. Some patients can develop a broken toe as a result of a stress fracture. This is caused by repetitive movements or from wearing shoes that do not fit correctly. After a proper diagnosis takes place, which typically includes having an X-ray taken, the toe can be taped to the toe next to it. This is referred to as buddy taping. This procedure is helpful in maintaining stability as the healing process occurs. If you feel you have broken your toe, please consult with a podiatrist who can properly treat this condition.
Broken toes may cause a lot of pain and should be treated as soon as possible. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact Dr. Harry I. Zirna from Lockport Foot Care, PLLC. Dr. Zirna will treat your foot and ankle needs.
What Is a Broken Toe?
A broken toe occurs when one or more of the toe bones of the foot are broken after an injury. Injuries such as stubbing your toe or dropping a heavy object on it may cause a toe fracture.
Symptoms of a Broken Toe
- Pain (with/without wearing shoes)
- Nail Injury
Although the injured toe should be monitored daily, it is especially important to have a podiatrist look at your toe if you have severe symptoms. Some of these symptoms include worsening or new pain that is not relieved with medication, sores, redness, or open wounds near the toe.