Blog - Foot Doctor Williamsport PA 17701
Tuesday, 27 June 2017 00:00

Ingrown Toenails 101

If you have swelling, pain, redness, or infection near your big toe; you may have an ingrown toenail. Ingrown toenails result when the corner of a nail grows into the soft flesh that surrounds it. While ingrown toenails may cause minimal pain at first, they can spread and worsen very quickly. People who have diabetes or other serious conditions that cause poor blood flow to the feet are at a higher risk of developing ingrown toenails. Nevertheless, there are at-home remedies that can be performed in order to treat minor cases of ingrown toenails. One method is to soak your feet in warm water for 15 to 20 minutes a few times per day. Soaking will help reduce swelling along with tenderness in the feet. If you have an ingrown toenail that is progressively worsening, you should seek the assistance of a podiatrist right away.

Ingrown toenails can become painful if they are not treated properly. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact Dr. Steven Hartung of Pennsylvania. 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 Williamsport, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Tuesday, 20 June 2017 00:00

How Alcohol May Be Linked to Gout

Gout is a form of arthritis, and it occurs as a result of uric acid buildup in the blood. This buildup of uric acid forms needle-like crystals which may cause severe pain in the joints and swelling. Although gout can be managed with proper prescription medications, people who have it should also try to make dietary changes to reduce symptoms. Studies have shown that “men who drink more than two alcoholic drinks a day - especially beer - could increase their chance of getting gout.” Researchers found that the alcoholic content in beer not only impairs the liver’s ability to detoxify uric acid, but it also affects the kidney’s ability to get rid of it. If you struggle with gout, you should consult with your podiatrist to figure out the best ways to prevent an attack in the future.

Gout is a foot condition that requires certain treatment and care. If you are seeking treatment, contact Dr. Steven Hartung from Pennsylvania. Our doctor 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 you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Williamsport, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Everything You Need to Know About Gout
Tuesday, 13 June 2017 00:00

Hammertoe Havoc

Hammertoe is caused when there is a muscle and ligament imbalance around the toe joint. This causes the middle joint of the toe to bend and become stuck in this position . Many people with hammertoe complain about rubbing and irritation at the top of the bent toe. Toes that tend to unnaturally curl, such as the baby toe, are also considered hammertoes. “Flexible” and “Rigid” are the two main types of hammertoes. If the toe can still be moved around, it is considered a flexible hammertoe. Hammertoes that don’t allow for any toe movement are classified as rigid hammertoes.

Hammertoe

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact Dr. Steven Hartung from Pennsylvania. Our doctor will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.

Hammertoe

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that affects the joints of the second, third, fourth, or fifth toes of your feet. It is a painful foot condition in which these toes curl and arch up, which can often lead to pain when wearing footwear.

Symptoms

  • Pain in the affected toes
  • Development of corns or calluses due to friction
  • Inflammation
  • Redness
  • Contracture of the toes

Causes

Genetics – People who are genetically predisposed to hammertoe are often more susceptible

Arthritis – Because arthritis affects the joints in your toes, further deformities stemming from arthritis can occur

Trauma – Direct trauma to the toes could potentially lead to hammertoe

Ill-fitting shoes – Undue pressure on the front of the toes from ill-fitting shoes can potentially lead to the development of hammertoe

Treatment

Orthotics – Custom made inserts can be used to help relieve pressure placed on the toes and therefore relieve some of the pain associated with it

Medications – Oral medications such as anti-inflammatories or NSAIDs could be used to treat the pain and inflammation hammertoes causes. Injections of corticosteroids are also sometimes used

Surgery – In more severe cases where the hammertoes have become more rigid, foot surgery is a potential option

If you have any questions please contact our office located in Williamsport, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Monday, 05 June 2017 20:34

Warding Off Plantar Warts

A Texas man called into his local radio station to tell a story about his experience using a gym shower while barefoot. Soon after using that shower, the man started to develop a firm itchy patch on his foot which ended up being a plantar wart. The man thought he could use at-home remedies to get rid of the wart, but he was wrong. After the virus that caused the warts had spread, he eventually decided to seek professional help from a podiatrist who concluded that the man needed to surgically remove the wart on his foot. This man’s story is a perfect example of why you should never shower in a public place barefoot.

Plantar fasciitis can be very painful and inconvenient. If you are experiencing heel pain or symptoms of plantar fasciitis, contact Dr. Steven Hartung  from Pennsylvania. Our doctor 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
  • Overpronation
  • 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 office located in Williamsport, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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