Posts for category: Foot Care
When is the last time you took a good look at your feet? If you have diabetes, neglecting this crucial task can increase your risk of serious infections that may threaten your feet and legs. Our Scottsdale and Sun City, AZ, podiatrists, Dr. Michael Stegman and Dr. John Erotas of American Foot & Ankle Specialists, explain why foot care is so important and offer a few tips that will help you avoid complications.
Why does my risk increase if I have diabetes?
High blood glucose levels affect your ability to fight off infections. If your blood sugar level is too high, even the tiniest cut can quickly become infected. High blood sugar also slows healing, which means it may be difficult to recover from infections. Normally, you would be able to feel pain caused by an infection, but because poorly controlled diabetes can lead to nerve damage, you may not be aware that you have an infection if you don't examine your feet every day.
What should I look for when I examine my feet?
Look for anything unusual on your feet, including blisters, sores, corns and calluses. Before a blister forms, your heel or toe may first look red. If you notice any red spots, wear a different pair of shoes that doesn't rub against your feet. Don't try to smooth out corns and calluses yourself. If you do, you may raise your risk of infection. It's a much better idea to visit our Scottsdale or Sun City office if you notice any signs of problems, including ingrown toenails. If you notice that the side of a nail is growing into your skin, don't try to free the nail yourself.
When should I call the foot doctor?
A change in color is always a cause for concern. If you notice red streaks on your foot, or your foot is blue, black or abnormally white, call the office immediately. It's also important to call if you have sores, an ingrown toenail or want to get rid of corns or calluses. Any change in sensation, such as pain or numbness, must also be evaluated.
Prompt treatment of foot problems can help you protect your health. Call podiatrists Dr. Stegman and Dr. Erotas of American Foot & Ankle Specialists at (480) 483-9000 for Scottsdale appointments, or (623) 977-8388 for Sun City appointments.
Though over 50 percent of Americans have limited activity due to foot pain according to the American Podiatric Medical Association, only a portion of those Americans get help from a foot doctor. That poor choice is a reason why some Americans have major foot problems as they age that make walking and working a challenge. Learn more about foot pain treatments offered at American Foot & Ankle Specialists in Scottsdale and Sun City, AZ.
Reasons for Foot Pain
In most cases, foot pain happens over a period of time due to wearing poorly designed shoes, like high heels and flip flops. Here are a few of the most common reasons why patients experience foot pain:
- Heel spurs and plantar fasciitis
- Peripheral neuropathy (common in diabetic patients)
- Torn or stretched ligaments
- Bunions (bone protrusion on the side of the foot)
- Corns, calluses and other growths that rub up against the inside of a shoe
Foot Pain Doesn't Have to Be a Normal Part of Life
Pain is a sign of a problem that could get worse over time. Your foot pain could also start to change the way that you walk. It will make it difficult or even impossible to stand or exercise. For these reasons and more, you shouldn’t accept foot pain as a normal part of life. Simple solutions available at American Foot & Ankle Specialists in Scottsdale and Sun City could reverse the symptoms and restore your feet.
Treatments to Discuss with Your Podiatrist
After the source of your foot pain is diagnosed, your doctor will discuss a number of treatment options. Here are a few of the most common solutions:
- Physical therapy and foot strengthening exercises
- Customized orthotic devices or orthopedic shoes
- Non-Surgical Treatments for Peripheral Neuropathy using Anodyne or MicroVas Electrotherapy
- Pain medications to relieve pain
Get Foot Pain Relief
It's important that you care for your feet -- ongoing pain is a sign that they need urgent attention. Call today to schedule a foot exam with Dr. Michael Stegman or Dr. John Erotas of American Foot & Ankle Specialists in Scottsdale and Sun City, AZ.
Are you dealing with persistent ingrown toenails? Find out what might be to blame.
Getting an ingrown toenail can certainly be annoying and painful but luckily most of them will go away on their own. Of course, if you are getting them often you may be wondering what could be causing them so you know how to prevent them in the future. Our Scottsdale and Sun City, AZ, podiatrists, Dr. Michael Stegman and Dr. John Erotas, provide insight into the common condition and when to see a doctor.
What is an ingrown toenail?
If you’ve ever had an ingrown toenail then you certainly know it when it happens. This is when the edge of a nail grows into the skin on the side of the toe, causing inflammation and pain.
What causes ingrown toenails?
Not Trimming Nails Properly
You might be surprised to hear this but there is a proper way to keep your nails trimmed. While you may not think twice about how you trim your toenails, if you deal with ingrown toenails then you may want to start thinking about it. There is a simple art to it.
Make sure to keep the nails level with the tips of your toenails (any shorter and you risk an ingrown toenail). The same goes for how you shape the nail. Do you trim the nail at a curve rather than straight across? If you said “yes” then you are also putting your nails at risk.
The Shoes You are Wearing
The kind of shoes you wear could truly make or break your foot health. From high heels to shoes that fit too tightly, these types of footwear can cause a host of issues from heel pain to bunions. Ingrown toenails are just another problem that can occur if shoes are so tight that they rub or press against your toes. Always look for shoes that allow your toes to freely move about.
If you play soccer or other sports then you may also be at risk for developing an ingrown toenail, particularly if you sustain an injury. If you want to keep your feet safe while on the field then talk to our Scottsdale and Sun City foot doctor about the proper athletic footwear and what to look for. This can help reduce the likelihood of foot injuries that could lead to an ingrown toenail.
Don’t let foot problems ruin your day. Turn to the foot experts at American Foot & Ankle Specialists in Scottsdale and Sun City, AZ. Call us today!
Bunions are generally caused by a foot deformity. However, there is no need to have to suffer the pain of bunions before seeking treatment from your Sun City and Scottsdale, AZ, podiatrists, Dr. Michael Stegman and Dr. John Erotas at American Foot & Ankle Specialists. For the most effective bunion treatment, contacting their podiatry office will lead to important information that can help relieve your bunion pain and symptoms.
What are Bunions?
A bunion is a bump on the side of the big toe. However, the visible aspect of it is more than you think. The change in the bones leads for the bones to be thrown out of alignment. This produces the bump you see. This can progressively get worse if it is ignored. Most symptoms don’t appear till later stages, so most people don’t even have symptoms.
Some symptoms of bunions include:
- Burning sensation
Most often these bunions are caused by a faulty foot structure. However, wearing shoes that crowd the toe can make deformity worse, but it won’t cause a bunion. Symptoms may develop sooner in these instances. This most likely explains why bunions occur in more women than men.
Your Sun City and Scottsdale podiatrists, Dr. Stegman or Dr. Erotas at American Foot & Ankle Specialists, can offer helpful treatment methods for your bunion. Oftentimes x-rays are taken in order to determine the degree of the deformity and to assess any changes over time. It’s important to understand that bunions do not go away, but they can be treated to alleviate pain associated with their existence.
Some of the most common treatment methods include: orthotics, changes in footwear, anti-inflammatory medication, injections or icing. In the most severe cases, surgery may be required. To learn more about what will help your bunion pain today, contact your podiatrist such as Dr. Stegman or Dr. Erotas from American Foot & Ankle Specialists today by calling 480-483-9000 for their Scottsdale office or their Sun City office at 623-977-8388.
Fungus is something that lives in warm and moist areas. This is why the toenails are a great breeding ground for fungal infections. Fungal toenails occur in people of all ages. Dr. Michael Stegman and Dr. John Erotas at American Foot & Ankle Specialists, in Sun City and Scottsdale, AZ, are fungal toenails specialists, and can examine your toes and determine the best course of treatment for your infection.
More About Toenail Fungus
Toenail fungus first begins as a skin infection known as athlete’s foot. The fungus starts under the fold of the nail toward the end. Over a period of time, it will continue to grow underneath the nail and change into a yellow or brown discoloration. It can even lead to deformity of the nail itself. Fungal nails often become thicker than normal and can break fairly easily. This is because fungus builds up under the nail, which loosens and separates the nail from the bed.
Treating fungal toenails in Sun City and Scottsdale will depend on how bad your particular infection is. The older you are, the more likely you are to get fungal toenails. Also, individuals with a weak immune system or diabetes, who smoke or whose family members have experienced them are more susceptible to fungal toenails too. Dr. Stegman and Dr. Erotas at American Foot & Ankle Specialists can use a variety of treatments to treat your infection successfully. Some of these treatments include:
- Antifungal prescription
- Topical nail lacquer
- Topical cream (applied directly to the nail)
- Removing the damaged area (whether the nail and/or skin)
In the most severe cases, the entire nail may need to be removed.
Treating Fungal Toenails in Scottsdale and Sun City, AZ
Ultimately, many people have difficulty with their toenails and need assistance from Dr. Stegman and Dr. Erotas at American Foot & Ankle Specialists. To schedule a consultation to discuss your fungal toenails today, call their Sun City or Scottsdale, AZ, podiatry office at 623-977-8388 or 480-483-9000.