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Thursday, 22 October 2020 00:00

Are You Suffering From Ingrown Toenails?

If left untreated, an ingrown toenail can lead to more serious concerns, such as an infection. Knowing proper nail care can help in the prevention of an ingrown toenail. Give us a call, and get treated!

Monday, 19 October 2020 00:00

Treatments for Corns

A corn on the foot is a prominent and painful thickening of the skin that often develops in the spaces between the smaller toes. There are numerous treatments for corns. A doctor might recommend that you wear a padded corn sleeve, which slides over the toe and covers the corn to reduce pressure on it. Toe spacers and corn donuts are other devices that can create a similar effect. Sometimes, corns are associated with large calluses. In this case, it may be beneficial to have the calluses regularly shaved or trimmed. Occasionally, surgery may be warranted to remedy a corn that has not responded to more conservative treatment measures. If you have painful corns on your feet, it is suggested that you visit a podiatrist.

Corns can make walking very painful and should be treated immediately. If you have questions regarding your feet and ankles, contact Dr. Catherine J. Minnick of Illinois. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Corns: What Are They? And How Do You Get Rid of Them?
Corns are thickened areas on the skin that can become painful. They are caused by excessive pressure and friction on the skin. Corns press into the deeper layers of the skin and are usually round in shape.

Ways to Prevent Corns
There are many ways to get rid of painful corns such as:

  • Wearing properly fitting shoes that have been measured by a professional
  • Wearing shoes that are not sharply pointed or have high heels
  • Wearing only shoes that offer support

Treating Corns

Although most corns slowly disappear when the friction or pressure stops, this isn’t always the case. Consult with your podiatrist to determine the best treatment option for your case of corns.

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

Read more about Understanding Corns and Calluses

Flip-flops, with their roomy design and flat soles, may seem better for your feet than other shoes. Unfortunately, they aren’t. In fact, frequently wearing flip-flops can greatly damage the health of your feet. Flip-flops lack support for the foot, and their loose design requires you to scrunch your toes to keep them on your feet as you walk. This can alter the way you walk, also known as your gait. Those who wear flip-flops frequently are more likely to walk with short strides and with their ankles turned overly inward. This walking pattern can increase the risk of developing ankle and hip pain. Frequent flip-flop use can also cause plantar fasciitis, a painful inflammation of the ligament that runs along the bottom of the foot, from the heel to the toes. For more information about the dangers of flip-flops, and to discover healthier footwear options, consult with a podiatrist.

Flip-flops are not always the best choice of footwear. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact Dr. Catherine J. Minnick from Illinois. Our doctor will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

Flip-Flops and Feet

When the weather starts warming up, people enjoy wearing flip-flops.  Flip-flops are comfortable, stylish, and easy to slip on and off; they're perfect for any summer beach goer.  However, these shoes can cause harm to the feet.

How Can Flip-Flops Affect Me Long-Term?

  • Ankle problems
  • Hip problems
  • Lower back problems
  • Pain in the balls of the feet
  • Problems with foot arches
  • Changes in the way you walk

Are There Injuries Associated with Flip-Flops?

Yes.  Since flip-flops are relatively weak and do not provide the same amount of support as sneakers, people who wear flip-flops regularly are more susceptible to injuries. On top of that, the open nature of the shoe makes your feet more prone to other problems, such as cuts and even infections.  Common injuries and ailments include:

  • Sprained ankles
  • Blisters
  • Infections
  • Cuts and Scrapes

I like Wearing Flip-Flops. Are There Safe Alternatives?

When buying flip-flops, try to find ones that have sturdy soles and that are made of high-quality materials that will support for your feet.  These flip-flops will cost more but will also last longer as a result.

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

Read more about Flip Flops and Feet
Monday, 05 October 2020 00:00

Why Does My Pinky Toe Hurt?

Despite its small size, an injury to the pinky toe can cause a lot of pain. Pinky toe pain is common, and can be caused by a large number of conditions. So why might your pinky toe be hurting? It could be broken. Stubbing your toe really hard or suffering a direct blow to the pinky from a heavy object can cause the bone to fracture. Symptoms of a broken pinky toe include a popping sound when the injury occurs, immediate throbbing pain that may fade after a few hours, difficulty putting weight on the affected foot, the pinky toe appearing misaligned, swelling, bruising, burning, or damage to the toenail. Other potential causes of pinky toe pain include a stress, avulsion, or Jones fracture, a dislocation, a sprain, a tailor’s bunion, a corn, or a pinky toe deformity like hammertoe. If you have pinky toe pain, it is suggested that you seek the care of a podiatrist for diagnosis and treatment. 

A broken toe can be very painful and lead to complications if not properly fixed. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact Dr. Catherine J. Minnick from Illinois. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What to Know About a Broken Toe

Although most people try to avoid foot trauma such as banging, stubbing, or dropping heavy objects on their feet, the unfortunate fact is that it is a common occurrence. Given the fact that toes are positioned in front of the feet, they typically sustain the brunt of such trauma. When trauma occurs to a toe, the result can be a painful break (fracture).

Symptoms of a Broken Toe

  • Throbbing pain
  • Swelling
  • Bruising on the skin and toenail
  • The inability to move the toe
  • Toe appears crooked or disfigured
  • Tingling or numbness in the toe

Generally, it is best to stay off of the injured toe with the affected foot elevated.

Severe toe fractures may be treated with a splint, cast, and in some cases, minor surgery. Due to its position and the pressure it endures with daily activity, future complications can occur if the big toe is not properly treated.

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

Read more about What to Know About a Broken Toe
Monday, 28 September 2020 00:00

All About Peripheral Artery Disease

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a condition characterized by poor blood flow to the lower extremities. This is caused by a buildup of a fatty substance called plaque in the blood vessels, and a narrowing of the arteries that supply blood to the lower limbs. The most common symptoms of PAD are cramping, pain, and tiredness in the legs, especially while walking. The symptoms typically subside during rest. The risk of developing PAD increases as you age. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and smoking may also increase your risk. If you are experiencing any symptoms of PAD or would like to know more, it is recommended that you visit a podiatrist who can diagnose and treat this condition.

Peripheral artery disease can pose a serious risk to your health. It can increase the risk of stroke and heart attack. If you have symptoms of peripheral artery disease, consult with Dr. Catherine J. Minnick from Illinois. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is when arteries are constricted due to plaque (fatty deposits) build-up. This results in less blood flow to the legs and other extremities. The main cause of PAD is atherosclerosis, in which plaque builds up in the arteries.

Symptoms

Symptoms of PAD include:

  • Claudication (leg pain from walking)
  • Numbness in legs
  • Decrease in growth of leg hair and toenails
  • Paleness of the skin
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Sores and wounds on legs and feet that won’t heel
  • Coldness in one leg

It is important to note that a majority of individuals never show any symptoms of PAD.

Diagnosis

While PAD occurs in the legs and arteries, Podiatrists can diagnose PAD. Podiatrists utilize a test called an ankle-brachial index (ABI). An ABI test compares blood pressure in your arm to you ankle to see if any abnormality occurs. Ultrasound and imaging devices may also be used.

Treatment

Fortunately, lifestyle changes such as maintaining a healthy diet, exercising, managing cholesterol and blood sugar levels, and quitting smoking, can all treat PAD. Medications that prevent clots from occurring can be prescribed. Finally, in some cases, surgery may be recommended.

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

Read more about Peripheral Artery Disease
Tuesday, 22 September 2020 00:00

Why Live with Pain and Numbness in Your Feet?

Suffering from this type of pain? You may have the foot condition known as Morton's neuroma. Morton's neuroma may develop as a result of ill-fitting footwear and existing foot deformities. We can help.

Monday, 21 September 2020 00:00

Causes of Cracked Heels

Deep cracks in the skin on the heel are known as fissures. They can be caused by standing on hard surfaces for long periods of time during the day, or from wearing shoes that have an open back. The skin can become dry, and the consistent pressure the heels endure for most of the day may cause this ailment to occur. Additionally, specific medical conditions including eczema and psoriasis may play a significant role in developing cracked heels. The severity of this condition may be prevented by frequently drinking plenty of fresh water, wearing shoes that have cushioned heel areas, and eliminating existing vitamin deficiencies. Relief may be found when a good moisturizer is applied to the affected area daily. If you have cracked heels, it is suggested that you speak with a podiatrist who can effectively treat this condition.

Cracked heels are unsightly and can cause further damage to your shoes and feet. If you have any concerns, contact Dr. Catherine J. Minnick from Illinois. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Cracked Heels

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.

Promote Healing

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 Chicago, IL. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Solutions for Cracked Heels
Monday, 14 September 2020 00:00

What Is Wrong With My Toe?

If you have noticed your second, third, or fourth toe has begun to bend in a downward shape, you may have a hammertoe. A hammertoe typically starts out as a mild deformity, however if left untreated, it can worsen over time and become more rigid. When a hammertoe is too rigid, non-surgical treatments such as a custom orthotic, may no longer be a viable option. Hammertoes can develop due to a muscle or tendon imbalance, as well as a previous trauma to the affected toe. For a proper diagnosis, please consult with a podiatrist.

Hammertoe

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

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 offices located in Chicago, IL. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Hammertoe
Tuesday, 08 September 2020 00:00

Why Is My Toenail Discolored?

A contagious foot condition that affects the toes is known as toenail fungus. One of the most common symptoms related to toenail fungus is the discoloration of the affected toenail. Toenails may have a whitish to yellowish spot on the affected toenail. When not treated promptly, the symptoms and fungus can easily spread from toe to toe. Other symptoms can include the nail thickening, becoming brittle and crumbly, or taking on a distorted shape. Fungus thrives in warm and moist environments, so it is important to ensure that you have the proper footwear on while in locations such as communal swimming pools or locker room areas. Wearing proper footwear may help to prevent you from getting this condition. For more advice on how to treat toenail fungus, please consult with a podiatrist.

For more information about treatment, contact Dr. Catherine J. Minnick of Illinois. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

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 Chicago, IL. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about How to Treat Your Toenail Fungus
Monday, 31 August 2020 00:00

The Consequences of Flat Feet

Flat feet refers to the absence of an arch in the middle of the sole of the foot. While some people are born with and continue to have flat feet for their entire lives, others acquire flat feet over time. As you age, your arches can slowly collapse and cause your feet to become flat. This can result in an uneven distribution of your body weight across the surface of your feet when you walk, which might then lead to pain in your feet, calves, knees, hips, and back. If your flat feet are causing you pain or discomfort, then treatment may be necessary. Common treatments for this condition include wearing orthotic devices or specialized footwear and doing foot stretches to strengthen the arch. If you are experiencing pain from flat feet, it is recommended that you seek the care of a podiatrist.

Flatfoot is a condition many people suffer from. If you have flat feet, contact Dr. Catherine J. Minnick from Illinois. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

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.  

Symptoms

  • 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

Treatment

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 Chicago, IL. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about What is Flexible Flat Foot?
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