What is a plantar wart?

A wart is a skin lesion caused by a virus infection. The virus infects the skin through a small or microscopic cut or tear in the skin and causes a true "skin tumor" to grow. Warts do not have roots as is commonly believed and do not grow any deeper than the skin. The "seeds" some people see are actually the ends of the capillaries that bring blood to the wart. It is easy, even for a physician, at times, to mistake a wart and a corn. For more information, please see the article on warts.

How should I trim my toe nails?

The old story about trimming the nails "straight across" is not exactly true. If your nails are normal, you should be able to trim them, similar to your fingernails, with a curvature that comes close to matching the shape of the end of your toe. You should not try cutting down into the corners. You may smooth the rough edge of the nail with an emery board.

Why do I have an ingrown toe nail?

Most of the ingrown toe nails occur on the big toe but they may also occur on the smaller toes. Some people are simply predisposed to ingrown toe nails. The toe nails will change their shape over the years from both age and shoe wearing until they may be more likely to grow in. Too tight socks, hose or shoes along with improper trimming may also contribute to ingrown toe nails. Nails which are painful should be seen by your podiatrist.

Can I soak my feet?

Yes, but: Do not soak in hot water. Warm is sufficient. If you are Diabetic, then tepid is best (95 to 100 degrees F) Do not soak in chemicals. Clorox is particularly drying to skin, as are Epsom salts. Over the counter soothing salts or soaking powders are ok.

What shoes should I wear?

To rephrase: proper fit is more important than a "proper brand" or a "proper style". Each and every time you buy shoes, you should stand on a Brannock measuring device. Both feet should be measured and the largest one fitted for. Feet will grow longer and wider during a lifetime, sometimes by as much as 1½ sizes due to the loosening of the ligaments, so sizing each time you buy shoes is important. Your feet are at their largest in the evening, and so you should buy shoes later in the day if at all possible. If the shoes are not comfortable at the time of the purchase, it will not get any better and could actually cause a problem.

What causes toe nail thickening?

Injury can cause a toe nail to become thickened and/or deformed. This can either be in the form of an acute injury or what is termed repetitive micro-trauma. For instance, years of wearing shoes where, with each step, a small amount of nail injury occurs and is additive over the years. Infection with toe nail fungus can also cause thick and often yellow discolored and crumbly toe nails. A nail fungus is often treatable if not too advanced. Several other conditions can cause nail deformity, such as poor circulation, psoriasis, and others.

What is an ankle sprain?

An abnormal twisting of the ankle, either inward or outward, can cause stretching or tearing of the supportive ligaments about the ankle joint. When these ligaments are injured, they can bleed, causing bruising and swelling, and pain. X-rays are often taken to rule out a fracture. Depending on the severity of the sprain, the treatment can range from RICE to cast immobilization and non-weight bearing.

The principles of RICE should actually be applied at the first injury until a podiatrist is seen. What is RICE? Rice is an acronym to help us remember a treatment plan for an injury.
Rest: get off the injured part and allow it to rest
Ice: apply ice. This will help prevent swelling and also is a good topical pain killer. Ice on for 20 min, off for 20.
Compression: Ace wraps or an ankle support wrap.
Elevation: elevation reduces pain and swelling.

What are some DO's and DON'T's for diabetics

DO inspect your feet daily for blisters, bleeding, red irritated areas on your feet or between your toes. Dont' forget to check the bottoms. If you cannot clearly see the bottom of your feet - use a mirror.
DON'T go barefoot. Wear shoes or slippers with a good protective sole.
DON'T wear sandals or open toes shoes.
DO wear properly fitted shoes.
DON'T soak in HOT water, it can burn a diabetic. DO use tepid water if you soak your feet. DON'T soak in harsh chemicals.
DON'T use acid wart removers, chemical ingrown toe nail removers or chemical corn and callus removers.
DON'T perform "bathroom" surgery on corns, calluses or ingrown toe nails. Consult your podiatrist immediately if you notice anything unusual such as redness, swelling, or pain occurring in your feet. There are 798,000 new cases of diabetes diagnosed each year. Each day approximately 2,200 people are diagnosed with diabetes.

What can I do for swollen feet?

Ask any pregnant woman about swollen feet and you will get a definite look of disgust. Swollen feet can be more uncomfortable than many of the other common ailments that come with pregnancy. However, swollen feet are not the private domain of pregnant woman. Anyone who is alive, stands up while working, crosses their legs, or wears shoes, can develop swollen feet. What's the cure? Whenever possible put your feet up on a stool (such as while watching television), don't wear tight fitting shoes, and instead of standing in one place, walk around whenever possible.

Avon Podiatry
Avon Station Medical Center
8244 E. US Highway 36, suite 120
Avon, Indiana 46123



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