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North Andover (978) 686-7623
Tewksbury (978) 640-1010

November 2021

Tuesday, 30 November 2021 00:00

Cryotherapy for Plantar Warts

A wart on the sole of your foot, also known as a plantar wart, is a benign, fleshy growth that is caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). Plantar warts are often painless and can go away on their own, however, this is not always the case. Warts can cause pain or discomfort if they are in areas that bear a lot of weight, grow inward due to pressure, or rub against your shoes and socks. Without treatment, plantar warts can also take years to disappear. One potential treatment option is cryotherapy. This is a fairly simple procedure in which the doctor applies a liquid nitrogen solution on the wart, freezing it. A blister then forms around the wart within 24 hours and can be removed after about one week. Two cryotherapy sessions may be needed to fully remove the wart. For more information about this and other treatments for plantar warts, please consult with a podiatrist. 

Plantar warts can be very uncomfortable. If you need your feet checked, contact one of our podiatrists from Foot Health Center of Merrimack Valley. Our doctors will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

About Plantar Warts

Plantar warts are the result of HPV, or human papillomavirus, getting into open wounds on the feet. They are mostly found on the heels or balls of the feet.

While plantar warts are generally harmless, those experiencing excessive pain or those suffering from diabetes or a compromised immune system require immediate medical care. Plantar warts are easily diagnosed, usually through scraping off a bit of rough skin or by getting a biopsy.

Symptoms

  • Lesions on the bottom of your feet, usually rough and grainy
  • Hard or thick callused spots
  • Wart seeds, which are small clotted blood vessels that look like little black spots
  • Pain, discomfort, or tenderness of your feet when walking or standing

Treatment

  • Freezing
  • Electric tool removal
  • Laser Treatment
  • Topical Creams (prescription only)
  • Over-the-counter medications

To help prevent developing plantar warts, avoid walking barefoot over abrasive surfaces that can cause cuts or wounds for HPV to get into. Avoiding direct contact with other warts, as well as not picking or rubbing existing warts, can help prevent the further spread of plantar warts. However, if you think you have developed plantar warts, speak to your podiatrist. He or she can diagnose the warts on your feet and recommend the appropriate treatment options.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in North Andover, and Tewksbury, MA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Plantar Warts
Tuesday, 23 November 2021 00:00

What Can Be Done to Treat Bunions?

Bunions are bony growths that appear along the outside of the foot at the base of the big toe joint. They are thought to occur in response to excess pressure and friction on the toes from wearing ill-fitting shoes, as well as due to a genetic predisposition for bunions. This common toe deformity can be painful, as the bunions rub against shoes and cause the big toe to move out of alignment and towards the smaller toes. There are a variety of treatment methods available for bunions. Conservative methods can be prescribed to manage the symptoms of a bunion. These may include wearing wider, more supportive shoes, wearing orthotics such as toe stretchers, splints, or bunion pads, taking over-the-counter medications to reduce pain, and applying ice to the bunion to decrease inflammation. Bunions can be removed permanently through surgery. If you have painful bunions, talk to your podiatrist about potential treatment options today. 

If you are suffering from bunions, contact one of our podiatrists of Foot Health Center of Merrimack Valley. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is a Bunion?

A bunion is formed of swollen tissue or an enlargement of boney growth, usually located at the base joint of the toe that connects to the foot. The swelling occurs due to the bones in the big toe shifting inward, which impacts the other toes of the foot. This causes the area around the base of the big toe to become inflamed and painful.

Why Do Bunions Form?

Genetics – Susceptibility to bunions are often hereditary

Stress on the feet – Poorly fitted and uncomfortable footwear that places stress on feet, such as heels, can worsen existing bunions

How Are Bunions Diagnosed?

Doctors often perform two tests – blood tests and x-rays – when trying to diagnose bunions, especially in the early stages of development. Blood tests help determine if the foot pain is being caused by something else, such as arthritis, while x-rays provide a clear picture of your bone structure to your doctor.

How Are Bunions Treated?

  • Refrain from wearing heels or similar shoes that cause discomfort
  • Select wider shoes that can provide more comfort and reduce pain
  • Anti-inflammatory and pain management drugs
  • Orthotics or foot inserts
  • Surgery

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in North Andover, and Tewksbury, MA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Bunions
Thursday, 18 November 2021 00:00

Reminder: When Was the Last Time...?

Custom orthotics, or shoe inserts, should be periodically replaced. Orthotics must fit properly to give you the best results. Protect your feet and ankles!

Tuesday, 16 November 2021 00:00

The Basics of Diabetic Foot Care

If you or someone you take care of has diabetes, there are a number of preventative practices that should be implemented to help keep your feet healthy and to avoid serious complications down the road. Shoes and socks should be worn during waking hours, even around the house. Check to make sure shoes fit properly and that there are no rough edges that will scrape against or cause a disturbance in the skin. Examine the feet daily. Early detection of any break in the skin will help avoid the injury from developing into a wound. Keep the feet clean and dry and the toenails trimmed straight across. Toenail length should be level with the tips of the toes, but not too short in order to prevent the nail from growing into the skin. Finally, any diabetic should be under the care of a podiatrist who can help them maintain proper foot health and manage any complications should they arise.

Diabetic foot care is important in preventing foot ailments such as ulcers. If you are suffering from diabetes or have any other concerns about your feet, contact one of our podiatrists from Foot Health Center of Merrimack Valley. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Diabetic Foot Care

Diabetes affects millions of people every year. The condition can damage blood vessels in many parts of the body, especially the feet. Because of this, taking care of your feet is essential if you have diabetes, and having a podiatrist help monitor your foot health is highly recommended.

The Importance of Caring for Your Feet

  • Routinely inspect your feet for bruises or sores.
  • Wear socks that fit your feet comfortably.
  • Wear comfortable shoes that provide adequate support.

Patients with diabetes should have their doctor monitor their blood levels, as blood sugar levels play such a huge role in diabetic care. Monitoring these levels on a regular basis is highly advised.

It is always best to inform your healthcare professional of any concerns you may have regarding your feet, especially for diabetic patients. Early treatment and routine foot examinations are keys to maintaining proper health, especially because severe complications can arise if proper treatment is not applied.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in North Andover, and Tewksbury, MA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Diabetic Foot Care
Tuesday, 09 November 2021 00:00

What Causes Blisters and Why They Form

Blisters form between layers of injured skin as a way of cushioning the injury and protecting it from further damage. When friction or some other irritant damages the upper layer of skin (epidermis), it can tear away from underlying layers of skin. The space that is created between the layers then fills up with fluid (serum). Most blisters occur as a result of friction caused by ill-fitting shoes or socks. Other causes of blisters include burns, frostbite, irritants such as insect bites, chemicals and other toxins. Medical conditions like diabetic neuropathy and eczema, as well as certain autoimmune deficiencies, can weaken the outer layer of skin which increases the risk of blisters forming. Aside from removing pressure from the affected area, it is best to leave a blister alone to allow it to heal naturally, which usually happens within a few days. However, if the blister worsens by becoming discolored or excessively inflamed, it may indicate that an infection is present and a podiatrist should be consulted right away.

Blisters may appear as a single bubble or in a cluster. They can cause a lot of pain and may be filled with pus, blood, or watery serum. If your feet are hurting, contact one of our podiatrists of Foot Health Center of Merrimack Valley. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Foot Blisters

Foot blisters are often the result of friction. This happens due to the constant rubbing from shoes, which can lead to pain.

What Are Foot Blisters?

A foot blister is a small fluid-filled pocket that forms on the upper-most layer of the skin. Blisters are filled with clear fluid and can lead to blood drainage or pus if the area becomes infected.

Symptoms

(Blister symptoms may vary depending on what is causing them)

  • Bubble of skin filled with fluid
  • Redness
  • Moderate to severe pain
  • Itching

Prevention & Treatment

In order to prevent blisters, you should be sure to wear comfortable shoes with socks that cushion your feet and absorb sweat. Breaking a blister open may increase your chances of developing an infection. However, if your blister breaks, you should wash the area with soap and water immediately and then apply a bandage to the affected area. If your blisters cause severe pain it is important that you call your podiatrist right away.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in North Andover, and Tewksbury, MA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Blisters

When the ligaments that hold the ankle in place and connect the bones together become overstretched or torn, an ankle sprain may occur. They are one of the most common injuries of the ankle, and they usually happen when stepping on uneven surfaces causes the ankle to twist too much. This results in the ankle swelling and becoming bruised. You may also have difficulty walking. Because the symptoms of an ankle sprain are similar to that of a broken ankle, patients who believe that they have sprained their ankle should have it examined by a podiatrist. A podiatrist will be able to take an X-ray to check for broken bones, and they can check for less common injuries such as an avulsion fracture, high ankle sprain, or a lower leg fracture.

Ankle sprains are common but need immediate attention. If you need your feet checked, contact one of our podiatrists from Foot Health Center of Merrimack Valley. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

How Does an Ankle Sprain Occur?

Ankle sprains take place when the ligaments in your ankle are torn or stretched beyond their limits. There are multiple ways that the ankle can become injured, including twisting or rolling over onto your ankle, putting undue stress on it, or causing trauma to the ankle itself.

What Are the Symptoms?

  • Mild to moderate bruising
  • Limited mobility
  • Swelling
  • Discoloration of the skin (depending on severity)

Preventing a Sprain

  • Wearing appropriate shoes for the occasion
  • Stretching before exercises and sports
  • Knowing your limits

Treatment of a Sprain

Treatment of a sprain depends on the severity.  Many times, people are told to rest and remain off their feet completely, while others are given an air cast. If the sprain is very severe, surgery may be required.

If you have suffered an ankle sprain previously, you may want to consider additional support such as a brace and regular exercises to strengthen the ankle.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in North Andover, and Tewksbury, MA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Ankle Sprains
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