By Dr. Donna Barrese
February 23, 2017
Category: podiatrist
Tags: foot corns  

Photo Of A Woman After Trying Corn And Callus Remedies - Donna Barrese, DPM East Windsor Lawrenceville Foot & Ankle BlogFoot corns and calluses are unsightly at best and painful at worst. The thickened, rough skin can even lead to the inability to wear certain types of shoes or problems with mobility. Calluses tend to form on the bottom of the feet, while corns are most common on the smooth skin at the top of the toes. The good news, though, is that home care strategies can help banish these bothersome foot issues. Try these simple tips, many of which use materials you likely already have in your kitchen or medicine cabinet.


Preventing Corns and Calluses

These issues have a range of causes, including improperly fitting footwear, socks that cause friction, flat feet, bunions, gait problems, athletic activities, structural issues, high arches, and obesity. Those who find they are prone to corns and calluses should stop wearing the offending shoes and pad the callus with gauze to reduce pressure on that area of the foot. Medicated pads available over-the-counter can help soften corns and calluses. Proper foot hygiene, including regular cleaning and moisturizing, can also be beneficial. Try soaking the affected foot in warm water and then rubbing the area with a pumice stone. Go barefoot whenever possible until the callus disappears. Additional home remedies including soaking the feet in apple cider vinegar for 15 minutes; rubbing vitamin A or E oil on the affected areas and leaving it for three minutes; sleeping with a slice of lemon peel over the area inside a cotton sock; or soaking in Epsom salts.


When Removal Is Required

If a corn or callus becomes painful, a podiatrist can recommend additional treatment options. These often include orthotics that can help compensate for issues like flat feet or high arches that contribute to the development of corns and calluses. In some cases, the thickened skin will have to be removed. Never attempt to remove a callus at home with a scalpel or razor blade, as this could lead to injury or infection. Those with diabetes should always consult a podiatrist if they have food corns or calluses, which could be a sign of a circulation problem that can lead to infection and even amputation if left untreated.

If foot corns and calluses are a chronic problem, talk to a podiatrist. He or she can examine your feet and recommend effective treatment strategies.

By Dr. Donna Barrese
February 10, 2017
Category: podiatrist
Tags: podiatrist  

If an individual has been suffering from Type 1 Diabetes or was recently diagnosed with Type 2, he or she may typically be most concerned with diet and insulin. While this is very important, people with diabetes may also lose sensitivity in their feet due to nerve damage and poor circulation, and in the worst case scenarios, they may require amputation. It is recommended that individuals adhere to frequent checkups with a podiatrist to prevent such drastic treatments.

Image of microscopic vasculitic neuropathy

What is Neuropathy?

When one suffers nerve damage, it can reduce the foot's ability to feel pain or secrete its natural oils to prevent dryness and cracking. The excessive levels of blood sugar in diabetes may cause this condition, which leads to a vicious cycle that can severely damage the feet.

While one may experience pain even with neuropathy, he or she may not feel fluid buildups, or even a sharp object inside the shoe, which can cause consistent damage. If a patient leaves this untreated, the effects of low blood circulation and potential infections may leave patients with no choice but amputation. However, one may take many preventative measures to avoid such a dire outcome.

How to Take Preventative Measures

Understanding the risk of diabetes and its effect on your feet is the first step to avoiding serious issues. Additionally, routine steps can help improve the health of feet.

- Find the right podiatrist and follow their recommendations for individual care.

- Wear quality compression socks or stockings to increase blood flow and reduce fluid buildup.

- If skin starts drying out and peeling, the individual should use a thin layer of hand cream or petroleum jelly to keep in the moisture after a shower. However, patients should not soak feet for extended periods of time or apply the cream to the area between toes.

- Check for calluses and use a pumice stone after showering to remove the dead skin. Do not cut calluses open as they may turn into ulcers or cause an infection.

- Engage in regular aerobic exercise to promote circulation, but avoid overly strenuous activities such as running and jumping. Focus on cleanliness and foot care to make the most of this routine.

Always double check and seek an appointment with a podiatrist to answer any additional questions and determine if there are other precautions to take.

By Dr. Donna Barrese
January 17, 2017
Category: treatments
Tags: bunion treatment  

feetA bunion is a deformity in which a hardened, bony bump forms on the joint in the big toe. A bunion often causes long-term discomfort such as pain, swelling, and stiffness. While bunion pads, pain medications, and avoiding tight shoes may help to alleviate discomfort, a surgical bunion treatment, known as a bunionectomy, may be necessary to remove the deformity. The extent of the procedure will be determined by degree of the deformity, but it is generally done on as an outpatient surgery. Usually, the patient is given a regional anesthesia but remains awake and possibly sedated.


Who Should Consider a Bunionectomy?

Since potential risks and discomfort associated with post-surgery recovery is possible with surgical bunion treatment, patients should consider non-surgical options for pain relief first. A podiatrist may first suggest wider shoes to allow more room for the toes. Pads and supports placed in the shoe for foot protection and pain relief might also be recommended. However, if the patient finds that they still experience pain and difficulty walking despite the switch to adaptive footwear, they should consider surgery in order to regain their quality of life.

Qualifications for Surgical Bunion Treatment

Candidates for surgical bunion treatment have severe pain that limits their daily activities, inflammation or swelling of the big toe that does not subside with the use of medication or with rest, and stiffness in the big toe that prevents bending. Patients with a big toe that is drifting in toward the smaller toes may also be candidates for surgery.

When to Reconsider Getting a Bunionectomy

Patients should reconsider getting a bunionectomy if their main objective is to wear slim shoes again or to improve the appearance of their feet. In many cases, a person may find that they're still unable to wear the desired shoes after a surgical bunion treatment, and there's always a chance that this deformity may return if the foot is once again subjected to narrow shoes. Also, some patients will determine that fixing a purely cosmetic issue is not worth the weeks or months of post-surgery recovery and rehabilitation. Generally, bunions that are not painful do not require surgery.

Anyone dealing with the discomfort associated with this bone deformity may be a candidate for bunionectomy, but it is important that individuals carefully consider and discusses the best foot treatment options for their personal needs with a qualified podiatrist or physician.

By Dr. Donna Barrese
December 28, 2016
Category: treatments
Tags: Foot Care   Aging  
As people age, foot problems become more apparent due to several reasons. Diseases, poorly trimmed toenails, unfitting shoes, and poor blood flow can lead to several foot problems. Some foot problems could be symptoms of conditions, such as arthritis, diabetes and nerve disorders. With proper foot care and seeking the services of a podiatrist, it is possible to keep the feet healthy and avoid some conditions. Here are a few tips for taking care of the feet.

1. Regular Checkups

An important part of proper foot care is having a podiatrist to check the feet regularly. A check up can help to detect certain conditions or problems while they are still mild. If there is a corn, bunion, callus, blister, scrape or a cut in the foot, it is necessary to visit a doctor. Some people may attempt to treat conditions, such as corns, with over-the-counter medications; however, this is not advisable.

2. Keep the Feet Soft and Smooth

It is necessary to wash the feet daily and dry them well using cornstarch or powder. Gently applying a layer of lotion or jelly helps to keep the legs soft and prevent dry skin. Moisturizing the feet several times a day is important, especially during the winter months. When washing the legs, it's advisable to use warm water with liquid soap. Those who love soaking their feet should avoid Epsom salts as they can be somewhat drying.

3. Pick the Right Shoes

Since older people are more vulnerable to different foot problems, wearing the right shoes with maximum support is a good precautionary measure. Flat shoes and flip flops do not provide adequate arch support. Those who have shoes that lack enough arch support should try to minimize the time they wear them. A podiatrist can help with choosing the right shoes for a patient. Additionally, it is wise to have alternate shoes to wear every day and to change socks or stockings more than once in a day.

4. Exercises

Simple exercises, such as walking, swimming, and bicycling, can help to strengthen the muscles and improve health. As a result, blood circulation improves. Having a gentle foot massage improves circulation in the lower extremities. It is also good for people who have plantar fasciitis and flat feet.
While aging, foot care should be a continuous process. People should avoid spending a lot of time in shoes as this encourages bacterial and fungal infections. Whenever there is any physical change in the feet, making an appointment with a podiatrist for a diagnosis is necessary.


By Dr. Donna Barrese
December 15, 2016
Category: treatments
Tags: Diabetes   Foot Disorders  

Excess glucose in the blood resulting from diabetes can cause poor circulation and nerve damage. As a result, foot disorders may occur. Nerve damage can cause the patient to lose feeling in the feet, as the nerves may not send signals to the brain. Poor blood flow makes it much harder for foot problems to heal. Here are a few tips to minimize the swelling and help avoid trips to the podiatrist.


1. Compression Socks and Bandages

Wearing compression stockings or bandages exerts pressure to the foot to reduce fluid buildup. This pressure allows the flue to flow to the lymphatic system and also enhances the flow of blood. Diabetes patients with edema can wear mild compression stockings to reduce foot and calf swelling without imperiling vascularity. A patient can seek the help of a podiatrist to select the right socks.


2. Regular Exercises

Diabetic individuals can engage in physical activities that are easy on the feet. Some of these activities include swimming, bicycling, dancing and walking. It is advisable to avoid activities that are rough on the feet such as jumping and running. Aerobic exercises help to improve blood flow and the health of the feet.


3. Proper Shoes Are Important

Wearing shoes that fit well helps to prevent foot issues that will prolong swelling. The shoes should have ample toe room. Diabetics should not wear pointed or heel shoes as they put pressure on the toes. Plastic or vinyl shoes are not appropriate options because they don't stretch and have poor aeration. A podiatrist will recommend athletic or walking shoes as they offer great support.


4. Keep the Feet Healthy and Clean

The feet should be washed every day with warm water and dried well to keep them clean and healthy. The areas between the toes should be dry and patients can use cornstarch or talcum powder to dry them. After drying the feet, it is advisable to apply a thin layer of cream, petroleum jelly or lotion to the feet to keep them soft and smooth. Those who have calluses and corns should not cut them as this damages the skin.


Other ways to reduce swelling include avoiding salt intake to avoid swelling and elevating the legs to drain excess fluids. Proper foot care is important for diabetics to prevent worsening of any foot issues. Patients should always make an appointment with a podiatrist when there are physical changes.

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