Posts for category: podiatrist

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
October 18, 2016
Category: podiatrist

Foot X-Ray - Donna Barrese, DPM East Windsor Lawrenceville Foot & Ankle

The foot is a complex anatomical structure that supports the rest of the body. Its mechanics enable a broad range of actions including standing, squatting, walking, running, dancing, jumping, and more.

A crushing foot injury can affect bones, joints, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Diagnosing crush-type injuries requires great care to ensure every part of the foot is fully considered before beginning a treatment plan.
 

What Is A Crush Injury?

A foot injury can happen in many different scenarios, from something heavy falling onto the foot to an automobile accident trapping it and creating excessive pressure. It is a complicated injury that can result not only in broken bones but also soft tissue damage. Because nerves and muscles may also be affected, it's important to seek care for such an injury right away. A qualified physician specializing in podiatry – the branch of medicine that deals with the foot's anatomy and care – can fully assess the injury, treating it immediately and recommending an ongoing course of treatment until the foot has healed.
 

Examining and Treating a Foot Injury

A podiatrist will perform a thorough examination. This may include taking X-rays and possibly other forms of imaging, such as computerized tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). During the exam, the podiatrist will also do a visual inspection and conduct checks of the circulatory system, nerve sensation, and motor function.

If any fractures are detected, treatment may vary based on several factors. These include which bones are broken, the extent of the injury, what existing medical conditions the patient has, and whether or not a skin wound is present.

Treatments for fractures can involve buddy taping with an adjacent toe, casting, or surgery. Any wounds that are present will first need to be cleaned and bandaged to prevent infections.
 

Recovery and Therapy

Patients will need to follow doctors’ instructions carefully for the best possible outcome. Home care may include elevating the foot to minimize swelling, keeping wounds clean and dry, and taking pain medication to prevent infections.

Once the foot injury has healed, therapy may be required to regain any lost range of motion. Strength building may also be part of the regimen. Follow-up visits will be scheduled to monitor progress.

 

One of the most common reasons patients visit a foot and ankle doctor is for treatment of a bunion, which is a painful condition characterized by swelling of the joint on the big toe. Realignment of this joint causes a bony deformation at the base of the big toe. Fortunately, bunion pain can often be relieved with conservative treatment, but surgery is an option for more advanced cases.

 

Bunion Causes

The exact cause of bunions is unknown, but certain genetic factors may predispose patients to developing bunions. For example, people born with “flat feet” may be more likely to develop bunions as a result of their abnormal foot functioning. Other potential causes of the deformity include foot trauma, neuromuscular disorders, and limb-length discrepancies, a condition in which patients have one leg that’s longer than the other. Some people mistakenly believe that shoes can cause bunions; while this isn’t the case, uncomfortable or ill-fitting shoes can make bunion pain worse.

 

Bunion Treatment

Not every patient experiences bunion pain, but it can be debilitating for many. Except in severe cases, most doctors will take a conservative approach to bunion treatment by prescribing anti-inflammatory drugs and icing the joint. Some patients may be administered cortisone injections to relieve inflammation. Doctors may also suggest that patients rest frequently and wear wide shoes with supportive soles. Some patients may benefit from wearing custom orthotic braces that slow the progression of bunions while addressing underlying issues with foot functioning.

 

Surgery as a Treatment Option

If all of the above bunion treatments fail to address the pain, surgery may be recommended to correct the deformity. A bunionectomy procedure involves removing the bony growth and realigning the joint. For many people, the surgery successfully relieves pain and improves foot function. But as with any medical procedure, there are risks, and some people still experience pain after the surgery.

Schedule an appointment with your doctor to learn what bunion treatment option is best for you.