What is a Podiatrist?
What Is a Podiatrist?
A podiatrist is a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM). Podiatrists are specialists that diagnose and treat all aspects of the foot, ankle, and related structures of the leg.
What Are the Qualifications of a Podiatrist?
Podiatrists are the most qualified doctors to care for your feet. After completing a four year undergraduate degree in science, they then need to complete four years of studies and clinical training in a podiatric medical school. They then need to further their training in a hospital based residency program for several more years. This training parallels that of other doctors.
A Plea For Diabetes
Diabetes is no joke. If you are a diabetic or someone you love is, it is so important to have a podiatrist. Diabetes is a sneaky disease. It can slowly wreak havoc on your body unless you are attentive to it. Following with your primary doctor or an endocrinologist, and getting regular bloodwork is imperative as is taking your medication, and following a diabetic diet.
Diabetes affects the blood flow to the feet as well as the sensation to the feet. This combination puts the diabetic foot in danger because a simple blister or corn that a diabetic does not feel, can advance to an ulcer. The ulcer then has trouble healing because of diabetes and poor circulation and can easily progress to the bone. Once bone is involved, it does not respond well to antibiotics and often amputation will follow.
Every year, 70,000 American diabetics lose a leg to diabetes. Even worse is the mortality statistic that follows. 50% of those with an amputation will die within 5 years. The good news is that most complications related to diabetes can be avoided with preventative care. If a problem does arise, like a foot infection, prompt attention can save your limb and your life.
If you are a diabetic, please make an appointment. We would love to see you and get to know you so that if you do have a problem, you know where to go. Diabetics without foot concerns should be seen by a podiatrist once a year. Diabetics with concerns will be seen more often. If you are diabetic, please be extra attentive to your feet. If you have a concern, please don’t hesitate to call!
Each foot has 26 bones…your feet have ¼ of all the ones in your body!
We take 8,000-10,000 steps every day. No wonder your feet hurt sometimes.
Nail fungus is stubborn. Home remedies rarely work but prescription medication does. Better yet, peeling, cracking skin about the toes is often skin fungus that can find its way under the nail. Cure it here before it progresses to the nail.
Shoe size for men and women increases slightly with age. Ligaments, which connect bones together, naturally stretch over time. This is especially noticeable with pregnancy as the same hormones that prepare the body for delivery, also loosen the ligaments in the feet.
There are 250,000 sweat glands in the feet. Sweaty feet allows for bacteria to grow and hence the odor. Wash feet daily with a deodorant soap, use underarm deodorant and foot powder on the feet and it will stop the sweat and the odor. If that doesn’t help, a prescription drying agent may be needed.
Your shoes did not cause your bunions. Blame your relatives! Bunions develop because of your foot type which is genetic. Your shoes may aggravate the condition, but they did not cause it.
Nail salons have become a staple to the Northeast Philadelphia landscape. Over the last 20 years, they have popped up on every block. The problem is, you can’t know if they are following proper techniques, taking proper care of their instruments, and following protocol for cleanliness. If you are going to have a pedicure, here is what you need to know.
Know when to say no to a pedicure. If you currently have any infections, cuts, or open sores on your legs, feet, or toenails, skip the salon since these will make you even more vulnerable to problems and possibly spread your problems to others. For those with certain conditions like poor circulation and diabetes, the risk may be too high for a salon pedicure. The doctors at Northeast Family Foot Care will be able to tell you if it is safe for you. If pedicures are not safe for you, most insurances will allow for your nails and calluses to be professionally trimmed about every 2 months.
Avoid shaving your legs for a day or two before your pedicure. Shaving can leave tiny nicks in your skin (even if you can’t see them) and increase the chance of infection. It’s fine to shave afterward.
Stick with a salon that is clean and practices impeccable sanitation. Ask! Reputable salons will be more than happy to show you how they operate. Foot baths should be cleaned and disinfected between customers. Clippers and other tools should be washed and sanitized in a disinfecting solution or a surgical autoclave.
Nail techicians have no medical background. Don’t hesitate to speak up if you don’t like what the technician is doing — your health is too important.
Skip any services that can injure the skin. Ask the technician not to cut the cuticles. The cuticle serves as a protective barrier between the skin and the nail. Disrupting that barrier allows for bacteria and fungus to sneak into the skin and cause infections. A gentle pushing back of the cuticle is acceptable. Nails should be cut straight across but make sure edges are not sharp. They should be gently rounded off with a file.
Request gentle pampering. Pumice stones or abrasive tools are okay for calluses and rough areas, but ask the technician to be very gentle. Vigorous scrubbing is not necessary and can easily scratch or leave microscopic tears in the skin, making you more susceptible to infection. Never, ever, allow a technician to use a sharp blade to your calluses.
For those of you who choose not to go to a salon for a pedicure, Northeast Family Foot Care does have a licensed pedicurist to pamper your feet. Please ask when calling if you are interested in this service.
Tips to Keep Your Feet
Healthy This Winter
In Philadelphia, the winter weather keeps us guessing. Will Christmas day be 65 degrees? Will we get snow for the Mummer’s Parade? Chances we WILL be COLD for January and February. Be sure to keep your feet happy!
Boots are must! Be sure to have a good pair of boots with rubber soles to handle icy sidewalks, salt, and snow. However, between the waterproof material of the boots themselves and the warm socks you wear to keep toes toasty, you may find your feet sweat a lot. Damp, sweaty feet can chill more easily and are more prone to bacterial infections. To keep feet clean and dry, use foot powder inside socks.
Be size smart. It may be tempting to boots for kids in a slightly larger size, hoping they will be able to get two seasons of wear out of them. But unlike coats that kids can grow into, footwear needs to fit properly right away. Properly fitted skates and boots can help prevent blisters, chafing, and ankle or foot injuries. That goes for you grown-ups too! Those boots you bought 10 years ago might not be the right fit anymore as your feet do change over time.
Committed runners don't need to let the cold stop them. A variety of warm, light-weight, moisture-wicking active wear available at most running or sporting goods stores helps ensure runners stay warm and dry in bitter temperatures. However, some runners may compensate for icy conditions by altering how their foot strikes the ground. Instead of changing your footstrike pattern, shorten your stride to help maintain stability. And remember, it's more important than ever to stretch before you begin your run. Cold weather can make you less flexible in winter than you are in summer, so it's important to warm muscles up before running.
Are you headed to the Poconos? Never ski or snowboard in footwear other than ski boots specifically designed for that purpose. Make sure your boots fit properly. You should be able to wiggle your toes, but the boots should immobilize the heel, instep, and ball of your foot. If needed, you can use orthotics (support devices that go inside shoes) to help control the foot's movement inside ski boots or ice skates.