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If you’re suffering from an urgent foot or ankle condition that requires immediate care, please contact our office to schedule an appointment. Avoid your local hospital or urgent care facility, and reduce the stress on your local emergency healthcare workers. Our practice is here to care for your urgent foot or ankle condition.

Reisterstown | Columbia

August 2020

Monday, 31 August 2020 00:00

What Caused My Cracked Heels?

Dry, cracked heels can have a variety of different causes. Standing for prolonged periods of time, especially on a hard floor, wearing thin-soled shoes, or obesity, can increase pressure on the heel, causing cracks to appear. Conditions such as eczema, atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, palmoplantar keratoderma, and juvenile plantar dermatosis affect the skin of the feet and could increase the risk of developing cracked heels. Certain systemic conditions, like diabetes or neuropathy, can make one more likely to develop cracks and may make it more difficult to feel those cracks due to a loss in sensation in the feet. Another common cause of dry, cracked heels is footwear without a proper back, such as open sandals and flip-flops, because they expose your heels to the elements and don’t provide adequate support. If you have dry, cracked heels that are causing you pain or discomfort, please seek the care of a podiatrist.

Cracked heels are unsightly and can cause further damage to your shoes and feet. If you have any concerns, contact Dr. Mark Spier from Maryland. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Cracked Heels

Cracked heels appear unappealing and can make it harder for you walk around in sandals. Aside from looking unpleasant, cracked heels can also tear stockings, socks, and wear out your shoes. There are several methods to help restore a cracked heel and prevent further damage.

How Do You Get Them?

Dry skin is the number one culprit in creating cracked heels. Many athletes, walkers, joggers, and even swimmers suffer from cracked heels. Age and skin oil production play a role to getting cracked heels as well.

Promote Healing

Over the counter medicines can help, especially for those that need instant relief or who suffer from chronic dry feet.

Wear Socks – Wearing socks with medicated creams helps lock in moisture.

Moisturizers – Applying both day and night will help alleviate dryness which causes cracking.

Pumice Stones – These exfoliate and remove dead skin, which allows for smoother moisturizer application and better absorption into the skin. 

Change in Diet

Eating healthy with a well-balanced diet will give the skin a fresh and radiant look. Your body responds to the kinds of food you ingest. Omega-3 fatty acids and zinc supplements can also revitalize skin tissue.

Most importantly, seek professional help if unsure how to proceed in treating cracked heels. A podiatrist will help you with any questions or information needed. 

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

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Monday, 24 August 2020 00:00

The Two Types of Plantar Warts

Plantar warts are warts that appear on the bottom of the feet. They are caused by the human papillomavirus, also known as HPV. A plantar wart may resemble a callus, as it is characterized by tough, thick tissue. It may cause pain while you stand or walk, or when any pressure is applied to it. Tiny black dots, which are actually dried blood contained in tiny blood vessels, often appear on the surface of plantar warts. There are two types of plantar warts. Solitary plantar warts are single warts that appear on their own and slowly increase in size. They may eventually multiply, forming additional warts. Mosaic plantar warts are a cluster of several small warts that grow together in the same area, and are usually more difficult to treat. If you have plantar warts, it is strongly recommended that you visit a podiatrist for treatment.

Plantar warts can be very uncomfortable. If you need your feet checked, contact Dr. Mark Spier from Maryland. Our doctor 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 Columbia and Reisterstown, MD. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Monday, 17 August 2020 00:00

All About Bunions

Bunions are a deformity of the toe joint that cause the big toe to move towards the other toes. The most common complaints of people with bunions are pain, a prominent bulge on the side of their foot, and difficulty wearing shoes. Bunions tend to get progressively worse over time, so it is important to seek medical care. A podiatrist diagnoses bunions by examining the foot, and may then take an X-ray to determine the severity of the condition. The doctor may recommend conservative care to manage the symptoms, or surgery to correct the deformity. If you suspect you have a bunion, it is recommended that you speak with a podiatrist who can diagnose and treat your condition.

If you are suffering from bunions, contact Dr. Mark Spier of Maryland. Our doctor 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 Columbia and Reisterstown, MD. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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If you are suffering from tenderness, pain, or stiffness in the joints of your feet or ankles, call us to schedule an appointment.

Monday, 10 August 2020 00:00

How Does Morton's Neuroma Feel?

Morton’s neuroma is a condition which causes swelling along a nerve in the foot. The affected nerve is typically between the third and fourth toes, or the second and third toes. The symptoms of this condition include tingling, burning, numbness, pain, and the sensation that you are stepping on something inside your shoe. Symptoms typically begin gradually, often while wearing narrow shoes or performing certain physical activities, and go away with rest. However, as the condition progresses, the symptoms may worsen and persist for days or even weeks as the swelling along the nerve enlarges. If you are experiencing the symptoms of Morton’s neuroma, it is recommended that you seek the care of a podiatrist.

Morton’s neuroma is a very uncomfortable condition to live with. If you think you have Morton’s neuroma, contact Dr. Mark Spier of Maryland. Our doctor will attend to all of your foot care needs and answer any of your related questions.  

Morton’s Neuroma

Morton's neuroma is a painful foot condition that commonly affects the areas between the second and third or third and fourth toe, although other areas of the foot are also susceptible. Morton’s neuroma is caused by an inflamed nerve in the foot that is being squeezed and aggravated by surrounding bones.

What Increases the Chances of Having Morton’s Neuroma?

  • Ill-fitting high heels or shoes that add pressure to the toe or foot
  • Jogging, running or any sport that involves constant impact to the foot
  • Flat feet, bunions, and any other foot deformities

Morton’s neuroma is a very treatable condition. Orthotics and shoe inserts can often be used to alleviate the pain on the forefront of the feet. In more severe cases, corticosteroids can also be prescribed. In order to figure out the best treatment for your neuroma, it’s recommended to seek the care of a podiatrist who can diagnose your condition and provide different treatment options.

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

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Monday, 03 August 2020 00:00

All About Broken Toes

The pain that is experienced with a broken toe can be debilitating. It may be difficult to walk, and any pressure that is exerted on the toe can cause severe pain and discomfort. A common cause of a broken toe is stubbing it against a piece of furniture. Additionally, if a heavy object is dropped on it, the result may be a fractured toe. Symptoms can include bruising of the toe and surrounding areas, and in severe cases, the toe may look deformed. In many cases effective treatment can consist of using a method that is referred to as buddy taping. This consists of taping the affected toe to the toe next to it, and this is often helpful in providing the stability that is necessary as the healing process occurs. If you feel you may have a broken toe, it is suggested that you confer with a podiatrist who can offer you correct treatment options.

Ingrown toenails can become painful if they are not treated properly. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact Dr. Mark Spier of Maryland. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails occur when a toenail grows sideways into the bed of the nail, causing pain, swelling, and possibly infection.

Causes

  • Bacterial infections
  • Improper nail cutting such as cutting it too short or not straight across
  • Trauma to the toe, such as stubbing, which causes the nail to grow back irregularly
  • Ill-fitting shoes that bunch the toes too close together
  • Genetic predisposition

Prevention

Because ingrown toenails are not something found outside of shoe-wearing cultures, going barefoot as often as possible will decrease the likeliness of developing ingrown toenails. Wearing proper fitting shoes and using proper cutting techniques will also help decrease your risk of developing ingrown toenails.

Treatment

Ingrown toenails are a very treatable foot condition. In minor cases, soaking the affected area in salt or antibacterial soaps will not only help with the ingrown nail itself, but also help prevent any infections from occurring. In more severe cases, surgery is an option. In either case, speaking to your podiatrist about this condition will help you get a better understanding of specific treatment options that are right for you.

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

Read more about Ingrown Toenails
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