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Friday, 27 October 2017 00:00

Rash on Your Feet?

Small, red, itchy, and sometimes painful bumps that cover an area of the skin on your feet can be uncomfortable and embarrassing. How and why did it develop and what can you do about it?

The first step in figuring out what is happening is to have our podiatrist take a look, especially if it won’t go away or gets worse. You should also try to think about anything you may have changed or tried for the first time. Have you come in contact with some poison ivy? Did you buy new leather shoes and sweat in them? Maybe you walked around barefoot in a locker room floor because you forgot your flip-flops?

There are several possible causes of rashes on your feet, including:

  • Allergic reaction such as poison ivy or to shoe materials (chromate in leather) – Perhaps you only recently came into contact with these specific things for the first time in your life, or you have become allergic. In either case, these can cause itchy rashes, and even hives. Antihistamines are the best treatment – oral or topical, but if allergic reaction is severe, you may need emergency medical treatment.
  • Sunburn/Skin Cancer – Many folks do not remember to apply sunscreen on the feet after applying it all over the body. This open exposure can lead to an itchy sunburn, but if the rash doesn’t go away after a few days of sun exposure, it could indicate something worse. Make an appointment right away.
  • Fungal Infection (Athlete’s Foot) – A fungal infection can be spread from person to person, and even re-infect the same person if proper cleaning is not administered to shoes, towels, or floors that are constantly damp (like in communal showers and locker rooms).

Perhaps your rashes didn’t develop all of a sudden, or for the first time. This time, however, maybe you noticed it more because it was worse than before, or maybe you just can’t take the discomfort and need better treatment options. This could be a chronic issue that affects your whole foot or all over your body.

  • Chronic medical conditions such as Eczema or Psoriasis can cause symptoms of rashes, sometimes as scaly skin or plaques. If they are localized to your feet, our podiatrist can prescribe some topical steroids, but you may also need to see a dermatologist for more systemic skin issues.

If you are worried about a skin rash on your feet or ankles, consult with our podiatrist, Dr. Jonathan M. Kletz, at Texas Foot Works. He will assess your feet and ankles to properly diagnose what’s going on. Make an appointment today at any of our offices in  Abrams (Dallas)Athens, and Gun Barrell City, TX!

Published in Blog
Thursday, 19 October 2017 00:00

WPB&J Day

What is that acronym, you might wonder. Does it have something to do with peanut butter and jelly? Well, actually, it stands for World Pediatric Bone and Joint Day! Continuing the theme of Bone and Joint Action week, tomorrow, October 19th is designated to raise awareness about how musculoskeletal diseases affect children. The reason is that 10% of those who have a disabling bone and joint problem are children. Additionally, some of the adults that are affected by musculoskeletal disease have been affected since childhood.

The focus of this year is on how obesity affects children’s bone and joint disorders. The best way to reduce the risk of long-term musculoskeletal problems is to take preventative measures when children are young. However, when children are obese, they are at higher risk of developing bone and joint problems, even while they are young. Much of the lasting problems can start as acute or overuse injuries to the growth plates in the back, hips, and legs (knock knees).

So how can you help your child? You can help them take some preventative measures and make sure that they get treatment for current problems. Here are some tips:

  • If your child is overweight or obese, speak to the pediatrician on how to lose weight. Obesity can put a lot of excess weight and pressure on the lower half of the body, causing problems with the back, hips, legs, and feet. Your child should be put on a plan to help him or her get to a healthier weight.
  • Exercise and eating right are essential to maintaining a healthy body. Bones and muscles can be stronger with resistance or weight-bearing exercises. Be sure to perform activities in a safe and protected manner to prevent injuries. Foods with calcium, vitamin D, anti-inflammatory properties, and omega-3 fatty acids are important for bone and joint health.
  • Address foot and ankle problems to prevent problems elsewhere. This is also true for back or hip problems. If your child limps or complains of pain, it’s important to get treatment so that the problem doesn’t become more severe or have lasting effects. We can help you with orthotics if they are necessary.

Have concerns about pb&j health? Consult with our podiatrist at Texas Foot WorksDr. Jonathan M. Kletz. He will assess your feet and ankles for any musculoskeletal conditions that may affect them. Make an appointment today at any of our offices in Abrams (Dallas)Athens, and Gun Barrell City, TX!

Published in Blog
Friday, 13 October 2017 00:00

Taking Care of Bones and Joints

Why the focus, specifically on bones and joints? Well, October 12th-20th is Bone and Joint Action Week! According to the US Bone and Joint Initiative, more than half of the population who are at least 18 years old have musculoskeletal conditions. So you can see why it’s important to talk about how we can take care of our bones and joints!

What are common musculoskeletal conditions?

Anything that affects our bones, joints, nerves, and soft tissues (muscles, ligaments, tendons) are musculoskeletal issues. These include: arthritis, osteoporosis, back pain, traumatic injury, spinal deformity, as well as childhood conditions.

How can you take care of your bones and joints?

Start now! The older you get, the more likely it is for your bones and joints to begin get weaker. When bones have low density, they are more at risk of breaking or fracturing. Cartilage can also wear down, causing problems with the joints, and ligaments and tendons can stretch or collapse, changing the shape and function of the affected body parts (e.g. adult-acquired flat foot).

Taking care of your bones and joints essentially comes down to two important factors:

Physical Activity

  • Taking part in regular physical activity is important for maintaining a healthy body. Physical activity can help prevent or delay bone and joint issues, as well as promote healing and circulation.
  • Strengthening, conditioning, aerobic, and flexibility exercises should all be incorporated to combat risk factors for bone and joint issues (i.e. obesity, stiff joint, poor posture).
  • When participating in sports or other exercise, make sure to use protective equipment and appropriate shoes to reduce risk of injuries that can have long-lasting painful effects.

Healthy Diet

  • Be sure to eat a healthy, wholesome diet. A variety of nutritious meals will benefit all parts of the body.
  • Vitamin D, in particular, is important for bone and joint health. You need a good amount to absorb and replenish calcium to the bones.
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids and anti-inflammatory foods are helpful for joint health. Eat plenty of sardines and salmon, soy products, extra virgin olive oil, ginger, and dark chocolate to reap the benefits.

Have more questions about bone and joint health, especially as it relates to the 26 bones, 33 joints, and over 100 soft tissues that make up each foot? Consult with our podiatrist at Texas Foot WorksDr. Jonathan M. Kletz. He will assess your feet and ankles for any musculoskeletal conditions. Make an appointment today at any of our Abrams (Dallas)Athens, and Gun Barrell City, TX offices!

Published in Blog
Thursday, 05 October 2017 00:00

Foot Care for Hikers

The fall can be a good time for taking hikes. There are several parks and nature preserves in which you can enjoy a beautiful hike in the Dallas area. We’ve got some tips for caring for your feet, which we hope is informative for new hikers and hiking enthusiasts alike!

  • Preparation: Start slowly and on an easy trail. Taking on a difficult hiking trail can lead to pain, swelling, and other symptoms of injury. Try some easier trails in the neighborhood, which is a great way to test and break in your hiking shoes.
  • Toenails: Check your toenails for any signs of cracks or thickening, like with fungal toenails. Treat any toenail issues before attempting any long or vigorous hikes. Also, trim them so that they are not too long (which can cause pain at the base of the toenail) and not too short (which can cause swelling at the tip of the toes).
  • Toes: Check your toes before putting your hiking your shoes on and take care of any issues like foot fungus or cuts. While hiking, excessive sweating or shoes that are too tight can cause blisters, corns, or calluses. Be sure to bring some bandages or pads to protect any skin issues.
  • Arches and Heels: Warm up and protect arches and heels by stretching your feet. Make sure your hiking shoes have excellent arch and heel support, which help your feet to stay in the right position while hiking. This is especially important if you suffer from plantar fasciitis or flat feet pain.
  • Stretch and Warm Up: Give your feet and ankles time to adjust before engaging in a vigorous trail by stretching and warming up your feet and ankles.
  • Hydrate and Eat Healthy: Bring enough water and healthy food on your trail, especially if you are going on a long hike. Heat or steep terrain can make you expend much more energy. If your body is tired or dehydrated, your feet will be affected too.
  • Soothe your Feet: After a long hike, your feet will want some TLC. If they are a bit swollen, you can use ice or a cold compress. For achy feet, a warm foot soak with Epsom salt can do the trick. It doesn’t hurt to get a foot rub either.

Wondering if hiking is okay for your feet due to pre-existing conditions? Got an injury while hiking? Consult with our podiatrist at Texas Foot WorksDr. Jonathan M. Kletz. He will assess your feet and ankles for a proper diagnosis and provide quality foot and ankle care. Schedule an appointment today at any of our Abrams (Dallas)Athens, and Gun Barrell City, TX offices!

Published in Blog
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