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By Crofton Podiatry
May 01, 2019
Category: toe deformities

If you’ve ever looked at your feet and notice your toes bending at the joints, you may have hammertoes. Hammertoes is a condition caused by an imbalance of the muscles, bones and ligaments that keep your toes straight.

Causes may include:

  • Improper footwear – not wearing proper fitting shoes
  • Genetics – foot issues can be passed down from other relatives
  • Foot diseases – People with arthritis and diabetes can develop hammertoes
  • Toe length – a longer toe may be bent by hitting the front of the shoe
  • Sex – women tend to get hammertoes more than men
  • Age – Hammertoes is more prevalent as people get older
  • Sudden trauma – an injury can cause the toes to bend at the knuckles.

Indications of Hammertoe include:

  • Pain and swelling – the bending of the toe will result in irritation and pain
  • Inability to move the toe – with swelling it will be difficult to move or straighten
  • Corns and/or calluses – constant wearing of skin against another toe
  • Open sore – if enough contact is being made a sore may develop

There are a few things you can do short of surgery including stretching your toes before you put your shoes on, making sure you have proper fitting shoes, using a store-bought insole, adding padding and taking a pain med like Tylenol. A podiatrist can administer a cortisone shot for pain.  Your podiatrist can also fashion a custom orthotic for you.

If none of them help, then you may need surgery. If so, you podiatrist will confirm this with you. Surgery could include the following:

  • Arthroplasty – removal of a half of the joint
  • Arthrodesis – removal of a whole joint
  • Basal phalangectomy - removing the base of the bone under the big toe

If you believe you have hammertoes and they ate bothering you or have any other concerns about your feet, make an appointment with our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brad Toll. He will assess your feet and find the appropriate treatments. Call Crofton Podiatry at (410) 721-4505, which provides services to Crofton, Gambrills, Odenton, and Bowie, MD areas. 

 

 

By Crofton Podiatry
March 27, 2019
Category: Diabetes
Tags: corns   calluses   bunions   flat feet   Diabetes   Hammertoes  

There are many causes for foot problems. One of the most serious, however, is diabetes. Today, there are approximately 100 million Americans with diabetes. World estimates run to 371 million with 187 that don’t know they do. Diabetes is a condition where there is too much blood glucose or blood sugar in your body. In order for our bodies to work properly, the glucose must get into our cells providing much needed energy. To help do so, insulin must be taken. Feet then need special care.

Too much glucose can damage our eyes, kidneys and nerves. Diabetes can cause strokes, heart disease and the need to surgically remove limbs, so it is important to take your insulin on a regular basis.

Risk factors for diabetes include:

  • High blood pressure. High blood pressure can damage your body’s ability to pump blood.
  • Obesity. Being overweight which many people are.
  • Family history. If your brothers, sisters or parent has type 2 diabetes.
  • Age. If you are 45 years old or older.
  • Lack of Exercise. Being active less than 3 days per week.

Foot problems associated with diabetes:

  • Corns. Increased layers of skin on your foot on the small toes or outside of the foot.
  • Calluses. Thickened skin between toes or at the widest part of your foot.
  • Bunions. Deformity of the big toe joint.
  • Flat feet. The lack of an arch in your foot.
  • Hammertoes. Deformity of the toes where they bend in at the middle joint.

Early signs of diabetes include:

  • Urination. An increased need to urinate.
  • Increased thirst. A constant desire to drink liquids.
  • Increased appetite. Constant hunger.
  • Exhaustion. Feeling unduly tired.
  • Vision problems. Blurred vision and difficulty seeing.
  • Weight loss. Losing weight unexpectedly.
  • Wounds. Cuts or bruises slow to heal.
  • Numbness. Peripheral neuropathy is a numb or tingling sensations in your limbs or feet

If you believe you may have diabetes or any other concerns with your feet, make an appointment with our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brad Toll. He will assess your feet and find the appropriate treatments. Call Crofton Podiatry at (410) 721-4505, which provides services to Crofton, Gambrills, Odenton, and Bowie, MD areas. 

By Crofton Podiatry
March 20, 2019
Category: skin conditions
Tags: corns   Diabetes   footwear   callus   skin   plantar wart  

What may appear to be minor problems on your feet can easily turn into more serious situations. This is why it you suspect you are developing a callus or corn you will want to check with a podiatrist.

What is a callus? A callus is a thickening of the skin due to friction or undue stress. Calluses usually occur in between toes, on the ball or heel or on the sides of your feet and vary in shape. Corns are another type of skin thickening, but can be much more painful. A corn has a much harder center and occur on weight bearing and non-weight bearing parts of the foot. Both develop to protect skin below the affected area.

Causes include:

  • Poor fitting shoes. Footwear that does not cushion your feet.
  • Diabetes. Diabetes inhibits good circulation.
  • Lack of socks. Not wearing socks can cause friction between the foot and shoes. Poor fitting socks can do the same.

Symptoms for Calluses and Corns include:

  • A thick area of skin.
  • A hardened and raised bump on your foot.
  • Tenderness under your skin.
  • The development of flaky skin.

Corns and calluses are sometimes misidentified as a plantar wart. Plantar warts have small black dots in them and are painful if squeezed from the side. Corns and calluses are painful when pressure is applied on top.

If you choose to treat the calluses yourself, try soaking them in warm water then gently rubbing them with a wetted pumice stone in a circular motion, but do not take off too much skin. Applying lotion afterward and use specific padding to keep them away from the sides of your shoes. Calluses or corns could take up to 4 weeks to go away. The best way to deal with them, however, is by seeing your podiatrist. This is especially important if they are caused by diabetes, an abnormal foot structure, walking motion or hip rotation.

If you believe you may have a corn or callus or have any other concerns with your feet, make an appointment with our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brad Toll. He will assess your feet and find the appropriate treatments. Call Crofton Podiatry at (410) 721-4505, which provides services to Crofton, Gambrills, Odenton, and Bowie, MD areas. 

By Crofton Podiatry
February 06, 2019
Category: skin conditions

Every person’s skin is different. The way they react to the moisture, or lack thereof, can be very different. Some people develop rashes, while others become very itchy and scaly. That’s why there are so many different kinds of moisturizing solutions out there!

The skin on your feet will most likely react the way it does everywhere else on your body. If the air is dry, the parts of your body that are most exposed to the elements are likely to respond by drying out.

Here are some causes for dry feet and what you can do about them:

  • Dry air – Especially in the winter, the air can become dry. With humidity levels dropping, your skin needs more moisture. Apply a moisturizer such as lotions or creams more often than you do during the summer. Additionally, try your best not to expose your skin to dry windy air for too long, as that will make the dryness worse.
  • Overexertion and/or dehydration – Much physical activity can cause your body to overheat resulting in lots of sweating to help you cool down. If you are not hydrated enough, excessive sweating can lead to dry skin, due to dehydration. Make sure that you drink adequate amounts of water each day – about 8 – 8oz glasses per day.
  • Skin conditions – If you have skin issues like eczema or psoriasis, you are more likely to have rashes and/or dry, flaky skin. It can even lead to painfully cracked heel fissures. Be sure to stay on top of moisturizing, and if necessary, topical medications. Drink plenty of water each day.
  • Skin infection – If dry skin is because of an infection like Athlete’s foot, be sure to treat the source of the problem right away. Use over-the-counter antifungal creams at the first sign of symptoms. If they are not effective, come in so that we can prescribe you a stronger treatment.
  • Health conditions – Some health conditions can have a side effect of dry skin. Diabetes is one of the conditions that can lead to dry skin. The lack of circulation can cause problems for bringing necessary fluids and nutrients to nourish your skin. Ask your doctor how you can help your dry skin when you’ve got diabetes.

If you’ve got persistent dry skin and only using moisturizers doesn’t seem to be working, try some of these home remedies to help your dry skin.

  • Set up a nice warm footbath. Soak for at least 10 minutes and then gently scrub areas of dry skin with a pumice stone. Make sure you moisturize your feet after drying them off.
  • Add Epsom salt, apple cider vinegar, or honey to the foot soak. These can help to increase moisture absorption, as well as help keep infections at bay.  
  • Use paraffin wax to seal in moisture while you sleep.

Got persistent dry feet that won’t heal up no matter what you try? Make an appointment with our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brad Toll to help you find treatment for your dry feet. Call Crofton Podiatry at (410) 721-4505, which provides services to Crofton, Gambrills, Odenton, and Bowie, MD areas.

By Crofton Podiatry
November 13, 2018
Tags: Diabetes   Ulcers   gangrene   smoking   drinking   nerve damage  

Who can be affected by foot ulcers? Foot ulcers are usually a result of poor circulation, nerve damage, and/or prolonged pressure on the foot. Those who have conditions such as peripheral arterial disease, kidney failure or diabetes are prone to developing foot ulcers due to complications of these diseases. Excessive smoking, drinking or sitting (yes, sitting) can also increase the risk of developing foot ulcers.

What is a foot ulcer? An ulcer is a sore or wound that is slow to heal. The skin can begin to break down and the wound can get deeper, even to the point of exposing bone!

When does a diabetic person get foot ulcers? Once a diabetic person experiences loss of sensation due to nerve damage and poor circulation, ulcers can begin to cause problems. 

Where do foot ulcers appear? Most commonly, ulcers tend to form under the balls of feet, along the arch, on the toes, and on the heels. These are areas that experience the most pressure throughout the day.

Why is it a big problem to have foot ulcers? When left untreated, foot ulcers can become severely infected, leading to gangrene and even amputation.

…and finally, How does having diabetes lead to foot ulcers?

When you have diabetes, your body has a hard time controlling sugar levels.

The direct effect is that having high blood sugar levels damages your nerves. This leads to neuropathy, which causes you to lose feeling in your extremities. When you cannot detect discomfort or pain in your feet, the rest of your body does not have the information it needs to heal sores or wounds.

A diabetic’s body also doesn’t send normal signals to regulate the circulation of fluids and blood, so the ulcer does not receive the nutritive healing factors it needs. If the ulcer becomes infected, it’s that much more difficult to heal!

As you walk and put pressure on your feet, it can cause that part of the skin on your foot to begin to break down and become an ulcer. If you have peripheral neuropathy, you may not even notice it until a couple weeks later, when it’s likely infected.

That’s why it’s important to do foot checks often and take good care of your feet when you have diabetes. If you notice the beginnings of a possible ulcer, consult with our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brad Toll, at Crofton Podiatry before you experience complications. Make an appointment by calling (410) 721-4505 or contact us online. Our podiatry team is ready to assist you at our office in Crofton, which also serves the surrounding areas of Gambrills, Odenton, and Bowie, MD.




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2411 Crofton Lane, Suite 25
Crofton, MD 21114

Podiatrist - Crofton, Crofton Podiatry, 2411 Crofton Lane, Suite 25, Crofton MD, 21114 (410) 721-4505