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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.

By Crofton Podiatry
September 12, 2018
Category: cancer
Tags: Diabetes   cancer   wart  

The foot is probably one of the last places you might think about, especially when it comes to cancer. However, each foot is made up of many different parts, including 26 bones, 33 joints, more than 100 muscles, tendons, and ligaments, and of course, skin. That means each of those parts is at risk for problems, including cancer.

Bone cancers:

  • Some tumors appear on the bones, but they can be benign. They may cause your bones to look misshapen or cause pain when a tumor pinches a nerve. Unless they cause your foot problems, benign tumors can be left alone.
  • Malignant tumors, however, are cancerous and can cause health problems. Common foot tumors include chondrosarcoma and Ewing’s sarcoma.

Skin cancers:

  • Squamous cell cancer: It sometimes looks like other skin conditions of the feet, such as a wart or skin infection.
  • Malignant melanoma: There are various types of melanoma, but some cancer can spread on the skin or into the body to affect other organs. You’re at higher risk of getting melanoma if you have light skin, burn easily and often, and have moles.

Other cancers:

  • Neoplastic disorders: If there is abnormal growth in the feet, there’s always a chance that it can become cancerous.

Additionally, some cancers that occur in other parts of the body can have symptoms that appear in the feet. Researchers have found that lung cancer that has metastasized can reach the heels and cause pain. That’s why it’s important to contact our podiatry office if you have concerns with your feet. Our foot doctors might even be the ones to find that you have some other foot problem caused by a primary condition like diabetes.

While foot cancers are rare, they are still possible. If you have a concern about a new growth, in or on your feet, come see our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brad Toll at Crofton Podiatry. Make an appointment at our Crofton, MD office by calling (410) 721-4505. We also serve the surrounding Gambrills, Odenton, and Bowie, MD areas. 

By Crofton Podiatry
September 05, 2018
Category: toe deformities
Tags: corns   bunions   Diabetes   Hammertoes   claw toe   curly toes  

If your toes look different from other people’s toes, there’s a good chance that you have a toe deformity. It can make you uncomfortable to take off your shoes or wear open-toed sandals. Read on to see what kind of toe deformity you might have – and to see if they can be helped.

Bunions and Tailor’s bunions – With this type of deformity, the big toe joint (or the small toe joint) is enlarged. Pressure on the big or small toe joints causes a bony spur to develop. You’ll notice a bump on the side of the joint, which can be painful if it is not cushioned in your shoes. Additionally, bunions can cause the big toes to point toward the other toes, rather than straight.

  • Treatment options include padding in the shoes, toe exercises, and in severe cases, surgery to set the bone straight and remove the bony spur.

Hammertoes – When shoes do not fit properly and the toes are cramped, toes can become bent. The muscles in the toes become tight and can eventually become rigid. Toes form a bent shape and can appear clenched, which is where the name of the deformity comes from. The unnatural shape can make it more likely for you to have pain from corns at the bent joint.

  • Help your toes by buying shoes with roomy toe boxes, using corn pads, and doing toe exercises to strengthen them and make them flexible.

Claw Toe – Certain diseases that damage nerves can cause foot muscles to weaken. This condition causes the toes to curl downward in a claw-like shape. When they are bent out of shape, the joints can become irritated and cause corns to develop.

  • Those with diabetes and alcoholic neuropathy should pay attention to the toes. Early detection is key to easier treatment. Toe exercises and splints can help to keep the toes in the proper shape.

Curly toes, underlapping, and overlapping toes – These deformities are usually present from birth and can be treated early as the foot develops.

  • Stretching, taping, and maybe even surgery can help to release the toes from the curled up shape.

Not all toe deformities are necessarily painful. However, they can cause long-term stress and side effects like corns. Exercising the toes can be very beneficial and can help reduce symptoms. If you need help improving your toe health and confidence, come to see our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brad Toll at Crofton Podiatry. Make an appointment by calling (410) 721-4505. Our foot care team is ready to assist you and your family at our Crofton, MD office. We also serve the surrounding areas of Gambrills, Odenton, and Bowie, MD. 

By Crofton Podiatry
August 08, 2018
Category: Foot health
Tags: swelling   Athlete's Foot   Gout   Orthotics   Diabetes   surgery   pain   arthritis   injury   psoriasis   fungal   ingrown   cracked heels  

There are some obvious times to visit a foot doctor:

  1. Foot injury – A podiatrist can help you find the best way to take care of foot injuries, with anything from orthotics to surgery.
  2. Ankle injury – Yep! Podiatrists also take care of ankle issues.
  3. Foot and ankle pain – If you suddenly notice pain or have ongoing pain that doesn’t seem to get better with time or at-home treatment, our podiatry team will help you figure out what’s going on.podiatrist

Beyond the more obvious reasons for visiting a podiatrist, some other very important times to call our office for foot health care are:

  1. Annual foot examinations – Some foot and ankle issues can arise with subtle symptoms. Catching a problem early can allow for a simpler intervention. Additionally, since a foot doctor is a fully-licensed medical professional, they can help diagnose other problems that may present symptoms affecting the feet. In fact, some patients learn about their diabetes after coming for a foot problem checkup.
  2. Conditions or diseases like arthritis, gout, or diabetes – Speaking of diabetes, folks with certain diseases can develop side effects that affect the feet. A podiatrist can help you manage symptoms like pain or numbness.
  3. Swelling or numbness – If you have swelling or numbness that is unexplained or persists for a long time, come in to check for underlying conditions.
  4. New deformities or changes in skin – Sometimes changes in the feet go unnoticed compared to changes in other parts of the body. That’s why it’s important to check the feet often for any changes that might need treatment. Additionally, severely dry, cracked heels, as well as other conditions like Athlete’s foot or psoriasis may require podiatrist help for treatment.
  5. Ingrown or fungal toenails – Most times, moderate to severe cases of ingrown or fungal toenails requires the attention of a podiatrist. Trying to treat these toenail conditions at home may be fruitless or even more harmful (e.g. trying to pry out ingrown toenails can lead to infection).

As you can see, there are many reasons why you might want to make an appointment at our Crofton, MD office to see our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brad Toll. At Crofton Podiatry, we will use the latest treatment options to assess and take care of your foot and ankle care needs. Please contact us and visit our podiatry team at our Crofton, MD office, which also serves the surrounding areas of Gambrills, Odenton, and Bowie, MD.

 

By Crofton Podiatry
May 30, 2018
Category: Foot health
Tags: Diabetes   Ulcers   cancer  

You have probably heard all about the negative effects that smoking has on your body. It has been known to cause health problems (and even cancer) for almost every organ in your body. But in case you need another reason to quit smoking, your feet and ankles can be negatively affected too.

The most obvious way that cigarettes affect the body is that the nicotine constricts the size of the arteries, making it more likely for them to get clogged. Additionally, when smoking, you inhale carbon monoxide while breathing, reducing the amount of oxygen you are able to intake. The carbon monoxide then attaches to hemoglobin in our blood, which prevents essential oxygen from being delivered to the rest of our body, including the feet.

What symptoms are felt in the feet when you smoke?

  • numbness
  • tingling
  • cold
  • soreness or pain
  • wounds/ulcers that heal slowly
  • pale skin
  • slow hair and nail growth

Smoking can increase the chances of certain conditions that negatively affect the feet. Mainly, smoking is more likely to cause Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD). Plaque can build up in the smaller arteries, making it harder for blood and fluids to circulate. This prevents essential nutrients from being delivered to the rest of the body, especially the feet and lower legs.

Those who have diabetes and who are smokers are an even higher risk of losing sensation in the feet. On top of reduced circulation, high blood sugar levels damage the peripheral nerves (peripheral neuropathy), making it hard for the feet to communicate with the rest of the body.

When you think about the negative effects of smoking, you may not even remember to think about the feet, but they are certainly affected. It can result in many negative foot health complications, which we can help you with.

To get an assessment of your feet and ankles, make an appointment at our Crofton, MD office to see our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brad Toll. At Crofton Podiatry, we will use the latest treatment options to take care of your foot and ankle care needs. Our team is ready to assist you at our Crofton, MD office, which also serves the surrounding Gambrills, Odenton, and Bowie, MD areas.




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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