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By Crofton Podiatry
January 16, 2019
Category: Seniors Foot Care
Tags: corns   calluses   Orthotics   Ulcers   arthritis   Hammertoes   Diabetic   ingrown   odor   neuromas   foot exams   rashes   exercises   swollen  

As older loved ones age, it’s even more important that caregivers look to taking care of the feet. With age comes many complex health issues, including ones that affect mobility like arthritis, osteoporosis, asthma, diabetes, and heart problems. In some cases, the feet can be the first to experience issues associated with many of these problems, even pointing you in the right direction when it comes to a diagnosis.

Here are some ways to care for senior feet and why they are important:

  • Regular hygiene – It’s important to wash the feet with soap and warm water every day to prevent bacterial and fungal infections. If the skin tends to get dry, apply some moisturizer. Keep in mind that even if seniors are not as active, the feet can sweat and develop an unpleasant odor due to bacteria.
  • Frequent foot exams – While helping your loved one wash up, inspect for any new skin issues, like cuts, scrapes, rashes, skin breakdown, or even ulcers. Depending on other health issues he or she might have, their skin may have trouble healing properly, or even feeling that there is a problem. For example, diabetic patients may begin to lose feeling in their feet due to diabetic neuropathy. This is caused by high blood sugar levels damaging the nerves. If you don’t pay attention, a wound can become an infected ulcer, requiring immediate treatment.
  • Proper toenail trimming – Toenails need to be cut straight across. Otherwise, they may become ingrown and cause pain. Additionally, allowing them to get too long can cause them to break and cause pain.
  • Daily exercises – Keeping feet strong and flexible is part of keeping them healthy. Encourage foot exercises, which will help reduce the risk of falls and also increase circulation in the feet. Seniors who are mostly sedentary are prone to swollen feet, and moving the feet can reduce that risk.
  • Make sure the shoes fit – Make sure that they are wearing the correct sized shoes so that they don’t have to worry about painful toe conditions like hammertoes, neuromas, or corns and calluses. If they have a foot deformity requiring special shoes, bring them in to get custom orthotics.

Regular checkups with our podiatrist should also be a part of that care. Remember, the feet can often indicate a larger health issue. Make an appointment with our board-certified podiatrist Dr. Brad Toll to help you find treatment for your older loved ones’ foot conditions. Call Crofton Podiatry at (410) 721-4505, which provides services to Crofton, Gambrills, Odenton, and Bowie, MD areas.

By Crofton Podiatry
November 27, 2018
Category: Footwear
Tags: arthritis   Diabetic   ulcer   fungi  

Depending on your cultural background, you may or may not wear shoes in the house. There might be a good reason for either, but in case you haven’t thought of some of these, let’s discuss whether or not you should wear footwear indoors.

Why you might want to wear shoes in the house:

  • Diabetic feet – One of the possible complications of diabetes is nerve damage from high blood sugar levels. Your feet can experience tingling or complete loss of sensation. This means that if you drop a glass cup and it shatters, you might step on a sharp piece that wasn’t picked up, and not even realize it. This could lead to an open wound that doesn’t heal (ulcer). Wearing shoes in the house could protect your feet in those situations. If wearing outdoor shoes does not appeal to you, buy some shoes that are for indoor use only.
  • Arthritic feet – There are many joints in the feet that can be affected by arthritis and gout. Wearing orthotic, supportive shoes can help reduce the repetitive impact that walking barefoot on hardwood floors can have. Your feet can be cushioned and comfortable as you go about your day at home.
  • Outdoor pets – If you share a home with a furry friend that goes in and out of the house, you might also be fine with wearing your shoes in and out of the house as well. Otherwise, you’ll probably want to clean their paws every time you take them in and out of the house as they track dirt and germs in.

Why you might NOT want to wear shoes in the house:

  • Dirt – Sure, a little dirt never hurt anyone, but now you’ve got more cleaning to do on a regular basis as your shoes track in dirt and, on rainy days, mud.
  • Germs – Some of that dirt and grime that lives on the bottom of your shoes include many harmful microorganisms, including bacteria, fungi, and even viruses. Think about that public bathroom you just went to where people might have missed the toilet bowl. Now you’ve stepped in that and brought it home with you! Furthermore, if you wear shoes and then take them off to be barefoot, you risk your feet getting infections from the germs carried in.
  • Children – Speaking of dirt and germs, while they can help build your children’s immune systems, it may not be the best idea to have them crawling on the floor on unclean floors. You know that they put their hands and mouths on everything, wherever they go. So why not keep your home free of the dirt and germs that your shoes carry in?

If you do wear shoes into the house, you might want to make sure to have slippers for the times when you are not in closed-toed shoes. This can help reduce infections and the spreading of germs.

Of course, if you have any problems with diabetes, arthritis, or skin infections on your feet, come see our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brad Toll at Crofton Podiatry. Make an appointment by calling (410) 721-4505. Visit our Crofton, MD office, which also serves the surrounding Gambrills, Odenton, and Bowie, MD areas.

By Crofton Podiatry
July 13, 2017
Category: Footwear

In many of our previous blog posts, you may have noticed that one of the solutions listed for many foot or ankle problems is orthotics. Ankle sprain? Orthotics can help. Flat footed? Orthotics can help. Plantar Fasciitis pain? Orthotics can help.

The main way that orthotics help is that they provide extra support where you might need it. Most athletics shoes are designed to give at least minimal support in the arches and heels, but other shoes that are more fashion focused may have little or not support at all. When people wear non-supportive shoes for most of the day, every day, the feet are left uncared for. New problems can arise and existing issues can get worse over time.

Foot problems developing can depend on what part of the foot tends to carry your body weight. The more the ball of the foot carries the weight, the more problems can arise in the big toe joint, the plantar fascia, and the Achilles tendon. Mild problems can be taken care of with over-the-counter orthotic inserts, but moderate to severe problems may require custom orthotics that range from soft to rigid types.

Types of Custom Orthotics

After a thorough assessment, our podiatrist can prescribe you custom orthoses. They can be inserts or complete shoes. Since they are constructed to the specific contours and needs of your feet, they help you walk more efficiently to prevent worsening issues. Depending on the needs or issues of the foot or ankle, one of the following types of orthotics will be used:

  • Soft Orthotics: These are usually meant to absorb shock and provide padding for milder issues. Diabetic, arthritic, and deformed feet are effectively assisted by orthoses.

  • Semi-Rigid Orthotics: Using soft cushions and reinforcing them with harder materials, semi-rigid orthotics are used to help with walking or playing sports. They help children with flat feet, in- or out-toeing, and other deformity issues. They help athletes with pain and protect from sudden injuries while playing sports.

  • Rigid Orthotics: These are made from hard materials to control motion, especially in the heel joints.

Most people can benefit from orthoses, and they are highly effective in assisting those with podiatric issues. Consult with our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brad Toll at Crofton Podiatry. After a thorough examination, he will be able to prescribe you the proper type of orthotics you need. You can make an appointment online or by calling (410) 721-4505. Our team is ready to assist you and your family at our Crofton, MD office, which also serves the surrounding Gambrills, Odenton, and Bowie areas.

 




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2411 Crofton Lane, Suite 25
Crofton, MD 21114

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